I just read your excellent interview with Eloïse Watt. I also suffer from major chronic depression, and have started to use flower essences on top of my antidepressant medication. I was wondering whether the medication can in any way interfere with the effectiveness of the flower essence remedies? I would be very interested in hearing from someone with experience in this area — or any practitioners in my area working on the depression study who would like an extra patient!

April 17, 2002

The relationship of pharmaceutical drugs and flower essences in the treatment of depression is an important area of research. Several studies have indicated that flower essences can be effectively used while continuing to take antidepressant medication. The preliminary results of the FES Depression Study by Dr. Jeffrey Cram, as published in the International Journal of Healing and Caring, "suggests that the use of antidepressant medications did not interact with the effects of the flower essences." We have received a study from a hospital in Cuba, which indicated that patients taking antidepressants and other psychiatric medications responded favorably to flower essences. (This study was published in Calix.)

As we follow individual cases, we find that after using flower essences for some time, most people are able to taper down their antidepressant dosages, or even discontinue them altogether. This varies from one individual to another. Many practitioners and patients report that they are able to make greater progress in dealing with the core issues underlying depression after they have reduced or eliminated their use of antidepressants.

It is important to realize that flower essences are not a substitute for antidepressants. The pharmaceutical drugs perform an often necessary function of controlling symptoms. Flower essences, by contrast, are catalysts for change. That means that when you choose flower essence therapy, you are choosing to work through the psychological blockages which are depressing your energy, and to find the sources of creativity and inspiration which can energize your life.

As for finding a practitioner, we suggest you contact our office (or search on-line starting in May), to find a local practitioner in our referral network. You can then suggest to the practitioner to participate in the Depression Study. However, because we have limited funding, the study does not subsidize the treatment by the practitioner.

Richard Katz

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