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Rebecca F. (Bexter) reviewed Stop Depression Now: SAM-e, the Breakthrough Supplement That Works as Well as Prescription Drugs in Half the Time... with No Side Effects on + 74 more book reviews
A heavy-duty plug for a nutritional supplement as treatment for depression; however, the plug is reasonably placed within the framework of an informative, even-handed discussion of depression, its diagnosis, and treatment. Psychiatrist Brown, of the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, uses both conventional medications and alternative therapies in his practice. Here he joins forces with neuropharmacologist Bottiglieri (Baylor Univ.) to argue for the use of a substance called SAM-e, available over-the-counter, for the treatment of mild to moderate depression. They make clear at the outset that ``anyone who is depressed, suicidal, or has a history of drug or alcohol abuse must be treated by a competent professional. Self treatment is not an option.'' They go on to explain what depression is and what SAM-e is (a substance naturally found in the human body, currently much more widely used in Europe than in the US), and look at the myriad other drugs used to treat depression. Throughout, the authors cite numerous research studies, reported in reputable professional journals (from 1972 to the present, with a complete list in the bibliography) to support their views. They then lay out a program for treatment, beginning with ``Assess Your Mood'' (using an established diagnostic tool); and including improved nutrition to support the therapy, and establishing a healthier lifestyle. A reasonable guide to the current state of affairs in treating depression, then, with a still unorthodox recommendation for treatment that sufferers might discuss with their physicians.