I was suffering from postpartum depression: My licensed naturopath recommended beer and marijuana to help me sleep

Dorothy_Short_as_Mary_Lane


“You should sleep when your baby sleeps.”

This was the advice most frequently offered to me prior to giving birth to my now 10-year-old son. It was a simple instruction that should have been easy to follow. Yet, in the days and nights after my son’s birth, I found myself tirelessly pacing our dark halls. Though exhausted, an overwhelming sense of dread kept me awake.

I did not develop postpartum depression. It devoured me. The descent was not slow, as I’ve heard so many women describe. It crashed upon me in a shattering assault on my sense of safety.

I turned to natural medicine for help.

My journey into natural medicine

In college, I studied abroad in Latin America, where I became infected with a parasite that proved difficult to eliminate. With near constant gastrointestinal distress, I looked to naturopathic care.

Over the course of many years, I invested heavily in naturopathic treatments, eventually becoming financially and spiritually dedicated to it. I sought care from many naturopaths, and even traveled out the state several times for care from “specialist” NDs who promised to fix what they called “immunodeficiency.” I received many prescriptions for expensive supplements, had vitamin C dripped into my veins, and was lectured heartily about avoiding dietary poisons such as yeast, sugar, and simple carbohydrates. I was constantly reminded that only I could heal myself by carefully following the treatments.

Inevitably, the treatments would not work. The naturopaths would always ask about any possible deviation from their treatment plan. Had I truly been dedicated to the plan? The failure  was always on me, and, of course, not the inherent ineffectiveness of their methods.

I realize now that the success or failure of the many “detoxification” cleanses, herbal remedies, restrictive diets, tinctures, sprays, and other woo-woo products that I used became a reflection of what my naturopaths called “my commitment to health.”

One day, I read an article about a new antibiotic that could treat the parasitic infection I had. At my request, one of the ND’s prescribed it. I was cured, thanks to conventional medicine. Throughout these years, the naturopaths and I believed my fatigue and dull mood were a consequence of the parasite. Once it was eradicated, I expected my energy and mood to rebound. I began to recognize that I suffered from undiagnosed depression.

Downward spiral of depression

Life marched forward. I married, bought a house, and began to feel established. Two years into my marriage, my husband and I were pregnant. In the third trimester, my emotions began to feel heavy and dark. I worried about developing postpartum depression and needing anti-depressants, which I viewed as toxic and unsafe. As I became obsessed with the idea of being a perfect new mom, I recognized I needed help.

I was referred to a naturopath who had a reputation for “cutting-edge,” science-based approaches to patient care. She assured me she could discover the root cause of my depression. She would find, she promised, the right amino acids I needed to combat my mood disorder. I visited her several times with each visit resulting in her needing to do “more research” in order to make additional supplement recommendations.

My son was born, and I became overwhelmed with a debilitating fear I would fail as a mother. I was sleeping four hours a night. I spent hours staring intently at my son in the dark, determined not to let him down. I was drowning in tortuous thoughts.

Four days after his birth, we were at a breastfeeding check-up with a nurse. As I discussed my mental health worries, I remember the nurse looking at me with concern. She said I needed to see a psychiatrist immediately. We scheduled an appointment for the next week.

But as soon as I got home, I made an appointment with my naturopath, who had promised scientific and natural solutions. I was afraid of prescription medication. I didn’t want to expose my son to toxic drugs through breast milk.

As I sat describing my depression, the naturopath listened intently. She told me my problem could be easily solved. I simply needed to get back on track with my sleep. I expected the ND to then start drawing biochemical diagrams, pulling out scientific articles, and telling me which supplement would help, as the others had done.

Instead of offering something I had come to expect, the ND suggested I drink a beer and smoke marijuana before bed in order to “set myself up for success.” She claimed that I would fall asleep more easily. With just one good night of sleep, she said, I would get back on track, and eventually, my mood would improve.

It is difficult to convey the desperation one feels during a serious bout of mental illness. I felt that I was on the verge of failing at life and that my son’s life would also be ruined.

In a state of hopelessness, I convinced myself that using marijuana and beer as substitutes for pharmacological intervention was a rational choice. These were natural substances, after all, recommended by a licensed doctor.

