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.
I am a 58 y.o. man whose family crisis precipitated my own. Dormant for decades, but occasionally visible at times, I realized that I did not know who I was – no longer trusting the most fundamental characteristics of my life and self, having no sense of authenticity, or having any sense of what I was doing and why. I questioned my life in all its many aspects. This was accompanied by anxiety, anger, fear, self-imposed pressure, and resentment for many actual interpersonal conflicts or even perceived slights. My marriage was challenged, my ego was bruised, and my sleep was erratic (even with a sleeping aid). I had gained weight, had not exercised, or felt good in any way. My feelings of general anxiety and fear fed on themselves, and I felt depressed. I was a mess.
I attempted to call other practitioners, but only two responded and only one, Dr. Lee, actually called me. I felt desperate and made the appointment, but even as I did so, my skepticism of her approach and my natural fear of dealing with these various issues started to increase. While I have been always open to alternative ways of thinking, my spouse and I thought I needed a more “traditional” approach. Indeed, I thought I had diagnosed myself and knew what medication and therapy was needed. However, her alternative approach, although I did not know it when I started, was better.
Dr. Lee is a capable and caring practitioner. She is perhaps the most non-judgmental person I have ever met. She took all the necessary time (especially noteworthy in the first session) to listen to me thoroughly, posing comments and questions to ensure her understanding while challenging me to think everything through. She offered differing viewpoints to challenge my understanding of what I thought I knew. She also led me to perceive another possibility that I had either rejected earlier or was unable to see.
I felt much less anxious after our first session, and over time, I appreciated her eclectic use of various techniques. From the first day, she put me at ease, allowing me to talk openly and candidly while she listened attentively. As we moved forward over our visits, she introduced the energy medicine concept and later introduced appropriate dietary supplements. I was doubtful about the use of such supplements, but I am pleased I started. I should add that she never forced the use of the supplements, or even strongly suggested them, but she did allow me to consider them when I was ready. I have incorporated the energy medicine concept and use of some supplements to help in other aspects of my life, and both are helpful. She offered different ways of thinking about the same problem, many of which led to some soul-searching after the visit was over. Not surprisingly, some of my own readings were reinforced by her. She also offered items to read, which augmented our actual face-to-face sessions.
I have a new found perspective, one I did not think possible earlier. My anxiety has decreased significantly, I sleep generally soundly most evenings, my interaction with my spouse has improved, and I feel better mentally and physically. Dr. Lee has been a blessing.
I am 35 y.o., and have successfully gained my life back after having a severe mental breakdown due to trauma. My symptoms included frequent panic attacks, depersonalization episodes, the feeling that I was dead, that life was a set-up, that I was trapped in a system I had no control over, and that I was trapped in my body. I felt I wanted to die, but I was terrified of dying too. I was afraid of everything, and everything seemed overwhelming. I could not tell what was “real” and what was my imagination or dreams. I felt that I would never be ok again. Even though initially I could not leave my bed, except to go to my doctor’s appointments, because of my anxiety, I began to feel better and to have hope soon after I began treatment.
Before my breakdown, for three years, I lived abroad in a war-zone, where I had a very stressful job and life conditions. On top of this, I had travel to other continents frequently, financial problems, and sudden heartbreaking issues regarding my partner. I got to the point where my mind and my body could no longer function, and I broke-down.
The first 5 days of this experience seemed like the end of my life and my visit to hell. My family helped look for medical treatment, and my best friend referred me to Dr. Lee. I was so scared! I did not want to take prescription medications and was afraid that I was going to end-up in a psychiatric hospital or a prison. Her support changed my life!
Dr. Lee’s warmth and presence made me feel that I could trust her, and most importantly her confidence in the effectiveness of energy and orthomolecular medicine, her ability to explain it to me, and her believe in my own ability to heal, allowed me to recover. Dr. Lee’s holistic approach worked at many levels. The physical, through a series of supplements to detox and strengthen my body. The emotional, through cutting-edge techniques that helped me let go of the emotional trauma I was carrying. The mental through psychotherapy. And, the energetic through breathing techniques and energy healing.
Dr. Lee helped me to re-connect to my vitality–the energy in my life. Without having to take any prescription medications, in a matter of 6 months I was able to be on my own outside my flat going on a train to another city. I was still afraid but I was able to try it, to trust life and live life. By the 9th month, I was able to fully go back to a new job and to continue building a fulfilled life.
Dr. Lee is one of the best doctors and healers I have ever met. I highly recommend her and wish that our healthcare system could offer more of this type of holistic care that includes the physical, mental, emotional and energetic aspects of our being.
I’ve been seeing Dr. Lee twice a month since October, 2013, to treat the effects from severe postpartum depression that began eight years ago, as well as to help mitigate medication side effects, and to eventually wean myself off of them. Initially, I was on a high dosage of an antidepressant (200 mg, when the regular dosage is 50 mg), two thyroid medications, and experienced almost constant and painful GI symptoms and shoulder pain with no obvious cause. However, I was still feeling depressed and anxious.
I had tried many supplements, eliminated many foods, endured various diagnostic procedures, physical therapy, seen many doctors and practitioners, both conventional and holistic, with little to no relief. I felt I was sliding downward, my body and spirit breaking down. I was losing interest in life and things I used to enjoy and feared the effect it had on my son and all other relationships in my life.
I took various supplements she prescribed, and she used EFT, guided visualization, and orthomolecular/functional medicine for about two months, and I was pleasantly surprised at how soon I started feeling better.
She explained to me the risks, cost, and approximate duration of treatment, if I wanted to get off my medications, as well as what to expect in the process, and what symptoms to look out for. It was a significant time and financial commitment for me, but I chose to go ahead, because I felt my physical health was being significantly and negatively affected by my long term medication use. Yes, I could have chosen to change or add medication to try to address all the symptoms, but why risk putting more chemicals and potential toxins in my body, and likely more symptoms, when I had an effective alternative to actual health? And, as a holistic practitioner myself I most certainly wanted to make use of the very techniques I know to work.
I am now on my 8th month of treatment and feel increasingly better: the mental fog and lack of concentration, fears and anxiety are lifting and mostly gone, GI and shoulder pain are mostly gone, and most importantly, I’m beginning to feel like my old self again – happy, looking forward to things, and connecting with people. I’m starting to trust that my body can heal itself, and that I will be OK. My resilience to normal life obstacles is coming back. I am coming back. All this while steadily decreasing not only the antidepressant, but also both thyroid medications – I’m down to less than a third of what I used to take and looking forward to being medication free soon! I just wish I found Dr. Lee much, much sooner.
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.