Want to start 2017 with some good news? Sometimes working with patients challenged by mental health I get scared. A well-known colleague of mine introduced me to the notion of the ‘clinician in crisis’. The practitioner who, in the face of their patient’s extraordinary pain & distress feels overcome by the need to Do Something…Anything. Over time I have learned to spot, what we call a ‘desperation prescription’, the patient who is on 3+ psych medications all from different drug classes and still remains tragically symptomatic. It is potentially frightening stuff. I’ve had the same experience with patients using herbs and nutrients. The patient’s biological drivers may seem straight forward on paper, but they fail to respond as predicted. Nobody has a 100% success rate…not me, not Ben Lynch, not Kelly Brogan…as much as their marketing machines might make you think otherwise.
What the?…weren’t we going to start with some good news???
BUT…when I do have patients who experience a breakthrough with their depression or bipolar or anxiety or PTSD, it’s the most extraordinary and impacting thing. Whole walls, sky-high barriers that previously had surrounded them on all sides for months, for years, for decades, seem to dissolve before both of our eyes and in particular, the patient’s regained functionality and hope refuel my tank, help to soften the disappointments I carry for the ones I couldn’t help and make me take courage to get back in there to see more patients and keep trying.
Good news stories in mental health, often get overlooked. It’s hard to hear them sometimes against the wall of sound that repetitively says…“Warning! Warning,! We’re heading in the wrong direction, prevalence is up, treatment response is down, the medical model is broken.”
But listen closely, look more carefully, change your search terms and you will hear the counter-message that says something like…”Warning! Warning! Prevalence is up, traditional treatment response is down, the medical model is broken and a new understanding has emerged that is beyond ‘medical’, it’s about our environment: in simple solvable terms e.g., access to green space, and in complex more difficult to immediately solve ways, e.g, environmental contaminants, our diminishing social connectedness, our deteriorating nutrition, our struggle for meaning in our current global political climate and increasing narcissism.”
This is good news. If we better understand the true contributors to our mental health epidemic, we are on track to find true solutions. Oh and no…the solution won’t be a new antidepressant drug class…that’s something you can count on.
Watch this video. It doesn’t offer a medical prescription, a protocol or a one size fits all cure…but it is one of the most important messages we need to understand about mental health in order to keep up the audacity to continue helping people who present with any kind of psychiatric diagnosis and the boldness to keep treating it in ways beyond the medical model.
Thanks Kylie for sending me this one 😉 Happy new year all you lovely people out there 🙂
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