Mental Wellness

Why Do We Treat Psychiatric Illness?

Before becoming an alternative doctor, and before even becoming a family physician, Dr Vance did his internship in Psychiatry at the Navel Medical Center Portsmouth. There he got extensive training in recognizing and treating psychiatric disease. He has recognized that not only is there not nearly enough providers treating psychiatric illness, it is often treated with a one-size-fits-all approach focusing on medicines that tend to make the mind sluggish at best.

​Here at Vance Medical, we think there is a better way.

Brain Nutrition

New evidence tends to suggest that the root of psychiatric disease may be different than what we thought it was. Instead of people being "weak-willed" or having a "prozac deficiency disorder," it is becoming apparent that in many if not most cases of psychiatric illness there is a strong component of nutrient deficiencies. Add to this the fact that most people with psychiatric illness have certain genetic defects that can make the processing of certain vitamins difficult and you can begin to understand the epidemic we're facing in the psychiatric arena.

Here at Vance Medical we are proud to offer Empowerplus Q96, a nutrient which has multiple research papers demonstrating its effectiveness for conditions like bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder, and a host of other psychiatric conditions. Consider it "brain food" - nutrients that are needed to help the brain "work right."

Genetic Predisposition

Very commonly psychiatric illness tends to run in families, and it has long been assumed that there must be some genetic component. Due to the vast amount of work done in the Human Genome Project, we have discovered several genes which have defects of varying frequency that can be associated with various types of mental illness. Some of these, in particular MTHFR, can be very common.

Recognizing the genetic defects can be helpful in certain cases in figuring out the best way to treat the patient.

Neurotransmitter Therapy

Most antidepressants work by artificially raising the level of chemicals called neurotransmitters (eg. serotonin, dopamine, etc) in the brain. Unfortunately, while they can make people feel better, they do nothing to address the problem of there frequently being insufficient neurotransmitters to begin with.

​Neurotransmitter therapy seeks to treat the problem in a different way, by giving people either the chemical itself or a precursor to it that can easily be turned into the needed neurotransmitter. Hopefully, by doing this, the levels of the individual chemicals can actually be raised instead of artificially elevated.

Neural Reflex Therapy

A small portion of the Neural Reflex Therapy protocols can help with various psychiatric problems, like anxiety, phobias, PTSD. This is a manual therapy which can stimulate either relaxation or correct processing of memories. Within a few minutes patients can frequently feel much more calm and relaxed, often with reduced intrusive thoughts or memories. We have found it to be very helpful for most of the people we have used it on.

IV Ketamine

Ketamine is a general anesthetic medicine discovered around 50 years ago which has been used safely worldwide for many years and is considered by the World Health Organization as an indispensable drug. It is much safer to use than most other general anesthetics because it does not inhibit the respiratory drive.

It works by creating a dissociative effect - inducing something like a dreamlike state. When used in a much lower dose than needed for general anesthesia, it can have a remarkable effect on treating things like Major Depression, PTSD, and even a depressive phase of Bipolar Disorder. It tends to be effective for people who have tried multiple other therapies unsuccessfully. Although there are multiple papers in the literature on the safety and effectiveness of this therapy, this use is still considered experimental and alternative.

For people who have tried everything and nothing has worked, ketamine can be a much