In private practice, I often utilize steps from the Therapeutic Lifestyle Change (TLC) program developed by Dr. Stephen Ilardi. TLC is a 6-step program aimed at enhancing six key areas of your lifestyle in order to combat mental health problems. Originally developed for the treatment of depression, TLC is now often used in the treatment of other mental health conditions as well as overall holistic mind-body wellness.
Presented below is an overview of Step 1 in the TLC program: Omega-3s and Vitamin Supplements.
Below is the list of supplements for the Therapeutic Lifesyle Change (TLC) program, along with a brief explanation and supplement recommendations. Typically, all of the supplements can be found at a local health food store or drug store as well as online. Before you begin a new supplement routine, talk with your doctor. If you have questions about brands and different omega-3 products, talk with your nutritionist. They can help lead you in the right direction so you can make an informed decision about these important supplements.
OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS:
The brain is mostly made up of fats. The essential dietary fats come in two forms, omega-3 and omega-6. When these fats are out of balance in your body, you become vulnerable to various illnesses. In our modern diet, we often receive too much omega-6 and not enough omega-3 fats. To restore balance, it is essential to supplement with omega-3.
Omega-3s are best obtained through high-quality fish oil capsules or liquid. Different supplements will have varying ratios of EPA and DHA. The important thing is to get an omega-3 supplement that provides a daily dose of 1000mg (EPA) and at least 500mg (DHA). Check the nutritional label to ensure your daily dosage meets this criteria. Please note, your omega-3 supplement should be molecularly distilled.
If you do not see some improvment of depressive/anxious symptoms within 4 weeks of taking your omega-3 supplement, the dosage may need to be increased.
Taking a vitamin D supplement is important when you are not sythesizing enough of it through regular brief exposure to the sun's UV rays. Recommended daily dose is 2,000 IU.
A daily multivitamin is used to bolster the effects of the omega-3 supplement and provides antioxidants. Recommended daily dose is 1 multivitamin.
A daily dose of vitamin C is used for added antioxidant protection. It protects the omega-3 from being damaged by free radicals in the body. Recommended daily dose is 500mg.
EVENING PRIMROSE OIL:
A weekly dose of evening primrose oil provides the brain with GLA, which is an essentail fatty acid that gets depleated with high doses of omega-3. It is important NOT to exceed the recommended weekly dose, as unwanted inflammation may occur. Recommended weekly dose is one 500mg capsule once per week.
Check out this video to learn more about the importance of omega-3 fatty acids on mental health.
Ilardi, Stephen. (2009). The Depression Cure. Cambridge, MA: Da Capo Press.
Holland Miller, Psy.D., Licensed Psychologist, provides individual and group therapy for adolescents and adults in Austin, TX. Specializing in the treatment of depression, chronic low mood, and chronic stress, she incorporates cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and therapeutic lifestyle changes (TLCs) to enhance positive mood, healthy functioning, and overall well-being.
Dr. Miller is particularly passionate about working with adolescent girls and adult women who want to boost their mood and energy, improve their self-esteem and relationships with others, better cope with stress while reducing anxiety and tension, and develop healthy lifestyle habits for lasting wellness.
When she is not in the office, Dr. Miller enjoys spending time with her husband, daughter, and two mischievous goldendoodles. She can be found discovering the latest Austin adventure, reading and researching, exploring the outdoors on hiking and camping trips, and trying out new recipes.
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