Depressions, Panic Attacks, Night Terrors, and Rock Rose

August 11, 2019

My first depression was a post-partum one. An ugly thing. My thoughts were dangerous. I could not see my way out. I had to sleep with lights on… when I could sleep. I went to the doctor when I started believing that my children would be better dead than alive.

I wanted to be hospitalized. I was terrified that I could give in one day and hurt my babies. I became obsessed with death, terrorized by the thought of it. I was looking for a way out of that terror. The idea of killing myself became a daily companion. I could not go on like this…

My generalist prescribed Prozac. It took a while, and some adjustments in dosage, but it worked. The terrors disappeared. I could function again. I, slowly, regained some pleasure in living. 

The doctor explained that this “clinical depression” had been triggered by two distinct factors.

The first, the birth of my second child and the hormonal drop that followed. Postpartum depression. Ugly!

The second factor, I stopped smoking. I did not know that nicotine raises both dopamine and serotonin levels… Do you?

Throughout the years, I learned to manage my depression. I could go months without any symptoms. Then, stress at home or at work were triggering what I call a “flare-up”, and depression would be back. A bad, long cold would also trigger flare-ups. I knew when to ask my doctor for antidepressants. I knew when simple home remedies such as vitamins and mineral supplements combined with rest were enough. I became attuned to my body, really listening to it, managing it, and keeping depression under some control.

I also self-medicated with nicotine.

I could have gone this way all my life. Not an ideal one, but a good one.

And then, I made a mistake. That day, years ago, I combined an allergy drug, an antidepressant, and alcohol. It was a business dinner. A drink was in order. I drank half a glass and had to excuse myself to go to the bathroom.

Once there, the world started spinning. I ended up on the tiled floor on my back, but not before violently emptying whatever was in my stomach. It was a mess.

Laying there, I could not move. I had no physical feelings. But I could hear. I could hear people knocking at that bathroom door while I could not answer. I could hear the bathroom door being opened, and a voice asking, “is she dead?”. I could hear “I am a doctor, please step aside”. I could hear a police officer asking “why did you bother calling us and wasting time? She needs to be taken to the emergency room!”.

I could hear and I could think. I liked the police officer. I was wondering the same.

By the time the paramedics showed up, I was freezing and shivering violently. I could barely move again. I was asked if I wanted to go to the hospital and I refused. To this day, I still can’t believe that I was asked anything in my state, and better yet that they let me decide if I needed medical attention! I was later told that I spent close to 2 hours looking dead before the ambulance showed.  

I was weak for about 24 hours afterwards. Then I was back to normal. I asked my doctor what happened. He did not answer me. I felt like he dismissed my questioning altogether.

My thoughts? A combination of antidepressants, antihistamines, and alcohol is deadly. There is no need of high doses. Just one “daily serving” of each together could be all it takes.

Since then, I am looking at pharmaceuticals in a different way. What do we really know about them? What do we really know about their interactions? How many people died, unknowingly mixing low but lethal doses of prescribed and over the counter drugs?

I turned to food as medicine. The only drug I will still take is an antibiotic, and even then, only if I can not get rid of the bacteria myself. I found that wound healing and minor infected scratches do better with honey than with Neosporin. Dandelion in all its forms does great as a liver cleanser. Simple aspirin relieves my allergic symptoms as well if not better than antihistamines.

But then, I still have a history with depression. In my experience, depression is like a virus. You “catch” one for whatever reason at some point in your life. You treat it and you feel better. But like a virus, that depression hides in your body dormant for months or years, until eventually it comes back to haunt you again.  

About a year ago, I started waking up in the middle of the night with my heart pounding, the darkest thoughts ever, fear set deep in my bones. Here it was again. Great! Were those night terrors now?

At about the same time, I rediscovered an herbal recipes book that was collecting dust on my shelves, Rosemary Gladstar’s Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health. I looked through the pages, more to decide if I should keep it or send it to the recycling bin than anything else. An unknow plant got my attention. “Rock Rose”.

Rock Rose? Never heard of it… Suggested for deep fear, terror, panic attacks, fear of death or annihilation. Looked like what I was experiencing at night…

Not expecting much, I tried it. I found some loose organic Rock Rose tea on the internet. I boiled some water, added some whole milk, and let it brew for over 10 minutes. I drank it. It tasted good. I was glad. If nothing else, it could be a nice after dinner drink.

That night, I slept. I did not wake up. I had no panic attack, no night terror. I slept until I woke up feeling rested.

For about a month, I religiously had my Rock Rose tea. I felt good. Not once during that time did I wake up in the middle of the night in sweats.

My fickle brain forgot that I ever even experienced night terrors. I felt that good! Then I forgot to take my evening tea here and there, then I forgot about it altogether and I still felt good for months!

A couple months ago, I woke up, dark thoughts, terror, the whole nightmare again! That day, back to my tea. Terror gone.

A couple of weeks ago, stressful time, felt blue, wanted to cry, self-pitying my miserable life. I made myself a cup of tea. I went for a shower and caught myself singing while lathering my hair. Life was good!

Where was Rock Rose all my life? Why isn’t it available everywhere? At the very least, in all pharmacies? Why didn’t my doctor mention it to me? Why did the world hide from me such a simple and effective solution to my bouts of depression? A solution that starts working as soon as I drink it. A solution that does not leave me in misery until it builds up in my system. A solution that I use as needed. A solution that, in my experience, has no side effects. A solution that works better than any pharmaceutical antidepressant I ever used!

I will never be without some Rock Rose tea in my kitchen, available whenever I need it. Never! And I wish I knew that there was such a plant as Rock Rose years ago! So much pain could have been avoided…

For those of you interested in trying Rock Rose tea, this one is a good one. And no, I am not paid a commission for my recommendation.

Katrin L.


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