There are many devices and supplements that can improve mental health, but it’s hard to know which ones really work. We consulted with groups that do independent tests to make the recommendations below.
To learn more about how to use these products check brochure we gave you at your visit.
Our self-help book has 32 natural therapies for mental health with detailed instructions on how to use them
Daylight Classic Plus (solid stand) or Carex Daylight Sky (solid stand). Daylight Classic (folding stand, sometimes out of stock).
NLT Lightbox (larger model, at cet.org, click SHOP)
Circadian Rhythm Test (AutoMEQ). Tells you the optimal time to start light therapy in the morning. Click on “For everyone” then “Self assessment”.
Philips HF3520. A good option with a built in permanent bulb that’s bright enough to be therapeutic
Philips Somneo Connected HF3670. Same as above, but with some luxury features like temperature monitoring and smart-phone integration for a premium price
Lighten up. Lowest cost option. Requires a bright, dimable lamp to work.
Uvex UltraSpec (fits over your glasses) or Uvex Skyper S1933X are good low-cost models to start with, but more comfortable models are at LowBlueLights below.
LowBlueLights.com All the glasses on this site work, and they have other devices to block blue light
Learn how to use them for general sleep or bipolar disorder. After wearing them at night, sleep in a pitch dark bedroom.
N-Acetylcysteine (NAC). Life Extension or NOW (NOW is also available at Walmart). How to use.
Acetyl-L-Carnitine NOW (starter or 2-pack). How to use.
L-Carnosine. Bestvite and NOW. How to use.
Citicoline. Cognizin Bestvite. How to use.
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10). Doctor’s Best. How to use.
Gingko (Tebonin) (for tardive dyskinesia and memory; full dose 2/day or 240 mg/day)
Lavender (Silexan). Nature’s Way CalmAid. How to use.
Melatonin: Dr. Wurtman’s and Swanson’s are good products. How to use.
L-Methylfolate (Deplin). Opti-folate 15mg is the best-priced option for this folate vitamin (another option is MethylPro). How to use.
Omega 3 (Fish Oil). Viva Naturals (typical dose is 2-3/day) capsules or liquid. How to use.
Palmitoylethanolamide (PEA). Lake Ave (note: unlike other products on this site, we do not have access to lab testing on PEA. This fatty acid is found in peanuts and egg yolks and treated mania and depression in small studies, dose 600 mg twice a day).
Probiotics. Mood probiotic. How to use.
Resveratrol. Finest Nutrition or TruNature Resveratrol Plus (TruNature is also at Costco). How to use.
Saffron (Swanson starter or 4-pack). How to use.
SAM-e (S-Adenosyl-L-Methionine). Doctor’s Best or NOW 400mg (or there is a 200mg for Doctor’s Best and NOW). How to use.
Sensoril. Doctor’s Best Ashwaghanda (full dose is 4/day, 500mg). How to use.
Turmeric (Curcumin). Doctor’s Best. How to use.
L-Theanine. Swanson Suntheanine or LifeExtension XR. How to use.
Constipation: Docusate-Senna combination (generic of peri-colace)
Dry Mouth: To increase saliva and protect teeth, try gums with xylitol (Spry, Epic, Pur), stick-on xylitol melts (Xylimelts mint or semisweet). To further protect teeth, use Biotene products. More on Dry Mouth.
Nausea: Ginger tabs. How to use.
Tremor: Vitamin B6 for tremor, restlessness, or tardive dyskinesia. How to use.
Tardive dyskinesia: Gingko (Tebonin) (full dose 2/day or 240 mg/day)
Ora-Plus: Liquifies your pills so you can slowly lower the dose
Ora-Plus Sweetener and Sugar-free Sweetener allows you to flavor the liquid
Stopping Anxiety Medication, and evidence-based guide to coming off benzodiazepines by Dr. Otto
For brand name medications, check the official website for coupons (the website is the brandname.com, e.g. trintellix.com).
GoodRx. Searches your local pharmacies for the lowest out-of-pocket price. Note that Costco often has the lowest price and you don’t need to be a member to use their pharmacy.
Needs Meds. Discount card and connects you to various savings programs, including patient assistance programs for people who need brand name medications but have a low income.
Save on My Meds. Checks for lowest price if you’re paying out of pocket, also verifies if an online pharmacy is safe.
Refill Wise. Discount card.
If you plan on getting your meds through an online or overseas pharmacy, there are ways to do it safer and ways that are riskier. Those risks are big, as many overseas pharmacies ship poorly made products with dangerous ingredients in them. Deception is rampant. Most of the ones that advertise as “Canadian” don’t even sell medications that would pass inspection in Canada.
The safest online sources are those with a “.pharmacy” at the end of their web address. Two groups that can check the safety, and give you a list of safe online sources, are:
Buy Safely. Type in your pharmacies website to check if it’s safe. Or download their list of verified pharmacies.
National Association of Boards of Pharmacies. Check their list of pharmacies that past inspection through their VIPPS program.
We recommend keeping all your pills in a weekly box. Otherwise it’s nearly impossible to remember them, and even more frustrating when you’re not sure if you did or not. It’s best to get 4 weekly boxes so you only have to fill them once a month. There are lots of good options, but mainly it comes down to the size you need and whether you need one with twice-a-day boxes.
Weekly large boxes for daily dose: Standard or Pop-up
Weekly large boxes for twice-a-day dose: Standard or Pop-up
Weekly large boxes for three-times-a-day dose
Travel-friendly boxes. These allow you to pop out a few days at a time when you’re on a trip: Daily doses. Twice-a-day doses.
Depression and Bipolar Workbook
Don’t Let Your Emotions Run Your Life: How Dialectical Behavior Therapy Can Put You in Control
Get Out of Your Mind and Into Your Life (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy)
Choosing to Live (for suicidal thoughts and impulses)
Stopping Anxiety Medication (an evidence-based guide to coming off benzodiazepines by Dr. Otto)
Mediterranean Cookbook (for the antidepressant diet)
How do we make our recommendations?
- We gather products that were shown to work in clinical trials.
- We find brands whose ingredients have been tested to make sure they contain the right stuff (usually through ConsumerLabs or US Pharmacopeia).
- We narrow that down to the most affordable options and list them above.