For many years the working model of depression was based on the idea that depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions were due to an imbalance of certain chemicals in the brain. Specifically, those chemicals are serotonin and dopamine. Which are known as the monoamines. This model is known as the monoaminergic model of depression. In recent years the monoamine model of depression has been updated to a much more complex system involving other important neurochemicals such as Glutamate, GABA and BDNF. Many of the current antidepressants work by increasing serotonin or dopamine in the brain. This updated more complex model helps to explain why the most frequently used depression medications are only 40 to 60% effective.
What’s becoming more clear is that yesterday’s depression medications are limited in the amount of benefit they provide for depression sufferers. Now for the good news, recently the psychiatric community has started to understand that there is more that patients and providers can do to treat depression.
Integrative psychiatry has become more and more popular as patients search for alternatives to traditional psychiatry treatment. Integrative psychiatry combines a thoughtful use of traditional medications in combination with complementary and alternative medicines (CAM), all backed by research. You are probably asking, “what is complementary and alternative medicine?” Great question, CAM is a very broad term that includes the use of supplements, lifestyle changes, and can include alternative medications to help treat your mental health symptoms.
Which makes sense, your mental wellness is a complex combination of the many factors that make up you. Why shouldn’t your treatment be as unique as you? This is why at Axis Integrated Mental Health we utilize a combination of the traditional depression treatments along with supplements, dietary changes, lifestyle changes, and alternative treatments such as Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS), ketamine infusion treatment, and esketamine nasal spray to help you address the long standing suffering you’ve been experiencing from depression anxiety, PTSD, ADHD, and OCD. In some cases patients are able to get relief from depression on fewer or no medications.
Integrative psychiatry is able to accomplish impressive results by approaching mental health treatment from many different angles. We first start by working to improve the patients mood so that they can engage in greater changes. Then, by addressing nutrition and gut health, we can optimize the gut bacteria’s production of serotonin and other important neurochemicals. While serotonin is not the only important neurotransmitter in depression treatment, naturally improving your bodies gut health helps to balance out other systems in your body.
Our approach also involves adding movement or exercise to your routine. While we don’t expect anyone to suddenly become an athlete, we do want to encourage increasing any level of movement. Whether that’s walking to the end of the block or running your first 5K. We encourage movement because the data supports the ability of regular movement or exercise to improve mood. By combining these lifestyle modifications together with thoughtful, medication prescribing, and regular therapy we help you treat your depression, anxiety, and PTSD with a treatment plan as unique as you.