Clinical Remission of Treatment-Resistant Depression, Polysubstance Abuse, and Antidepressant Discontinuation Syndrome Through Engagement of Lifestyle Interventions

Kelly Brogan, MD; Alyssa Jarvi, PhD; Shelby Anderson, BS; Sarah Kalen Flynn, MD



Background • This case illustrates the relationship between gut, hormonal, and brain function in that dietary changes, mindfulness interventions, and detoxification led to resolution of disabling psychiatric symptoms and protracted psychotropic medication withdrawal symptoms.

Summary • A 50-year-old partnered, unemployed, Caucasian female with a history of major depressive disorder, multiple suicide attempts, extensive trauma and abuse, and substance abuse presented for outpatient management. The patient reported limited benefit from over two decades of conventional treatment with psychotropic medications. She presented with depression and symptoms of protracted withdrawal after self-discontinuation of multiple psychiatric medications and was prescribed a dietary, detoxification, and supplementation regimen by the primary author. Additional lifestyle interventions implemented included daily meditation, dry-skin brushing, and coffee enemas.

Conclusion • This case exemplifies dramatic clinical remission after cessation of medication treatment and engagement of lifestyle interventions, which include dietary change, meditation, and detoxification. As such, when limited results are achieved by psychotropic medication, tapering combined with dietary interventions as the first-line therapy should be considered. This case is also evidence of the role of lifestyle interventions in treating protracted withdrawal symptoms associated with discontinuing psychotropic medications. (Adv Mind Body Med. 2020;34(4):24-32.)


Kelly Brogan, MD, is the founder of Alyssa Jarvi, PhD, is a healthcare investor. Shelby Anderson, BS, is an incoming medical student at the University of Michigan. Sarah Kalen Flynn, MD, is a psychiatry resident at the University of New Mexico.


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