What is Integrative Psychiatry?

Our passion is to change the way we diagnose and treat mood disorders. 

Traditional psychiatry focuses on symptom reduction and management.  The last 20 years of research using this method has shown there can be more than just brain chemical deficiencies that result in mood problems.  A nutritional deficiency can produce the same symptoms that traditional depression and anxiety symptoms are said to produce.   As a result of this treatment approach, too many patients with sadness, anxiety, insomnia, memory and focus "symptoms" are misdiagnosed as "treatment-resistant"– since the traditional psych medications aren’t relieving or "fixing" the problem.  Now the patient is given a "treatment resistant" diagnosis so more medication with stronger adverse effects can be prescribed in an attempt to control the symptoms. 

But what if the real problem is a low nutrient level, such as low magnesium levels?  How is an antidepressant that was designed to recycle serotonin so there is more serotonin available, going to fix a magnesium deficiency and the resulting lack of serotonin production?  It can't.  What the body needs is a way to make more serotonin or other brain transmitter signals if there is a short supply of that neurotransmitter in the body.

Our world is also full of toxins that can harm the body, producing symptoms that appear to be a mental health problem, but the cause isn't low serotonin, it's a toxic overload.  This is why we start with laboratory tests, if we don't test then we are just guessing.  I am not suggesting you stop your current medication and replace it with a nutritional supplement, that could have very negative results if you are not working with a professional medical provider, but by fixing the underlying problem we may be able to lower the medications you currently take, or even eliminate some, a lower dose means lower risk of side effects.

It's time to change our approach to mental health care and apply whole-person, precision medicine strategies.  It’s time to deliver better patient care.  Integrated psychiatry is a holistic approach where the whole life experience is looked at,  which means in addition to the brain, the body, mind, and environment are considered together in holistic practices.

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