Last year, I was seeing four different doctors: a psychiatrist for my mood disorder; an endocrinologist for my pituitary tumor and thyroid issues; a cardiologist for my aortic valve regurgitation; and a primary care physician for some digestive problems and fungus growth.
I suspected that all of my health problems were connected but each doctor refused to look beyond her specialty to achieve a systemic, balanced perspective of how the conditions were related. I searched for an integrative doctor who could piece together all of my broken parts and help me determine some underlying causes for all of the ailments. After spending a few months with a functional doctor who was very anti-medication, I finally—much like Goldilocks—found the right physician: an internist who was willing to look through my files from past doctors and x-rays that exist somewhere on the internet in order to gain a holistic view at my health.
My biggest frustration with psychiatry is that most physicians won’t consider any contributing factors below the neck. So when people like me don’t get better after 20, 30, 40, or 50 medication combinations, they aren’t sure what to do. They tell us we can try some brain stimulation possibilities, like transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) or electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). Or we will have to learn to live around our death thoughts and suicidal ideations.
I believe the vast majority of persons who have been told their depression is treatment resistant can benefit from working with an integrative doctor—someone who considers all of your biological systems and organs when trying to determine the reason why you don’t want to get out of bed in the morning. However, many integrative doctors are expensive and don’t take insurance, so I thought I would interview my doctor, Alan Weiss, to provide you with some ideas about next steps to take if you are stuck and not getting better.