Many people who bring up mental health concerns to their medical doctor get a referral to see a psychiatrist. But did you know that naturopathic doctors can also help you with mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression? When it comes to mental wellness, psychiatry and naturopathic medicine actually work really well together. Read on to find out why.
A naturopath can determine any deficiencies
It seems like in some cases, a mental health condition is simply a deficiency of a certain nutrient or nutrients. For example, a deficiency of any of the following nutrients can contribute to depression and anxiety:
- Vitamin B12
- Vitamin B6
- Healthy fats (omega-3’s)
- Vitamin D
- Amino acids
Your naturopathic doctor will be able to look at your diet and, as a result, see where there are any nutrient gaps. For certain nutrients, your naturopath can run tests to see what your levels are. They will then work with you to optimize your diet and recommend supplementation (such as a vitamin or mineral, for example) if it’s warranted.
Talk through your mental health concerns with a psychiatrist
Yes, there are a few situations where correcting a nutrient deficiency is all it takes to help balance your mood. But if you are having negative thought patterns or haven’t yet healed from past trauma, no amount of supplementation will fix that. However, this is where a psychiatrist comes in. They can provide one of the most valuable tools there is: a listening ear. In addition, they can provide cognitive behavioral therapy, or “CBT” for short. Put simply, CBT helps to change the way you think. Sometimes all it takes is a session or two to put things in perspective and have your low mood and anxious thoughts go away.
A naturopath can provide herbal support
Sometimes people suffering from a severe bout of depression or anxiety will require medication. That is completely fine and nothing to be ashamed about. For milder cases, however, you could benefit from taking herbs. These could be in tea, capsule, tablet, or powder form. For example, an oft-talked-about herb used in the treatment of depression is St. Johns Wort. Certain herbs can interact with other medications or supplements you are taking (St. Johns Wort being one of them). If you think this is something that might help you, it is certainly very important to ask a naturopath about it, rather than self-prescribing. If you have mild to moderate mental health concerns, consider asking your naturopath what herbal options there are for you.
As you can see, psychiatrists and naturopaths can certainly work together to provide high-quality care for your mental health concerns. If you are looking for a psychiatrist, you can find one here. If you would like to see a naturopathic doctor, click here to book in with Dr. Corina Kibsey, ND today.
Photo courtesy of: Evan Kirby