INTEGRATIVE + ONLINE PSYCHIATRY + HOLISTIC HEALTH

Newsletters & FAQ

Archive of prior Newsletters & FAQ – Click Here

FAQ by Date below:

11/29/2018

What can we do? My 33-year-old son has mood and substance abuse problems.*

My wife and I have spent part of our life savings putting our son in various treatment programs for alcohol, drugs, and mood disorders. He has tried to commit suicide resulting in several hospitalizations.

He now is divorced, lost his job, and back living at home. It feels like conventional and public resources have failed us.

Where can we find help?

*The above question is a composite of many inquiries and not that of any actual or specific person.

Response:

I have compassion for you and your son. I can appreciate the pain, suffering, and frustration all of this has wrought on your family and personal resources.

For each unique situation, there are often hidden resources and solutions. There are always ways to better take care of you the caregivers, and of the person receiving your help.

There is a time to seek out the wise counsel of an experienced mentor or consultant. This can offer the opportunity for new perspectives, other options, and alternatives.

An analogy would be that of a struggling business that finally realizes, that it is time to call in a skilled accountant or business consultant.

See the recent article on “Expert mentoring services”.

11/13/2018

When is it safe to stop anti-depressant medications?

There are many variables to consider in making this decision. If you have a psychiatrist or experienced mental health healthcare provider to which you have access or with whom you have been working, the first step would be to seek their advice and recommendations. If you have been on the medication for a serious condition as major depression and the medication has been stabilizing for you, there may be considerable risk in stopping the medication without consultation and professional guidance.

There is a more comprehensive approach, in my opinion, done by psychiatrists trained in holistic and integrative psychiatry and medicine. The use of medications is reserved for situations where there has been a thorough evaluation of underlying or contributing factors, and trails when possible of non- medication or more natural therapies. For instance, a trauma survivor may do well with a skilled trauma based therapist and some lifestyle changes. But still, medication may be helpful or needed in certain indicated circumstance.

The “expert mentoring services” discussed in my recent blog post may be a consideration for helping you to look at your needs and possible choices. A mentor may have some suggestions about how to find local resources to help you manage your treatment with a local psychiatrist or skilled mental health provider.

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08/19/2018

Why doesn’t insurance cover all needed health care services?

The “expert mentoring services” discussed in my recent blog post – as an important or critical needed service in certain circumstances (link) – are usually paid for as an out of pocket expense and are not covered by conventional or commercial health insurance.

If you have a health care savings account, services sometimes are covered which may not be by other insurance providers. Presently, our health care and insurance-based coverage system is dysfunctional and lacking in many ways. Costs are excessive for insurance coverage provided – often with additional co-pays and disqualification clauses.

There is a positive movement towards a one-payer system, like Medicare for all, that will hopefully allow for a fairer and broader coverage of more of our population. It is yet to be seen whether new developing insurance programs will cover what is now considered optional or elective services.

“Expert mentoring” and guidance type of services are essential and critical when needed – either at the beginning or at any time during a health care encounter. If the advice or direction you get is working satisfactorily, and you are making the progress you expect, then continue with the guidance you are receiving. Good health care providers are trained to get a consultation from experts, or a more experienced person, when faced with a complex situation or where the provider has not had sufficient prior experience. If the provider makes a referral for consultation and it is considered a medical necessity, it may be covered by insurance.
Unfortunately, referrals or consultations often do not happen, and the person with the health problem suffers as a result. At this point, there is the option of paying for the needed help, mentoring or guidance, or finding ways to develop the self-education and the skills needed – to help resolve the problems or to improve on the current situation.

 What is the difference between “spiritual emergence”, integrative, and holistic approaches?

These terms, labels or descriptors have more in common than not.
All these terms imply a deeper, more comprehensive look at presenting issues or problems – whether simple or complex (link to a page on integrative medicine). The presenting symptoms or crisis are seen as an opportunity to evolve, learn, and restore health and wellbeing, or to improve on the current level of discomfort, pain or suffering. Presenting symptoms or complaints are generally seen as a sign of a person (body, mind, and spirit) attempting to resolve, restore, or heal an imbalance or dysfunction, or as a call for help and support.

The spiritual emergence work and programs in particular – The Center for Spiritual Emergence – supports the emergence and integration of a person’s essential spiritual nature as part of the path to wellness and wholeness.

Spiritual emergence is a natural opening and awakening that may occur when significant life difficulties or events arise. Some people will approach the challenge through an established faith tradition or systematic spiritual practices. While other individuals will become inspired and motivated by unexpected peak experiences that creates an opening for change and transformational work. The spiritual emergence experience allows an opportunity to embrace the natural connection to the larger healing and balanced state of being. This can bring lasting change to limiting, inflexible self-concepts (mind-ego) towards a more integrative, flexible, functional, enlightened and awakened self – the true and real basis of healing and restoration.

