Kelly's St. John's Wort pages for depression

What are the long-term effects? kermit the frog

Obviously, you will turn into Kermit the Frog and join the Muppet Show if you take St. John's Wort for too long. I'm kidding!

What are the long-term effects of taking St. John's Wort? It allows your mind to heal, and with a little luck one day you'll stop taking SJW altogether because you just don't need it anymore. That's what happened to me. I took it for quite a few years, but I don't need it anymore.

I took SJW for over eight years. That's longer than most people, so I can speak with some experience here. Everyone tries stopping it at some point, but if you stop too soon the depression can return, and you'll start taking it again. But I never wanted to take any anti-depressant forever.

Countless millions of people take St. John's Wort everyday. Things have really changed since the days in 1996 when I started my research, but couldn't find more than handful of people across the Internet who could offer up their experiences. Now there are thousands of experiences in my discussion forum from people who've taken SJW for years, and how much it has helped them.

Really, how long you take St. John's Wort may come down to one of two things:

    1. how long your body and mind truly need it; and
    2. a more philosophical question, as follows...

"When should I stop taking an anti-depressant?"

The answer is that only you (and maybe your doctor) will know. I have a psychiatrist friend who lives out of town (and who's not aware of my problem) He's a big believer that most people with serious depression should never stop taking their medication - ever. The reason being is related to the cause -- depression is a serious disease and a medical condition that doesn't just go away. But for many of us, it's just a low period in our life, a combination of a lack of sunlight, stressful work, not enough sleep, a lack of exercise... and countless other things, all rolled into one.

Whenever you decide to stop SJW, don't stop taking it abruptly. That's the surest way to bring back depression. If you're taking 3 capsules/day, drop down to 2/day for a few weeks. Then take 1/day for a few weeks, and then go without. See how you feel along the way. You don't have to split pills like you'd do with an anti-depressant, just take a little less. More information about what you can do to stop taking it, when you're ready, in the next few pages.

Clinical Depression, or what?

I've had a number of people ask me whether they should take St. John's Wort because they currently are feeling depressed, but are not normally depressed nor have they been diagnosed with clinical depression. My answer, with some personal qualification to follow, is generally: no! Please, if this is you I'm not trying to belittle your depressed feelings in any way!! But first you should find some surveys on the Internet about what depression is. Some sites have quizzes to help you determine if you're depressed. Sometimes it's not obvious. SJW can help for situational problems, like someone dying in your family, but you should only take it for a short time because that's not clinical depression.

[philosophical mode, on] You may be surprised at this, but I believe in some moderation that depression can be a healthy thing. It's a part of life, and it can help people with introspection and personal growth. Hell, I think I once used to *like* being depressed, can you believe that? I thought it made me more creative. I thought it made me a better writer. And once upon a time when I was younger, depression was harmless and it always passed. But things changed. When you suffer from depression, sometimes you are so far from seeing the light that you don't even know what happiness is anymore. And yet still you are in denial! But for other people, they may be depressed today but do not suffer from depression. Really, even if you're depressed because something terrible has happened in your life it can be very, very *extremely* difficult but for most people these feelings will *eventually* pass. This is not clinical depression, it's just a very sad part of life. [philosophical mode, off]

go to the next page (getting off the meds)