The Use of Herbal Medications and Dietary Supplements by People with Mental Illness

Department of Veterans Affairs, Desert Pacific Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Center, Los Angeles, CA, USA.
Community Mental Health Journal (Impact Factor: 1.03). 09/2009; 46(6):563-9. DOI: 10.1007/s10597-009-9235-2
Source: PubMed


This study examined the relationship between herbal medication and dietary supplement (HMDS) use and mental health characteristics. Data are drawn from a national household survey of the United States' civilian, non-institutionalized population (N = 9,585). Psychiatric medication and HMDS use, psychiatric diagnoses and treatment needs, utilization and satisfaction were assessed. Compared to non-users, HMDS users were more likely to perceive themselves as having mental health needs, to have received mental health and primary care treatment, and to be dissatisfied with their overall healthcare. Psychiatric medication use was not related to HMDS use, and in multivariate analyses, HMDS use was associated with perceived mental health needs. Differences in use of specific HMDS between those with and without a psychiatric disorder were also examined. The use of HMDS warrants particular attention in persons with perceived mental health problems as these individuals may be turning to HMDS use for treatment of their symptoms.

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Available from: Alexander Stehle Young, Oct 10, 2015
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    • "Ameliorating affective and emotional state is particularly relevant in abstinent alcoholics, since symptoms of irritability, anxiety, and emotional distress that are common during early and protracted abstinence [21] [22], are thought to play an important role in maintenance of craving and in relapse for alcohol [21] [23]. These preliminary data could be of interest, also taking into account the good attitude of the general public, and people with mental illness over the use of complementary interventions [24] [25]. At T21, TSST-evoked cortisol response was quantified using the area under the curve for cortisol increase relative to baseline value before stress onset (AUC I ) [26]; moreover, response peak (highest level reached after task completion) and fold increase (peak divided by baseline level) were considered . "
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    ABSTRACT: Behavioral distress and dysfunctions of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical (HPA) axis play a central role in alcohol abuse. Omega-3 fatty acids are proposed as having antistress, regulatory effects on HPA responsiveness, but a possible protective role in ethanol addiction is unexplored.A randomized, doubleblind, placebo-controlled trial was performed in male alcoholics undergoing residential rehabilitation program, to evaluate the effects of 3-week supplementation with fish-oil providing eicosapentaenoic (60 mg/day) and docosahexaenoic acid (252 mg/day) on perceived stress/anxiety and HPA activity, assessed by measuring saliva basal cortisol levels at various daytimes (0730 h, 1130 h, 1600 h, 2000 h, and 2400 h) and the acute cortisol response to Trier Social Stress Test.Results showed that in supplemented subjects, before versus after decrease of stress/anxiety ratings was accompanied by reduction of cortisol basal levels throughout the day; no changes were observed in placebo group. At the end of intervention, amplitude, and duration of stress-evoked cortisol response did not differ between groups; however, the peak of cortisol response was temporally anticipated in supplemented subjects. In conclusion, an elevated omega-3 intake may reduce distress symptoms and basal cortisol secretion in abstinent alcoholics, thus providing a valid subsidiary measure to increase the efficacy of rehabilitation programs in ethanol addicts.
    Molecular Nutrition & Food Research 06/2013; 57(6). DOI:10.1002/mnfr.201200676 · 4.60 Impact Factor
    • "Similar increases have been observed in Australia [9] while use in the UK continues to be substantial [5]. Users were found to be more likely to have received mental health and primary care treatment and to be dissatisfied with their overall healthcare than nonusers [10]. Chinese herbal medicines were not specifically mentioned, but several of the herbs listed are included in Chinese herbal formulae. "
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    ABSTRACT: . Alternative approaches for managing depression are often sought and herbal mixtures are widely used in China. The aim of this paper was to provide an overall picture of the current evidence by analysing published systematic reviews and presenting a supplementary systematic review of trials in Western databases. . Searches were conducted using AMED, Cochrane Library, EMBASE, MEDLINE/PubMed, PsycINFO, and trial registers. Results were screened and selected trials were evaluated by two reviewers working independently. Systematic reviews were identified and assessed using key criteria. . Five systematic reviews were located addressing the Chinese literature, adjunctive use of Chinese herbs, and the formulae Chaihu-Shugan-San, Xiao Yao San, and Free and Easy Wanderer Plus. The supplementary review located 8 trials, 3 of which were not included in previous reviews. Positive results were reported: no significant differences from medication, greater effect than medication or placebo, reduced adverse event rates when combined or compared with antidepressants. However, limitations in methodology and reporting were revealed. . Despite promising results, particularly for Xiao Yao San and its modifications, the effectiveness of Chinese herbal medicine in depression could not be fully substantiated based on current evidence. Further well-designed, well-reported trials that reflect practice may be worth pursuing.
    Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 02/2013; 2013(11):739716. DOI:10.1155/2013/739716 · 1.88 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Patients often use dietary supplements in addition to the therapies prescribed by their physicians. This self medication is often not listed in the drug history. We supposed that people, who are more afraid of co-morbidities or diabetes late complications and who exhibit a higher fear of the potential side effects of prescribed drugs, are more inclined to use dietary supplements.We checked the use of dietary supplements with a standardised questionnaire in patients treated in a centre for endocrinology and metabolic diseases. Demographic and clinical data were taken from the electronic health record EMIL®.A total of 428 patients (51.4% women), mean age 58.3 years, completed the standardised questionnaire. Supplements were used by 41%: Mineral nutrients 60.2%, vitamins 56.8%, "other supplements" (e. g. omega-3-fatty acids, antidiabetic agents) 43.1% and medical herbs 35.1%. The users of supplements were predominantly women (p<0.001), non-smokers (p=0.004), persons with frequent medical appointments (p=0.014) and with a negative attitude towards the effectiveness of the physician prescribed medication (p=0.012). Patients with diabetes do not use supplements more often than patients without. The use of dietary supplements was not associated with patients' fear to develop co-morbidities of existing diseases (p=0.132) or a higher fear of side effects of prescribed drugs (p=0.099).Nearly half of the patients in a centre for endocrinology and metabolic diseases use self medications with dietary supplements. There is no association between the fear of co-morbidities or side effects of physicians prescribed drugs and a self medication with dietary supplements.
    Experimental and Clinical Endocrinology & Diabetes 06/2012; 120(9):540-6. DOI:10.1055/s-0032-1311640 · 1.56 Impact Factor
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