Alice W. Lee, MD, ABIHM is a holistic and integrative psychiatrist practicing in Gaithersburg, Maryland, who combines nutritional medicine (orthomolecular psychiatry), energy medicine, and other alternative therapies in the holistic and integrative treatment of mental health conditions. Her training in child, adolescent & adult psychiatry and her clinical experience with prescription medications allow her to:
- Facilitate natural, rapid, and safe recovery from mental illness before resorting to the use of prescription medications.
- Reduce or eliminate the need for prescription medications.
- Tailor the treatment to the unique needs of each patient.
- Educate everyone about effective, safe, and natural healing approaches.
- Minimize withdrawal symptoms from medications.
- Allow for safe medication reduction prior to pregnancy.
- Reduce postpartum depression and anxiety.
- Provide young children with mental health issues a medication-free option.
Click here to learn about: Introduction to the Principles of Energy Medicine: The Effects of Consciousness on the Body (DVD).
Click here to learn about: Infinite Intention CD – A Groundbreaking Tool for Healing Body, Mind, and Spirit.
Click here to read Ten Practical Considerations During Medication Withdrawal.
Click here to read Holistic Psychiatry: Possibilities Beyond Conventional Psychiatry.
Radio Interviews with Alice W. Lee, M.D.
What is Holistic Psychiatry? – Interview with Dr. Rachael Sand (11/14/08)
Holistic Psychiatry – Interview on News for the Soul (2/5/05)
The content provided by this site is for informational purposes only and has not been approved by the U.S. FDA. This site is not intended to provide personal medical advice, which should be obtained from a medical professional.
When I first came to see Dr. Lee in September, 2012, I had recently been hospitalized for mania. Having lived with the ups and downs of bipolar for four years, I felt like I was a victim to the whims of my mood, a prisoner of my mind. Treatment with Dr. Lee was unlike anything I have ever experienced. For the first time, the focus was on my overall health, how toxins in my body affect mental health and how a lack of certain minerals and enzymes may contribute to bipolar episodes. This relieved me of the sense of guilt and shame I was carrying around, and I began to see an alternative to the damaging effects of taking lithium every day.
Dr. Lee also taught me energy medicine techniques, one of which involves tapping pressure points on the body while saying intentions. Her seamless combination of nutritional support and energy medicine has been a lifesaver for me. I have been off of lithium for six months now and am doing better than ever. I am able to handle stressors in life, including a demanding graduate school workload and a difficult breakup. The energy work has been especially important for me, allowing me to enter a calm state and release anxiety when I feel stressed or unable to cope.
I am now finishing up my graduate degree and moving to Thailand to teach English. When I left the hospital a year ago, having spent over a week there for a manic episode, I never thought I would be at the place I am at now. Thanks to the work I have done with Dr. Lee I have been able to reclaim my life, my happiness, and I no longer feel like a victim.
Please see this article in the New York Times for the story of a young man who was prescribed stimulants by psychiatrists, despite his parents’ repeated warnings of their son’s abuse of the medication and repeated psychotic symptoms, until the patient committed suicide:
Drowned in Prescriptions
Prescription medications can often cause addiction. Often a psychiatrist will not tell you this important fact before they prescribe the medication to you. Some are addictive because the patient end up craving the medication for the high it gives, or the patient will suddenly experience severe dips in their mood and cognition. Others are addictive because the patient end up depending on the medication, or the withdrawal symptoms, which are often far worse than the actual disorder, return quickly upon cessation of the medication.
As a psychiatrist who regularly help patients get off psychiatric medications, I know about the addictive potential of psychiatric medications, and what can happen to patients, if they try to get off their medications without understanding the risks of withdrawal. I also understand how to help patients taper medications gradually, safely, and comfortably.
Avoid the cycle of addiction by using nutritional supports, proper diet, and other stress reducing approaches such as meditation or acupressure techniques. Give your mind the chance to heal naturally and safely.
Clinical Tip #5: Life is a dynamically changing process, and just as health can improve, it can also deteriorate. Relapsing after a period of wellness happens when the amount of energy for maintaining health and well-being has been depleted so completely that there is no longer a way for the person to keep functioning adequately, even with all the intelligence and resources that the body has at its disposal.
Why do people relapse after being “healed” from their mental illness? The simplest answer is that the person has become stressed beyond what he or she can endure. When this happens, the “Achilles heel” of the person’s health condition will be the first to express its displeasure. If a person’s Achilles heel is inflammation, then aches or pains, eczema or psoriasis may appear. If a person’s Achilles heel is mental dysfunction, then distractibility, depression, mania, or psychosis may appear. This is the way the body tells us, “Ouch, I’m hurting!”
To get back to a true state of health then, would necessitate a reduction of stress. Stress comes from various aspects of life: spiritual, mental, emotional, physical, and social. For many, social stressors are the most difficult to prevent and address, because they are often due to the choices and actions of others. In order to maintain the healed state, however, the person must have the ability to overcome stressors, through coping strategies that they have learned, to keep their energies up.
