Author Topic: Mood/attitude enhancer?  (Read 14657 times)

FarmerJim

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Mood/attitude enhancer?
« on: July 27, 2014, 06:24:42 PM »
Hey y'all, after successfully transitioning off of my PTSD Medication last year I've seemed to have encountered long lasting after effects other then what I would admittedly call a general "sour" disposition. I often seem like the stereotypical grouchy old man when I'm hardly into my 30's. I've been told your stereotypical PTSD Meds can result in permanent need for them to facilitate Seratonin production... Anyone know of any herbal/alternate treatments? While I've recently made steps to get into a healthier lifestyle I've found my first 3 weeks of healthy exercise haven't done much at all to help my day to day mood.

Offline RitaRose1945

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Re: Mood/attitude enhancer?
« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2014, 08:05:29 PM »
I had some pretty serious hits to the head a few years ago, and I ended up with depression and... I'd say "irritability", but I was just plain a cranky bitch.

Two things helped me a lot:

1) Coconut oil - I know it sounds like woo, but it has medium chain triglycerides that really do help with brain health.  It made me less agitated and I could see a huge boost in my moods after just a day or two.  I would just eat a spoonful out of the jar once a day.  Simple as that.  Try to find the least processed you can, but even the crap in the grocery store isn't too bad.

2) 5-HTP - I didn't use it for more than a couple of months, but it seemed to help as well.  I took it first thing in the morning because taking it at night disrupted my sleep (which can also lead to depression and irritability).  It wasn't giving me bad dreams or anythings, just dreams that were so incredibly vivid that they would wake me up.

Coconut oil could be something you use every day for the rest of your life if you want.  5-HTP requires a little more caution, so I only used it for a couple of months, just to get me out of the worst of the hole.

Offline slingblade

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Re: Mood/attitude enhancer?
« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2014, 09:41:54 PM »
Cashews!

Offline Cedar

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Re: Mood/attitude enhancer?
« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2014, 10:37:17 PM »
Oatmeal every morning. Maybe oatstraw tea as well.
CHOCOLATE.. oh wait.. maybe you have to be a woman for that  ;)
St. Johns Wort.... MAYBE. Do research on it.
Lemon Balm tea.

Cedar

Offline chrisdfw

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Re: Mood/attitude enhancer?
« Reply #4 on: July 27, 2014, 11:50:48 PM »
whiskey

I wish I has something more profound, but I have already consumed at least a 1/2 a 5th of whiskey

I am really happy... unless there are naked women willing to visit... whiskey makes me about as happy as can be.

Offline Carl

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Re: Mood/attitude enhancer?
« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2014, 07:43:30 AM »
Your mind is a powerful thing...try this before saying it won't work.

List verbally what is good around you....continually say to yourself it is a good day and it is good to be alive.
The electric bill is too high...you have lived well with the AC,TV,PC,DVD, and lights...be thankful in words,even  if just you are there to hear the words. You do not face the problems that many wake up with,or lose sleep over daily.Trust me...I would trade places with you...but would not wish my burden on anyone....and their are many far worse off than me.

LOOK FOR THE GOOD AROUND YOU,TAKE A WALK, ENJOY THE SITES AND SMELLS.
Enjoy your 'gift of life' that too many forget what a miracle it is just to be alive.

Take two M and M's and maybe a bit of condensed grain ,in liquid form for enjoyment...not to lose touch with the world.

Offline Josh the Aspie

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Re: Mood/attitude enhancer?
« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2014, 01:19:18 AM »
CHOCOLATE.. oh wait.. maybe you have to be a woman for that  ;)

You do not.  :P

Also, the scent of peppermint has been shown to have effect on attention, focus, and mood.  So I believe a peppermint tea is likely to have some positive qualities.

If you are looking for calming/relaxing you might try lavender.

Other ways of improving mood can include smiling on purpose (even if you don't feel like it), exercise, and helping others.

Offline RitaRose1945

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Re: Mood/attitude enhancer?
« Reply #7 on: August 01, 2014, 05:14:52 AM »
As wonderful as it may be, I would not recommend alcohol.

