Integrative and Holistic Approaches to Mental Wellness
I was recently invited to present on the topic of Integrative Mental Health for WPPNT (WI Public Psychiatry Network Teleconference – a division of the Department of Health Services).
I had one hour to present all that I have learned since 2012. Unfortunately, I did not have time to cover all that I wanted to. However, my goal of getting the attention and interest of frontline MH workers in the state of WI was well achieved! 576 people attended this conference. The feedback was positive overall with many requesting a follow-up to my first presentation. My slides were extensive and shared with the attendees.
Here are a few takeaways from this talk:
- It is time to put to rest the “chemical imbalance” theory of mental illness. Because, current science does not support these hypotheses.
- It is time to consider mental illness as a larger imbalance in the psycho-neuro-immuno-endocrino-gut axis. We have to attempt to find the root cause of mental illness in the hopes of addressing these causes and bringing long term relief to the patients.
- Current practice of psychopharmacology first and other treatments second (diet, nutrition, lifestyle, meditation, exercise, stress resilience, etc) needs to upended and I argue for the new approach of diet/lifestyle intervention first and using psychopharmacology in a judicious, time-limited fashion purely for symptom relief – because psychiatric meds are really good for the very important function of temporary symptom relief; not remission or cure. They do not address the root causes of mental illness. And more importantly, they bring with them many side effects, some of them potentially irreversible.
- There are many reasons to be hopeful rather than to be pessimistic about mental wellness for our communities and our world!
- I would love for the pathway and strategies presented to be used across various sections of our society, irrespective of the paying power of our patients. Which requires policy and decision makers to be made aware of such advances in integrative psychiatry.
You can watch my entire presentation here: