We don’t overuse psychiatric labels.
Do you suffer from a so called depressive or anxiety illness? Maybe you have bipolar disorder? Perhaps someone has told you your child has autism spectrum disorder, Asperger’s syndrome or ADHD? If so, we can help you or your loved one in ways that may not have been tried before.
We use holistic psychiatry. More on this shortly.
Do you cringe a little when you hear these labels bandied around? I don’t blame you! So do we. These labels are tools that serve a purpose, as they put a name to certain patterns of some psychiatric symptoms. Yet every single person with mental issues is an entirely unique individual and individual people rarely fit neatly into labelled boxes. This is why, in our opinion, some doctors are a little too concerned with labels.
The medical profession, generally speaking, tends to call a collection of symptoms and signs an illness. This helps a practitioner choose the “right” drug or treatment for the “correctly diagnosed” illness.
Yet individuals in the real world are all different. We think treatment needs to be tailored to an individual, not pre-determined by a label.
(This is not a spiel bad mouthing mainstream psychiatrists. The vast majority of psychiatrists are good, clever, intuitive, caring people. Good psychiatrists and other doctors do a whole lot more than just prescribe drugs. If you are lucky enough to have a proactive, open-minded psychiatrist or GP, hold on to him or her.)
The human brain is a very complex machine.
At Pulse, most of us think that each one of us is nothing more than a very complex bunch of chemicals. As such, we were all “dead” before we were born. One day we all will “die again” when those chemicals cease interacting together.
That does not mean we are not unique, interesting and valuable individuals.
Yet it does mean biochemistry influences our personalities. It is up to each one of us to make our chemical machines functional and happy. Holistic doctors and good naturopaths can help us do that.
We do not think that “mental illness” is necessarily an all or none phenomenon. We think that even people who are not “unwell” in any psychiatric sense, have, occasionally, some features of mild mental dysfunction. Think, for example, how irritable and tired the average person becomes during a bout of gastroenteritis.
That is because everyone’s “bunch of chemicals” sometimes malfunctions. We all can be “moody,” or “irritable,” or “down,” or “delusional,” or “paranoid,” or “opinionated,” or “anxious,” or “obsessive,” or “narcissistic,” or “depressed,” or “hormonal,” or “elevated,” or “driven,” or “hyped up,” or “panicky” to some degree sometimes.
Some of us are chronically tired, or grumpy, or forgetful. Some use too much alcohol, or marijuana, just to relax. Others just can’t get to sleep, or stay asleep. A few of of us have non-existent libidos. A multitude of different complicated biochemical abnormalities cause these problems.
Our brains are very susceptible to biochemical imbalances. This is an undeniable truth, even if you prefer to believe we each have a “soul” that constitutes our individual essence. Those of us who practice holistic psychiatry are more aware of these biochemical imbalances than some mainstream doctors.
What is more, we do not necessarily accept the so called “normal range” given by pathology companies as always reliable. For example, people with pyroluria need serum vitamin B6 to be at many times higher that the upper limit of “normal” to feel well. What is more, they also need many times the standard daily dose of zinc to be 100% well. Besides that, they need more omega 6’s than everyone else.
You, dear reader, may happen to suffer overtly from some of these symptoms. If so, you have a biochemical abnormality, and holistic doctors and good naturopaths can help you.
So what? How can we ( Mark, Tracy, Nicole, Gina or Danielle ) help you? We think we know about some of the genetic and environmental causes of mental illness. Yet we don’t think we are gurus – other people discovered this information and they are more clever than us. Fortunately these pioneering researchers have shared their knowledge, and still do.
We discovered and learned from their work. So there are many other practitioners like us all around the world. We here at Pulse are proudly part of this community; a largish, worldwide fraternity of integrative/holistic/functional doctors and psychiatrists. Biobalance Australia is part of it. http://www.biobalance.org.au/
Educated and informed people from all walks of life are knocking on our door. The internet and word of mouth spread the knowledge.
These people have realised that their mental health is not always just about taking the right drug, or even seeing the psychologist, so they seek out holistic doctors and good naturopaths. They want something complimentary. You may be one of them.
Don’t follow the money trail.
You may be wondering
“Ok…that sounds interesting, but how do you know about this, when so many clever doctors don’t?” The answer is, at least in part, to do with money.
Drug companies are out to make a profit. They pay for expensive trials that prove their drug is useful. This “proof,” often described under the umbrella term “evidence based medicine,” dominates the medical psychiatric literature.
Yet evidence obtained from trials paid for by drug companies may have a few fundamental problems associated with it. The drug companies are profit driven commercial enterprises. So they will rarely fund a trial questioning whether a non-pharmaceutical treatment undermines their product. Why would they? As a consequence, most well-meaning doctors read literature that has a pro-drug bias.
That unfortunately may leave the mainstream medical world ignorant of treatment that could make their patients better.
“Natural” treatments don’t have a patent that a drug company can easily profit from. So it is very unlikely that a pharmaceutical company will ever investigate a “natural” treatment that doesn’t use a (profit making) drug.
This is not “conspiracy theory” information. It is just commercial reality.
