What is holistic psychiatry?
Holistic psychiatry is a form of healing that considers the whole person - body, mind, emotions, and spirit. Holistic psychiatry uses conventional, nutritional, and functional medicine, as well as mind-body/energy medicine to restore health as naturally and efficiently as possible.
In holistic psychiatry, we seek to identify the root cause of symptoms. Labs are drawn. Environmental influences are examined. Lifestyle and thought patterns are explored. The goal is to get to the source of the symptoms and fix the underlying issues.
Treatment is highly individualized and developed for each patient based on their unique needs. When indicated, medications may be used in combination with other modalities to optimize well-being and health.
How is holistic psychiatry different?
Traditionally, psychiatry is a very subjective area of medicine. This means you could see one provider and be diagnosed with depression and see another and be diagnosed with bipolar disorder. While there are guidelines for diagnosing (the DSM-V), there are no definitive tests like x-rays, blood tests, or MRI's that can confirm the condition. Diagnoses are dependent on the patient's relaying of symptoms and the provider matching those symptoms to a checklist. If the right questions aren't asked, the diagnosis may be inaccurate.
In addition, many of the symptoms of mental illness are the same symptoms of physical disorders including food allergies, heavy metal toxicity, nutritional deficiencies, and hormonal imbalances.
For example, a patient may present with the follow symptoms:
These symptoms all meet the diagnostic criteria of MDD (major depressive disorder). However, these symptoms also meet the criteria for thyroid disorders and for vitamin D deficiency. How do we know which is the root cause? In traditional psychiatry, the symptoms would be treated with antidepressants. In holistic psychiatry, we want to know the root cause of the symptoms. Using conventional and integrative laboratory work, motivational interviewing, and intuitive understanding, holistic psychiatry works to fix the root cause, rather than just treating the symptoms.
Do you prescribe medications?
Yes, we acknowledge that traditional psychotropic medications may be right for some patients, and when indicated, may be used short term. Most of these medications have only been tested for short-term use (8-12 week studies) in very specific populations of people. Their long term efficacy has not been studied. In addition, most psychotropic medications are known for their iatrogenic effects (toxic effects from a medical treatment). As a result, we desire to use medications on a short-term basis when needed.
Our practice, however, does not prescribe stimulants (i.e. Adderall, Vyvanse, Concerta).
What other modalities does your practice utilize?
In addition to medication management, our practice provides several modalities to optimize our patient’s health and well-being.