January 9, 2006 22:02 | Confession

Self medicating... sort of

I imagine it may possibly be a placebo effect but... I started popping some pills about a week ago and holymoly do I feel better as of yesterday! More energy, able to concentrate, and the winter blaaahs don't seem so heavy anymore!

What am I doing? Well, I'm making a little experiment. Every night before going to sleep I take one melatonin and one St-John's Wort. In the morning, I swallow a Ginko Biloba, vitamin D and vitamin C.

Since all this stuff is harmless and my dosage is totally moderate, and I'm not convinced it's not psychosomatic, I'll definitely keep at it for a bit and see what happens.

Any thoughts?


I once took a herbal supplement for about 8 weeks and it made me run faster. Totally natural, nothing "athletically" illegal and it made a big difference energy-wise, but once I stopped, it was over. My theory is go completely natural, eat right, excercise moderately, sleep enough and over time you will benefit more.

Ah, yes! Very wise and I totally agree! You raise a good point as well... I by no means intend to "keep this up" or want to rely on this kind of thing.

I guess I sort of hit a wall around october and these supplements seem to be helping me "get back up". Definitely there is nothing better than good diet, exercise and sleep. My summers are like that, but for some reason, like I said, I crashed hard this fall and this holiday season didn't help. ;)

Thanks for the reminder though, Eve. :)

when I was a child, I was taking at the beginner of the winter, one dose of Vitamin D in a glass. Because less sun, and then less fixed vitamin D (which is in part responsible for good mood).

And being in a good mood is very important. ostie de criss de bastard de salaud… ooops… I must have forgotten to take one this year ;) (kidding)

But yes natural food, fruits, fish, not too much alcohool, cigarettes, good sleep, etc.

"Melatonin can suppress libido by inhibiting secretion of luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) from the anterior pituitary gland, especially in mammals that have a breeding season when daylight hours are long, such as sheep."

I didn't know what melatonin was till I looked it up by following the link.

So if I understand correctly, if you want to suppress your sex drive so you can hibernate longer, melatonin would be the way to go.

Too funny [caro's comment] ..

This all sounds very hippy-ish for a guy who's a is self-decribed non-hippy. ;-)

I've been taking the vitamin D ever since a friend recommended it to me and I don't know if its improved my mood all that much but...damn, I got my mid-summer skin back. I totally recommend it to my fellow pasty Canadians.

Be careful with St. John's wort.
I took it once a few years back and my mood absolutely plummeted. I'll never touch that stuff again.
Just because this stuff is sold as an "all-natural dietary supplement" doesn't mean it has no effect. Cannabis is all-natural too, after all.

Try lots of B vitamins to see how your concentration goes. Better yet, eat some natto every day. Really.

natto!!! heeeee creepy ;)

ew ew ew! ;)

Karl, you MUST try natto with maguro on top! ;)

Jim, St Johns Wort is often used as a natural alternative to the paxil/zoloft anti-depressants, as it is known to behave in a similar fashion. Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) can have the opposite of their intended effect, which sounds like what may have happened to you. But this doesn't mean it will behave this way for everyone.

Be carefull with the St. John's Wort buddy.


Ken: why? please share any info you have. ;)

As I was explaining to someone the other day, not only am I on very low dosage of all of these, I also do not intend to keep this up by any means. So far I have found that this combo works quite well for combatting *my* mid-winter blahs, which means I am happy and productive, more or less.

Who knows, maybe a few weeks from now I will be in Costa Rica and the last thing in the world I'll need is any pill! ;)

What you need to combad the mid-winter blahs is a consistent training/running schedule that will allow you to then go out and drink as much beer and eat as much cake/food/your-poison you want with friends.

;) That's not the ONLY reason I run...

Sadly no, I cannot run in the cold at all. Running in anything below 10 degrees Celsius gives me an immediate headache and burns my lungs... :\

And drinking beer (which I drink very very little of) or eating cake (cake?!?!) has not much to do with anything ;)

No I think the only solution for me is to not live somewhere where it gets cold. Because I really really really hate it.

Where do you get melatonin? That's been illegal to sell here for a few years now (although you can order it for personal use, or bring it back from somewhere else).

My trick with the changing seasons used to be to take ginseng every day for a few weeks in late autumn. Sort of helped me adjust to winter. Didn't do it this year, though.

Hi Kate,
I was meaning to mention this. I got the melatonin in New York State. I had stopped at a pharmacy in Albany to fill a prescription for my mother and on a whim grabbed a bottle of the stuff.

That said, I did see melatonin for sale at the Pharmaprix on St-Laurent the other day. I was in a hurry so i didn't take a closer look but it did say melatonin on the bottle (under some sort of "help-U-sleep" product name).


I have heard from a couple of friends of mine who tried the St. John's Wort that it can make you feel great at first but after a while they had severe mood crashes. Once they stopped the Wort everything evened out after about a week or so.

At any rate Costa Rica is probably just what the Doctor ordered. I went last year for 20 days. If you need a place to stay cheap Shayni has a friend who lives down there and manages a bunch of properties.

Email me if you would like some info.

Excellent to know, thank you. So far, my naturally insane mood swings haven't been affected yet... in fact.. hrm... I've been rather mellowww... but yeah good to know. I will definitely keep an eye out.

As for Costa Rica... no.frickin.way. Hook me up. Wanna come? Let's make it a party! :D


I know another "good mood" remedy and it's not delivered as pills. :)

You're talking about pain au chocolat, right? ;)

st-johns wort can make you more sensitve to the sun. i read your stuff and know you through some boozy nights with warren. you might want to look into 'milk thistle' it's amazing for your liver. i've been taking it for over 6 years. it helps re-juvinate your liver. for anyone into fitness trying to burn off a few winter pounds i'd suggest CLA . http://www.prnewswire.co.uk/cgi/news/release?id=123333
i take that as well and although i'm still a fat bastard i can only wonder what i might be like if i didn't.
i stick to a good multi, cla and mik thistle everyday. to raise my serotin i do a good workout or wank.