Did you know that there are two health professionals that rarely or never look at or investigate the human organ they are treating? Psychologists and psychiatrists rarely order tests such as an EEG (brain wave) to determine what is happening in the brain. Does that surprise you? Instead of seeing if there are any abnormal wave forms that could be causing the mental disorder, medications are prescribed…antidepressants, anti-anxiety drugs, mood stabilizers and a host of other psychotropic medications. Do you wonder why? So do I. I have said this before that it is critical to know the state of the brain’s health if there are symptoms of brain dysfunction.
Not only is it important to know what state of health the brain is in, it is critical that a physician look carefully at the whole body to see if there are any conditions that are contributing to the mental symptoms a person is experiencing. Up to 40% of mental health patients are found to have medical ailments that could adequately explain their symptoms.
If you look at the underlying causes of many common diagnoses like bipolar disorders and major depression, you will find that the etiologies are often unknown or not clearly understood. A thorough physical examination and appropriate lab tests are often overlooked. But, the prescription pad is actually lying in the doctor’s drawer waiting to be quickly pulled out and a pharmaceutical drug prescribed. If you are having mental health problems, please ask your doctor lots of questions, like “what might be causing my depression or why do my moods swing so erratically even though I am doing everything I know to do to lead a healthy life?” “Doctor, please explain to me what is causing my distress.”
I think this are very good questions, and it is up to you to ask them. Don’t just settle for a prescription to mask the symptoms. You may actually be causing yourself more harm.
Failing to identify the medical conditions that may be causing or worsening mental symptoms may lead to:
- Worsening of mental symptoms
- Worsening of the physical illness
- Unnecessary and dangerous use of psychiatric drugs
- Shortened life span.
I practice holistic medicine, and it is my commitment to try to find the underlying cause of your health problems. If you have a nail in your foot as the cause of your pain, let us seek first to find the nail and remove it. Makes sense, doesn’t it? If your problem is in your GI tract, it makes sense to take a thorough look at how you digest, absorb and assimilate food. Remember, the gut is sometimes called the “second brain” because of the large enteric (gut) nervous system that makes the same neurotransmitters your brain make.
My point here is this: When you go to a doctor or any health care provider, ask a lot of questions before you take that slip of paper to the pharmacist. You might not even need it or it might just cause your health to decline. Ask your doctor to create a treatment plan with you so you know where you are going and the tools you need for a safe journey to full health restoration.
I look forward to healing from you. Please call me at 303-986-0492 for a free telephone chat.
Wanda Bedinghaus, MD
Medical Director of Healing Unleashed