I was at a mental health conference in Chicago two weeks ago. At the conference, there was a wide variety of specialists touting innovations in mental health care. Many of these ideas revolved around products and services supporting medication-based treatments. Much of the money supporting the event was from the pharmaceutical industry.
With our focus on functional and integrative medicine for mental health, to say that we stuck out was an understatement. When we mingled with the other conference attendees, conversations naturally moved to, “What does Psychiatry Redefined do?”
And the dance began.
Nearly every conversation eventually became personal, with stories of loved ones struggling with different psychiatric and health conditions: a parent managing a child struggling with ADHD, an adult with long-term Lyme Disease and depression, and so on. These well-educated physicians were frustrated with the poor results from standard, medication-based treatments – and very curious about our personalized, precision medicine approach to mental health care.
This happens all the time. When people hear about our personalized approach to treatment, they want help for a loved one. It’s the big leveling field. Psychiatry Redefined is the “little engine” that could – making the innovative changes that matter and providing better, long-term results for family members, friends and loved ones.
Events like this always remind me that we are doing the right thing, as treatment barriers are slowly breaking down and mainstream medicine is starting to take notice.
A Conference on Lyme
After the mental health conference in Chicago, I attended the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society (ILADS) Conference as a guest of Rick Delude, MD, a physician who spent seven years and virtually unlimited resources trying to get help for his son Alec. While I’ve long been aware of the connection between chronic infections and mental health—we teach about the treatment of chronic infections in our Psychiatry Redefined coursework—aspects of the conference were both heartbreaking and transformative.
Alec was a healthy, intelligent and athletic young adult with a love of the outdoors. Unfortunately, early into his college career, Alec began to rapidly transform. It started with unrelenting headaches and brain fog that were not responsive to treatment. As the symptoms progressed, Alec began to struggle with depression, eventually spiraling into additional symptoms diagnosed as obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety, depression and insomnia. As the parade of doctors kept prescribing pills, Alec’s condition only worsened. He was in and out of the hospital, experiencing episodes of rage and psychosis. Alec’s thoughts turned dark and he struggled with thoughts of suicide.
It took years of investigation for anyone to uncover the root cause of Alec’s symptoms; multiple infections acquired from a tick bite that had dire mental health consequences. Alec’s case is a tragic reminder of one of the most overlooked causes of mental illness: chronic infections. Please read more of Alec’s story here.
At the same conference, I sat next to two other physicians who had also lost children to suicide from tick-borne-disease-driven mental health conditions. While not widely recognized by mainstream medicine, infectious conditions transmitted by tick bites can have devastating mental health consequences.
The Psychiatry Redefined Fellowship
Our families, friends and loved ones deserve personalized treatment to resolve underlying issues like infections, toxins and inflammation. Traditional psychiatry has been slow to adopt this approach, and in the meantime, patients are suffering.
The solution? Changing our approach to mental health care treatment – and that begins with comprehensive, science-backed practitioner education in root cause medicine.
Changing patient lives begins with understanding the underlying causes of mental illness.
At Psychiatry Redefined, we are that village of change.
As the January 2024 Fellowship cohort grows, I have a renewed sense of energy and commitment. Every new Fellow means thousands more patients who will have a chance at more comprehensive care and lasting recovery. I couldn’t be more proud to be leading this extraordinary group of healthcare providers transforming the practice of mental health care.
If you are interested in our Fellowship training, I would love to talk with you personally and help you determine if this training is right for you and your clinical goals. Practitioners of all backgrounds are welcome and can benefit from this robust training. Please feel free to book a private phone call with me to learn more.
For more about Alec’s story and his father’s work to expand our understanding of tick-borne disease, click here.