Psychiatry & Psychology--General/vitamins and supplements

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Hi, I suffer from ocd, social anxiety disorder, and depression. Could you tell me which vitamins and supplements have evidence to prove that they help with ocd, social anxiety disorder, and depression? (If their are any.)
I recently came off sertraline and I am gonna go back to the psychologist to figure what else I can try. And I wanna ask him about vitamins and supplements. And if they can help.

Also should I check with a endocrinologist to check my different levels. to see if anything could be causeing any of my problems? Is that just grasping at straws? Or would be something to check just incase.

Thanks

Answer
Hi Mark

Any vitamin or supplement will work wonders if you believe that it will. And you'll find all sorts of recommendations and claims in health-food stores and internet pieces and from friends.  But if there were valid scientific evidence of their effectiveness, they would be administered to all with your symptoms (and you are far from alone in having them) as step one.

No, I would suggest not exactly, but you might well ask a family doctor (general practitioner) about ordering a blood-chemistry workup. Then it's up to the doctor to interpret the results for the need for a referral to a specialist (who could be a hematologist, endocrinologist, psychiatrist, etc.).  But this is more a matter of monitoring your general health, because there's no laboratory access to one's neurochemicals.

You didn't ask about this but let me add that the greatest success in managing your symptoms is with a combination of medication and psychotherapy. In a few jurisdictions, psychopharmaceuticals can be prescribed by an authorized clinical psychologist, but usually they provide the therapy (sometimes including social-skills training), and a physician (preferably a psychiatrist) does the prescribing. These drugs may need some trial-and-error to find the right ones, the proper dose, the best combination, and enough time for them to work (if they work). That's why I think the best sign here is your active interest and involvement with getting better.

Hope that helps a bit, and feel free if you have a follow-up question.

Alan  

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Alan Auerbach

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Taught psychology for 30 years, authored four textbooks. Specialize in introductory and industrial/organizational psychology, but will tackle wider range of areas.

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