Oct 29, 2022

Precision Psychiatry

What is Precision Psychiatry?

Precision psychiatry is a cutting-edge approach to mental health by leveraging your human individuality to drive more efficient and effective strategies for diagnosing, preventing illness, and optimizing mental health. 

What do you do differently in Precision Psychiatry?

In short, I gather a lot of data. As David Sinclair, Ph.D. writes in his book Lifespan, we have information about the performance of our cars on the dashboard, so too should we have the likes of a dashboard for our body. In the era of, direct-to-consumer genomics,  biochemical testing, and wearable technology, I want to teach you how to use this information to take control of your mental health and perform optimally.

What data do you look at? 

 I look at as much personalized data as you are willing to obtain including

  • Genetics and epigenetics markers
  • Physical body measurements 
  • Demographics, relationships, and societal influences,
  • Circadian rhythm, activity levels, HRV
  • Toxic exposures 
  • Microbiome
  • Hormones 
  • Nutritional biochemistry 
  • Current symptoms, historical symptoms, medical complications
  • History of trauma and adverse childhood events

Why do you gather all of this information?

Mental health conditions are complex and multifactorial in nature. The underlying causes are rarely due to a simple cause, such as serotonin dysregulation. Furthermore, if diagnosis, prevention, and treatment were generalizable, we would have a society with less prevalence of mental health conditions and disabilities.  To understand precipitating factors in your personalized life, from your unique DNA to your life’s purpose, we go on a sleuthing expedition to understand what might be causing your symptoms so we can optimize your performance.

Is Precision Psychiatry right for me? 

If you’ve been to more than one health professional, tried a few approaches without success, or are the type of person who wants a deep dive straight away to get back on track, precision psychiatry is right for you. 

How does Precision Psychiatry work?

  • Genetic individuality can predict specific treatment responsiveness and efficacy as well as potential untoward effects
  • With more data, we improve the accuracy of  your diagnosis by uncovering the cause of your symptoms
  • If we know what the underlying cause is, we are more equipped to find ways not only to treat your symptoms but to optimize your mental and overall health
  • Although obtaining more data takes a bit more time to collect initially, an effective and efficient treatment plan is the outcome 
  • My patients feel empowered knowing their underlying individual strengths and vulnerabilities and feel more in control of their mental health

How is this different than the current model?

The current model is a one size fits all approach. In residency–including at America’s top hospitals where I trained—mental health professionals are taught to obtain a history, often obtaining a cluster of symptoms for a condition, and finding an approximation towards a DSM V or ICD 10 diagnosis. Let’s say you feel depressed, unmotivated, fatigued, have a heaviness in your mood, and are eating and sleeping more than you’d like. Many clinicians might commonly prescribe an SSRI, a common first-line treatment for unipolar depression. But, there are many underlying causes of depression including inflammatory processes, vitamin or mineral deficiencies, hormonal imbalances, and toxic exposures. If you have an underlying inflammatory process, wouldn’t you want to know this before embarking on a medication trial that might cause untoward side effects?  

What does a usual treatment look like for your patients?

Everyone is unique. Each person’s biochemical and genetic individuality drives their specialized plan.

Most of my patients leave with targeted nutrition and/or lifestyle strategies, along with help on how to monitor progress for their mental health. When appropriate, personalized supplements and herbs are used to correct underlying anomalies. In equal balance, depending on one’s needs, I prescribe medication, as well as help folks, taper off their medications. 

Does precision psychiatry include therapy too? 

Absolutely, when it makes sense. If you already have a therapist who you value, I’m not in the business of breaking up relationships. I’m happy to see you in consultation and develop a plan that you can take with you or be included in the treatment team.

I treat a lot of executives and high-performing individuals who want a personalized experience in one space, offering both. I’ve written about my therapeutic approach separately. 

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