Anxiety and Depression: Nootropics

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Do you remember what it was like to always be in a “good mood” ? Anxiety and depression are things most of us have had to deal with at some point in our lives.

Personally, when I was younger, I made a lot of poor decisions, including smoking large amounts of cannabis daily, and excessive consumption of alcohol (6-7 days a week). I have some form of Attention deficit disorder (ADD), occasionally display instances of Obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD), and have gone through some “tough times” in my life that led me to therapy before. This all adds up to occasionally having to dig my way out of my own hole.

Anxiety and depression are often discussed together- both in the psychiatric/medical world and nootropic/supplementation world. But they are two distinctly different conditions. Even though the cause of anxiety and depression may overlap. [1] [2]

All kinds of conditions can contribute to anxiety and depression. Neurotransmitter levels that are out of balance can cause severe depression. Stress and illness can cause anxiety and depression. A lack of Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF), Poor cerebral blood flow, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, stroke and even mental fatigue from lack of cellular energy, can all cause anxiety and depression… and that is just the tip of the iceberg.

While there are hundreds of supplements and nootropics that can help, here is a list of some that have helped me in the past, and continue to serve as a great support in my daily regime.

Aniracetam. One of my favorites. Located in racetam-family of nootropics, Aniracetam is very well known for helping anxiety and depression. Aniracetam activates D2 and D3 dopamine receptors in your brain. Improves anxiety, cognition, learning, memory, mood.

Alpha GPC, CDP-Choline. Both help boost acetylcholine (ACh) in your brain. ACh is associated with memory and learning. And the choline is needed when stacked with any racetam (you’ll deplete it otherwise).

Ashwagandha. Used for thousands of years in Ayurvedic medicine, Ashwagandha helps relieve stress, fatigue, restores energy and concentration, and normalizes blood sugar. (I take this in a dropper, liquid form, every day. It is made by Herb Pharm, and Whole foods carries it)

Bacopa Monnieri. This adaptogen helps prevent chemical and physical stress instead of suppressing them like many modern antidepressants. Many believe this is one of the best nootropics available today. You’ll see it in almost every nootropic stack/product.

Lemon Balm. This plant is a part of the mint family. Lemon Balm inhibits the GABA transaminase enzyme. Which in turn helps maintain adequate levels of GABA in your brain. Resulting in a calming effect and relieving anxiety and depression. (GABA itself is also a great thing to supplement as well- but I generally take it before sleep or a NuCalm session).

Rhodiola Rosea. Rhodiola increases AMPK which helps decrease depression and stress-related mood swings, reduces fatigue, stimulates energy and alertness and boosts cognition. (Also take via Herb Pharm liquid)

Sulbutiamine. Synthesized in the lab from Vitamin B1 (thiamine), Sulbutiamine boosts memory, motivation and is a great antidepressant. (I use the Double Wood brand)

Vitamin B6. B6 is a required coenzyme for the synthesis of most major neurotransmitters in your brain. B6 helps with alertness, cognition, energy, memory and mood.

Vitamin B12. B12 is essential for the synthesis of DNA, RNA and neurotransmitters in your brain. B12 improves alertness, cognition, memory, decision-making and mood.

REMINDER: If your depression or anxiety is serious, please, please seek professional help. I personally have struggled with suicidal thoughts in the past. You are not alone and you can learn, grow, and change. You are not your thoughts. Visit https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/ or call 1-800-273-8255 for more help.

[1] https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/anxiety-disorders/index.shtml
[2] https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/depression/index.shtml