Disrupting the Way We View Mental Health

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Coming from a family of physicians, dinners and car rides were often used to discuss medicine and hospital politics. As I’ve grown into the person I truly am, I’ve started speaking my truth on these topics. Not surprisingly, meals and car rides are less peaceful, but hot with healthy debate. They say talk is cheap and if you mean it, you should write it. So here is my declaration:

I am a disruptor.

Status quo? Hell no! Medicine was once a healing art, not a quick fix. I believe in medication for acute care. When the medical issue has gone unaddressed and reaches a critical level, medicine should be used to shift our body into neutral. But where does that end and why do we stay on meds for so long? As I am most passionate about psychiatry, my social media soapbox begins there. 

I believe that treating a mood disorder with medication is perfectly acceptable until the body is restored to homeostasis. With an exit strategy in place, this doesn’t take more than 3-6 months at most. So why are mood disorders in this country continuing to get worse? Because most physicians prescribe without any plans, tools, or training to empower patients to reach their potential.

The most fundamental issue with American psychiatry is American psychiatrists. Why do we treat symptoms rather than the disorder? Because we don't understand the disorder. We don't understand that mental health can't be treated in a vacuum. You can't treat the mind separately from the body. We then frown at anything that challenges this norm.

But, the term “holistic” doesn’t mean fixing things with crazy herbs, it means looking at the entire person, not just the “problem.” Intuitively, our bodies know how to heal themselves. We just need to strengthen that connection by aligning our food, physical activity, relationships, career, and personal philosophy.

I didn't always feel this way though. I once felt that having a diagnosis comforted me. It was an explanation for everything I felt and who I was. My experiences and work to shift my perception have taught me that:

a diagnosis is simply a limiting belief that redirects us from our truth and ways we can help ourselves.

On a higher level, a diagnosis didn't serve me, it just kept me in my victim mentality.

So I ask you, when is the last time you allowed your body or intuition to participate in the therapeutic equation? Think about that the next time you head for your medicine cabinet. Soapbox sound off!