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From Wilmington, North Carolina, USA:

I am a 23 year old college student and am under a lot of stress with my Type 1 diabetes, school, work, etc., and I am feeling overwhelmed and somewhat depressed at times. Would you recommend trying an alternative medicine such as St. John's Wort as opposed to an antidepressant first? I have heard of too many negative side effects with the antidepressants and do not really like the idea of them. I have already been seen by a psychologist and psychiatrist and was told that it was my decision, as I am only moderately depressed.


I have no objection to your trying St. Johns Wort with this qualification: please discuss it with a reputable person in complimentary medicine first. Do not simply go out and buy it and take it.

I respect your wish to investigate your options. I will add that the antidepressant medications such as Zoloft, Paxil, etc. have made a real difference in the lives of many persons. If you wish to reconsider them, I imagine your healthcare team would provide samples for you to try. It would take about 4 weeks for you to perceive beneficial effects.


Original posting 28 May 1998
Posted to Other Medications


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