We will apply scientific knowledge with wisdom to serve your mental health needs.
How we diagnose
Psychiatric diagnosis is different from diagnosis of physical illness. Often, psychiatric diagnosis in present-day classification is defined by a collection of symptoms without much focus of how they came about. Also, emotions, thoughts and behavior are hard to measure. We will help you understand the nature of your problem and its possible causes: brain chemistry and life situations. Professional experience plays a bigger role than blood tests or brain scans. These tests have not been found reliably helpful in diagnosing the majority of psychiatric illnesses. Where needed, the impact of physical illness (like a hormonal disorder) on the psychiatric diagnosis will be considered.
Metaphorically speaking, we will help you see the forest and not just the trees.
How we treat
Treatment plan will start with the first interview but diagnosis and treatment will continue evolving over the course of treatment. If referral to a psychotherapist/ counselor is needed, we can help you choose from many psychologists, psychotherapists and counselors in Northeast Indiana with whom we have had close working relationships for a long time. Medication management, as needed, can continue at our office.
When your problems are mainly based on brain chemistry, we may recommend medications which are often helpful and generally well-tolerated. It is always our goal to strengthen your healthy natural personality rather than changing or suppressing it. We try to minimize side effects and also help you understand them.
We will help you compare possible harm from treating versus possible harm from not treating. How often you have follow-up visits will depend on the symptoms and nature of medications prescribed.
We partner with you in obtaining the necessary prior authorization from insurance companies for medications. You may have to take some initiative in this matter to help us in the prior authorization process. We will also help you get medication discounts where possible.
ROUTINE genetic testing to “find the right medicine” is NOT supported by widely accepted contemporary scientific evidence. In some clinical situations, genetic testing can provide additional information that can be factored into treatment decisions. We will be happy to discuss with you if genetic testing is relevant in your particular situation. Many complex genetic factors may be involved in causation of mental illness and in choice of medications. Science is at a very early stage of understanding relevant genes and their impact. Mechanism of action of various medications is often only partially understood in the present state of science.
Psychological and Neuropsychological testing is of value in only some situations. After our initial evaluation, we can advise you if such testing is needed. If you have already had such testing in a clinic or at school, please give us those records before or during your initial evaluation. If you have not had such testing and in our opinion such testing is needed, we will refer you to a testing psychologist.
Holistic, Integrative, Complementary and Alternative medicine approaches
We welcome discussion of these approaches based on reasonable scientific evidence. i
Regular wholesome meals, vigorous exercise as permitted by your health and your physicians, and timely rest with regular daily sleep-wake cycle are extremely important in maintaining good mental health.
Many supplements are not formally regulated like medications. We are open to discussing supplements within the framework of available scientific evidence. Interaction with prescribed medications has been studied to a variable degree for different supplements. We can discuss the pros and cons of using supplements in your situation. Please feel free to bring this issue up for discussion as needed.
Nutrition and weight management
We favor wholesome nutrition over supplement pills unless a specific nutritional deficiency has been established by appropriate testing. We support our patients in maintaining sustainable strategies for achieving and maintaining their weight in a healthy range. We encourage diet plans that can be sustained over years as a part of healthy lifestyle.