Journal article

'I'm managing myself': how and why people use St John's wort as a strategy to manage their mental health risk

Sophie Lewis, Karen Willis, Renata Kokanovic, Marie Pirotta

Health Risk & Society | ROUTLEDGE JOURNALS, TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD | Published : 2015


In this article, we examine the choice to use a complementary and alternative medicine product (St John’s wort) for the management of mental health risk. We draw on data from a study in which we conducted in-depth, semi-structured interviews with 41 adults who self-reported depression, stress or anxiety, in Melbourne, Australia, in 2011. We identified three groups of users – regular St John’s wort users, whose use was continuous; irregular users, whose use was occasional; and non-users, who had stopped or were contemplating use. In each group, St John’s wort use centred around managing risk, taking control and self-management. Participants described a process of weighing up risks and benefit..

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University of Melbourne Researchers