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Did you know that half of the population will need help with a mental illness at some time in their life? It’s not something to be ashamed of. Really. I don’t know anybody who hasn’t been depressed, anxious, in toxic relationships, or just plain miserable at one time or another. This may well be the time for you to seek help. You may be depressed or grieving right now because of Covid 19. Separation from the life you had before, and isolation from friends and loved ones has their negative impact on us all.

Have you ever heard of integrative medicine?

It’s a healing-oriented medicine that looks at the whole person, including the physical, emotional, mental, social, spiritual and environmental influences that affect a person’s emotional and physical health. This is a very cool and important way of looking at health because it acknowledges that if something is wrong with the mind, or the environment, or with personal relations, physical health can be affected.

Integrative psychiatry works along the same principles

Along with traditional treatments like talk therapy and prescribing medications, Integrative psychiatry will also use treatments that involve physical wellness like nutrition, exercise, bodywork, eye movement, and more.

The exciting news? Integrative psychiatry can help you create a wellness plan for your entire life and its absolutely transformational for millions of people. How do I know? It worked for me.

When I was miserable I reached out for help

Years ago, weepy and raw from a break-up and a relapse, I began meeting with a new therapist. The first thing she said to me was, “If we’re going to work together, I’m going to need you to agree to take care of yourself and be willing to exercise and gain weight.” I was surprised at the time, but looking back, it made all the difference. Too thin and too weak from a spinal surgery, I was in a sad mood that was no help. To feel better fast, I had to get those endorphins up and feed my brain and body. That was my introduction to integrative psychiatry, though I didn’t know it at the time. 

Today, for me, it has grown to diet, exercise, yoga, meditation, chanting, reading, writing, taking care of animals, and spending considerable time in nature. That is my recipe for mental health today even more than traditional therapy. Don’t misunderstand, I still take a mild anti-depressant and go back to therapy or life-coaching when necessary, but healthy living has made mental health so much easier. 

Integrative psychiatry is not for everyone

For those who are battling clinical depression or other serious mental health issues, diet and exercise are not going to do the trick. Not to say these lifestyle adjustments aren’t important and can’t help anyone, they most certainly can. But, integrative psychiatry works particularly well for people who have been turned off by traditional psychiatry or who see great value in self-improvement in all areas of life. Personally, I battle mild depression and anxiety, so making these lifestyle changes while also getting therapy or coaching has radically improved my wellness and happiness. Moreover, when I’m feeling anxious or depressed, I often look to my lifestyle to see what’s lacking and without fail something can always be found.

Don’t believe the hype that medications are discouraged

Integrative psychiatry does not discourage the use of medication. If prescription medication is required, that will absolutely be a part of a treatment plan. Another misconception is that Integrative psychiatry only looks at a person’s mental health. While physical health may be explored as part of the big picture, it certainly isn’t the whole picture! 

Integrative psychiatry is not just about natural remedies

Not every patient seeking help is a natural remedy person. People want to know all the options and give them a try in a safe environment. If one treatment doesn’t work, they can try another treatment with ease. For example, you might want to try medicine and meditation together.

These are just a few reasons why integrative psychiatry is a unique practice that should be explored. It’s not only good for mental health problems, but also for physical health and for people who have external problems such as relationships, family, and other difficulties. And who doesn’t?

Yes, you can ask for help and feel better

If you are having a problem, talk to a counselor or integrative psychiatrist. There is no shame in admitting when you need help. Someone who deals with integrative psychiatry can try different treatments until they find the best method that works for you. You may not realize how much you like meditation or massages. Everyone reacts differently, and be treating your problems; you can then learn how to prevent them and then move onto something bigger. Speak to a licensed professional today about your problems, and get the assistance you need.


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Lindsey Glass

Lindsey Glass is the co-founder of Reach Out Recovery. Her 2016 ASAM Media Award winning documentary, The Secret World Of Recovery, has helped to lift the stigma from addiction and recovery and is used in recovery programs nationwide to show what life is like on the other side of addiction. Lindsey's teen prevention documentary, The Silent Majority, was distributed to PBS stations nationwide by American Public Television in 2014-15. Lindsey has written dozens of popular articles on recovery. She is a recovery advocate and frequent keynote speaker. Lindsey is the author of 100 Tips for Growing Up, My 20 Years of Recovery, 2019. Before focusing on recovery, Lindsey was a TV and screenwriter. She has worked in publishing, web development, and marketing.

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