SAM-e also helps with liver function and joint pain associated with inflammation. I wouldn’t qualify it as an antidepressant so much as a mood stabilizer. That may be splitting hairs, but it’s a distinction in my mind. I’ve taken SAM-e before and found it useful for lower back pain as well as for a sense of calm and well-being through some personally difficult times.
It’s worth a try before going the SSRI or other prescription antidepressant route, no side effects have been noted and I didn’t experience any. I did, however, with St. John’s Wort. Bitter, metallic taste in my mouth after a few weeks of taking it, and it didn’t so much stabilize mood as elevate it, sort of hyper actually. I’ve at least partially blamed St. John’s Wort for a bout of panic attacks, sonething I’d never experienced before and not since. Very unpleasant, panic attacks.
I, too, had difficulties with St. John’s Wort, and with 5-HTP as well. So much so that it was a real possibility the cops were going to make a personal visit with a disturbing the peace greeting card (marked agitation during the ramp-on period with both) and this happened also with one SSRI. Problems during down-titration as well. No such problems noted with SAM-e over several administration regimens and in my experience efficacy was about equal to the SSRIs, like in the studies. What I am curious to find out is if Sammy “poops out” after a year like the SSRIs do for me. I have never taken it that long continuously. Some people don’t know you really need SAM-e in an enteric coated capsule and those purchasing SAM-e bulk powder are wasting their money (way too reactive with water and subject to degradation to even make it out of the manufacturing facility with full potency).
Incidentally, GABA works well as a mood stabilizer for me but I am still experimenting with the dosage (500mg/day for now).
Meant to add — Although I’ve only experienced one full-blown panic attack (one’s quite enough, thank you), a relative had ongoing problems. About as bad as anything you can think of during that sheer terror phase. I remember the impending sense of doom also. Much worse (100x) than the usual worrying about Obamacare or something like that. I use Kava for anxiety control when necessary — have on and off for 15 years — and it is effective.