The other day, I was talking with a friend about a natural treatment for an issue she was having. She was thrilled to hear about the easy non-toxic solution I recommended, but wondered why her doctor didn’t tell her about it.
The answer is two-fold:
1. Doctors (and especially psychiatrists) usually aren’t trained in natural treatments.
2. They are not allowed to recommend alternative treatments, primarily due to their employment contracts, medical board guidelines, and insurance company regulations.
It’s not that doctors don’t want to help you; it’s that their hands are tied and they are limited to only offering medical solutions such as pharmaceuticals. It’s what they’ve been trained to do.
One of my favorite books on the orthomolecular treatment of mental illness is called The Real Secrets to Mental Health, by Linda Van Zandt.
The author pulls no punches when describing what is contributing to problems with our country’s mental health system. She says,
“Medical schools, which include classes on psychiatry, receive millions of dollars each year from drug companies. In return, students are taught to prescribe drugs for virtually all chronic ailments, including heart disease, arthritis, depression, anxiety, etc. These medical students have been led to believe that covering up symptoms is real health care and, once they have their own practice, they continue to pass along this misinformation to patients. So, while I’m saddened at how doctors, and especially psychiatrists, blindly accept this model of ‘health’ care, I’m not really blaming them. They have been misled and lied to just as the rest of us have.”
As for the legal aspects that doctors are bound by, this article by the Alliance for Natural Health explains the issue in depth.
The question is: What can you do to remedy this? How can you protect your health and not be enveloped by this broken system?
The first step is to educate yourself about natural therapies: join discussion groups, read books, and find websites with more information. I have several resources listed here about how you can treat mental health issues using natural methods that get to the root of the problem.
The second step is to take action: try out some of the natural therapies and see if they make a difference. If one doesn’t work, try another. If you are persistent, you’re bound to find a solution that works for your biochemistry. The best part about trying natural therapies is that there are usually very few side effects. Of course, it’s best to work with a trained naturopathic doctor or alternative medicine practitioner. But if you just don’t have the means, take comfort in this well-known statistic:
More than 100,000 people a year die from pharmaceuticals each year, while none die from vitamins and supplements.