The morning after I lulled myself to sleep with beer and weed, the sense that I would fail was gone. In its place lurked the horror that I already had.

In the weeks that followed, I relied on my husband to be the reason I could not access. With his help, I began to see a psychiatrist several days per week, and slowly, with medical care on board, my mood began to stabilize. I felt as though I had unveiled the Wizard of Oz. I could never again see natural medicine the same; I was no longer a believer.

From naturopathy to science

Several years later, I went back to school to obtain a graduate degree in psychology. I now practice full-time as a Child & Family Therapist. Some of my clients have assumed I support natural medicine because I am a mental health therapist. Sometimes I am presented with questions about whether I feel a child should be given a natural remedy for their mental health condition. They are typically taken aback when I explain the lack of research supporting natural remedies as safe and effective options for mental illness. There are evidence-based approaches, and naturopathic care is not one of them.

I try to focus on the silver lining of my attempts to use naturopaths to treat my post-partum depression: my NDs’ dangerous and inept advice pushed me to get real medical treatment. But really, I am lucky I did not endlessly suffer under their care. I’m not sure how long it would have taken for me to accept the reality of my mental state had things not gotten so bad, so quickly.

I now have a diagnosis of severe major depression in remission. If I stop my medication, my depression returns, and I find myself feeling consumed by darkness. I do not doubt the science behind my condition. And I know with strong conviction that marijuana and alcohol are not acceptable medical interventions for anyone suffering from depression.

The doctor-patient relationship is based on respect, trust, and a commitment, above all, to do no harm. Many people argue that patients should  have a right to choose alternative providers if they so desire. As a former naturopathic patient, I believed my NDs had a real medical education, and I trusted them. I did not know that naturopaths do not receive appropriate medical training. How could I have made an informed choice?

As long as states continue to license naturopaths as medical practitioners, consumers will assume they are receiving scientifically valid medical care, and their safety and possibly the safety of their babies, will be in danger.


Melissa Douglas, LMFTA, CMHS, MHP, is a child and family mental health therapist who lives in the Northwest with her husband, son, and two dogs.


Image: Dorothy Short smoking marijuana in Reefer Madness (1936).
  • PrimaryCareDoc

    Thank you for sharing your story!

    In my experience, naturopaths never diagnose someone with depression or bipolar. It’s always a “gut imbalance” or candida or Lyme…always.

    • http://www.hempista.com/ Hempista

      ^THIS a million times. And doctor, as an anaphylactic food allergy patient that carries epipens for the Saccharomyces yeast, I am here to tell you that this ridiculous candida information promoted by NDs crowds out the medically-necessary allergy information quite frequently. Just try to do a google search for “yeast allergy” and you will get umpteen results for candida BS. I am lucky that I worked with a hospital dietitian after I was diagnosed because if I had to rely on finding my authentic allergy and how to manage it online it is impossible with all of the stupid candida BS search results.

  • Marcus Shams

    Very Peculiar situation you went through. Most Naturopathic physicians I know are well aware of the dangers of mental illness and refer out to mental health professionals accordingly. Equipped with the DSM-V, an ND can easily differentiate mild from moderate and severe depression. In the latter situation an ND would usually take on a supportive role while you received allopathic treatment for the depression until stabilized.

    Most likely your ND at the time suggested cannabis for your depression because of the effect it can have at raising endocannabinoid levels in your brain. It would take a long time to explain the entire connection between the endocannabinoid system and depression so refer to the research on marijuana use for treating PTSD/anxiety/depression in the US Armed Forces.

    Also, it sounds shocking when a healthcare provider recommends marijuana but it isn’t the same stuff you pick up from your neighborhood drug dealer. There are selectively bred strains of marijuana that contain compounds (cannabinoids, terpenes) that have a positive effect on a number of the brains functions. Most think that marijuana is just for getting “high,” which is true for some strains, but their are those strains engineered by scientists with low levels of THC, and high levels of other compounds that cater to such mental health issues as PTSD, anxiety, and depression. Check out pubmed on the subject.

    I am unsure of the beer prescription. I can understand its use for helping someone relax and fall asleep. It sounds like common knowledge that alcohol and breastfeeding don’t mix but after researching apparently they do. According the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Drugs alcohol consumption while breastfeeding is not prohibited. This is assuming that the mother is drinking a small amount. Probably not the best recommendation but I don’t think its as dangerous as alluded to above.