There are as many ways to relapse as there are ways to heal. Here are just a few common reasons why people relapse after being “healed”, so avoid them like the plague:
1) Overconfidence in one’s ability to maintain one’s health when going back to past, unhealthy habits: e.g. smoking, marijauna, dieting and restrictions on food, eating junk food.
2) failure to continue to support one’s health nutritionally after stopping one’s medication(s). Sometimes nutritional supplementation may be necessary for the rest of the person’s life.
3) Social stressors not being dealt with appropriately when they occur: e.g. using EFT, getting support from others/professionals, increasing nutritional support.
4) Cutting back on treatment prematurely as soon as one feels well, rather than continuing to strengthen the foundation of health through ongoing integrative healing.
5) Stopping or tapering medications inappropriately and prematurely. An incomplete withdrawal process often results in a relapse of old symptoms a few months later.
6) Overdoing, overstretching, or trying to “catch up” on missed opportunities or activities. Ease into life after a long period of recovery and give the body a chance to gradually get accustomed to the stress of a full day of activities. Piling too much on one’s plate will end up punishing, rather than invigorating, one’s life.
Prevention of relapse should be part of one’s learning process during medication withdrawal. It relies on the understanding that health can only be maintained through the continued care and nurturing of one’s life. It is an an ongoing process that is dependent on a person’s daily choices. Hopefully this clinical tip will help you to stay on course in your maintenance of health and well-being.
Alice W. Lee, M.D.
Clinical Tip #4: When it comes to eliminating the most difficult symptoms, such as psychosis in schizophrenia, I find that supplements and diet alone is insufficient to do the amount of work required to help a patient heal completely. What is necessary is the integrative use of energy medicine: meditative techniques, using intention and visualization, and the use of acupressure and applied kinesiology (muscle testing).
Even within the alternative medicine community, there is a line physicians find difficult to cross, and that is the line between biochemistry and the quantum physics of energy medicine. But, what I find in my clinical work is that the appropriate integration of energy medicine is critical and indispensable in speeding up the healing process and helping me to successfully heal the hardest to heal disorders, such as schizophrenia with its accompanying dependency on one or more antipsychotic medications. The proof of this is in the dearth of clinicians who are able to successfully help a patient get off an antipsychotic and heal from schizophrenia. In fact, it is so unheard of, that any claims to doing so are generally discounted as being impossible. I believe that if clinicians were more open to using energy medicine, their successes and abilities would be significantly expanded, and more clinicians would have the ability to help patients get off their antipsychotic medications safely and recover from schizophrenia naturally.
There are a number of reasons why integrating energy medicine can be helpful:
1) It allows for quick access to information about the patient, regardless of distance or time constraints.
2) It creates the right framework of energy, information, and function for the supplements to work on.
3) It heals root causes, which have a general beneficial effect on the whole healing process, including the physical and social areas of functioning.
4) It allows changes to happen much faster than through biochemical pathways.
5) It empowers the patient learn simple techniques that allow them to take control of their recovery in a very positive way.
In addition to the academic skepticism engendered by energy medicine in alternative and integrative medicine, there are some patients who react to the power inherent in energy medicine with fear, rather than acceptance. They often do so because they believe it is a tool of the devil. Unfortunately for these patients, they lose the benefits from energy medicine that could lead them back to their highest potential, because of their association of these tools with their assumptions about God and religion.
Of course power can be dangerous, and may even seem God-like in its capacity. But for progress to occur, we must embrace power with wisdom, proper discernment, and charity. Without openness to change and innovation, we would be stuck in the past, unable to improve our knowledge and capabilities. Just as the caveman had to learn the uses of fire, create dwellings beyond a cave, and advance language over time, we need to learn the uses of energy medicine. In essence, energy medicine in the world of medicine is the fire of healing, protection against injury, and the language of the universe that is analogous to the advances found in bringing fire, dwellings, and language to the caveman era. Let’s use it for good.
Alice W. Lee, M.D.
My son started experiencing depersonalization episodes and panic attacks around age 14. It took him about a year to communicate what was happening to him. After a couple of sessions with a psychologist, she recommended psychiatric treatment for him, which probably meant treatment with antipsychotic medication or the like. Unable to face the possibility of having such a young person on that type of medication, I started exploring possibilities and ran into Dr. Lee.
Dr. Lee prescribed a natural holistic approach that included changes in diet (mainly avoiding wheat, dairy, refined sugar, and corn oil), natural supplements and energy medicine. After less than six months, my son’s symptoms improved substantially going from dozens of episodes a day to a few, milder, more manageable episodes a week. Side effects of these treatment included losing more than 65 pounds (without dieting), stabilizing after reaching his ideal weight, increased frequency in smiles and eye contact and increased frequency in prizes and awards won at school. Another benefit was, that since all the family went on the same diet, his brother’s acne disappeared once he stopped taking dairy.
Dr. Lee takes the time and effort to connect to the patient and family and is always researching and looking for methods to improve her rates of success and the well being of her patients. She has a very innovative, heartfelt approach that works amazingly well. Moreover, my son adores her and loves to go to her visits.