Author and Health Information Investigator
As a Clinical Social Worker (2 grad degrees, one in psychotherapy and one in
medical social work) I really did try everything. I have lived in sunny California
most of my life and when I moved to Fairbanks, Alaska I was NOT prepared for the
intense darkness of Winter. We are the "Land of the Midnight Sun (almost 24
hours in the Summer months, but the opposite part is "Land of the Noon-Time
Moon" for at least 3 or 4 months in the Winter time. I tried sun-light boxes for 22
years; I actually fell asleep against one for over an hour and a half!
I have had a private practice since 1990 and fell asleep on at least 2 patients
during their counseling sessions!! I tried to count my yawns in one day and it was
over 50. I was constantly apologizing to my patients for yawning and explaining
that I wasn't that I was bored with their story! I felt like the proverbial joke about
someone desperately calling a suicide hotline and being told they have to be put
I would drive home in the Arctic Winter dark and cry much of the way because I
was convinced I would eventually hit a car and kill a family. I sang loudly; I'd
scream repeatedly in an effort to up my adrenalin. I often turned the radio way up,
opened the window even at 40 below zero trying to shock myself awake. I dug my
fingernails into my palms trying to cause pain that would startle me, bit my lips...
nothing happened. I begged my doctor for answers. I even asked for Electric
Shock Treatment. (I had referred a patient for ECT years before. I knew the
research.) She was sympathetic but no go.
She decided to give me a high dose of Ritalin. I took 2 - 20mg sustained release
Ritalin a day with NO impact. I ATE COFFEE BEANS with the 40 mg of Ritalin; I
thought if I chewed the whole bean and swallowed it I'd get the most caffeine out
of them, but no change.) I was sleepwalking through the whole winter and
constantly afraid of killing people in my car.
Then a neuropsych friend in Canada mentioned the work of Dr. David Brownstein
with Iodine and told me to try Iodoral as a little pick-me-up for the tough Arctic
Winters. He didn't know about my struggles. I RAN to the local health food place,
bought the book and the Iodoral. About 3 weeks in to taking increasing amounts I
literally got up on a Saturday and was stunned to feel my brain come out of the Fog.
It was rather dramatic.
Turns out that if you have low thyroid Iodine can make a huge difference. Well, I
have been on synthetic thyroid and natural, also, but no change. Iodine has
changed my life!! I told my doctors and got no response. I have told anyone who
will listen and many of my patients are now taking it with amazing results. Of all
people, my dentist listened to me and his whole extended family are taking it now.
A wonderful extra surprise from the iodine is that throughout my whole life I have
had a struggle recalling names. Once the light-bulb went off 3 weeks into the
Iodoral titration I remembered almost everyone, even their dog's name or things
about their boyfriends just from our conversation!
I am very grateful to have a life. It has been 3 winters without ANY struggle. And, I
don't even YAWN! Who knew iodine would do that? I realized I had stopped
yawning when in April after the first winter on iodine I suddenly yawned and
realized it was my first yawn since taking iodine. Oh my! How can my doctor hear
my story and not care? I have given her the book by Brownstein and she is not
interested. I truly believe it saved my life, either from a terrible car accident or
Hope this info helps you get the word out. Feel free to use my name and
credentials. Thank you so much!
K. R., MSW, ACSW, DCSW, LCSW
(MSW is my degree, ACSW is the national license for social workers if their state
doesn't have a license program, DCSW it the highest credential the National
Association for Social Workers/NASW awards an advanced professional, and LCSW
is my state of Alaska license credential.)
Note from Lynne: K.R., the author of this case study, provided her real name but I've
chosen to keep her story anonymous.
Can iodine affect mental health?
A therapist describes how iodine pulled her out of a desperate depression
In compiling iodine case studies for my research, a therapist from Alaska
emailed me about how iodine had changed her life. --L.F.