Greenblatt, an acknowledged integrative medicine expert, told Texas-based chiropractor Dr. Bryan Ardis that the understanding of mental health and mental illness in America is changing. He noted that the traditional model involves symptomatic-based polypharmacy that provides medication, but does not look at other factors contributing to the problem.
The psychiatrist continued that his platform Psychiatry Redefined trains doctors and clinicians to go beyond medication. It encourages them to look at nutritional deficiencies, hormones, gut microbiome and other possible contributing factors to help individuals struggling with mental illnesses such as psychosis and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
Ardis mentioned that levels of certain nutrients in the blood correlate to a person's mental state, a sentiment Greenblatt agreed with.
The psychiatrist said vitamin D, a critically important nutrient, is made from cholesterol. He cited research stating very low cholesterol and vitamin D levels having links to depression and suicide risk. This finding, Greenblatt lamented, is being ignored by the traditional psychiatric community.
He also mentioned that vitamin B-12, another key nutrient for mental health, has to be obtained from a diet mostly available in animal products. A person's body does not function well when it only has a vitamin B-12 level of 220. Greenblatt emphasized: "Not getting adequate B-12 is one of the single greatest risk factors for poor mental health."
The psychiatrist also mentioned that vitamin B-8 or inositol also helps address anxiety, especially those in young people. Greenblatt recounted using powdered inositol for anxiety in children, resulting in dramatic improvements without any side effects.
Meanwhile, Ardis mentioned that suicides in America have dramatically increased, citing an April 13 piece from ABC News to back up his point. The piece cited a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which revealed that 48,183 people ended their own lives in 2021. (Related: CDC report: Suicides soared to 48,183 in 2021 after two-year decline.)
The Texas-based chiropractor also mentioned an article from Psychiatry Redefined that his guest penned. Greenblatt argued in the May 9 piece that awareness of mental health concerns alone does not translate into action or prevention of suicide.
The psychiatrist reiterated his point in the article that mental health awareness is insufficient. He also denounced the American medical community for trying out various things to address the issue – such as medications, awareness campaigns, screening tools, visits and telehealth. Greenblatt pointed out that these have not made any dent in the rising suicide rates.
He also noted how doctors prescribe medications such as antidepressants, which contain a black box warning for increased suicidal risk.
"We have [a] suicidal adolescent who was not responding to medication," Greenblatt remarked. "We add a second medication, and I can share with you from experience that these medications can increase risk in some individuals dramatically."
Aside from deficiencies of certain nutrients, Greenblatt also mentioned that inflammation serves as a biomarker for suicide risk. Any path to inflammation such as Lyme disease, Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) infection, sleep deprivation, head trauma and concussions could increase the risk of suicide, he added.
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