How to improve mental health is becoming a topic that more people are talking openly about. This, in turn, has increased the general public’s awareness and desire to do something about the issue. This raised interest has led to several advances in treating and improving mental health without medication.
Over the last few decades, there have been new medications coming out that have turned out to be quite effective when it came to treating various mental health conditions. However, it is the non-pharmaceutical advancements that have made the most significant difference because many patients tend to stop taking medications due to the severe side effects they can cause, treatments that don’t rely on medication are even more critical.
“I came through integrative medicine as a stepping-stone to holistic care. As someone who has always had an intellectual rebellious streak, I like to question, push, and think outside of the box. Alternative medicine had always been a circus curiosity for me until I sat in a lecture by Dr. Richard Brown and learned about supplements and herbs like Rhodiola Rosea and S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe) that could be added on to medications or used on their own to change the mood and enhance wellness.
I practiced in this way for a couple of years, prescribing and strategically augmenting, before understanding that true personalized, lifestyle medicine obviates the need for medication. It gets to the root. I no longer wanted to enhance psychotropics, I wanted to eliminate them.” –– Kelly Brogan, MD
The following are some of the ways psychiatrists and psychologists are treating mental health conditions without relying on drugs.
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation
Both a non-systemic and a non-invasive form of treatment, Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation or TMS doesn’t require surgery or implanting electrodes like other mental health treatments.
Unlike other treatments, there isn’t a risk of seizure or a need for sedation with anesthetics to undergo this treatment. This allows cognitive functioning not to be affected so that patients can resume normal daily activities right after a treatment.
TMS works by delivering an electric current to a coil that produces a magnetic field, which is positioned by the patient’s head. The coil is connected to a stimulator or pulse generator that delivers a current. This produces a magnetic field similar to those used for an MRI.
While TMS is regarded as being safe, adverse effects are possible in patients who have undergone an extended course of treatment. For more information about this treatment, you can visit the website from Neuro Wellness Spa.
Formerly known as electroshock therapy, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is a psychiatric treatment where patients have electrically induced seizures to provide relief from certain mental disorders. ECT is seen as an effective and safe treatment for mania, catatonia and major depressive disorders.
Research points to ECT are effective in approximately 50% of patients with a major depressive disorder that is otherwise treatment-resistant.
ECT is administered to patients under anesthesia along with a muscle relaxant. Treatments take place two to three times a week. This continues until there are no signs of the mental health condition. Following treatment, the most common adverse reactions are confusion and partial memory loss.
Other Treatments Not Using Medications
There are several different types of treatment that typically combine with different solutions to create a new way of treating specific ailments without using medications. Some of these approaches include:
- Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) – this type of treatment is mostly reserved for patients who have a borderline personality disorder. DBT has been shown to have work on other disorders as well. DBT emphasizes acceptance and validation of unhealthy emotions, thoughts, and behaviors while working towards finding a balance between acceptance and change.
- Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR) – this is a form of therapy used for treating Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). EMDR involves stimulating the brain through side-to-side eye movements. These movements are thought to help with boosting the memories of traumatic events, giving patients a chance to resolve the issue.
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) – this is the most common approach to psychotherapy. It may be used on groups, individuals, and families. A CBT therapist will help patients address unhealthy behaviors and thoughts by replacing them with constructive behavior and positive self-talking to oneself.
There are several effective ways to treat mental health issues that don’t use medications. Whether the approach has been proven over time like CBT or is more cutting edge like TMS, there are many ways a therapist and client can approach treating mental illnesses. Eventually, therapists may unlock the secrets of the brain so that mental health issues can be cured without having to rely on the crutch of medications that cause adverse side effects.