    I understand you hold your beliefs with conviction and that you feel wronged by the naturopathic profession, but your closing statements over emphasize your cognitive bias against alternative medicine. Does one need to take a side between naturopathic and allopathic medical care? Do they not work together hand in hand? Look at Cancer Treatment Centers of America and how they put MDs and NDs on the same team to provide exceptional care.

    • Susan Fickett Keeney

      “Mark us shams ” wow, great moniker. Hope people get it, and know your posts are bogus. Very witty.

    • Paul Mackin

      You are as much a wack job as the person she went to see. Shame on you!

    • David

      Cancer treatments of America provide exceptional care?!?!?

    • PrimaryCareDoc

      Are you fucking kidding me? You are actually trying to defend the fact that an ND did not recognized severe PPD and prescribed pot and beer (a know depressant!!!) to treat it????

      • BE REAL Be Natural

        Primary Care Doc-You are not really a Primary Care Doc are you?…eesh

    • http://www.hempista.com/ Hempista

      I’m not biased. I like herbs and use them for all sorts of things. I also see my physicians. When I was treated at Stanford Cancer Center alternative modalities were offered to patients like yoga, massage, etc. Stanford Hospital even has an Integrative Medicine center where MDs study herbs and other alternatives. I’m tired of NDs coming along and shaming people like the lady in this article. If you want to practice medicine with herbs get your MD and get on at Stanford Integrative medicine or at another hospital that studies this.

    • Petticoat Philosopher

      Her antipathy towards naturopaths after being given advice to manage severe PPD that a freshman at a kegger could come up with constitutes a “cognitive bias?” Dismissive much?

      And now NDs are also mental health professionals? When do you get all that done? It takes more than just buying a copy of the DSM, you know.

    • Marcel

      Allopathic is an inappropriate and outdated term invented by homeopaths. As for treating PSTD with any chemotype of cannabis, the evidence is currently not sufficient to justify any recommendation for clinical use and the same is true for anxiety or depression. That also goes for cannabidiol, which, contrary to the assertions of marketers, is very much a psychoactive substance, as anyone who has ingested it in pure form can attest. It’s also an illegal substance in the U.S.

    • Thomas Mohr

      Marcus, with DSM-5 *everybody* can “differentiate” between mild, moderate and severe depression. The question is whether this diagnosis is correct, the more since it is very likely that the average ND has never seen many cases. A primary care physician would NOT do the differential diagnosing and leave that to a specialist as soon as he suspects the presence of a depression. As for the cannabis, this ND and your comments demonstrate one thing, that is that NDs are very likely to unleash unproven/experimental treatments onto patients where a working gold-standard exists. Marcus, in medicine there are two important rules:

      1) You do NOT diagnose diseases you are not trained for, not using the DSM-5 or other manuals.

      2) You do NOT unleash experimental treatments if a gold standard exists.

      As for the Cancer Treatment Centers of America, their success rate stems from biased sampling (Begley, Sharon; Respaut, Robin (March 6, 2013). “Special report: Behind a cancer-treatment firm’s rosy survival claims”. Reuters. Retrieved 2014-01-29.) If you look at the 5 year survival rate in metastatic cancer, they are not better.

      As for allopathic vs naturopathic medicine. This is a philosophcal distinction. There are treatments that work and treatments that do not. Threatments that work are per definition medicine, whereas treatments that do not work are not. Based on studies in botanical medicine, I guess that 70 to 90% of what NDs study are modalities with weak, very weak or no effectiveness. The rest is covered by other professions (psychologists, nutritionists, etc.). There is no teaming up with such a community.

      • David

        The last point is a good point. Many people criticize MD for not wanting to be part of a team approach. Ie chiropractors and naturopaths feel that a collaboration is the best way to treat patients However, why would an MD need to work with a chiro or naturopath when we already have teams of science based practitioners such as physio, nurses, nutritionists and psychologists.

        • Thomas Mohr

          MDs do want a team approach and do that. However, they do not want to team up with people whose education is likely pseudoscience.

    • BE REAL Be Natural

      Marcus,

      Thank you for your detailed answer in this lively debate. People have to do their research and be happy with their choices.

