How can a Medical Herbalist help a person suffering from mood disorders
I suggest a 5 step approach:
It’s important for both of us to understand what (if any) mood disorder you are experiencing. Medication is not always necessary or suitable and as you can imagine treatment plans will vary dependant upon diagnosis.
To do this as accurately as possible I utilise a questionnaire designed specifically for use by GP’s which has been backed by extensive research.
2. Identify contributing & remitting factors
During our consultation we will try to identify which aspects of your life help or hinder your mood. Self help strategies and techniques can really make a difference to some people.
3. Herbal Medicine
The key strategies for prescribing herbal medicine for mood disorders are:
- To help rebalance neurotransmitters, (if antidepressants have not been prescribed),
- To help balance the two components of the autonomic nervous system by promoting relaxation
- To help reduce physical effects e.g. insomnia, appetite changes, palpitations.
Depending upon the person (constitution, cause, symptom pattern, use of other medications etc) and the diagnosis I will prescribe a tailor- made combination of herbs based on the fit of your needs and their therapeutic actions. During the consultation we will discuss each herb and rationale for choice.
I am a 38 year old mother of two young children. Due to financial pressures, I currently work full time and before I began to see Amanda, I had been finding it difficult to juggle work and home life. I came to see Amanda when I was at a really low point. I was feeling very depressed and anxious. I had also been suffering from constant sinus pain and congestion for years, which had been contributing to my low mood. I was feeling very run down, tired, uncomfortable and as if I was permanently coming down with a cold. I had been for several tests, but had finally been told that I had an unknown 'environmental' allergy, for which I had been prescribed steroid nasal spray, which I didn't feel was helping.
My friend recommended Amanda, having experienced fantastic results herself, so I emailed that day and I was surprised to get a phone call that evening, which in itself was a great help. Amanda recognised my symptoms immediately and I made an appointment to visit her Birkenhead clinic the next day. At my first appointment I sat in front of Amanda and cried, feeling as though I couldn't cope. She made me feel completely at ease and asked me a number of questions to get to the route of my problem. From exploring my concerns in depth Amanda recognised that I could be suffering from Dairy intolerance, which would explain my sinus and congestion problems. Amanda despatched a herbal prescription to my home address within a matter of days, which she designed specifically to address all of my symptoms.
Within a couple of weeks, I was noticing improvements in my sinus and congestion symptoms from steering clear of dairy, which in turn began to lift my mood. By the time I had my follow up telephone consultation four weeks after first starting my course of treatment, I was noticing dramatic improvements in my mood, my energy levels and my physical symptoms. I was sleeping better, thanks to a helping hand from Amanda's 'sleep mix', which I had taken for the first two weeks to help me re-establish a good quality sleep pattern. As a result, I was finding that I was much more able to cope with my hectic lifestyle and had much more patience with my children.
Now, two months on, everyone is beginning to notice how well I am looking and even how my voice sounds. For a long time, my voice was rather 'nasally', but now, even I can hear that it is clearer. I still have times when I get anxious and stressed, but until my lifestyle becomes less hectic, this is to be expected. I don't feel depressed any more and relationships with my family are much less strained. I am so thankful that my friend suggested speaking to Amanda and I thank Amanda for her understanding, her knowledge and her obvious commitment and dedication to improving the lives of her patients.