Depression is highly prevalent in today’s world due to the lifestyle changes, everyday issues, social problems and many others. Half of the population all around the globe is suffering from this spectrum disorder and trying to deal with it by consuming the prescribed pills, herbs or nootropic supplements.
However, it is challenging for most of the people to identify which nootropic is best for them and what are the side effects associated with them. So to start with the topic, what are nootropics, how do they work for severe depression and which nootropics are highly effective?
Nootropics are also termed as “cognitive enhancers” or “smart drugs” which aid in the improvement of cognitive function, creativity, motivation, and memory. The nootropics aid in improving the neuronal mechanism protects the brain from chemical damage, helps the brain to function efficiently and lacks any stimulant, sedative or toxic effects. All the nootropics work in a different and a complicated way by affecting various enzymes, hormones, and neurotransmitters, so each of them works differently.
Depression and factors contributing to this disastrous medical condition:
Depression is defined as the imbalance of neurotransmitters within the brain often in the nootropic blogs or forums. There are various nootropics which aid in uplifting mood along with the reduction of depression.
However, depression is not a typical disease it is highly complicated. Depression has multiple causes including the genetic problems, medical issues, prescription medications, stressful events or mood regulation by the brain.
Many neurotransmitters are involved in causing depression due to the interaction of various amino acids, neurotransmitters, neurochemicals, and hormones both outside and inside the neurons. Every individual has different symptoms, so each one of them needs a separate nootropic supplement for relieving the symptoms.
The neurogenesis, neuron connections and the functioning of the neuronal circuits have an essential role in the development of depression other than the level of neurotransmitters.
According to research conducted in Munich, a study indicated that 24 women suffering from depression had a smaller hippocampus, i.e., around 9-13% when compared to the healthy women. Stress plays a critical role in the contribution of depression which leads to the suppression of neurogenesis.
The Brain-Derived Neurotropic Factor or BDNF is a type of a naturally occurring protein which aids in neurogenesis, preventing the death of brain cells and aids in growing synapses. So, there are various nootropic supplements which help in the boosting of BDNF and explicitly promoting neurogenesis.
During the depression, the neuro-signaling mechanism goes disturbed leading to little or too much release of neurotransmitters. The primary neurotransmitters involved in depression include:
Dopamine, Acetylcholine, Glutamate, Norepinephrine, GABA, and Serotonin.
Depression might also occur due to the prescribed drugs such as antibiotics, antifungals, antimicrobials, antivirals, blood pressure and heart drugs, insomnia drugs, hormones, antacids, tranquilizers, narcotic pain drugs or others.
These prescription drugs can be replaced with natural and safer alternative, i.e., Nootropic Supplements. However, consult your doctor before you stop or alter the prescribed medicines with nootropic supplements.
Stress, on the other hand, plays a critical role in developing depression. Stress along with altered neurochemicals or genetics serve as influencing factors leading to depression.
Effective Nootropics For Severe Depression:
You might be diagnosed with depression, or you have already undergone the medical treatment for relieving depression. However, now you might be looking for a safer and more natural way to treat the symptoms associated with depression so opt for Nootropics.
Many people are looking up for a medicine which aids in healing depression without severe side effects. There are various nootropic supplements which help to address the cause of depression along with its different types.
You need to experiment before you start using Nootropics as every individual has a different body and what is perfect for me might not be perfect for you, so choose wisely.
- Aniracetam: It belongs to the Racetam family of the Nootropic supplements. The Nootropic- Aniracetam is a type of most effective antidepressant which affects Dopamine leading to the treatment of depression along with the anxiety symptoms.
The Nootropic Aniracetam is fat soluble in nature with mood-boosting properties. This nootropic results in increased mental energy, focus, and concentration. However, bear in mind that effects of Racetam vary from person to person and not everyone notices the improvement in mood with use of this supplement.
It works with the involvement of D2 along with D3 receptors in the brain. It results in the desensitization of the AMPA or glutamate receptors. Aniracetam has additional beneficial effects such as increased blood flow towards the brain. It has a powerful impact on neurotransmitters and enhancing the communication between two hemispheres of the brain.
According to the literature review, the anti-depressive effects of Aniracetam include the reduction of submissive behavior in rats which were food-restricted. The trials of Aniracetam on mice concludes that it can reduce the impact of anxiety along with the anti-depressant effects.
- Bacopa Monnieri: It is considered as one of the most potent types of herb used in the Ayurvedic healing which supports the cognitive function and slows down the process of brain aging. The Bacopa has been in use for centuries which aids in relieving fatigue, anxiety, aids in restoring energy and helps in boosting concentration.
According to the clinical studies conducted at Portland’s Helfgott Research Institute, it shows that Bacopa an adaptogen aids in working well for treating the symptoms associated with depression along with anxiety and provides similar results as tricyclic antidepressants and Benzodiazepines.
- Coenzyme Q10 (Coq10): This enzyme is considered as the natural source of energy for each cell. The Co-enzyme Q10 is an oil-soluble nootropic also termed as “Ubiquinone.” It aids in fueling the mitochondria and converts fats into energy. The CoQ10 preserves the functioning capability of the brain, aids in fighting migraines and mental illness.
This nootropic supplement aids in the production of electron transport, ATP along with cellular respiration. All these processes make up around 95% of the total body energy needed by your system.