Yes, it relaxes you, but it is also a depressant and messes with your sleep patterns.  Neither of those is going to help this particular situation and will only make it worse.

endurance

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Re: Mood/attitude enhancer?
« Reply #8 on: August 01, 2014, 10:57:47 AM »
As wonderful as it may be, I would not recommend alcohol.

Yes, it relaxes you, but it is also a depressant and messes with your sleep patterns.  Neither of those is going to help this particular situation and will only make it worse.
Agreed.  Last January I had a family member battling with some PTSD issues and it was frightening just how quickly alcohol became a problem.  From a drink two or three nights a week to a bottle every night.  Not good.  Not good at all.  Fortunately she was able to get things turned around, but it's definitely something to be very vigilant about. 

I agree that healthy fats can play a big roll in mental health.  Cashews, almonds, fish oils, coconut oil in cooking (used like butter for frying) (or coconut milk in smoothies), avocados, and then I'd add vitamin D and a B complex, too.


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Re: Mood/attitude enhancer?
« Reply #9 on: August 01, 2014, 11:35:05 AM »
Also, as hard as it may be, good, regular sleep is very important to mood regulation.

Exercise may help not only on it's own, but also with getting good sleep.  Similarly with diet.

Offline busymomx3

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Re: Mood/attitude enhancer?
« Reply #10 on: August 01, 2014, 02:07:24 PM »
I have always found exercise helps but it usually takes 4-5 weeks to really work.  Keep at it :).  I agree with taking note of what you are blessed with and remembering that it could be worse.  I don't know about herbal stuff so this post is great :).

Offline Carl

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Re: Mood/attitude enhancer?
« Reply #11 on: August 01, 2014, 02:42:21 PM »
Feel better yet?? :)

FarmerJim

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Re: Mood/attitude enhancer?
« Reply #12 on: August 01, 2014, 03:13:31 PM »
I'm trying a tincture a friend combined for me (apprentice herbalist working under a 30yr master)

Skullcap, Linden, Green Oats and Camomile in a pretty low starting dosage in an attempt to find that healthy Minimum that works for me.

Its only been 24 hours so I don't really know anything yet but at least as a placebo its doing something!

FarmerJim

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Re: Mood/attitude enhancer?
« Reply #13 on: August 01, 2014, 03:18:26 PM »
Plus I'm considering ordering a 5-htp supplement for daily use in capsules

endurance

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Re: Mood/attitude enhancer?
« Reply #14 on: August 01, 2014, 03:24:59 PM »
Thanks for the update.  I've grown skullcap.  It's a pretty easy one to grow if I recall correctly if you find something that works and want to be able to control your supply in a worst case scenario.  I'm not sure if it's still growing in my garden or not right now.  I lose track of things quite frequently. ;D

FarmerJim

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Re: Mood/attitude enhancer?
« Reply #15 on: August 01, 2014, 03:43:35 PM »
Thanks for the update.  I've grown skullcap.  It's a pretty easy one to grow if I recall correctly if you find something that works and want to be able to control your supply in a worst case scenario.  I'm not sure if it's still growing in my garden or not right now.  I lose track of things quite frequently. ;D

Thanks I will definitely look into that all but the linden seem easy enough! I've been recommended to try very low level sedative herbs in order to find that mellow point without becoming lethargic or sluggish. The 5-htp should help boost seratonin as well.

Offline Dainty

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Re: Mood/attitude enhancer?
« Reply #16 on: August 01, 2014, 04:52:03 PM »
Thanks for the update, FarmerJim.

Since I haven't weighed in yet...

B12 tablets are my family's go-to mood enhancer. I discovered them and from there its use rippled through my family one individual at a time - anytime a particular member was being difficult the others would start to pressure them to take B12 until they relented (with fantastic displays of aggravation, mind you) and then next thing you know everything's peachy again. :P Peace is restored. It's pretty hilarious how effective it can be.

It won't necessarily happen that way with everyone, though. It's just another thing to add to the list of things to try if/when you feel like lengthening it.

