Neuroscience has made a milestone in recent years: It embraced holistic approaches, and this is one of the most fascinating things that psychiatry can offer to our patients today. Many of these practices are quite well-known and common sense: Balanced diet, regular exercise etc. But while I am sure everyone believes that exercise is healthy, not everyone knows that it has been proven to be as effective as antidepressants for mild and moderate depression. And so, on par with antidepressants I prescribe exercise to my patients. A number of excellent studies show that mild to moderately severe depression, as well as anxiety disorders, respond to psychotherapy, which acts on the brain much the same way as antidepressant medications do. Relaxation techniques, exercise, love and psychotherapy cause neuronal growth in the areas of brain responsible for memory and cognitive and emotional processing as do certain diets but not others. Much of what had started as new-agey theories of healing became rigorous science. And I, a psychiatrist, am privileged to serve as science’s small vehicle of change.
In my practice I prescribe medication when necessary, provide psychotherapy, and offer a (based on hard science) guidance on life style modifications to improve my patients’ well-being. I believe in treatment which takes into account all aspects of a person seeking help to address his or her psychiatric, psychological, medical, social and spiritual issues.
Finally, I believe in the possibility of change. Our minds are much more powerful than we tend to believe, and our thoughts and feelings as well as our hopes and expectations are tangible and direct our future.