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help, just help
Jun 26, 2003

I am hiv pos (no meds, considered healthy). For at least 5 years anyway. I have also been battling mental illness for 20 years. The latest buzz expression for my mental disorder is schizoaffective disorder. My shrink calls me highly functional which I find insulting since an ameba too is functional.

Medication fails me often - my symptoms flare up and the shrink says there is nothing that can be done. I would like to know if you would recommend nutritional approaches to disease management as an adjuunct to my anti-psychotic. If so, do you have any web sites you would recommend? I have done a little bit of research into this and I have noticed that some of the nutritional approaches are parallel to holistic approaches being useed by long term hiv survivors. It is also worthy of note that both hiv and schizoaffective disorder are so highly infuenced by stress - perhaps a nutritional regiment can be geared toward reducing biochemical stress?

Response from Mr. Vergel

Since this is not my area of expertise, I forwarded your note to my partner , Dr Timothy Baker, who is a psychiatrist at the VA hospital specializing in HIV mental health issues. This is what he said:

Any idea what his symptoms are? Are they psychotic sx (hallucinations,delusions, thought disorganization)? Are they mood sx (depression/mania)? Do they involve changes in sleep, energy,concentration, interest in pleasurable activities? Do they involve hopelessness, worthlessness, guilt? Is increased irritability part of them? Is it related to anxiety (restlessness,ruminations, compulsive behaviors)? Are sx episodic in nature (weeks tomonths in length) or do they vary from hour to hour and day to day? Are sx constant? What medications has the patient been on; in what combinations;in what doses? What is he/she currently taking?

Research is still being done on use of omega-3 in treating mood disorders;nothing definite at this time. St.John's Wort has been used for mild depression. At this time there isn't a lot of evidence that would support the use of nutritional supplements specifically as an adjunct to to treating psychosis; treating an underlying vitamin deficiency would be a definite indication. The nutritional supplements wouldn't hurt him and probably would be of benefit for him at least from an HIV standpoint.



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