DEPRESSION & ANXIETY
The Journal of the American Medical Association reported that 16.7 percent of 242 million U.S. adults reported filling one or more prescriptions for psychiatric drugs in 2013. This is a startling statistic in itself, but even more surprising when you see that it was 6.8% in 1999. That equates to a near 10 percent increase in the filling of psychiatric drugs over the course of 14 years.
Psychiatric medications do have their rightful place in medicine, but why are they prescribed so quickly, so often, and for such long durations without any thorough investigation into the causes? Many prescribing physicians are blaming depression and anxiety on a chemical imbalance that is most likely genetic in nature. This theory does not hold water when you actually research the probabilities and trends of known genetic disorders. Psychiatric illness can be complex and can be caused by multiple factors, many of which are present together.
Naturopathic Medicine can be very effective in alleviating a variety of mental/emotional imbalances such as:*
- Generalized Anxiety & Panic Attacks
- Depression & Apathy
- Seasonal Affective Disorder
- Autism / Asperger’s Syndrome
- Fears & Phobias
- Bipolar Disorder
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
The primary goal of Naturopathic Medicine is to discover and prescribe based on all possible underlying causes which may predispose the individual to a mental/emotional illness. These causes include factors such as:*
- Diet & Lifestyle
- Genetic Mutations
- Medication Reactions
- Nutrient Deficiencies/Excesses/Imbalances
- Food and Environmental Allergies
- Environmental Toxicity (chemicals, metals, mycotoxins)
- Hormonal Imbalances
- Digestive Disorders
- Chronic Stress / Adrenal Exhaustion
- Psychological Factors (helplessness, pessimism, behavioral patterning, etc.)
What is the problem with the standard drug approach?
Currently, the goal of modern medical psychiatry is to utilize medications that manipulate neurotransmitter levels in the brain in order to rid the individual of their psychological symptoms. Often these medications are prescribed with no concern about identifying or eliminating the factors that created the imbalances in the first place. In many cases, when the medication is discontinued the symptoms return. Typically, it can take many months before the correct combination of medication and dosage is found, if it ever is found. In many cases, psychiatric medications provide little to no relief in symptoms while greatly increasing side effects such as loss of libido, impotence, weight gain, emotional flatness, and insomnia. Although psychiatric medications can be of utmost importance for acute crises, they should not be mistaken as a long-term solution for mental/emotional imbalances.
The key to the effective amelioration of mental/emotional imbalance lies in the understanding that each individual can express the same symptoms for entirely different reasons and that it is far too simplistic to believe that a handful of prescription medications will be effective for everyone who is suffering. Each plan that we create is thoroughly researched and tailored to address the individual needs of each patient.