We will apply scientific knowledge with wisdom to serve your mental health needs.
How we diagnose
Psychiatric diagnosis is more complex and less concrete than diagnosis of physical illness. Emotions, thoughts and behavior are hard to measure since the mind is complex and not visible directly. It is more than just giving you a diagnostic label. We will help you understand the nature of your problem and its possible sources including the role of brain chemistry as well as your past and present life situations in your mental health. Professional experience plays a big role in psychiatric diagnosis since blood tests or brain scans have not been found reliably helpful in diagnosing the majority of psychiatric illnesses. Where relevant, the impact of physical illness (like a hormonal disorder) on the psychiatric diagnosis will be considered.
How we treat
Initial treatment plan will be explained to you during the first interview but diagnosis and treatment 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 working relationships for a long time. Medication management, as needed, can continue at our office while you continue psychotherapy. Certain long term illnesses may need referral to a local Community Mental Health Center.
When we determine that your problems are primarily based on alteration in brain chemistry rather than purely psychological causes, we may recommend psychiatric medications which are often helpful and often well-tolerated. It is always our goal to preserve and restore your natural personality rather than changing or suppressing it in any way. 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. The frequency of medication follow-up visits depends on the condition, progress and on the nature of medications prescribed.
We partner with you in obtaining the necessary prior authorization from insurance companies for medications. You may however 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. 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 quite complex and only partially understood in the present state of science. In some clinical situations, genetic testing can provide additional information that can be factored into treatment decisions.
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.
Complementary and alternative medicine approaches
We welcome discussion of alternative medicine approaches where reasonable scientific evidence indicates the usefulness of such approaches including natural remedies.
Our view of Holistic and Integrative approaches
Regular wholesome meals, regular exercise as permitted by your primary care physician, and timely rest with regular daily sleep-wake cycle is extremely important in maintaining good mental health. We recommend solving psychiatric problems with diet only when scientific evidence indicates the role of diet in a particular clinical situation but every problem can not be solved with dietary measures.
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.
Importance of 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.