As a current fourth year psychiatry resident at University of Nevada School of Medicine, I often encounter patients searching for the “magic pill” to cure their mental health issues. Often times, however, the standard treatment for a common mental illness is simply not enough. This is due to a variety of other factors that need to be simultaneously addressed in order to facilitate proper treatment. To explain this better to my patients, I generally draw a pie graph to illustrate how medication is just one piece. I exemplify how other lifestyle considerations, such as diet and exercise and abstinence from tobacco, drugs, and heavy alcohol use are imperative factors. I explain how proper management of medical conditions, such as hypertension and diabetes, has been shown to improve mood and overall health. Thus, I propose a more synergistic approach to mental health treatment and management stemmed from the core belief that effective treatment requires a multidisciplinary approach.
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