  • cat1tiddlywink

    To the author, I’m sorry this happened to you, and I understand your wariness about natural medicine, given this experience. I’d like to state that while I understand that you had that experience, the approach(es) you describe are not how I, or the other licensed NDs that I know of, approach depression.

    First, I was taught to screen for depression using validated, commonly accepted screening instruments. Then in severe depression pharmaceuticals are front-line therapy, along with psychotherapy. In those cases non-pharmaceutical approaches are adjunct care, not primary, and implemented only when those adjunct therapies are feasible for the patient at that time. In mild and perhaps some cases of moderate depression (dysthmia vs MDD) a non-pharmaceutical approach may be sufficient, but the patient has to be monitored for worsening of the depression. And if the patient isn’t getting better, or if their functioning is impacted, then regardless of the mildness (or not) of the depression, a pharmaceutical should be considered.

    All the NDs I know recommend the use of pharmaceuticals when it is called for, and that recommendation is made according to conventional standards of care for depression.
    I make sure that my patients know, from the first time that depression appears, that medications are available and are not a sign of failure.

    In my education I never heard of beer nor cannabis being advocated as a treatment for depression, nor for insomnia. Alcohol disrupts sleep and its use is problematic in nursing mothers, as well as being a depressant (as noted below). Cannabis was not discussed during my education. I don’t prescribe it and am not up on all the recommendations for it. I do have patients who come in who are using it to sleep and I work with them to find some other way to resolve their insomnia. It is not in my opinion appropriate for a nursing mother and from what I can see, it is unclear what its effect is in depression.

    Regarding the rest of your experience, if the treatment is not working after a reasonable trial and with reasonable compliance, then re-evaluate both the treatment and the diagnosis. You should not have been left to feel that you were to blame for not improving.

    • David

      In British Columbia the surveyed all the marijuana selling shops. You have to get a card from a ” health professional” saying that you have a medical condition that can be treated with marijuana. These clinics were 100% manned by naturopaths. Not a single MD was involved with these money making schemes. So yeah, ND will prescribe marijuana for anything –as long as it makes them money.

      • DirtyOldTown

        That’s because all of them are illegal under federal medical marijuana laws. Any MD foolish enough to participate would be strongly disciplined. Has a naturopath ever been disciplined about anything? I have doubts.

        • http://www.hempista.com/ Hempista

          Here in California and MD or OD must sign off on your cannabis card. The court protects them against federal penalties for recommending cannabis. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conant_v._McCaffrey

          • DirtyOldTown

            MDs can prescribe marijuana without a problem, but the drug must be purchased from a federally licensed grower, and delivered via the mail. The storefront operations in Vancouver which offer same day consultations with a “doctor” are almost all NDs, who cannot legally prescribe the green. The stores themselves are also illegal, for the moment, as federal rules prohibit storefront sales of marijuana, although the city is licensing some of them, adding an extra layer of confusion.

            • http://www.hempista.com/ Hempista

              oh Canada 🙂 I hear that they are going to legalize across the board pretty soon.

              • DirtyOldTown

                That would make things simpler!

              • Marcel

                In doing so, Canada would immediately be in violation of trade agreements with a number of countries.

            • Marcel

              I recently spoke with a Canadian in his late 20s who was given a card when he simply visited a cannabis store. He didn’t asked for one, nor does he have any medical condition.

        • Marcel

          Naturopaths in Canada are finally being investigated for illegally participating in prescriptions for medical cannabis. Under federal law, they do not have the authorization to act as health care practitioners for patients to receive medical cannabis. The activity was recently reported by the CBC when a Canadian naturopath was fined $25,000 and received a one-year suspension from the college of naturopaths for providing consultations via Skype to assist patients in receiving medical cannabis. Six other naturopaths in Canada are currently under investigation for the same offense. Without disclosing a prior criminal conviction in the U.S. for possession of 20 kg of cannabis in 2002, he was allowed a license by the college of naturopaths in Canada in 2006. As a naturopath, he was also found to have treated people in Canada with botox for cash and while failing to issue receipts.

