Integrative Mental Health
Creative, holistic approaches to restoring balance.
Most people think that depression is caused by low levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin. What few realize, however, is that the monoamine theory of depression is just a theory – and that about 30% of people do not feel better when they take serotonin-supporting medications.
There are many causes of depression, anxiety, addiction, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), schizophrenia, and other mood and mind disorders. Each case is unique. Whether they’re rooted in a hormone imbalance, nutritional deficiency, genetics, food intolerance, a disharmony between values and day-to-day life, isolation, physical pain, trauma, or any other combination of imbalances, mental and emotional disturbances are the filter through which we experience life.
Although psychiatric drugs work great for some, they are likely to work best when used as a part of a comprehensive treatment plan and not as a standalone therapy. Sleep, healthy eating, mindfulness meditation practices, exercise, psychotherapy, time in nature, and meaningful social connections are all cornerstones in both the prevention and treatment of mood disorders. Some people also require nutritional supplements, herbal therapies, and/or pharmaceutical psychiatric drugs, and yet others do well with Shamanic and entheogenic healing.
Assessment of a person’s endocrine, nervous, and digestive systems is imperative in the comprehensive workup and treatment of mood disorders, and is best done by a naturopathic physician (or other well-trained integrative provider).
Considering that the pathophysiology of depression includes inflammatory processes, assessing and addressing inflammatory response is likely an important step in treatment.
Screening for food intolerances, environmental exposures, and stealth infections is further indicated in some cases.
Nutritional deficiencies have been implicated in numerous mood disorders and are surprisingly common, as are high intestinal permeability (AKA “leaky gut”), celiac disease, non-celiac gluten sensitivity, and other digestive conditions that predispose individuals to nutritional malabsorption and neuroinflammation – all of which I can help you investigate and navigate.
It’s not all in your head.
There may be some very real causes behind your mood imbalances.
Let’s nourish those parts of you.