For example, a drug company is unlikely to pay for a trial examining the health benefits of sunlight exposure because they can’t sell you sunlight! Yet some depressed people on the Sunshine Coast would feel a lot better within a week or so if they stripped down and went outside.
Another example is that depressed or anxious people with pyroluria need high dose zinc and vitamin B6, but there are no patents on these products. So it is not surprising that no drug company to our knowledge has ever seriously looked into pyroluria.
Drug companies pay for the biggest trials. That means they come up with the most convincing “evidence.” This evidence usually revolves around a product that can be sold.
What is more, it is unfortunate that many companies don’t publish facts that don’t support the use of their drug.
Please consider what this means; that there is a bias in the literature that informs doctors. I talk to many drug representatives on the Sunshine Coast who, off the record, will admit the above is true.
Holistic doctors around the world are trying to change that by spreading the word about holistic psychiatry, yet we are occasionally bad-mouthed by a few of our more mainstream colleagues.
The Nature of Psychiatric Illness.
We (the public) need to think carefully about the nature of psychiatric illness. It should be intuitively obvious that something in our biochemistry gone wrong causes “depression” or “anxiety” or “psychosis.”
This is usually due to some unfortunate interaction between our genes and our environment.
Human beings evolved into our current “shape” at least 100,000 years ago. So if 21st century people on the Sunshine Coast could travel back in time, we could probably reproduce with our ancestors.
It is highly likely our ancestors suffered the same mental illnesses (although probably far less commonly) that we suffer from today.
Most people on the Sunshine Coast think modern day stressors cause our mental illnesses, and this is partly true. Yet if our ancestors could get mentally unwell, there must be some common factors between then and now.
It therefore makes sense to assume that mental illnesses can also be due to a deficiency of something integral to our biochemistry. Or, we have been unwittingly exposed to something toxic that has caused our mental illness.
It’s not just all about taking a Pill.
It should be an intuitive truth that a mental illness, at its core, is not the result of not taking a drug. “Depression,” for example, is not caused by a prozac deficiency. While it is true that the prozac, or some other drug, may help relieve the symptoms, the drug is probably not addressing the funamental root cause of the problem.
So the holistic doctor or good naturopath looks at the “big picture” when it comes to mental health issues. For example, we know depressive symptoms may be due to a zinc, vitamin D, intra cerebral B12 or thyroid hormone deficiency or a heavy metal toxicity. Or, an inflamed may cause depressive symptoms. An inflamed small intestine due to gluten sensitivity or chronic infection may cause the inflamed brain. There are hundreds of similar examples in the field of holistic psychiatry.
Can you follow my reasoning to an inevitable conclusion? Our brains are intricately linked to all our other organs! It is obvious that there are biochemical processes going wrong in our brains due to problems in other organs. The gut, thyroid, liver and the skin are good examples.
Ipse facto, our psychotropic drugs, which work primarily only on our brains, don’t directly address the root cause of most psychiatric symptoms. That means that mainstream psychiatry may be seriously missing treating the core of much psychiatric illness.
Therefore holistic psychiatry (or functional psychiatry, or integrative psychiatry) should, in most cases, be the one of the primary way to optimise mental health.
Holistic doctors and good naturopaths don’t just look at the brain in isolation. We know that the brain, which is the essence of our identity, is totally reliant on all our other organs for optimal health. Furthermore, we also know that genetics determine our brain health to some degree.
Please understand that most holistic doctors who practise holistic psychiatry are not overtly anti pharmaceuticals. Tracy, Mark or Nicole will sometimes write a script for a psychotropic drug. Yet we know there is much more to holistic psychiatry than just prescribing drugs.
Finding the root cause using Holistic Psychiatry.
Holistic doctors like us, and good naturopaths like Gina and Danielle, strive to discover the abnormal biochemistry that causes mental symptoms. To search for causes is exciting, as it opens up the possibility of finding a genuine cure.
This means we at Pulse may help you in a way that no pharmaceutical drug can. Maybe you think that sounds like we are making false claims to sell you a spiel? If so, you may miss out.
We can only help people who are open minded. So if you are unwell, it might be best to put your cynicism in your back pocket and come see us. Or find someone else like us to help you.
You may try to treat yourself. Yet we think it is almost impossible for people to diagnose and treat themselves. Rather, our holistic doctors and good naturopaths at Pulse on the Sunshine Coast have the knowledge, the investigative tools, and the experience to help you using holistic psychiatry.
Our holistic doctors and good naturopaths may test you for…
Vitamin D deficiency
Omega 3 deficiency
Omega 6 deficiency
Chronic gut infections and microbiome imbalances, leaky gut
Coenzyme Q10 deficiency
Heavy metal toxicity
Whole blood histamine level
Issues associated with these conditions and tests are at the core of much holistic psychiatry.
Whenever we, at Pulse, discover the probable causes of a patient’s problems, we download relevant information to them. This is part of the service we give you. Knowledge is wonderful and empowering. What is more, an informed patient is often a more compliant patient.
Are you willing to change your biochemistry? Or your loved one’s biochemistry? Perhaps holistic psychiatry can help!