      • Katatonic

        Prior to Washington State decriminalizing mj, you needed a script from a doctor and the only ones offering were all NDs. And that appointment/consultation? Kind of a joke when it’s being done in someone’s guest cottage, dozens of people lined up to wait, cash only, and they bring you in 3 or 4 at a time to see the “doc” who spends more time filling out the paperwork than actually looking at anyone. One ND actually DID get in trouble because he was giving his patients mmj treats which was/is forbidden. License pulled for awhile but he’s back, advertising on CL among other places.

      • BE REAL Be Natural

        AND This is “NOT” what Big Pharma does? Only the drugs they give have side effects like “Death”

        • David

          I am not arguing against the use of marijuana. I am pointing out that naturopaths are simply getting money for handing out marijuana cards for money without examining the patients not understanding the diseases they are trying to treat. For example a naturopath giving cards to glaucoma patients with no ability to assess glaucoma themselves.
          And to emphasize again, MD do not get paid in any way by pharma to prescribe medications. They are not like naturopaths that make a large part of their income off selling the products they prescribe—a terrible conflict of interest.

    • Petticoat Philosopher

      It is far from just her experience. As a depression sufferer myself, the “natural” medicine community is most certainly not my friend. Blame is everywhere–you just need to eat the right diet or take the right supplements and if you’re still depressed you’re Doing It Wrong–as if that’s a message I need to hear more when part of depression for a lot of people is having “You’re Doing It Wrong,” playing on an endless loop in your brain.

      The sad thing is seeing fellow depression sufferers who by the BS and then blame themselves when they can’t fix themselves with “natural” treatments. Depression sufferers are a vulnerable group to the natural med constant drumbeat of “It’s your fault if you don’t get better.” We’re predisposed to think it’s all our fault.

      • http://www.hempista.com/ Hempista

        This exact shaming scenario ^ plays out in almost every health encounter with NDs and the natural community–not all but enough that everyone who has ever been involved in anything alternative will have run across it. Also fake testing like the dangerous and stupid IgG fake allergy testing that sacrifices REAL allergy patients so that the fake allergy people can feel special with fake allergies. It’s hell on earth for the real sick people in a lot of the “natural” circles.

      • BE REAL Be Natural

        WOW ! I am happy to give you the name of my natural doc. I suffered from depression, she took a holistic approach, and I learned how to work myself out of that state of mind, alinged with changing my diet and getting off of many drugs, ( ie sugar).

        • Petticoat Philosopher

          No thank you, I have healthcare providers already and, over the years, I have learned some good techniques from them about how to “work myself out of that state of mind,” although those techniques are a help to me, not a cure. I don’t have depression because I just can’t think the right way. I have depression because that’s the way my brain chemistry is. I’ve been like this my whole life and it’s something I will have to deal with for the rest of my life. I’m not thrilled about that and sometimes it is very difficult but it can certainly be done. It hasn’t stopped me from doing things that matter to me, like pursuing my professional dreams, forming meaningful relationships, traveling whenever I can etc. We all have our challenges to cope with in life. There is no miracle cure and a miracle cure is not necessary for a meaningful life, although the promise of something that doesn’t exist can certainly cause unnecessary emotional suffering to people who already deal with a lot of that.

          Sugar is not a drug. It’s just a food that is best consumed in moderation. Personally, though I greatly enjoy an occasional rich dessert or cocktail and love all kinds of fruit, salt has always been more my “vice” than sugar. I actually eat a pretty healthy diet. Luckily, I enjoy cooking, which makes that a lot easier. I eat plenty of fruits and vegetables and cook from scratch most of the time because it’s fun and relaxing for me. And, personally, I have found that working out is a great boon to my mood–and exercise is recommended by any and every mainstream medical professional there is, as far as I know, for both mental and physical health. (Just like a healthy diet).

          Of course, healthy diet and exercise are not always feasible. I’m a grad student and I’ve got my final exams coming right up. I suspect I’ll be working out less and patronizing the Thai take-out around the corner more in the next few weeks. (They make quite an affordable and delicious green curry–there are certainly worse fates.) Such is life. Most adults cannot live an optimal-for-health lifestyle all the time.

