Another turning point, a fork stuck in the road . . .

I want to pass along a thank-you to all who have written in recently on the use of nutrition and life-style changes to address psychiatric issues (esp depression/anxiety/anger).  I find myself a bit overwhelmed with the volume of information that is available out there.  My intent is to critically look at as much of this information as I can and to seriously consider how I can incorporate these ideas into my practice and into my writings on line.  This will obviously take some time.  The worst thing I could do would be to . . . say . . . read an article on vitamin B6 and then prescribe it for e v e r y b o d y . . . While I’m sure that the potential for mis-steps is less than the potential for mis-steps when prescribing our standard pharmaceutical poisons, I will be approaching this with an open mind and a critical eye.  It is not enough that a prescribed treatment does no harm.  When people are suffering and lives are interrupted (and at risk of ending), it is important that the interventions make a difference.  While I do not have blind faith in the use of standard pharmaceuticals, I have seen their potential and have seen their benefits.  People do get better on them. Not everyone, and not without some having significant side effects.  But standard pharmaceuticals will continue to have a roll to play.  My hope is that I will learn enough quickly enough to begin to reduce the roll that they play in my patient management.  But I do plan on giving the same critical eye to the nutritional industry.  After all, look at the sites that propose major adjustments to diet and the use of nutritional products . . . the all have books and vitamins  for sale and a “save to cart” button.  I do believe that the authors of these sites are in this line of work to help . . . but financial incentives can jaundice someone selling vitamins as easily as it can jaundice a pharmaceutical industry executive.  Which is why I have no advertising on this site and don’t want any. 

I will keep you informed of my progress.

I will continue to write this column as a sounding board for people who are “stuck” in the middle of the current psychiatric system with their psychiatric issues.  Nutritional interventions will not take the place of medications and there are many people with many questions.  I will continue to be here to help. 

Thank you for your help.

 –Dan Hartman, MD

Comments are closed.