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annec: At what point do you decide that therapy is not really doing any good anymore and you should quit or find an alternative? How much time I mean?

Dr. O'Connor: If you're starting out with a new therapist, you should have a sense within a month or two if this is working or not. If you're in a long relationship with a therapist but feel you're in the doldrums, talk about it. Tell your therapist why you feel it's not getting anywhere. Ask him/her if he can do anything to help move it along.

David: What do you think about natural remedies, like St. John's Wort?

Dr. O'Connor: There is some reason to believe that St John's Wort may be effective with mild depression. BUT, I feel like the herbalists want to have it both ways. On the one hand, St John's Wort is supposed to be safe because it's natural. On the other hand, it's supposed to be effective because it works just like Prozac. It's not fair to make both claims. Also, I've got a lot of stuff growing in my back yard that is perfectly natural but isn't safe. The terms aren't synonymous.

David: Here's a helpful audience comment:

willowbear: I found the skills in the Dialectical Behavior Therapy course by Linehan for distress tolerance and emotion regulation continually helped me break my cycles of behaviors that would cause my depression to deepen.

Dr. O'Connor: Yes, Marsha Linehan's book on Dialectical Behavior Therapy has helped a lot of people.

DianaMaree: Is it normal to always feel as though I'm fighting hard against depression?

Karen2: What doesn't therapy teach us?

Dr. O'Connor: Therapy--at least the brief kind practiced under managed care--doesn't teach us how to undo the skills of depression. We can go right on alienating people, being unassertive or withdrawn, stuffing our emotions, not able to prioritize our lives or make decisions. etc., etc.

David: For those of you who've asked, here's the link to Dr. O'Connor's book: "Undoing Depression: What Therapy Doesn't Teach You and Medication Can't Give You".

I hope that everyone got something positive from tonight's conference. It is getting late and I want to thank Dr. O'Connor for being our guest tonight. His site is: I also want to thank everyone in the audience for coming and participating. I think we can all learn a lot from each other. And that's what we're about here at

Dr. O'Connor: Thank you David, it's been a pleasure.

David: Here's the link to the Depression Community. I encourage you to sign up on our list in the depression community, that way you can be notified of events going on at Since we are new on the net, I also hope that you will feel free to pass the address along to your friends and others who might find it beneficial to visit. I'm glad you came and hope you'll come back again Dr. O'Connor. Maybe in a few months?

Good night everyone.

Disclaimer: 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.


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