Dr. Andrews is a part of a growing number of mental health professionals who are responding to patients looking for personalized solutions to their mental health, and who find the mainstream approach to mental illness insufficient.
Traditional Methods vs Patient-centric Methods
In the old psychiatry paradigm, many psychiatrists spent less than an hour evaluating a new patient. They based their diagnosis and treatment plan on the symptoms the patient reported and what they themselves observed during the exam. Mostly, psychiatrists matched symptoms to medications and sometimes, recommended psychotherapy.
In the new paradigm of Functional Behavioral Medicine, additional investigations are obtained to ensure an Environmental Medicine factor such as heavy metal toxicity, a physical disorder, like food sensitivities, gut inflammation or possibly a brain mass aren’t causing the symptoms. Nutrients and hormones occurring naturally in the body may need to be weaned or changed to create a Personalized Medicine Map. Although sometimes ignored, in the annals of time nutrition has proven to be an amazingly effective tool in the management of mental illness.
Our New Approach – Functional Behavioral Medicine
Functional Behavioral Medicine is a broad category that engages both the patient and practitioner in a therapeutic partnership using a systems-oriented/patient-centered approach. Your practitioner examines all the factors that have combined to cause a break in your mental health.
Unlike colleagues in mainstream psychiatry, we conduct extensive lab work to look for disruptions in basic body systems that might manifest as mental illness. We also look into psychological, social, and spiritual factors and their possible contributions to patient issues.
The latest research validates the Functional Behavioral Medicine approach by providing evidence that the gut and brain connection is seminal to total health. In simple terms, if your gut is inflamed, then your brain is inflamed. Your inflamed brain will create some of the symptoms of mental illness.
Ironically, however, suddenly mainstream psychiatry doesn’t consider your brain an organ anymore. They think we have to apply talk therapy to talk people out of illness.
Talk therapy and psychiatric medications can be helpful, but the Functional Behavioral Medicine method first approaches the biochemical root cause.
Our overall goal is to treat the underlying health issues through nutrition, supplementation, pharmaceutical, and lifestyle changes. The good news is that when problems of the brain are treated with a whole-body approach, issues in other parts of the body often resolve. Functional Behavioral Medicine presents a win-win option for patients to consider.