According to the World Health Organization (WHO) by the year 2020, depression will be the number two cause of "lost years of healthy life" worldwide. However, the cost in human suffering cannot be estimated.
Depression and mood disorders are very prevalent mental health issues today. In an increasingly health conscious society, more options are being put forth in the realm of natural medicine, allowing people to stabilize and enhance mood naturally, without addictive and often harmful prescription antidepressants.
Natural mood stabilizers and mood enhancers usually work by encouraging the production of serotonin and other "pleasure" chemicals such as norepinephrine in the human brain, thereby promoting a sense of calm, well-being and revitalization.
Herbal mood enhancers may contain several different herbs and vitamins in concentrated form ranging from St. John's Wort, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin B12 and various other proprietary blends of botanical extracts and powders. The goal of natural mood stabilizers is to simultaneously alleviate stress and anxiety, while increasing energy and vitality levels (this is where Vitamin B12 usually comes into play - as an energy enhancer). All of this is done through precise blends of complementing ingredients to produce the desired outcome chemically in the human body.
A mood stabilizer is an excellent way to help make it through life's rough patches or particulary stressful events in life, since they are natural and non-habit forming, but very effective at enhancing mood for those who need some temporary help from time to time. Please note that individuals who suffer severe clinical depression should seek the help and guidance of a therapist and/or psychiatrist though, as therapy and medication may be needed in extreme cases.
Mood enhancing herbs have actually long been used in ancient civilizations as a means for mood stabilization and mood elevation. Natural mood enhancers, in contrast with prescription antidepressants, actually do not produce many of the common side effects of prescription antidepressants.
Side effects of the more common antidepressants (Zoloft, Paxil, Effexor, Lexapro and more),may include any of the following: suicidal tendencies, sexual disfunction, dry mouth, urinary retention, constipation, blurred vision, headache, weight gain, gastrointestinal disturbance and more.
Most people actually discontinue the usage of prescription mood enhancers (antidepressants) due to the simple fact that the side effects are worse than the actual depression. Many critics of prescription mood stabilizers argue that we don't know enough about how or why they work in the human brain, and that it is the "overkill" approach to treating depression or the "sledgehammer to crack a nut" approach, which is not necessary to effectively treat many cases of depression.
One thing is certain. There are countless people who suffer from moderate depression and mood disorders from time to time. There is simply no reason to not try a natural method to stabilize and regulate your mood by using a natural mood enhancer to get through emotionally difficult times. It's simply not worth the risks associated with antidepressants if it is not severe enough to warrant a psychologist's supervision.