For Mental Health, Try Natural Treatments Whenever Possible

Natural Treatments

When making treatment recommendations, I first think about whether I would prescribe it to my parents, my spouse, or my kids. I do not object to prescription medications when they are necessary, but I do recommend taking advantage of other options as well, particularly if they can produce results, are more affordable, and don’t come with as many side effects.

A case involving one of my younger relatives spurred my interest in natural supplements. The second grader was having issues with anger outbursts and mood swings. When standard prescription medications didn’t work, I decided to try her on some well-researched natural supplements. When I got a call from the girl’s mother a couple of months later, I was pleased to learn that the young girl was being more agreeable, feeling calmer, and doing better academically. The nutraceuticals were beneficial, and there were no side effects.

I do not object to prescription medications when they are necessary, but I do recommend taking advantage of other options as well, particularly if they can produce results, are more affordable, and don’t come with as many side effects. Click To Tweet

In my practice, I eventually decided to start with natural supplements first, and if they didn’t work, then I would try prescription medications.

Here is a quick look at the upsides and downsides of nutraceuticals.

Upsides of Nutraceuticals

Well-studied nutraceuticals can be beneficial, may be more affordable, and don’t come with a litany of side effects like so many medications do. Maintaining your privacy is another plus, as having a history of psychiatric medications on your medical chart may impact your ability to obtain insurance or may raise your rates.

Downsides of Nutraceuticals

Considering that health insurance companies do not cover nutritional supplements, your out-of-pocket costs may be higher than what you would pay for some medications that are covered. Natural supplements may produce some side effects, so you need to use them wisely. Take zinc, for example. Too much of it on an empty belly may cause an upset stomach. Another potential issue is inconsistent quality control with some cheaper brands. In general, it’s best to choose supplements that are clinical grade and free of toxins. In addition, be aware that the cashier at your local drugstore may not have adequate training to make the best recommendations for you.

In many cases, the benefits of nutraceuticals outweigh the downsides. Be sure to work with a knowledgeable healthcare provider to determine the right options for your needs.

Today’s Practice: Check the ingredients on your vitamins and supplements and use only those that have been verified by an independent third party. If they don’t have that, find an alternative source.

In Change Your Brain Every Day, psychiatrist and clinical neuroscientist Daniel Amen, MD, draws on over 40 years of clinical practice with tens of thousands of patients to give you the most effective daily habits he has seen that can help you improve your brain, master your mind, boost your memory, and make you feel happier, healthier, and more connected to those you love.

If you want to join the tens of thousands of patients at Amen Clinics who have already learned how to change their brain every day and have a better life, speak to a specialist today at 888-288-9834 or visit our contact page here.  


  1. In October 2021 I suffered from what the medical Drs. described as an Umbrella Stroke. I have fully recovered physically, but have trouble with my short term memory, which is getting much better. I didn’t make it to hospital in time to get meds to erase all mental effects from the stroke. Wondering if you guys could point me in the right direction for better mental clarity?

    Comment by Steve Cockrum — February 22, 2023 @ 4:15 AM

  2. I am interested in the supplements. Do you have more information than is provided here?

    Comment by Kathleen Henry — February 22, 2023 @ 5:47 AM

  3. 500mg gaba works great for me for sleep!

    Comment by Edward Mendive — February 22, 2023 @ 5:49 AM

  4. I am on 50mcg Synthroid for hypothyroidism have been on it since my early fifties I am now 70 years old. Pretty healthy but now I’m finding certain meds are working against me so I do small dosing of fluoxetine (5mg) for anxiety and mild depression. It gives me brain fog and my mornings are worse until it kicks in. It keeps me motivated but that’s about it. Also I have interstitial cystitis so sometimes I feel like the acidity from the drug affects my cystitis makes it burn more. Any suggestions for something easier on side effects for a natural supplement but works as good for motivation? Thanks for your help! Becky 🙋‍♀️

    Comment by Becky Norton — February 22, 2023 @ 6:36 AM

  5. I take 60mg of Cymbalta for depression and Ptsd. I was taking Ativan for anxiety,but got off the benzos using breathing techniques and yoga nidra,
    I would love to wean myself off Cymbalta as the side effects ; drowsiness and sleep disorders, are not for me.
    I am a 72yo male; Vietnam Veteran.
    Thank you Amen Clinic's and Tana for all your great work!

    Comment by Daniel — February 22, 2023 @ 9:39 AM

  6. excellent topic!

    Comment by Doug Morris — February 22, 2023 @ 12:36 PM

  7. Magnesium in CALM powder mix has produced so much help in preventing hallucinations/paranoia/nightmares in Dementia …no medications !

    Comment by Leticia — February 23, 2023 @ 12:26 PM

  8. All of these supplements sound great but how do you know which ones you really need and which ones you don't? Isn't there such a thing as taking too many?

    Comment by Pat — February 25, 2023 @ 7:19 AM

  9. Can you lead me in rhe right direction on what foods would lower your calcium and also heal the parathyroid

    Comment by Sue — March 4, 2023 @ 5:08 AM

  10. What foods can lower your calcium and heal the parathyroid ans the thyroid

    Comment by Sue — March 4, 2023 @ 5:09 AM

  11. I suffer from intense anxiety and ptsd. My issue with supplements is most of them hurt my bladder and I have to pee like a hundred times in an hour and the pain and discomfort isn’t worth it! Wish I could fix this issue as well

    Comment by Valerie — March 8, 2023 @ 7:28 AM

  12. Sleep problems . No problem getting to sleep but wake several times especially around 3-4 am , can’t get back to sleep . Tired during the day . Tried zopiclone but off it for 4 years. Tried CBD oil but not great results . Tested for sleep apnea -negative, tested for RLS – negative . Very poor REM sleep and shows multiple wakenings . Pour Deep Sleep .

    Comment by Mary Richard — March 8, 2023 @ 12:01 PM

  13. is there anything natural i can take to lower cholesterol?

    Comment by Linda — March 16, 2023 @ 7:50 PM

  14. Hello Linda, thank you for reaching out. For more information about Dr. Daniel Amen's recommended, brain-directed supplements, visit

    Comment by Amen Clinics — March 21, 2023 @ 9:47 AM

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a comment

Contact Us