Posted 30 August 2008 - 09:50 AM
Another potentially logical bit here...
Logically, Jake, has it occurred to you that many chemicals synthesized in laboratories have been done so using Mother Nature's Labs, Inc. as the scientists' inspiration? Not only do these chemicals have a "natural" basis, they are also intended to have less adverse effects than what the original chemical had been giving us for millennia.
Take aspirin, for example. Salicylic acid, an extract from the bark of the willow tree, was its inspiration. For millennia, the willow bark was used by indigenous North Americans to fight off inflammatory ailments. Unfortunately for them, it caused a lot of nasty and even fatal side effects in the stomach (including bleeding). In the lab, it was converted to acetyl-salicylic acid (aka aspirin). Sure, aspirin is noted for some nasty stomach side effects, but trust me, they weren't as bad as those of the willow bark extract. The list goes on and on, and my real point was that naturopathy and nutritional supplementation have a LOT in common with modern pharmaceuticals. Except that the former haven't been tested as extensively according to modern scientific theory for safety (or efficacy, for that matter).
(Oh and btw, the active ingredient in St. John's Wort (hyperforin), should the plant ever cross your mind as a good antidepressant, functions much like the SSRI class of drugs. Except it's a well-known "inducer" of one of your liver's metabolic enzymes, and this can cause almost total negation/inactivation of certain other drugs and supplements you may be taking as these enzymes run into turbo mode and quickly convert their victims into inactive forms.)
And again, please don't get me wrong here... "vitamins and exercise" are VERY important to maintaining mental (and physical) health. I take vitamins (some at much higher than the USRDA level with guidance of my neurologist and psychiatrist) and a couple mineral supplements (magnesium and zinc in my case). My docs and I do think they might be helpful in my neurological and psychiatric disorders (and with the minerals, I don't exceed the USRDA by much, so it's likely safe, even if it's not going to be effective). And trust me, I'd be exercising like a madman (used to be a competitive road cyclist here) if it weren't for a chronic infection that popped up (and before you ask, yes, I've tried echinacea, but it worsened my fevers and could have potentially resulted in an allergic reaction since I'm allergic to its relative ragweed, so the echinacea was a stupid idea for me).
Please speak with a doctor (perhaps a GP) about the current chemicals you are taking for your well-being. In the quantities/combination you're taking them in, they can be as potent and dangerous as the "man-made drugs" you used to be on. The fact that you are feeling much better is good, but the ends don't always justify the means.
CAUTION: I'm a graduate computational medicine/allied health information student, and NOT a licensed clinician of any sort in any part of the world. I can come up with lots of algorithms, generalities, and statistics but cannot provide specific medical advice for you! You, along with your healthcare provider/pdoc/tdoc/etc. are the best decision makers for what is best!
Me: MDD, AD/HD, Asperger's/HFA/PDD-NOS/WTF, REM behavioral disorder/misc. sleep issues, some variant of PTSD... toss in hypothyroidism, post-meningitis-related Parkinson's disease/tremor, early stage pulmonary hypertension from a connective tissue disorder that wants me dead before age 60, and a few misc. manly hormone issues, and you'll get a few insights on where that PTSD came from.
Now on: Cymbalta, mirtazapine, oxybutynin, clonazepam, lamotrigine, clonidine, levothyroxine, metformin, Testim. As Velvet Elvis implied, I sound like a freakin' maraca salesman when I go through airport security.