Published On: September 8, 2022|Categories: Mental Disorders, Mental Health, Treatment and Therapy|

In the fields of clinical mental health and psychology, treatments and techniques are constantly being evaluated and reevaluated for the sake of the patients. When dealing with mental health conditions that can be as unique and complex as the patient, it can be challenging to find a cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all approach to treatment. 

Obviously, no such treatment formula exists; and even tried and true methods of psychiatry have seen resistance from certain mental health disorders. For this reason, alternative methods of care are constantly being explored in order to provide better care to all. 

Complications of traditional treatments 

Traditionally, the way in which diagnosis like depression, bipolar disorder, PTSD or ADHD were treated was a regular meeting with one’s psychiatrist that resulted in a prescription to help reduce symptoms. Time went by until the next appointment where results were discussed and the next treatment option (usually a higher dosage) was determined. 

Many of these disorders, however, were resistant to this counseling and medication approach, resulting in a number of patients with a high dose of medicine having little effect long term. Not only is this discouraging, it can become expensive and time consuming. 

To better help clients suffering in this way, the field of interventional psychiatry started to be explored. 

What is interventional psychiatry?

Interventional psychiatry is a form of treatment used for those mental health conditions that have shown resistance to standard forms of psychiatry. When a patient shows little or no improvement with standard measures, a physician intervenes with alternative treatment options for the sake of the client.

According to one source, “Interventional psychiatry is a growing field within psychiatry that utilizes treatments other than … traditional psychotropic medications. When given in addition to traditional care, which consists of medication adjustments and psychotherapy, interventional treatments can enhance overall mental health.”

When interventional psychiatry is offered, it opens up the doors to many benefits that certain patients have not previously been able to experience. 

Who benefits from interventional psychiatry? 

People who have not seen improvement from traditional methods of counseling and medicine are likely to experience the benefits of interventional psychiatry. These may include those suffering from conditions such as: 

For many in the field of psychiatry, these advances in intervening treatment provide physicians with new methods of providing relief to patients who previously saw little improvement in their conditions.

Methods of interventional psychiatry

There are new methods of interventional psychiatry being studied and reviewed all the time, but a number of treatment options are available today, including: 

Electroconvulsive therapy 

Used effectively in treating MDD, extreme anxiety and BPD, electroconvulsive therapy (done under anesthesia) applies an electric shock to the brain which has been proven to reverse the symptoms of these mental health conditions via a change in brain chemistry. 

Deep brain stimulation 

Used to treat movement disorders like Parkinson’s disease, DBS is now approved to help treat obsessive-compulsive disorder that has resisted treatment. A neurosurgeon implants an electrode in the brain connected to a pulse generator in the collarbone which carries small electrical pulses to help control OCD-stimulated behaviors. 

Esketamine intranasal therapy (EsKIT)

Used to treat MDD, EsKIT is a ketamine-derived nasal spray administered in each nostril under medical supervision over the course of a number of weeks. It can help reverse neural damage and provide relief from some of the severe symptoms of untreatable depression, including negative and suicidal thoughts. 

Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) 

A completely non-invasive procedure, TMS stimulates nerve cells in the brain through magnetic pulses that affect the parts of the brain which controls mood. The electrical currents stimulated in the brain via TMS help to reverse and control the negative moods and thought patterns associated with untreatable depression. 

An ever-evolving field 

As patient needs are presented and new and old methods of treatment are tested and reviewed, innovative techniques of treating mental health conditions will continue to emerge and evolve. Interventional psychiatry is one of these newer treatment methods that holds much promise in treating conditions like MDD, OCD and schizophrenia. 

If you have found yourself struggling with traditional counseling and medication methods, talk with your therapist or psychiatrist today. See if interventional psychiatry methods might benefit you in your mental health journey. 

To get in touch with a treatment facility that offers interventional psychiatry, contact The Light Program today by calling our offices at 610-644-6464 anytime. We look forward to hearing from you.

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