Psychiatry Redefined began as an effort to address the deficiencies in modern psychiatry’s approach to mental health care. Treating patients with medications based almost exclusively on an intake and history is rarely a comprehensive solution to a patient’s symptoms. This one-size-fits-all approach minimizes patients’ individuality while focusing on a physician’s best guess as to medication treatment.
Patients are unique, with numerous components that can all contribute to mental health, including nutrient deficiencies, hormonal imbalances, gut flora problems, toxicities, chronic infections, genetic factors, and personal history.
Recognizing the uniqueness of patients and providing a more comprehensive assessment and treatment is the foundation of Functional Psychiatry.
Inflammation is another factor that can often play a role in mental health.
Studies have found elevated levels of inflammation in patients with depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and obsessive compulsive disorder (Fries 2019, Müller 2018, Renna 2018). When inflammation is present in patients that are struggling with depression, they are often more resistant to medication treatment (Strawbridge 2015), and treating the inflammation can yield benefits in reducing depressive symptoms.
However, the latest study on treating inflammation in treatment-resistant depression found no benefits (Hellmann-Regen 2022). In the study, minocycline, an antibiotic with the ability to cross the blood-brain barrier that also possesses anti-inflammatory properties, was added to patients’ stable antidepressant regimens. While the study included patients who were all deemed “treatment resistant,” they did not measure or check for any indication that patients actually had excess inflammation.
Previous research has suggested that only depressed patients with elevated inflammatory markers respond to anti-inflammatory treatments (Porcu 2018).
Why the authors did not decide to measure inflammation levels when treating patients with an anti-inflammatory is somewhat inexplicable, yet it follows the main failings of standard psychiatry.
Functional Psychiatry is precision mental health care that focuses on understanding the unique aspects of every patient. When treatment is tailored to an individual’s needs and unique risk factors, the treatment works better. And testing is the only way to get objective data on the underlying causes that are contributing to a patient’s symptoms.
Through specialized testing and assessment, treatments can be fine-tuned to each patient’s needs and biochemistry.
We desperately need a new paradigm for mental health care in this country. At Psychiatry Redefined, we are focused on building a new foundation for that paradigm by providing training in personalized mental-health assessment and treatment.
Together we can transform the practice of modern psychiatry and redefine mental health care.
Fries GR, Walss-Bass C, Bauer ME, Teixeira AL. Revisiting inflammation in bipolar disorder. Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2019;177:12-19. doi:10.1016/j.pbb.2018.12.006
Müller N. Inflammation in Schizophrenia: Pathogenetic Aspects and Therapeutic Considerations. Schizophr Bull. 2018;44(5):973-982. doi:10.1093/schbul/sby024
Renna ME, O’Toole MS, Spaeth PE, Lekander M, Mennin DS. The association between anxiety, traumatic stress, and obsessive-compulsive disorders and chronic inflammation: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Depress Anxiety. 2018;35(11):1081-1094. doi:10.1002/da.22790
Strawbridge R, Arnone D, Danese A, Papadopoulos A, Herane Vives A, Cleare AJ. Inflammation and clinical response to treatment in depression: A meta-analysis. Eur Neuropsychopharmacol. 2015;25(10):1532-1543. doi:10.1016/j.euroneuro.2015.
Hellmann-Regen J, Clemens V, Grözinger M, et al. Effect of Minocycline on Depressive Symptoms in Patients With Treatment-Resistant Depression: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Netw Open. 2022;5(9):e2230367. Published 2022 Sep 1. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.