Fish Oil, Vitamins and Therapy
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Q:  Fish Oil, Vitamins and Therapy

I've just found your site and it is the most informative one yet.  I am BPII and most of my family has mood disorders.  I have been taking fish oil (4-6 g/day, as much as I can bear to take) for about 3 years.  It took about 6 months of 8-10 g/day to make a difference, but I am now med-free (since January) after being on 12 different meds over the past 9 years, all of which caused severe side effects.  Tell your patients not to give up too quickly.  A good therapist, fish oil and vitamins are changing my life.  Next on the list is meditation.  Wish me luck.

Dear John -- 
If I just said "good luck", it might sound skeptical.  I'm not skeptical -- none of us know yet, or really have much to go on even, to know how this approach will work for you or work for others.  For now I do indeed hope your strategy works; if that's how it turns out, you'll have basically led the way toward a very important approach. 

If I follow the numbers, you began this 3 years ago, saw no clear benefit for 6 months, while taking about twice as much as what you later concluded is the most you can stand.  You then took it for another 2 1/2 years before you were able to rely on the fish oil alone (plus a therapist, and vitamins of some sort).  That is a long haul, and you were extremely patient and perseverant.   Overall, I worry that there may be few people who could pull this off as you have, even if they knew for sure it was going to work!  

Nevertheless, to do well for even six months on no med's is an achievement that sounds very different than what you had to live with for years.  Congratulations, and I hope it sticks for you.  Thanks for writing with your experience. 

Dr. Phelps

Published August, 2001


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