Hello, readers! Just a short note to let you all know how my experiment with the serotonin precursor 5-HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan) is going.
Last year in early to mid December I started taking this supplement (50 mg each morning), in hopes that it might alleviate some of the worse symptoms of the depression I was periodically crashing into. I was a little worried that it might screw around with my head a bit, but actually, I felt much much better almost immediately. I’ve been taking it most mornings (some days I forget) ever since, and for the most part my moods have elevated and stabilized, and I have a lot more energy and focus. On the days I forget the supplement, by about lunchtime I’m anxious and feeling unsettled, unfocused, though if I have enough work to do I can power through it all. I find that even when I’m struggling with weird thoughts, having something to do which takes my mind off things and forces me to concentrate for hours at a time really helps.
I would say that, since it’s nearly a year later and I’m still doing well with it, that 5-HTP is a success. It may not work for everybody, since it would only plausibly have an effect if you’ve got a serotonin deficiency, but it seems to have worked well on me. Nice thing about it is that I don’t need a prescription- it’s available in most health food stores.
Every fall I usually wind up dealing with crazy thoughts- crazier than usual- because of the change in seasons, but I’m happy to report that this year it’s actually the opposite. I think having my medication plus 5-HTP is helping me stay a bit more myself even though the season is changing. We will see what happens in the middle of December, when it’s darkest, but for now I’m cautiously optimistic. No weird thoughts except for a few dreams I had where Jon Stewart of Daily Show fame wanted me to go on his show for millions of dollars (I wish!).
I’m making progress with all my various projects and have learned to work at a steady pace that lets me get things done, but does not exhaust me too much. I do need to focus next on exercising more, but so far, in this past eleven months I’ve made great progress in terms of my health and productivity.