According to Christina and Stanislav Grof, M.D., “One of the most important implications… is the realization that many of the conditions, which are currently diagnosed as psychotic and indiscriminately treated by suppressive medication, are actually difficult stages of a radical personality transformation and spiritual opening. If they are correctly understood and supported, these psychospiritual crises can result in emotional and psychosomatic healing, remarkable psychological transformation, and consciousness evolution” (Grof & Grof, 1989, 1990).
http://www.centerforspiritualemergence.com/spiritual-emergenceemergency.html

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03/14/2018

What is the best solution for fatigue?

As I discussed in my last newsletter, in regards to mood and weight, I would give a similar response in regards to fatigue. With uniquely individual needs, there usually is no singular therapy, a medication, or a magic pill to remedy the situation. I again will review some simple guidelines that can be a starting point in your search for answers to a health issue.

Get a current check-up or consultation from an Integrative Medicine or Holistic Healthcare practitioner. A holistic approach would look for any contributors to fatigue problems – physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, interpersonal, nutritional, environmental, or lifestyle issues. The goal would be to eliminate or reduce any modifiable factors that interfere with you being successful in achieving your goal of more energy or whatever it might be.

Help might be simpler than you think, as correcting an anemia, a low thyroid problem, or an underlying infection. Other previously, unrecognized or thought unimportant, conditions that may need attention now, might include

  • Ongoing interpersonal conflicts, recent divorce or failed relationships
  • Stress overload with poor planning and time management
  • Job, career or financial loss, a recent move, or loss of a home
  • The death of a significant other or loved one
  • Auto accidents, recent surgery, or hospitalization for an illness or injury
  • History of trauma, abuse, or neglect
  • Emotional or mental health issues as anxiety,  depression, bipolarity, or post-trauma stress
  • Drug, alcohol abuse, addictions, or eating disorders.

Is there a holistic solution to overweight or obesity?

Weight and obesity problems have become widespread in our population – an epidemic. Research shows, that the main factors are the eating of much-processed food and refined carbohydrates, and not getting enough healthy fats, fiber, fruit, and vegetables. Focused attention should be on the addictive nature of sugar, processed foods, and refined carbohydrates. Develop a consistent exercise program. Choose a diet with:

  • More organic, whole, and plant-based foods
  • Avoid process foods with sugar, salt, and chemical additives
  • Eat plenty of vegetables, some beans, limited amounts of starchy whole grains (preferably gluten free and high fiber), fruits, nuts, healthy fats (like avocado, olive oil, fats in nuts and seeds)
  • if not vegetarian, choose organic, free range, chicken, beef, or fish from the ocean and unpolluted water sources

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01/17/2018

What is the best diet for someone with mood and weight problems?

My thoughts: Everyone is uniquely different, so one solution or a magic pill isn’t the answer. But there are some simple guidelines that can help you along the way.

If possible for you, get a current check-up by an Integrative Medicine or Holistic Healthcare practitioner. A holistic approach would look for any contributors to mood or weight problems – physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, interpersonal, nutritional, environmental, or lifestyle issues. The goal would be to eliminate or reduce any modifiable factors that interfere with you being successful with achieving optimal weight or moods. Get help if needed from a holistic healthcare practitioner or psychotherapist.

Some areas that may have been missed or thought unimportant, by you or a prior health care provider, that may need attention now, are:

  • Ongoing interpersonal conflicts, recent divorce or failed relationships
  • Stress overload with poor planning and time management
  • Job, career loss, a recent move, or loss of home
  • The death of a significant other or loved one
  • Auto accidents, recent surgery, or hospitalization for an illness or injury
  • History of trauma, abuse, or neglect
  • Emotional or mental health issues as anxiety, panic, depression, bipolarity
  • Drug, alcohol abuse, addictions, or eating disorders
  • Other unrecognized health and illness related problems.

Weight and obesity problems have become widespread in our population. Current research point to the eating of too much-processed food and refined carbohydrates and not enough healthy fats for calories. Attention needs to be focused on the addictive nature of sugar and refined carbohydrates. Develop a consistent exercise program. Choose a diet with:

  • More organic, whole and plant-based foods
  • Avoid process foods with sugar, salt, and chemical additives
  • Eat plenty of vegetables, some beans, limited amounts of starchy whole grains (preferably gluten-free), fruits, nuts, healthy fats (as avocado, olive oil, fats in nuts and seeds)
  • if not vegetarian, when possible, choose organic, free range, chicken, beef, or fish from the ocean or a natural unpolluted water source

 

 

 

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