I don't find I need to take B12 all the time anymore, but every once in a while I start to encounter a high level of irritability for no reason and that's when I know it's time to go on it again. It's definitely a prep item for me (and my family!).

One thing to note is that too high of serotonin can actually cause anxiety and irritability. So the answer isn't always more serotonin for mood enhancement. Raising melatonin will result in decreased serotonin, and vice versa. Bright lights, lots of light (especially in the morning) and stuff give you more serotonin. Wearing amber-colored sunglasses will block blue light and thus serotonin production. or any other shades in the red light spectrum (red, orange, yellow) to their respective degrees.

For me, I've found the simplest way to play around with the serotonin/melatonin balance is to have both blue and amber sunglasses to wear. You can also use light bulbs in either color - LED cool white for blue light and incandescent yellow, orange, red, or natural fire for red light spectrum. This is another thing to note - if you've been changing over to energy efficient bulbs then you've been increasing the serotonin you're exposed to, especially at night which is the time you most need melatonin to do its thing instead.

Herbs - I've tried a lot of herbs for their relaxing/sedating qualities - licorice root has always been my favorite of those. St. John's Wort is nice but I didn't care for the side effects. For some reason or another skullcap, chamomile, and the others I've tried resulted in me feeling fairly ambivalent about them. I don't recall any effect strong enough to notice.

My favorite chill pill is an amino acid called GABA - Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid. I find it's pretty effective at getting the nervous system to cool it already without making me lethargic or sleepy - unless of course rest/sleep is what I genuinely need at the time.

I hope you find something that works for you! Just keep at it until you do, there are lots of options out there and while there's no one thing that helps everyone, most people eventually find what helps them. :)

Offline joeinwv

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Re: Mood/attitude enhancer?
« Reply #17 on: August 01, 2014, 05:14:26 PM »
Don't discount the benefits of a mild serotinergic agent. They help a lot of people. Low dose of lexapro is a pretty clean agent, might make you tired and might give you some delayed orgasm issues. Do not take Paxil or Effexor.

Vitamin D has a lot of links to depression / mood issues. Take more vitamins - B, C and D especially. Get enough sunshine / outside air. Force yourself into normal sleep patterns - ie: don't stay up late gaming, watching tv, etc. Find a therapist / group therapy - talking about your problems is a good thing. Eat clean and exercise, drink a lot of water. Stop smoking. Get a hobby you like (gardening and beer making are my 2 faves).

I am not a doctor, nor did I stay in a Holiday Inn last night.

Offline Josh the Aspie

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Re: Mood/attitude enhancer?
« Reply #18 on: August 01, 2014, 05:17:25 PM »
Thanks for the update, FarmerJim.

Since I haven't weighed in yet...

B12 tablets are my family's go-to mood enhancer. I discovered them and from there its use rippled through my family one individual at a time - anytime a particular member was being difficult the others would start to pressure them to take B12 until they relented (with fantastic displays of aggravation, mind you) and then next thing you know everything's peachy again. :P Peace is restored. It's pretty hilarious how effective it can be.

It won't necessarily happen that way with everyone, though. It's just another thing to add to the list of things to try if/when you feel like lengthening it.

I don't find I need to take B12 all the time anymore, but every once in a while I start to encounter a high level of irritability for no reason and that's when I know it's time to go on it again. It's definitely a prep item for me (and my family!).

One thing to note is that too high of serotonin can actually cause anxiety and irritability. So the answer isn't always more serotonin for mood enhancement. Raising melatonin will result in decreased serotonin, and vice versa. Bright lights, lots of light (especially in the morning) and stuff give you more serotonin. Wearing amber-colored sunglasses will block blue light and thus serotonin production. or any other shades in the red light spectrum (red, orange, yellow) to their respective degrees.

For me, I've found the simplest way to play around with the serotonin/melatonin balance is to have both blue and amber sunglasses to wear. You can also use light bulbs in either color - LED cool white for blue light and incandescent yellow, orange, red, or natural fire for red light spectrum. This is another thing to note - if you've been changing over to energy efficient bulbs then you've been increasing the serotonin you're exposed to, especially at night which is the time you most need melatonin to do its thing instead.

