Orthomolecular Psychiatry was a taboo subject in mainstream psychiatry for a long time though now papers are starting to come out in the mainstream literature about certain complementary ingredients.
So orthomolecular psychiatry involves use of vitamins and minerals in pharmacological doses. It also addresses diet and lifestyle. And its a complement rather than a substitute for regular psychiatry.
Diet is easy. The best diet is a Mediterranean Diet for most psychiatric disorders – this describes onions, garlic, tomatoes, olives, leafey green vegetables lean meat (chicken or veal) and one to three portions of seafood per week. And avoiding processed foods other than bread – no big Macs; no coca cola. This is because the gut bacteria make inflammatory chemicals called interleukins especially with processed and fast food. Interleukins are thought to play a part in Depression and Bipolar Disorder and Schizophrenia.
Sometimes if there are a lot of bowel symptoms such as bloating and flatulence and general unwellness its worth doing a detox programme. Brauer make a 20 day detox programme which is as good as any. On completion of the programme one doses up on a probiotic to put in the good bacteria. Purists might go for a home enema colon wash out kit.
Exercise is also easy. Optimal exercise rate to improve brain blood flow is three 30-45minute aerobic work outs at medium pace per week.
The following complementaries I have found useful but they are hit or miss success wise. They are relatively affordable and mostly available through Amazon or Lifeextensions Some take a while to work. Don’t take more than the recommended dose as like all pharmaceuticals they come with side effects. And tell your family doctor if you are taking them.
SAMe 400mg/d ( Cys Adenosyl Methionine) works in 2-3 weeks Can be combined with other antidepressants.
St Johns Wort 2-3 tabs/ day (Blackmores) cannot be combined with other antidepressants. Can cause photosensitivity and allergic rash. Can interfere with the effectiveness of OC pill.
L-Methyl Folate 1000mcg 1 tab daily to 2daily can be combined with other antidepressants. After taking it for a month have your Vit B12 level checked as it can be lowered.
L-Phenylalanine 500mg/d -1500mg/d useful for motivational problems
5 Hydroxy Tryptophan 100-200mg/d is also helpful for fibromyalgia and sometimes tension headache. Going above 200mg/d tends to make anxiety worse. It also reduces appetite cravings. Can interact with Prozac type antidepressants rarely.
Inositol hexafluoride 800-1600mg/d is helpful for anxiety and obsessions. Takes about 4-6 weeks to work.
Pyridoxine 100-300mg/d for racing thoughts. Exceeding this dose can cause nerve damage.
For Addictive Behaviour
N-Acetyl Cysteine 1-3 grams daily reduces urges to drink or gamble or use cannabis. Also has antidepressant effect.
L-Carnitine 500mg-1500mg/d. High doses of Acetyl-L Carnitine have caused hypomania in persons predisposed to Bipolar Disorder.
Ginko Biloba 120-240mg/d is useful for alertness and fatigue. It reduces movement disorders in schizophrenia patients on antipsychotic medication. It should not be taken if you have epilepsy, bleeding disorder or G6pd deficiency. It decreases the efficiency of Alprazolam and can cause you to be jittery of Prozac type antidepressants.
Also as a plug for acupuncture – there are a number of useful acupuncture points pertinent to psychiatry. Over the years I’ve used acupuncture mainly for irritating side effects I can’t get rid of by other means.