The bipolar disorder, Schizophrenia and significantly depression are recognized with mitochondrial dysfunction. According to the studies, if there is high oxidative stress you need to consume 1200 mg of CoQ10 each day in bipolar patients for a significant reduction of symptoms associated with depression. If you drink this nootropic supplement for a month, you will notice that the depressive brain signals have reduced by 50%. However, it is not an active type of nootropic but aids in boosting the function of mitochondria resulting in energy production.
- 5-Http: It is an amino acid produced in the body and considered as a natural anti-depressant. The 5-HTP is also derived from Tryptophan for a synthesized version which we consume in food. 5-HTP is a useful over-the-counter mental health supplement which aids in improving the overall sense of well-being along with mood and aids in the reduction of anxiety.
The 5-HTP serves as a precursor for the production of happy neurotransmitter which is serotonin. However, avoid taking the combination of Tricyclics, SSRI’s and MAOI’s which might lead to Serotonin Syndrome which is deadly.
The 5-HTP works by passing through the blood-brain barrier and affecting the central nervous system by enhancing the production of serotonin.
According to the research related to 5-HTP consumption by oral method, it showed that doses around 50-3000 mg each day for around 2-4 weeks results in improved symptoms associated with depression.
- Ginkgo Biloba: A tree natively present in China has been in use for thousands of years for boosting the alertness, for improvement of cerebral circulation and overall brain functioning. Gingko is also useful in reducing the stress and anxiety along with it aids in promoting mood due to the presence of the terpene lactones.
According to a study conducted in England, 1570 men and women used 120 mg of Ginkgo Biloba each day for 4, 6 and ten months duration. Those individuals who used Gingko Biloba for the most extended period had the most improvement associated with depression, anxiety, drowsiness, energy, happiness, and sadness.
The nootropic supplement Ginkgo Biloba treats the symptoms of depression associated with mental as well as a physical manifestation. The proper dosage of this nootropic reduces social anxiety, lethargy, negative thoughts and aids in improving mental energy.
- Iodine: Iodine deficiency results in less IQ level when compared to people with normal levels. Iodine is an essential part of thyroid health, and all the body tissue relies on the thyroid hormones. If there is a low level of Iodine in the body, then it results in hypothyroidism and affects the synthesis of acetylcholine along with the negative impact on memory, cognition, learning, mood, and recall.
- Noopept: It is a peptide-derived nootropic which is related to the Racetam family but is more potent than the Piracetam. Noopept is fast-acting and absorbs quickly passing through the blood-brain barrier, providing you with effects within 15 minutes.
The Noopept stimulates the nicotinic, dopamine and serotonin receptors, resulting in boosting cognition, logical thinking, memory, mood, and reflexes. This nootropic leads to the increased production of Alpha and Beta waves providing you with relaxation and a state of joy and super-learning. Noopept also has anxiolytic properties along with the positive impact on the overall well-being of an individual.
Studies also indicate that Noopept serves as a neuroprotective agent which means it maintains the neurons in a healthy state. It aids in alleviating stress along with the mood-boosting properties, reducing depression and anxiety.
- Sulbutiamine: This nootropic supplement is a synthesized form of Vitamin B1 or Thiamine which can readily cross the blood-brain barrier. The Sulbutiamine aids in boosting memory, mood, and motivation. Sulbutiamine is prescribed in various foreign countries for anti-depressive and anti-anxiety properties. It aids in increasing the levels of Thiamine within your body and along with it affects the brain chemicals- glutamate, choline, and dopamine which have a positive impact on movement and mood.
Many users advise Sulbutiamine for boosting the mental alertness, for improving attention, reducing fatigue and relieving stress. Sulbutiamine serves as an excellent tool for people suffering from depression because it eases the rehabilitation and aids in making them perform better in the profession, social and family life.
- Inositol: It is not considered as a true nootropic and belongs to the Vitamin B family. It has definite effects regarding the improvement of anxiety. It passes through the blood-brain barrier and increases the production of a potent chemical known as GABA. It also aids in improving the effectiveness of other medications to bind properly with the binding sites by stimulating GABA.
The enhanced levels of GABA result in the feeling of well-being and calmness. Inositol aids in promoting typical sleep patterns and helps in reducing the stress levels. The nootropic supplement is a type of natural solution for people suffering from depression, mild anxiety, and sleep issues. Inositol plays a crucial role in the communication of neurotransmitters and neurogenesis.
- L-Theanine: A type of mild nootropic which can uplift your mood. It is similar to 5-HTP which is known for mood-boosting ability and anxiety reducing properties. Also, to lowering anxiety and uplift mood, L-Theanine boosts the immune system, making you feel better mentally, physically and emotionally.
- Adrafinil: It affects the serotonin and dopamine receptors in the brain. Adrafinil promotes the state of wakefulness. However, it is slightly toxic with detrimental effects on liver health and function. It serves as a favorite cognition enhancer, supports attentiveness, memory, mood, and improvement in mental performance. It boosts motivation, focus, and energy, while you consume it.
Adrafinil also stimulates Hypocretin neurotransmitter which increases the physical and mental energy allowing you to feel relaxed and less depressed.
Other nootropic supplements include Kava, L-Tyrosine, Magnesium, lion’s mane mushroom, Mucuna purines or L-Dopa, N-acetyl Cysteine and many others with varying effects for each.
You do not need to feel depressed anymore as nootropics serve as a perfect alternative to antidepressant medications prescribed the doctors and also promoted by the pharmaceutical companies.
However, be cautious while using nootropics as they might have few side effects and react with the prescription medications resulting in drug interactions. To get rid of depression, you need to identify the cause of your issue and experiment with the nootropic supplements to find out the perfect one for your depression.