My little experiment

Since I’m kind of fed up with my present stress levels, I thought I’d give magnesium supplements a try. There are a couple of studies that have shown the benefits of magnesium to people with anxiety, stress and depression. It calms down the nervous system, and that’s what I could do with these days.

Magnesium comes in more forms than one. I picked magnesium citrate because it is absorbed better than magnesium oxide. My supplements have vitamin B6 in them as well, which apparently also improves absorption.


The main downside of my pills is that they are huge. Seriously huge. And there is no way I could swallow a pill this size without slicing it in half. Even then, it’s not exactly a joy. So I won’t be repurchasing this brand. But they seemed to contain the highest amount of magnesium on the market here, so my choice was based on that. Besides, you can’t see into the package and check the size. Still, one could consider the size of the bottle and the number of pills it promises to contain. If that ratio is high, chances are pills won’t be gigantic. Sadly, I didn’t think of that…

This is not a tiny puzzle piece

This picture does not do justice to the pill’s gigantic proportions. All I can say is that the puzzle piece is not tiny.

I’ll try to write about how I did in a month’s time. I’ve only taken it for a day now and there are no differences in mood, but I do experience one inevitable side effect. Magnesium is good for the heart. It lowers blood pressure. This is a benefit for people with high blood pressure, but when yours is low to begin with, it’s not great. I woke up in the morning feeling quite cold and thought a cup of green tea may counter that. But caffeine and magnesium does not seem like the smartest combination. One increases and the other represses excitability. So I’ll try not to do that. What I may have to do is take less than the recommended dose if the morning shivers, dizziness and cold becomes too irritating. This morning it was only cold, no feeling of fainting when getting up or shivers.

Other than that, I’m considering what job I could do. And pharmacist and dressmaker have made it to the list of options.

I feel so incredibly fickle for planning to quit psychology and pick something else. I don’t think I’ve ever quit anything I started in this way. And it doesn’t help that at my psychology entrance interview, I was asked how can they (the interviewers) be sure I would not be quitting. I said I wasn’t the type to give up things mid-way. It bothers me that I will betray that trust. Not that they’d remember. But I remember. And it bothers me.

Pharmacist and dressmaker are currently heading the list. I also considered radiologist and optometrician. My main priority is that it would be relatively stress-free. Translating, if done properly, is a very high stress job. Psychology – whether as a therapist or researcher – promises no sunshine and feathery cushions either. Translating is also a very socially isolating job. Too much so for my taste. I love it when I can pick my own working hours and the main issue is getting a certain amount of text done by the end of the week, but contracts like that are rare. I can’t expect it to last. So I’ve racked my brains thinking of jobs with low stress levels and medium-to-low amounts of social interaction. Dressmaker is the best in that regard. Majority of work hours are spent quietly by oneself sewing and cutting out patterns. But I’d get a little bit of socialisation when customers come to try garments on. And it’s a creative job unlike the others. What makes me doubt is that I’d probably need to set up my own business, which is a bit daunting but not too terrible in that field. Pharmacists are a little like librarians of drugs. Nice quiet job behind the counter giving people what they want. And I do really like pharmacology for some reason. Clinical psychology, psychopathologies and pharmacology courses were the ones I looked forward to the most in my studies. But studying it for three years to be handing out drugs seems like a waste of all that studying. And it might just be a bit too much socialisation. Dressmakers have a better balance.

These are early thoughts, however. I will come up with some more options, no doubt, and change my mind plenty of times yet before something definite emerges. Possibilities for now.

EDIT: the magnesium did absolutely nothing in the three months I took it. I then switched to D vitamin and … I don’t know if it is this or the improvements in my life in general, but I’ve been unusually content and happy for three months, with only occasional low mood days and anxiety about the future. This is a noticeable improvement. But it may have other causes than the D vitamin, so it is impossible to draw final conclusions.

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