Herbs - I've tried a lot of herbs for their relaxing/sedating qualities - licorice root has always been my favorite of those. St. John's Wort is nice but I didn't care for the side effects. For some reason or another skullcap, chamomile, and the others I've tried resulted in me feeling fairly ambivalent about them. I don't recall any effect strong enough to notice.

My favorite chill pill is an amino acid called GABA - Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid. I find it's pretty effective at getting the nervous system to cool it already without making me lethargic or sleepy - unless of course rest/sleep is what I genuinely need at the time.

I hope you find something that works for you! Just keep at it until you do, there are lots of options out there and while there's no one thing that helps everyone, most people eventually find what helps them. :)

I've been a bit cranky/snippy today.  I think I'm going to try the B vitamins, and getting some sun when I get home myself.  Maybe I'll take a nap in the sun.

Offline RitaRose1945

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Re: Mood/attitude enhancer?
« Reply #19 on: August 01, 2014, 06:44:47 PM »
Seconding the Vitamin D.  And I would take both the D and the 5-HTP in the morning since the last thing you want is to be alert and energized when you go to bed at night.

If you're having trouble sleeping, magnesium is GREAT for that.  Take it maybe 20 minutes before bed, and it relaxes you without making you drowsy.  You just roll over and think "There's no way I'm ever going to fall aslee..." and you're out.  It also helps with sleeping through the night without waking, or at least being able to fall back asleep if you do.

Offline Lostjagged

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Re: Mood/attitude enhancer?
« Reply #20 on: February 16, 2015, 12:19:54 AM »
I would also suggest projects. Not the " have to do" kind, but the "want to do" kind. Nothing that you really have to rush at.

I'll use myself as example. Being from ND where we have six months of winter.

From about April to September I'll putt about my "garden" , which is usually closer to a plant graveyard than a garden (and yes I am getting better). During the winter I can be found working on any number of projects from firearm modification to building furniture or shelves.

Offline bcksknr

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Re: Mood/attitude enhancer?
« Reply #21 on: February 16, 2015, 05:36:26 AM »
     Unless you have allergies, I'd recommend cats. Nothing makes me happier than a nice, loving, non-judgmental cat. They don't ask for much and in return they can bring warmth and joy into your life. It doesn't have to be cats. A pet of your choice can have the same affect. It is hard to hug a goldfish, but hey, whatever works.

Offline Mr. Bill

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Re: Mood/attitude enhancer?
« Reply #22 on: February 16, 2015, 07:46:37 AM »
non-judgmental cat

That must be a special breed. 8)

Okay, they don't judge you by human standards, only by their own.  "Your worries are no concern of mine, human.  Give me [food/petting/play/your chair] and I'll let you live."

Seriously, though, sometimes this is enough.  A cat is a good reminder that there is a world outside your own personal problems.  Plus it's soft and warm and furry if you avoid the pointy bits.

Offline Carl

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Re: Mood/attitude enhancer?
« Reply #23 on: February 16, 2015, 08:15:11 AM »
Get a dog,rescue one from the pound....to a dog pleasing you is everything,
a dog has only one motivation,and that is to please it's owner.

 to a cat you are staff to take care of it's every desire

Bonnieblue2A

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Re: Mood/attitude enhancer?
« Reply #24 on: February 16, 2015, 12:16:27 PM »
I'm currently taking an online course with Patricia Foreman from the Gossomer Foundation.  She addresses the use of a backyard chicken flock as an anti-depressant and also the use of therapy chickens.  Yes, therapy chickens.  :)

FarmerJim

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Re: Mood/attitude enhancer?
« Reply #25 on: February 16, 2015, 01:21:10 PM »
Unfortunately my area has pretty "classic" urban Ag rules. Backyard chickens are absolutely allowed.... but regulated and limited to the point of EXTREME improbability. (The only real LEGAL keepers do it to piss off Animal Control)

Bonnieblue2A

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Re: Mood/attitude enhancer?
« Reply #26 on: February 16, 2015, 01:49:49 PM »
Unfortunately my area has pretty "classic" urban Ag rules. Backyard chickens are absolutely allowed.... but regulated and limited to the point of EXTREME improbability. (The only real LEGAL keepers do it to piss off Animal Control)

Don't let that stop you.  You have the ADA and being a veteran on your side. And, if you became a certified chicken therapy handler, you would have the opportunity to work with other veterans.   Does any city council want the really bad publicity that could result in refusing a vet. using therapy chickens from keeping a very small flock in his backyard?

