Why might I need a consultation with a Psychiatrist?
Psychiatrists are mental health professionals who are also medical doctors, which means they can do a comprehensive diagnostic evaluation, order tests, and prescribe medications. They study internal medicine or pediatrics before their specialty training, which enables them to understand the contributing role of human physiology in creating syndromes such as depression, anxiety, and psychosis.
Most antidepressants in the United States are prescribed by primary care providers. They often will refer patients to psychiatrists because they are not responding to their attempts at treatment.
One of the advanteges of seeing a psychiatrist is that some of us included myself also do psychoterapy. Sometimes the intervention that needs to be made is not a change in medications but is psychoterapeutic one.
What is an Integrative Psychiatrist, and how is that different from a regular Psychiatrist?
An integrative psychiatrist provides all of the services of a traditional psychiatrist, in addition to looking for root causes of psychiatric conditions that can be treated with natural treatments such as herbs and supplements. Their assessment may include interpretation of tests such as the Organic Acid Test. These provide information about your gut microbiome, neurotransmitter levels, mitochondrial function, and nutritional status to guide treatment.
Most companies don’t cover the integrative medicine tests or supplements. Are they really necessary?
The initial evaluation includes assessing whether there might be medical and/or lifestyle factors involved in causing symptoms that don’t respond to medication. Testing is recommended when there is a history of exposures that put one at risk for gut dysbiosis, such having taken multiple antibiotics, and/or a history of substance abuse that can lead to a vitamin deficiency.