• Are you mentally healthy?
• Does your mental function result in productive activity and fulfilling relationships?
• Are you able to adapt to change and cope with adversity?
Did you answer "no" to one or more of the questions above?
Mental health is essential for personal well-being, interpersonal relationships and contribution to the community and society at large. From the time of our birth, mental health is the springboard of thinking, communication skills, learning, emotional growth and self-esteem.
Dr. Harry Croft has been a practicing psychiatrist for 25 years. Below he addresses some of the many questions directed to him regarding mental health. If you have a mental health issue, ask Dr. Croft and keep checking back on this page to see if your question is answered. Remember, this is not intended as psychiatric advice. Please seek a qualified physician in your area if you have specific and personal questions.
Mental Health Question of the Day
Q: I was treated with diazepam 5mg BID after an unrelated surgery, and found that it controlled my alcohol cravings completely. I have previously read about the use of diazepam in treating alcohol addiction, but have been unable to locate a local physician who supports this treatment. I understand that use of such treatment would be temporary and in combination with other treatment. I live in San Antonio, Texas. My wife suffers from severe recurrent clinical depression and OCD, and is currently taking Zoloft and Remeron, but is unhappy with the weight gain and sexual side effects of Remeron, as well as the severe sedative effects of the Remeron. Is there hope for her to get the right combination of medications to control her depression, OCD, and anxiety without significant negative side effects? We've tried to get appointments with your office, but found that the wait period is very long. Is it possible to get on a cancellation list or obtain an "urgent" appointment? I am about to run out of diazepam and am worried about my alcoholism, and my wife is considering discontinuing her Remeron and I am worried about the outcome of that and the effect on her depression. We currently see a therapist in your office.
A: The problem with diazepam (Valium) is that for those suffering from alcohol dependence it is like alcohol in pill form. It is for this reason that it is sometimes used to prevent withdrawal symptoms in those stopping alcohol usage. It is NOT a good idea to use it (or any potentially addicting mind altering drugs) after stopping alcohol. It is likely to be a "set up" for relapse. Remeron is often associated with weight gain (through increased appetite), and it is more likely to cause this side effect than Zoloft. There are other medications which can be used for OCD, but your wife should talk to her physician about those choices. Good luck H.A.C.
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