Holistic and Functional Psychiatry in Depression and Mental Issues

Psychiatry is seen primarily as a tool to aid with mental maladies.  It looks to the brain and its functioning to resolve issues mental problems.  It looks to utilize therapies and medications that help balance the brain or correct issues that are brain related to the pathology itself.  Holistic or Functional Psychiatry looks not just at the mind but looks at a variety of other social, physical, and diet related issues that may also overlap and play issues in mental pathology

Functional Psychiatry and Holistic Care looks to treat depression or anxiety from a more comprehensive approach of the totality of the human person


Holistic and Integrative Healthcare Professionals look at a broader spectrum of the human person and how it relates to specific issues.  In addition to mental therapies or only medication, Functional or Holistic Psychiatrists will employ meditation, changed diets, different social interactions and even adjustment to sleeping issues that may also reflect upon the primary problem. This more broad range approach encompasses the idea of holistic medicine as being something that just does not analyzes one aspect of human health but  numerous aspects that target just not one specific area but multiple fronts. In this way, it can be less intrusive with side effects and also not merely mask the symptoms but find a long term cure that prevents future issues.

The article, “What Is Holistic Psychiatry?” by Susan Trachman emphasizes many of these points regarding Holistic Psychiatry and its many uses in helping individuals with mental maladies.  She endorses a more broad range approach that includes meditation, diet, exercise and better sleep patterns.  She believes that this more broad approach can produce better results for mental issues such as depression.   She states,

“Functional or holistic psychiatry is an emerging approach to mental healthcare that emphasizes the underlying biological, psychological, and social factors contributing to mental health issues. It considers the unique genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors influencing each individual’s mental health. Functional psychiatry is an approach to mental illness that considers the whole individual when treating psychiatric conditions like depression or anxiety.”

“What Is Holistic Psychiatry?”. Susan Trachman. April 22nd, 2023. Psychology Today.

To read the entire article, please click here


Depression for many is an issue that has no direct correlation with loss itself.  While depression can grow from pro-longed grief and unresolved grief issues directly related to loss, many suffer from depression based solely on genetics or issues within the brain and its production of various chemicals.  Imbalances can cause a sense of lost and lack of meaning in life.  It can lead to all the symptoms associated with loss but without the specific reason.   Hence a person suffering from depression usually requires counseling and medication to rectify the imbalance.  For many this is a life long journey with reoccurring bouts of depression.

Holistic and Integrative Health looks to find the source of anxiety and depression not just treat the symptoms


The same holds true for anxiety.  Unlike stress which has a direct correlation with a stressor, anxiety is an extreme nervousness and uneasiness when nothing is wrong in one’s life.  One can feel extremely paranoid, nervous, and uneasy to the point one is crippled from even leaving one’s own bed.   This mental ailment also requires professional guidance and the imbalance created in the mind is usually treated with a variety of medications, including Xanax.

Many individuals unfortunately cope improperly when dealing with depression or anxiety.  They can turn to drugs and alcohol or turn to other unhealthy life choices when looking to escape the depression or anxiety.  This is why if dealing with anxiety and depression it is important to face it with the aid of a licensed counselor, or a healthcare professional with the appropriate training and legal abilities to help one learn better coping strategies and also provide, if necessary, the required medication.

Holistic and Integrative Mental Care

When dealing with these intense issues, one should finding a professional who is also well versed in holistic and integrative health care.  Some licensed mental care providers are also trained and certified in Holistic and Integrative healthcare.  Functional Psychiatry is an excellent source to help individuals receive the care they need when facing depression, anxiety or other health maladies.  As stated above, these healthcare providers can supply an individual with a more broad based plan that goes beyond just analyzing one’s mental state and brain but also look at other social and behavioral aspects in one’s life.  While medication is still pivotal, Holistic and Integrative Healthcare Professionals can also guide individuals with proper exercise, sleeping patterns, meditation and even diet.  Sometimes, issues within the mind are interconnected with one’s own social and behavioral patterns and diet, meditation, lack of sleep and exercise can be big issues in finding peace and calm from depression, anxiety and other mental maladies.

Many healthcare providers share in a mindset of total balance of health. Please also review AIHCP’s Holistic Nursing Program


Those who utilize this type of broader review of mental malady have an interest in a more whole view of health instead of merely analyzing one’s mind and the symptoms.  Instead, providers of this nature look to treat the entirety of the person and look to find any interconnections within the totality of the person.  Instead of masking symptoms with medication, one looks to find the source of the issue and attempt to fix it with better life style and healthier diet.

Numerous healthcare professionals approve of a holistic approach, one just merely has to research and find those who adhere to those principles.  Registered Nurses, Nurse Practitioners with Psychiatric training, Physicians, Social Workers and Licensed Counselors, as well as Psychologists and Psychiatrists can all play key roles in applying holistic principles.   Many of these healthcare professionals also have additional training in Functional Psychiatry or Holistic and Integrative Health and can apply it to treatment.


Treating the entirety of the human person is a core principle in holistic health.  It looks not just at the symptoms but looks to discover the source through a multifaceted investigation of the totality of the human person.  Functional Psychiatry looks at the entirety of the human person beyond merely the mental aspect, but also ones physical, emotional and behavioral self.  In this way it looks at exercise, meditation, sleep and diet as additional areas of concern when dealing with depression, anxiety or other mental ailments.

AIHCP offers for professionals who are seeking an additional certification in holistic health, a Holistic Nursing or Holistic and Integrative Healthcare Certification.  The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification in Holistic Nursing.  Please review the program and see if it meets your academic and professional goals.

