Complementary &  Integrative Medicine

Complementary & Integrative medicine combines alternative medicine alongside conventional medical treatment with quality evidence to support safety and effectiveness (evidence – based medicine). We at Hawkins Psychiatry, PLLC also believe in this method as it treats the “whole person” focuses on wellness and health rather than on treating disease, and emphasizes the patient-physician relationship.

Natural therapies utilizing a combination of vitamins, herbal extracts, and amino acids have shown clinical success in patients diagnosed with PTSD, depression and other anxiety disorders. These include 5-hydroxytrophan (5-HTP), Mucuna pruriens, 5-methyltetrahydrofolate (5-MTHF), vitamin B6, L-tyrosine, bacopa monnieri,  and gamma-amino-butyric acid. Some studies suggest that people suffering from depression could benefit tremendously by boosting their intake of minerals and vitamins. Even though some of these minerals and vitamins can be obtained from a balanced diet, depressed people due to lack of motivation and poor appetite often fail to eat healthy foods with adequate amounts of micronutrients and vitamins. Blood tests on depressed people found that they had low levels of nutrients, and when nutrients were replenished for these individuals, studies showed that their moods were lifted and even enhanced the effect of antidepressant drugs used in their treatment.

Brain chemicals also (known as neurotransmitters) serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine are theorized to be depleted in the brain of individuals suffering from various mental disorders including depression, anxiety and insomnia. Vitamins B6, B9 (folate) and B12 all are very important in the support and synthesis of these neurotransmitters. As a result, low levels of these B vitamins  are believed to be  linked to a depressed mood. Studies showed that people suffering from depression have lower blood levels of B-vitamin, folate. In fact, nutritionists recommend you get at least 400 mcg of folate every day if you suffer from depression. Conventional prescriptive approaches including SSRIs, SNRIs , DNRIS , benzodiazepines, and tricyclics, though effective, pose undesirable potential side effects including decreased libido and sexual performance, gastrointestinal distress, weight gain and emotional numbing. Complementary and Integrative therapy for PTSD, anxiety and depression focus on replenishing these micronutrient imbalances or by saturating the central nervous system with amino acids and vitamins , particularly B vitamins, with hopes of increasing neurotransmitter synthesis of norepinephrine, serotonin and dopamine.

Newer complementary and integrative approaches focus on non-medicinal options including looking at replenishing micronutrients to help neurotransmitter synthesis. This is the fuel that drives the vision of formulating new a blends including Advyndra ® and other alternatives. Todays’ society globally is hungry for complementary and integrative approaches to problematic side effect ridden prescriptive medications. Too often as clinicians we fail to challenge the science behind what we are taught pharmacologically to remedy our patients’ ailments. Clinical depression, PTSD  and other psychiatric disorders may indeed benefit from such an approach.