The chicken therapy training and coaching class begins March 5th.
http://chickensandyou.com/#therapy_anchor

FarmerJim

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Re: Mood/attitude enhancer?
« Reply #27 on: February 16, 2015, 02:06:51 PM »
Were allowed 3. All hens with a coop minimum of 50ft from any structure on all sides. (Chain link fence is considered a structure.) Also you open your home up to unannounced animal welfare inspections (one prime example involved a officer who refused to not bring in her wooden baton and responded with refusal of entry by calling the Police and having her animals seized. Chickens AND Dogs)

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Re: Mood/attitude enhancer?
« Reply #28 on: February 17, 2015, 08:32:28 AM »
While I've recently made steps to get into a healthier lifestyle I've found my first 3 weeks of healthy exercise haven't done much at all to help my day to day mood.

It's definitely better than nothing, but, I've found that exercising just to exercise doesn't do a whole lot of good in terms of changing ones attitude or general mood.

I'm always at my happiest when I'm working towards a specific goal and knocking out smaller steps along the way.

Maybe set a hard goal of running a 10K in the summer... or, running a mile in under 7 minutes... or, participating in a basketball league within your community.


Last year, my goal was training for the 400 meters. This year, I'm trying to train for a triathlon (though, I'm a TERRIBLE swimmer).

Set a static and reasonable goal (running 2 miles in under 14 minutes, for example) that you want to achieve, and then set smaller goals that you know you will have to knock out to get to the larger goal. Build a whole program, and stick to the program.

If that doesn't work, then it's time to start looking for alternatives and maybe working with a professional to try to get to the bottom of your problems.

Good luck!

Offline mountainmoma

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Re: Mood/attitude enhancer?
« Reply #29 on: February 17, 2015, 10:18:27 AM »
Oatmeal every morning. Maybe oatstraw tea as well.
CHOCOLATE.. oh wait.. maybe you have to be a woman for that  ;)
St. Johns Wort.... MAYBE. Do research on it.
Lemon Balm tea.

Cedar

yes to all these. An older friend with PTSD says the Saint Johns Wort helps him. I gave him some last year and we bought a few pounds jointly this fall and I taught him how to tincture it. He also uses alcohol, but this path is NOT recomended, it is causing too many (predictable) problems of its own.

SUnshine when you can get it. Help others, even in little ways like posting advice  ;) Volunteer at your local food bank, drive meals to seniors, tutor young people, sometimes I go to the sewing coop in the nearest city and have tea and end up helping some college kid make a ----whatever---  or repair their backpack. Beside the up of helping you meet new people doing this and have positive social interactions. Join a club, we joined a gun club last year and make a point of usually making the "quiet .22" target practice night where people visit and then go out to get a burger after. Take up a new hobby, I am learning HAM, the class was free, the book was like $22, everyone in the HAM community local and virtual is very supportive and you have this whole huge realm of stuff to learn and talk about that is not any of your own issues.

The chocolate is a known booster, even for guys. Oatmeal is great idea. B12 depends alot both of the person and their personal cell chemistry and its problems and so also on the KIND of B12 (there are many forms, and if it is to help, it needs to be correct) Some people get horribly grumpy with it (ok, aggressively angry even, but this is not most at all). Luckily genetics have a roll in this, so if it helps a family member there is better odds it would help you. So, helps many, but be careful and aware if you go get your first B12 shot, for some it will make you worse. Vit D helps alot and I have never heard of a problem taking it.( With the B12, I dont mean the amount in you daily vitamin, I mean the amounts and kinds of extras that are taken )