Saul Marcus, ND - Naturopathic Doctor

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Holistic Health and Mental Illness

The pages on mental health are divided into two basic sections:

Articles about psychiatry and conventional treatment

  • Psychiatric Diagnosis
  • Psychiatric Philosophy
  • Antidepressants

Articles about natural alternatives

  • Amino Acids
  • Organic Acids
  • Toxicity
  • Candida and digestion
  • Brain allergies
  • Hormones
  • Nutritional
  • Organ systems and emotional relationships

Psychiatry Vs. Holistic assessment - an introduction

Psychiatry tells us that "mental illness" is caused by a “chemical imbalance” in the brain. Drugs are given to treat the chemical imbalance.

However this model often does not work and is plagued with problems:

  • No testing to uncover real causes of mental symptoms.
  • Numerous medication side effects.
  • Persistence of original symptoms.
  • No discussion of any alternatives.

What is "mental illness"?

The answer to this question depends upon what professional you ask

Psychiatric model

Mental illness is a brain disease.

  • Psychiatric illnesses are caused by inherit dysfunctions in brain biochemistry.
  • Treatment is with drugs (or other therapies such as electroshock) that directly alter brain function.

Psychiatric model says a chemical imbalance is the cause of mental illness.

Nutritional model of mental illness

Mental symptoms are caused by nutritional deficiency or toxicity.

  • Mental illness is caused by nutritional deficiencies and/or toxicity that interferes in brain biochemistry.
  • Treatment is by nutritional supplementation (B vitamins, fish oil, amino acids, etc...) and possibly detoxification.
  • While this is often a very useful model, at times it leads to a narrow understanding of what causes mental symptoms. People (including some practitioners) may fling huge doses of certain brain supplements at symptoms under the assumption that there must be a brain problem which is fixed by taking enough brain supplements.

Nutritional model says toxicity and poor deficiency are the causes of mental illness.

Holistic model of mental illness

The nutritional model is a significant step forward, but incomplete. We have to consider the whole person.

  • Emotions: This refers to what we feel. Emotional trauma can stay with us, and manifest as physical ailments.
  • Toxicity: Physical toxins such lead, mercury, organic pollutants and more.
  • Biochemistry: Refers to nutrition. Does someone has the basic raw ingredients they need?
  • Structure: Physical trauma, joint subluxation, etc...

A disturbance at any one of those areas can effect how the body functions and lead to symptoms. Treatment lies in correcting these underlining problems.

But I'm already taking supplements for my "mental illness," isn't that being holistic?

Certainly, in many situations supplements such as St. Johns wort, vitamin B12, fish oil and 5-htp (all of which are marketed for the treatment of mental symptoms) do help. However, as important as nutritional supplements, they may be only one small part of a truly holistic plan that incorporates all factors which lead to symptoms.

The purpose of this mental health guide is to

  • Highlight errors in psychiatry and conventional medicine as a whole in the treatment of mental symptoms.
  • Cover various causes and treatments which can be considered from a holistic perspective.
  • Hopefully give some guidance to people looking for help with mental symptoms.

Mental Illness versus mental symptom

The very term "mental illness" implies that there is a disease within the mind. As the following pages will show, this asumption is unfounded. I prefer to use the term mental symptoms because emotional states such as depression and anxiety symptoms of the true problem.

© Naturopathic Wellness, 2017