Vitamins that help OCD. Is there any truth in this? I would say yes, I know it can ease your symptoms. But first what is OCD? Obsessive-compulsive disorder as it’s called, or OCD, is an anxiety disorder that creates obsessive thoughts and actions (compulsions). These obsessive and intrusive thoughts creates anxiety and in order to ease the anxiety an OCD sufferer has to perform a compulsion connected to the obsessive thought to help cope with the anxiety. These compulsions might give a sense of relief in the short term but in the long run the anxiety will most probably increase. Today millions of people all over the world suffer from OCD and it’s one of the top 20 causes of illness-related disability according to the world health organization. Some examples of OCD can be:
- Obsessions about germs and contamination
- Obsessive need for symmetry or order
- Obsessions with sexual content
- Obsession with violent content
- Obsession with your body
- Obsession about religion
These are just some examples and there are in fact so many things that an OCD sufferer can obsess about that the list is almost endless.
Today the cause of OCD is not yet fully known, however there is a lot of research being done and a lot of theories about why people develop OCD. Here are some of the most popular theories about OCD:
- Chemical imbalance – Low levels of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is a chemical which is thought to be involved in regulating anxiety, sleep and memory.
- Genetic factors – if you suffer from OCD it is likely that you have a family member that also suffers from OCD. It runs in the family as the saying goes.
- Stress – Major stresses or traumatic life event may be a cause to develop OCD.
- Cognitive theory – Individuals with OCD misinterpret intrusive thoughts that then leads to OCD.
So can Vitamins and other supplements help to ease your OCD symptoms? Yes I know from my own experience that it can and I know a lot of other people that it has helped to reduce their obsessive thoughts. But with that said we also have to acknowledge that everybody’s is different and what works for me and others may not work for you, but hey! What have you got to loose? It’s at least a better option than taking prescription drugs that no one really knows the effect they have on the brain in the long run.
Here are some vitamins, minerals, herbs and other supplements that can help you reduce your OCD symptoms:
- B-vitamins – These vitamins are important for increasing your serotonin levels which can reduce your OCD symptoms. Vitamin B3 or niacin as it’s called, increases tryptophan, an amino acid which is a precursor in producing serotonin. Vitamin B6 or pyridoxine also aids in serotonin and norepinephrine production. These chemicals are very important in calming mood and obsessive thoughts. Another important vitamin is Vitamin B12. Reports have shown that the first signs of having a deficiency in vitamin B12 are the same symptoms as OCD.
- Vitamin C – In high dosages provides a calming effect to ease anxiety. Vitamin C also has a significant role on adrenal gland functions, which produces hormones to regulate your stress response among other things. Taking vitamin C with bioflavonoids can help protect you from free radical damage which may also ease your OCD symptoms. However, be advised that it is best to consult a physician before taking high dosages of vitamin C to be on the safe side.
Minerals are also important supplements that can help you cope with OCD. The following minerals that I recommend are:
- Magnesium – Reduces muscular tension.
- Calcium – A natural tranquilizer that relaxes the nervous system.
- Potassium – Important for maintaining adrenal functions.
Herbs and alternative medicines
There are some herbal remedies and alternative medicines that can have a positive effect on handling your OCD:
- St. John’s Wort – A herb that has been widely used in Europe to treat mood and anxiety disorders. St. John’s Wort contains hypericum which appears to effect the serotonin system in a positive way. Low levels of Serotonin are seen as one of the causes for developing OCD.
- Milk thistle – Herbal remedy that has an antidepressant effect. 600 milligrams of milk thistle is the equivalent of 30 milligrams of Prozac (fluoxetine) daily. Milk thistle is know to have a positive effect on controlling your OCD symptoms.
- N-Acetylcysteine – An amino acid that moderates glutamine in the brain. Some tests have shown a significant decrease in OCD symptoms when using this amino acid.
- 5-HTP – Another amino acid which help in producing serotonin.
There is a special supplement for OCD that I would also like to recommend that has been developed by Pure Encapsulations in conjunction with DR. James Greenblatt a well-known psychiatrist who has been treated patients with complex behavioral and mood disorders for years. The supplement is called SeroPlus. This supplement contains all the necessary ingredients to help you in your daily life with OCD and has gotten very good reviews by OCD sufferers.
For those of you who have been suffering from OCD symptoms I can truly say that there are other ways to deal with your OCD than taking prescription drugs, a healthier way. Vitamins, minerals, herbs and seroplus that I have mentioned above are all healthier and more natural supplements than prescripted drugs. It might not work for all of you but I know that it has helped me and a lot of other people so hopefully it can help you too. If you wish to comment on this article please do so and In the meantime I wish you all the best.