          And, anyway, these things do not cure you. They help. Why wouldn’t they? Good exercise habits and a diet rich in fruits and vegetables are pretty much universally agreed upon to be good for health in general so why not mental health? I know that getting better at things like exercising, eating healthy well-balanced meals, and eating them regularly (low blood sugar is bad news bears for me, like it is for many people) have helped me–I used to be much worse at doing those years ago when I was, say, a freshman in college. The basics of self-care are important but they do not cure you. It’s irresponsible to promise diet fixes to people suffering with mental health issues and it sets them up for self-blame and self-loathing when they don’t work–because of course it must be their fault that they aren’t working. Talking about depression like it’s just a bad habit that people can work themselves out of with the right “state of mind” and diet is minimizing and unintentionally cruel. Please don’t do it.

          • BE REAL Be Natural

            Yawn

            • AcuSkeptic

              Go troll someplace else.

              • BE REAL Be Natural

                See that is the problem with you Acuskeptic. You want to be the only one with a voice. Happily, slavery was abolished and this is a free internet. With that said, I will comment wherever I please. and please -be so kind as to take the shackles off of my feet.

                • Petticoat Philosopher

                  Yep, that’s what slavery was all about–being kidnapped from your home, transported in chains across the ocean, and forced into a life of being unable to troll people on the internet with complete impunity. You are just so gosh-darn persecuted, aren’t you?

                  There are no “shackles on your feet,” BRBN. You should show some respect for the millions of people in history who could not say the same.

          • AcuSkeptic

            Well said!

  • http://www.hempista.com/ Hempista

    I am an autoimmune disease survivor and a proponent of cannabis as a pain management tool. Part of that has to do with the fact that it does help with sleep–and these attributes are largely strain-related. Here in California our medical marijuana system, as liberal as it is, is operated by MDs or ODs. NDs cannot sign off on a pot card.

    Pretty soon we are going to have recreational cannabis here, just like Colorado. And recently a very large doctors organization has come out in favor of cannabis legalization. The prohibitionists would like to think the science is in their favor, but it is not.

    That being said, it never ceases to warp my mind thinking about an ND, with absolutely none of the critical and immensely challenging coursework to become an MD or OD, working with a pregnant or new mother telling her to drink beer and use cannabis. I can tell you right now that all of the MDs that have signed off on my card here in California have given a huge lecture about mixing cannabis with alcohol and other substances during the appointment.

    PPD is a very serious illness that needs to be seen by a physician and in a science based medicine environment. If hops or cannabis comes along for the ride after the physician has done all of the testing and interpreting of the data–these certainly can be helpful for symptom management as many physicians can and do recommend both. The best person to talk to your herbs about is your physician MD or OD.

    Furthermore–Hops and cannabis are almost the same plant and can even be grafted to one another. Hops produces lupulin resin and cannabis produces cannabinoid resin. Both hops and cannabis have similar terpene profiles. Beer is a VERY POOR WAY to get a nice big dose of sleepy lupulins. NDs have spent an enormous amount of time and money on an education that makes them as qualified as home herbalists in the eyes of science based medicine. I’ve never spent a dime to study hops and cannabis. And btw. I’m nobody. I’m just a patient with a highly defective immune system since birth. I like herbs because they make life better than Vicodins do. 😉

    • NS Alito

      The primary medical reasons to legalize cannabis are: (1) Reduction of gunshot wounds and decapitations related to the illegal drug trade and (2) Reduction of selective imprisonment of portions of our population.

      • https://www.naturopathicdiaries.com Britt Hermes

        Many have written about the medical marijuana industry using poor science as a means to legalize the substance. It should be legalized for the reasons you mentioned, not bad science.

    • BE REAL Be Natural

      TOTALLY agree. A person that is a naysayer of natural meds, would then seek out a natural doctor, only to dispute what the doctor prescibed, and then run out and get hooked on drugs that cause suicicial thoughts. A joke. A holisitc approach is just that “THE WHOLE” body, mind and etc. No way can a person tell you to sit around and drink beer and smoke weed and you do it and that is it. Thankfully, states like CALI etc all understand the good in canibas sativa and use it as intended.

  • Petticoat Philosopher

    Wow. I didn’t realize frat boys were such loyal adherents to naturopathic medicine!

