So it is 2020. Mental Health treatment is very similar to what it was in 1990 and 1960. The medications have changed somewhat. Psychotherapies have changed somewhat.
Some of us are very fortunate and have been immensely helped by medication and psychotherapy. But beginning in the early 2000’s I started to notice more and more people who were not helped by medication and/or psychotherapy.
My practice seem to ‘collect’ patients who weren’t getting improvement. If they got some improvement it only seemed to last several months. Another group of patients that seemed to gravitate to the practice were people who were having a lot of physical complaints but their primary care physicians said they could not find anything wrong with them. These individuals did not appear to be hypochondriacs either. My validation of their subjective experiences and acknowledging their sanity seem to provide some minimal comfort if not relief of symptoms.
I personally became burned out with the practice of psychiatry. It seemed I was limited to a smaller and smaller choice of medications. The prices became astronomical and very few people could afford medications without insurance. And the worst part was that fewer and fewer people were getting sustained improvement.
Slowly I have seen changes coming. The interesting thing is the changes are not coming from the physicians, hospitals, academic institutions or insurance companies. Individuals who have suffered are finding their own paths to mental wellness. People are doing research on the internet, speaking with others and trying different approaches.
Food and nutrition is being used (and finally academically studied) to promote mental wellness. Poisons (or toxins) are being discovered more and more in our foods and environment. Therefore, detoxification protocols are being designed to rid our bodies and brains of these poisons. Allergies and sensitivities to just about anything are overworking our immune systems. Then stealth infections from bacteria, viruses and parasites are being found and treated.
These are all mental wellness treatments that originate with the public. Changes are coming from tired and suffering people who are finding new paths to reclaim their mental wellness. Fortunately, I do see increasing momentum for individuals and physicians exploring new paths.
My path has broadened tremendously. I have known for a long while that the medication and psychotherapy model for mental wellness is far too narrow.
Where is your path leading you? If it has gotten you to where you want to be, congratulations! Has it gotten you the same old less than mediocre results? If so, maybe it is time to look at a more broad and different path.
Let me know if this makes sense to you. You can always sign up for a discovery call to discuss where you are on your path and if it is where you want to be.
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Dr. Laurie Goldman is a medical doctor, psychiatrist, and functional medicine practitioner who’s been in private practice since 1999. She founded Clear Path Wellness to help her patients reach their maximum state of mental and physical health using a personalized, comprehensive approach powered by the principles of functional medicine, which treats the whole person, not just symptoms.