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Getting the Meds Right

Monday 24 July 2017 12:16pm

Medication for mental disorders such as anxiety and depression can be life-changing - if the right medication can be found.

The article "Are micronutrients the answer to NZ's mental health crisis?" on www.stuff talks about the growing modern affliction of anxiety, and the increase in pharmaceutical treatment. Psychiatric medication can be lifesaving, but it can also be a long and difficult journey to find the appropriate drugs for each individual.

Another possible tool for dealing with anxiety could be micronutrients: the regular vitamins and minerals that the body needs in trace amounts, such as B-complex vitamins, selenium, iodine, zinc, magnesium etc. We should be able to get enough from a healthy diet, but that isn't always possible due to an increase intake of processed foods, soil deficiencies and certain farming practices.

The article interviews University of Canterbury researcher Dr Julia Rucklidge about her work treating anxious children with micronutrients, and her frustration in seeing children improve, but then their parents having difficulty accessing the specialist vitamins and minerals when the clinical study ended.

International anxiety expert and BHRC researcher Prof Neil McNaughton is mentioned near the end of the story for his work in developing a biological test to determine which medication a person with a mental disorder will respond best to.