Bill Docket discusses herbal remedies and alternative therapies used for psychological disorders. Mr. Dockett studied Traditional Therapeutic Herbalism and is also a certified addictions counselor.
David Roberts is the HealthyPlace.com moderator.
The people in blue are audience members.
To read transcripts of previous chat conferences, click here.
Online Conference Transcript
David: Good evening everyone. I'm David Roberts. I'm the moderator for tonight's conference. I want to welcome everyone to HealthyPlace.com. Our topic tonight is "Alternative Remedies and Therapies for Psychological Disorders". Our guest, William Dockett, has over nine years of experience in the mental health field. He is a Traditional Therapeutic Herbalist and a certified addictions counselor.
I also want to run our usual disclaimer, that we are not recommending or endorsing any of the suggestions of our guest. In fact, we strongly encourage you to talk over any therapies, remedies or suggestions with your doctor BEFORE you implement them or make any changes in your treatment.
Good evening, Bill, and welcome to HealthyPlace.com. Can you explain what traditional therapeutic herbalism is?
Bill: Hello, and thank you for inviting me. Traditional herbalism is the use of herbs for healing. The most common is Chinese Herbalism or TCM.
David: Do various herbal remedies work for mental health issues like depression, bipolar, ADD, etc.?
Bill: Yes, the most common ones are St. John's Wort, Valerian, and Chamomile, which is also used for folks sensitive to St. John's Wort.
David: Are there any mental health areas where herbs are ineffective in treating a psychological disorder?
Bill: Yes, schizophrenia and organic mental disorders.
David: Besides herbalism, are there any other remedies that are effective in treating psychological disorders?
Bill: Actually, yes. Acupuncture is very effective for stress disorders. Also aromatherapy works well for stress and uplifting spirits in general.
David: I know you are an herbalist, so maybe this is an unfair question, but would you recommend that a person use herbal treatments rather than standard psychiatric medications? Are they, in your estimation, equally as effective?
Bill: Herbal treatments can be as effective as medications, but they take longer to be effective. For severe mental illness, I would default to medications, and as always, any treatment should be discussed with your doctor. I am not sure how psychiatrists in general feel about herbal medications, though. It might be hard to find one who will work with herbals.
David: So what type of specialist would you go to then? And how much longer do herbs take to be effective vs. standard medications?
Bill: The specialist really depends on the preferences of the main psychologist working with the client. Osteopaths are generally more holistically inclined. As far as effectiveness, herbal medications work with individual body chemistry and it usually takes at least two weeks for herbal treatments to show effects when treating depression.
David: We have a lot of audience questions, Bill. Let's get started:
Charbeaner: How much Same (Sam-e) will really help mild to moderate depression? Is there something better and should you take Same with Folic Acid and B12? I have heard 400 mg of Same will work, but then I have heard it must be much much more. I cannot take standard antidepressants, i.e. Prozac, etc., because they upset my colon. I have depression and I need help.
Bill: First, I would say that it is important to consult with your doctor or an herbal specialist who has your case history. However, Same and B12 would be a good combination. I can't really comment on dosage without your individual case history. An additional comment: try eating fresh or pickled ginger for an upset colon.
Ellen R: What herbal remedies are being used in the treatment of chemical dependency at this time?
Bill: Generally, I use a combination of gingko, chamomile and St. John's Wort. Gingko increases blood circulation, and improves memory. Chamomile soothes anxiety and it also helps regulate sleep patterns. St. John's Wort, Same are for easing depression. I use these in conjunction with traditional addictions therapies, such as counseling.
kaymac: Are any of these herbs safe for children or teenagers with mild depression?
Bill: Yes, but proceed with extreme caution. I hesitate to give suggestions in this case, because it is so easy to overmedicate young children, as well as the elderly. Herbal treatments for these groups should definitely be done only under professional supervision.
reneeandjerry: Are there any long-term, strong sleep herbs, that help anxiety that I can take?