I do not want to argue either, but I would like to clarify a few things that you mentioned. My son will not necessarily have to take medication the rest of his life. His doctor plans to discontinue it at a point when he feels that John is ready. If he does have to stay on it, so be it. It is far better than the major crisis which he was in when he first had OCD symptoms. Believe me, if medication is supposed to only be used for "more serious problems", it was definitely indicated for his case. I admit that I don't know that much about 5-htp, but I would much prefer to stick with what his psychiatrist recommends as his treatment. I trust him fully and he has years of experience with many OCD patients. My son is thriving and that is what is important to us all.
I agree that therapy is important, but sweeping generalizations that medicine is no good could be detrimental to people reading these postings. It may well be that medication is what they need to get better. I would never want to discourage them from trying something that may help. Perhaps you had a bad experience with medication? That can occasionally happen, and I'm sorry if you had to go through that. However, for some people it can be a lifesaver. I don't work for a pharmaceutical company, I just recognize the benefit that my son has experienced using an SSRI medication.
For every action, there is a reaction. So of course, any medication can have side effects. But you have to determine if the benefits outweigh the drawbacks. We don't know long-range side effects of so many things in our world today (another fear, perhaps?). But should that keep us from ever trying anything? I'm afraid that I am going on and on here, so I will leave this subject alone for the future. I responded because I felt like I had to support a proven method of treatment that others may be reluctant to try if I did not speak out. Thanks again for listening.
P.S. Lisa, thank you for your kind words.
John 16's Mom