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The Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine Vol. 11, 3rd Quarter 1996


The Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine

R Sealey, BSc

Surviving Unipolar Depression–the Effectiveness of Ginkgo Biloba

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My symptoms of unipolar depression began nearly 30 years ago when I was 17. Thinking I was just intense and moody, I did not realize I was having episodes of a mood disorder. By 1995, the symptoms worsened, as expected when an illness is left untreated for years. I was feeling helpless depressed, and anxious most of the time, having trouble sleeping, my appetite was gone, my libido went too, short term memory wasn't reliable and it was hard to focus. Finally I sought medical advice. My doctor laughed. After consulting with a family practitioner, a psychologist, a therapist and two psychiatrists, I was diagnosed with dysthymia, episodes of double depression and major depression.

Given my sorry state, the psychologist suggested anddepressant medication but explained that I would have to be monitored by a physician. I started taking paxil, first monitored by a family doctor and later referredto a psychiatrist. Meanwhile, sessions with the psychologist helped me update my coping skills and identify patterns of thinking which were inappropriate, illogical, unrealistic, upsetting and negative.

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