Anxiety & Depression
A Case Study Submitted By Tracy Thompson, MD
Anxiety & Chronic Depression : A Functional Medicine Approach
After ten years of depression, numerous medications, 220 pounds of weight gain and loss of cognitive function, a 36-year-old man and his wife came into Gaia looking for answers. The wife had to do most of the talking, because the patient had many facial tics, was unable to create eye contact and suffered from intense social anxiety.
The patient was only able to communicate this much: “Really bad. No energy. Today was a waste. I need help.” The couple own a small business together, but he was no longer able to work. He slept through most of his days, lacked sexual drive and wasn’t able to complete even simple tasks around the house.
What We Did
During his functional medical consult, I learned that he suffered several concussions in his early twenties as a result of not wearing a helmet while participating in extreme sports. He had gone from 220 lbs to 450 lbs and suffered from sleep apnea—which is commonly linked with obesity.
Using a combination of traditional Allopathic medicine, psychiatric evaluation, Traditional Chinese Medicine, and Functional medicine with an emphasis on brain health, I was able to make a multi-leveled diagnosis of his Physical, Energetic, Psychiatric, Subconscious and Spiritual state.
Due to the severity of the findings and the massive lifestyle changes required to rebalance the brain, we recommended that both parties attend our clinic for an Intensive Restorative Health Week. We felt that he would not be able to make the appropriate changes without strong guidance and education. Based on his brain data, early retirement in a nursing home was becoming a sad but realistic possibility, so both he and his wife made the serious commitment to come into the clinic for a re-boot.
During the week, he saw a psychiatrist with an interest in neurology, a Doctor of Chinese Medicine, chiropractic neurologist, yoga therapy coach, psychologist with heart-math training, osteopath, nutritionist, nurse, MD, massage therapist, mindful meditation in nature guide, and an Ayurvedic practitioner.
Working collaboratively, our team developed a plan focusing on rebalance. Recommendations included medication & supplements, meditation, physical fitness, new learning, counselling and nutrition with a specific diet given to emphasize an increase in all neurotransmitters and a decrease in all of the neurotoxic foods he had been consuming.
The outcome shocked all of us. One month later, he came into our clinic without his wife, smiling, making eye contact and very pleased with how he was feeling. He was now getting out of bed at 7 or 8 in the morning and following all of the recommendations we had made. He expressed how much he was enjoying this new way of living. He said he loved the fact that it was about the health of his brain and not a focus on losing weight that was helping him stick to the nutritional plan.
When I met with him he spoke in complete and articulate sentences and had a sense of humor I had never seen before. He was feeling so great he and his wife ventured down to Mexico for a month-long holiday. Four months later he had lost 100 pounds and he had fully recovered from his short- term memory deficit. We look forward to the continued support and to be witness to his tremendous personal transformation.
This personalized lifestyle program changed his life. Had it not been for a functional medicine approach he likely would have continued a downward spiral on anti-depressant medications, continued to be morbidly obese, and would be admitted to a chronic care facility well before his chronological age would indicate such a move.