    But, seriously, as someone who also suffers from depression as well as anxiety, I saw this post title and was like:

    http://www.reactiongifs.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/nope.gif

    I know that I have to be pretty careful with alcohol. I do drink and I enjoy it but getting buzzed to fall asleep without sobering up first and having some food in my stomach, enough water etc? That is a recipe for feeling like a miserable, anxious mess the next day. And mixing alcohol and cannabis? That is usually a crappy idea for anyone.

    I won’t lie–I have used weed as a sleep aid before because I am among an unlucky class of people for whom antidepressant medications that help many people with sleep issues either don’t work, make things worse, or have side effects that I can’t handle. But a) I didn’t need a doctor to give me that idea and b) I never considered it ideal. I do have a perscription for an anxiety medication now that does not fix everything but does help. It’s a much better solution because it’s actually a consistent dose, for one thing. I’m not necessarily opposed to medical THC though, although smoking doesn’t seem like that great a delivery system because of that consistent dose thing.

  • Travis

    “These were natural substances, after all, recommended by a licensed doctor”

    Scary, but this is the problem with naturopaths and self-regulation

  • PrimaryCareDoc

    Just saw a patient this week who has severe anxiety and depression, to the point of having had several psych hospitalizations. She has stopped seeing her psychiatrist and stopped all of her meds, because she is now seeing a naturopath and acupuncturist who are treating her “holistically.” Infuriating. It has taken months to get her to a stable point…now she is going to decompensate.

    • David

      When this patient decompensates, with they will, you should write a complaint to both the naturopathic board and acupuncture board. Admittedly they will probably do nothing, but at least it is documented. When these groups present for inc scope of practice, they often present how they have had no complaints against them—that is mostly because md do not take the time to do so because they think it doesn’t help. We see this especially with optometrists. Optometrists now call themselves optometric physicians and want full prescribing rights and even surgery. Each time they ask for an increased scope they highlight how the previous inc or other state/province, has not led to any complaints

    • Petticoat Philosopher

      I’m so sorry…that’s got to be horribly frustrating and infuriating.

  • BE REAL Be Natural

    To suggest that “they” are all alike is to suggest that ” all” women are alike or “all” dogs are alike….the fact of the matter is-BIG PHARMA has gotten paid, has infaltrated the government uder the guise of Obama Care and continue to tout drugs that have lethal side affects. Sell me some arnica any day, it has not cause ” death” ( Robin Williams) or suicidal thoughts. I could go on. Yet , my holistic doctor has never sold me a thing. She suggests, I research , and pop over to the local health food store: Easy Peasy. The debate is spirited and therefore welcomed. Yet, I will never see a BIG PHARMA doctor again. Dont care what anyone says. My body. My decision

    • Petticoat Philosopher

      Pharmaceutical companies had lobbyists before Obamacare. What are you even talking about?

      And medical doctors do not sell drugs to their patients either. At least not ethical ones–some less scrupulous doctors who have realized they can make bank selling alternative cures to desperate and credulous people certainly do.

      • BE REAL Be Natural

        Did you learn how to read or are you still trying? No where here did I say that doctors sell drugs. I was told that Natropaths sell drugs. TO compare big banks to big pharma is TOTALLY correct and you got that one thing right ! Big Banks-make their money on fees- Big Pharma – make their money off of referrals.

        • David

          I think you are the one who is having trouble reading?!
          A naturopath sees a patient and then sells them stuff from their own office at a profit This is obviously unethical.
          A doctor writes something called a prescription which is then filled at a pharmacy and the doctor does not benefit financially from a prescription. Pharmaceutical companies put their medications in pharmacies. Pharma does not take referrals and therefore cannot make money off referrals.
          Is that simple enough for you.

          • BE REAL Be Natural

            What is simple here is this: YOU have GOT to get a life.

          • AcuSkeptic

            I’m pretty sure BRBN is just a troll that’s being obnoxious for the sake of being obnoxious.

          • AcuSkeptic

            I’m pretty sure BRBN is just a troll that’s being obnoxious for the sake of being obnoxious.

  • Green Fish

    I just read this article today and see the same tactics used: If naturopathic remedies don’t help then it’s YOUR fault because you’re not using them correctly/don’t follow the orders of your ND correctly and so on.
    http://www.essentialbaby.com.au/news/current-affairs/mother-to-plead-guilty-after-breastfeeding-baby-with-eczema-while-on-water-diet-20160513-gouam3?