Treatment Resistant Mental Health

Holistic & Natural Remedies For Treatment Resistant Mental Illness

Dr. Pierce is a Chiropractic Neurologist who uses brain wave scans and lab tests to guide diets for brain health.

Holistic and natural remedies for your mental health is a preferred way to manage your overall health for many people. That said, many people fear that they cannot address underlying mental health issues with food, diet or other natural supports and I say that they can. I am not advocating that you get off your medication, but suggesting here that you consider how the rest of your whole life can support optimal mental health.

This is particularly true when someone has a mental health challenge that’s not being easily addressed with a more traditional approach.  Let’s dive in.

Alternative treatment approaches to chronic illness.

What Does It Mean Medically When Something Is Considered “Treatment Resistant?

When a patient has tried multiple prescription medications and talk therapies for a long enough trial period without relief, they are usually considered ”treatment resistant.” In the case of mental health, commonly you’ll hear about mental health diagnoses like depression or anxiety that have gone on for a long time and despite medication, talk therapy or other set of solutions, continue to be present.

Both of these are good examples of treatment resistance and when present, signal that exploring holistic supports for relief can be beneficial to you.

Why Traditional Pharmacology & Medication Don’t Always Work

If you’re in this boat, you’re not alone. Traditional pharmacology was designed to be a stopgap; a crutch to tide someone over while examining the root causes. Most medications have not been studied for more than 8-weeks and have a set of results that are generalized to work for the greater population. Your unique body chemistry may be different from the sample size.

Additionally, most medications produce some form of organ toxicity when used chronically. When used alone, medication leaves the root cause in place, and issues tend to get worse over time while the surface symptom is masked from the medication(s).

Eventually, if the greater root cause isn’t sussed out, breakthrough symptoms eventually emerge which usually leads to increasing the medication dose or even adding other medications to try and alleviate the symptoms. This is called polypharmacy. This mixing of medications is a real problem and should be avoided. A better solution is to look into both the root cause as well as explore the larger system that’s affecting your mental health including your environment, food, other unrelated medications/supplements to get a holistic understanding of what’s impacting your body and potentially impacting your mental health symptoms.

What Areas Of Your Mental Health Can This Affect?

Truly, potentially all of them. Everyone of us has a unique body that is impacted by the world around us. If you’re experiencing a “treatment resistant” mental health challenge, whatever your diagnosis, the underlying problem can grow worse when it’s masked underneath your medication regimen.

To discover what’s actually impacting you and how, you have to peel back the layers so you remove the interrelated cause and effects going on. Modern medicine and contemporary research show us more every day about what’s happening in the brain and things change drastically when a deeper study is conducted or a larger sample size is actually tested for a specific treatment.

Today, as an example, we know that the cause of depression is not in fact a simple serotonin deficiency, as was previously believed, but in fact is a more complex, interrelated interaction of many chemical pathways that seem unrelated and yet are affected by the whole world around you. The mechanisms of neurotransmitters are highly dependent on nutrition and stress management, and can be discovered and rebalanced if you are willing to do a little work to discover the right treatment for your unique brain and body.

How My Alternative Approach Can Help You

Treatment Resistant Depression

Treatment resistant depression has been studied and there is a solid link between the gut flora or normal bacteria in your body and depression. Restoring gut bacteria balance can literally reverse some of the most severe depression symptoms. Results like this are usually accomplished through diet and probiotics, not prescriptions. Some people have even benefitted from a fecal transplant of healthy bacteria from a healthy donor’s gut to the gut of a depressed person. Alternative approaches like this have been shown to lead to depression reduction in some of the most difficult cases. You probably won’t need a fecal transplant to correct flora, just know that it’s out there if you do!


Brainwave studies have been published on ADHD more than most other mental health conditions aside from seizure disorders, and there are promising results using diet and neurofeedback to restore several subtypes of brainwave alterations that show up in ADHD. This means that ADHD severity is affected by how the brain reacts electrically to the world around you. Looking at ADHD holistically gives promise for ways to reduce ADHD symptoms that go beyond pharmacology. And while there is a familial component, that is not hopeless. Epigenetic factors (external environmental conditions, habits and behaviors that cause changes that affect the way your genes work) can help you discover better foods and stress reduction strategies that support the reduction of ADHD symptoms.

Other mental illnesses/treatment plans/

All conditions in the mental health arena have examples of treatment resistance. When looking for holistic treatments, the general idea is to check food intolerance, lab tests, and brain waves to discover root causes. Then you can work on developing a theory behind how your specific condition works and what is the cause/effect of your treatment resistant condition. It’s important to note that schizophrenia, bipolar, insomnia, hypersomnia and other conditions can have alternate causes and treatments in some cases. Life is messy, and the brain does not follow the rules in books. You want to work with someone who can help you explore the areas you have the ability to impact by listening to your specific body chemistry. This is an important part of the healing strategy.

Next Steps

I want to invite you to watch our YouTube channel for videos on treatment resistant mental health challenges and reversal.

Working In Partnership With Your Doctor on Mental Health and Brain

Your doctor is your primary advocate and it’s your job to get them aligned with how you want your mental health addressed. If medication and polypharmacy are not the approach you want to take, you have to get into a conversation with your provider to work on exploring how to change the approach. It’s time to think outside the box so you get the support you need.

It’s best to come to that discussion armed with information that your doctor can use to help you. Before your visit with your doctor, go to and put words that describe your issues into the keyword/search box. You may find that you have to use different combinations of words to get the search results/answers you’re looking for. Once you’re finished, you’ll have a list of articles to read and then show and discuss with your doctor.

Load a few of these vids on your phone and bring the links as well as any YouTube videos that you like to your doctor visit and ask your doctor’s opinion. Ask your doctor to theorize with you what could be the mechanism underneath your problem. Ask them to think outside the box. This approach isn’t just about adding a prescription, but more about addressing your whole brain, body, and environmental connection to get you closer to a solution that works.

Treatment Resistant Mental Health

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