Mental health conditions, such as anxiety or depression, are more common than ever before.
In most cases of conventional medical management, psychotropic drugs are the preferred line of treatment. But just what are they treating?
Taking insulin corrects a measurable and proven imbalance for type 1 and type 2 diabetics (who can have low or poor insulin function).
Taking T4 thyroid hormone corrects a measurable and proven imbalance for those with diagnosed hypothyroidism.
But when it comes to mental health conditions, there is no physical abnormality to correct, yet we still rely on medication as treatment.
The psychotropic drug given for depression is known as a Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SSRI), which blocks certain receptors in the brain. But those with depression do not have an SSRI deficiency, so the drug does not actually correct the underlying problem.
Psychotropic drugs are simply a band-aid treatment. That’s the reason 50-70% of patients with depression do not respond to approved antidepressant treatments, like SSRIs (1).
Treating The Real Cause
For a long time here at Darwin Dietitians we have aimed to raise awareness about just how influential diet and nutrition is on mental health and psychology.
By addressing nutrition status and vitamin/mineral deficiencies, we are able to target the underlying causes that are at the very heart of the problem. This is known as Nutritional Medicine.
In fact, the new position statement of the International Society for Nutritional Psychiatry recognises and embraces diet and nutrition as a central aspect of mental health treatment. They advocate that nutrition and nutraceuticals (some nutrient-based supplements) should be considered as mainstream elements of psychiatric practice, and that all research, education, policy, and health promotion should reflect this new paradigm (2).
If you have or know someone with anxiety or depression, we can help by taking a functional neurology approach- a non-drug approach towards management.
Many patients with issues ranging from pyroluria, MTHFR mutations, coeliac disease, nutrient deficiencies, chronic inflammation and more have had their anxiety and/or depression successfully resolved once we corrected the underlying problem.
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