St. John's Wort
Citation: Charlie. "Helpful: An Experience with St. John's Wort (exp95281)". Erowid.org. Jan 6, 2018. erowid.org/exp/95281
I have had depression and anxiety since I was quite young, but never believed that I could do anything to help manage or fix it until last year. Two things that have helped dramatically since then are Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (which was just a series of online readings and exercises that I did for a couple of weeks at home), and St John's Wort. The CBT helped me learn to change negative thought patterns, and the St John's Wort seems to help smooth out any anxious feelings and prevent me falling down any black holes of depression that I don't know how to deal with alone.
I wasn't sure that it would help at all but I heard that it was worth a try so I got a jar of tablets. It does help quite a lot. I've tried a few different brands and they all worked for me, although one brand seemed to have a slightly weaker effect. Currently I'm taking two pills a day, one in the morning and one in the evening. The label says to take one daily, which 'can be increased to two.' This bottle is called 'St John's Wort 4000' - other brands usually have a different number which I suppose relates to dose/potency.
The effect is to subtly make the world around me chill out. Not that anything changes of course, it's just that things don't appear so terribly dangerous as they used to. I'm one of those people who sometimes wishes the world would slow down so that I can catch up, and St John's Wort helps to alleviate feelings of anxiety that come from everyone around me rushing constantly.
St John's Wort helps to alleviate feelings of anxiety that come from everyone around me rushing constantly.
I don't feel an anxious need to answer people quickly, or stress over what to say. It also helps me from slipping into depression by helping me float. It's not a noticeable feeling or a mood boost, more like a steadying of dangerous feelings. It's as though I can take a step back, or as though I have a moment to relax and steady myself - so I can choose not to feel sad, in a small way.
I went without it for a week this month and after a week I crashed. It felt very strange because it was the first time in a while that I'd felt that bad - depression and anxiety felt not-normal anymore. This was a helpful surprise to think about during the darkest part of the day. I'll continue taking St John's Wort because it does help. I'll also continue learning how to change and stop negative thoughts, and how to be kinder to myself - all of these things work together.
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