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Dr. K
Dr. K, Psychiatrist
Category: Mental Health
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Experience:  15 years clinical experience in all areas of psychiatry. Holistic and practical approach.
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My 16 year old daughter has OCD and depression. HEr OCD is

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My 16 year old daughter has OCD and depression. HEr OCD is not under control, however, her depression persists. She takes 60 mg of Prozac and Abilify (I think 1 mg) per day - she takes no other medication. An article from the August 2010 issue of American Journal of Psychiatry was brought to my attention and I wanted to get an unbiased opinion of haveing her add S-Adenosylmethionine supplements to her therapy.

S-Adenosyl Methionine (SAMe) Augmentation of Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors for Antidepressant Nonresponders With Major Depressive Disorder: A Double-Blind, Randomized Clinical Trial
George I. Papakostas, M.D., David Mischoulon, M.D., Ph.D., Irene Shyu, B.A., Jonathan E. Alpert, M.D., Ph.D., and Maurizio Fava, M.D.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. K replied 5 years ago.
SAMe has some good research supporting its use in depression. I have a colleague who uses it exclusively as an antidepressant...and there is the research that you saw which points out that in can work in conjunction with antidepressants. The risks are fairly minimal overall, especially if you go very slowly with the dose. Always double check with her doctor before starting any treatment like this.

However, I want to point out some other important information.

OCD & depression should both be treated holistically. Most research on these 2 conditions show the best approach is a combination of medications & psychotherapy.

I almost always recommend 1) psychotherapy with a live therapist, and 2) learning some formal relaxation therapy. Also, by formal relaxation therapy I mean yoga, meditation, or similar methods. Having relaxing hobbies is also important, but not quite the same as formal relaxation therapy.

These last 2 treatments I mentioned are proven by sophisticated studies using brain scans (CT, MRI, EEG, pet scans) to improve brain function. Here's a simple exercise to get you started:

In fact, there is more & more research showing the efficacy of relaxation therapy. Another technique is called mindfulness. These technique has recently been incorporated into a specific type of psychotherapy called CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) & is being called MCBT. Preliminary studies are promising.

And remember you can't separate emotional health from physical health, so exercise & nutrition are vital.

The easiest thing to start with would be self-help books. The main one that comes to mind for you is "The OCD Workbook: Your Guide to Breaking Free from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder" by Bruce M., Ph.D. Hyman and Cherry Pedrick. Even if you don't have full OCD, this book can be very helpful. There are many other similar books (just google, search, or check your library/bookstore for books on obsessions or OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder). "The Boy Who Couldn't Stop Washing" by Judith L. Rapoport is another excellent one.

Other books that can help include the following: 1) "The Feeling Good Handbook" by David D. Burns; 2) "The Relaxation & Stress Reduction Workbook" (New Harbinger Self-Help Workbook) by XXXXX XXXXX, and 3) "The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success" by Deepak Chopra.

I hope this helps. Let me know if you need more information. Good luck & take care.
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