As a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, I view people holistically and individually. Our mind and body are interconnected, and it is crucial to consider physical, emotional, and mental symptoms. Together with my client, we consider medical issues, family history, need for medication, sleep quality, nutrition, physical activity, social support, and more. Looking at current and past life stressors and how they affect you is important to assess. The more background information, the better!
I genuinely believe there is a place for medication as a way to help you reach your wellness goals, and I almost always recommend therapy as well. Given that people are complex, medication alone will not ‘make everything better.’ Instead, it can be additional support that allows you to manage symptoms as you work with your therapist on the root causes of your struggles. Both research and my own clinical experience have shown that combining medication and therapy is highly effective in promoting lasting change.
Supplements and nutrition can also support a person’s well-being, either as an adjunct to medication or as a substitute to medication if preferred. Nutrient deficiencies can significantly affect our mood and energy. Addressing any type of deficit can improve mood, decrease anxiety, normalize sleep, or improve focus.
Working with your team, including your therapist, primary care provider, and other providers, is essential for effective treatment and healing. Often my clients see their therapist the most frequently. Close collaboration with your therapist allows for the experience of being seen as a whole person and provides even more support. This collaboration provides us with up-to-date information and assess if a change in medications or supplements is needed. Working together, we will also look at what’s working and re-evaluate if needed. I don’t believe the ‘here are your meds, see you in a few months’ approach leads to lasting improvement.
When we first meet for the initial intake appointment, I take a general health assessment and learn more about your past and current symptoms. Understanding family history, social history, and current lifestyle are also important. When applicable, I will order a blood test to check thyroid levels or vitamin D levels. Genetic testing focused on medication effectiveness may be a recommendation, particularly if you have taken different medications in the past without significant improvement. We focus on your biggest concerns, set goals, and create a treatment plan together. Though I prefer to have our first session in person, services should be accessible. If that is prohibitive for you to come in person, we can use a telehealth platform.
I truly believe that body and mind are one, and we cannot treat one without the other. If this holistic approach to psychiatry is intriguing to you, please call 720.675.7123 to schedule an intake with me or fill out a contact form now. I look forward to working with you!