Additional Resources

“What Is Holistic Psychiatry? (And Why You Should Consider It!)”. A Radiantly Healthy Life. Access here

“Holistic Therapy: Treating Body, Mind, and Spirit for Whole Person Healing”. Ann Mayer.  February 9th, 2022. Healthline. Access here

“Is Holistic Therapy Right for You?”. Kendra Cherry. April 13th, 2023. VeryWellMind.  Access here

“A Holistic Approach to Treating Depression”. Ellen Greenlaw. July 6th, 2010. Access here

“Holistic Approach to Anxiety and Depression Treatment”. Dr. Joseph N. Ranieris D.O. November 5th, 2020. Discovery Institute.  Access here

Stress Management Consulting Program Video on Anxiety

Anxiety is a constant source of stress like symptoms but without an actual stressor present.  Anxiety persists beyond the stressor and can sometimes be due to no stressor at all.  Anxiety can be a response also to past trauma that leaves the person in a constant state of fight or flight.  Obviously anxiety can cause numerous health issues putting the body constantly on red alert and be damaging to forming social bonds with other people.

Please also review AIHCP’s Stress Management Program, as well as its Crisis Intervention Program and see if the programs meet your academic and professional goals. The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification in Stress or Crisis Management.

Please review the video below on anxiety

Stress Management Consulting Blog on Anxiety and Depression

Anxiety and depression can overlap but they by themselves are two independent different mental issues which can cause extreme distress.  Anxiety is a alert state of stress when stressors are no longer present.  Depression is an overlapping sadness that persists and exists usually without reason.  Both can lead to mental states of distress and usually need treatment from a professional.

Anxiety and depression shares similar symptoms but are different. Please also review AIHCP’s Stress Management Consulting Program


The article, “Anxiety vs. depression: Similarities and differences” by Zia Sherrell looks closer at the differences between anxiety and depression.  She states,

“Both conditions can also cause physical symptoms. For instance, a person with anxiety may present with chest pain or dizziness, and someone with depression may experience changes in their appetite or sleep patterns.  Despite the similarities between anxiety and depression, it is crucial to understand the key differences to ensure the best treatment and management approach. Keep reading to learn about the key similarities and differences between anxiety and depression, including the symptoms, causes, and treatment methods.”

To read the entire article, please click here

Please also review AIHCP’s Stress Management Consulting Program as well as AIHCP’s Grief Counseling Certification.  Both programs are online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking four year certifications.  Please review and see if they meet your academic and professional goals.

Stress Management Consulting Program Article on Anxiety

Stressors exist throughout life.  How we respond is critical.  Overreation to stress in the modern world is unhealthy.   Our bodies go into a fight or flight mode when the situation is not life altering when stress occurs.  Within the body also occurs anxiety which is an imbalanced reaction to a stressor that causes uneasiness and uncertainty.   Over worry is associated with anxiety

There are times to be nervous.  There are times to worry.  However, it is important to know when unhealthy stress reactions are occurring.  Most successful individuals are able to utilize worry into action and minimize anxiety.  Proper responses and balanced responses are key.

When does stress cross a healthy line and start causing extreme anxiety? Please also review AIHCP’s Stress Management Consulting Program


Yet, anxiety can sometimes be more than external issues.  Most anxious moments can be coped with but those with clinical anxiety can be paralyzed socially and need professional guidance and maybe medication.

The article, “Having Anxiety vs. Feeling Anxious: What’s the Difference?” from Healthline reviews normal anxious feelings with anxiety.  The article states,

“Anxiety is a normal response to stress, and isn’t always a bad thing. But when it gets to be uncontrollable or excessive to the point where it affects quality of life, this may be indicative of an anxiety disorder.  Knowing the difference between anxiety and an anxiety disorder can help you talk with your doctor about your symptoms and any concerns you might be having.”

To read the entire article, please click here

Please also review AIHCP’s Stress Management Consulting Program and see if it matches your academic and professional goals.  The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification in Stress Management Consulting

Stress Management Certification Article on The Nature of Worry

Human beings worry everyday.  They worry about global politics, national concerns, sports, domestic concerns at home, finances, family, health, weather, relationships, or the most simplistic interactions.  Some worries are deeper and more critical to survival while others are very trivial in nature but if we let worries dominate life, then they can cause unneeded damage to the body.

The Serenity Prayer teaches one to let go and to control what can be controlled and to release what cannot be controlled.  In understanding this basic ideal, one can releases oneself from the conscious reality of worry and focuses instead on productive reactions to legitimate concerns.   Worry itself is the direct mental process of dealing with problems.  It is essential because without it, important aspects of life would go untended to.  Hence worry is a thinking process that is essential to life but like any function, it is when it misused or overused that issues arise.

Individuals worry all the time. Worry is part of life but it should not be an aspect that overwhelms the mind especially with worries that are insignificant or cannot be changed. Please also review AIHCP’s Stress Management Certification


Anxiety, an emotional response to worry, can cause immense physiological damage to the body.  Anxiety is a dread of what may or may not happen.  It is unfounded and based on numerous misconceptions or unreal expectations.  85 percent of bad things the mind can conjure, usually never happen.  This worry that leads to unnatural state of anxiety is something that negatively affects the sympathetic nervous system.  In addition to anxiety, the worries that surround one become stressors.  Stress itself is a physical response to something and again activates the sympathetic nervous system, which in turn, activates such hormones as adrenaline that increases blood pressure and heart rate, as well as tightening muscles and closing down the digestive system to more fight or flight responses.  These responses are good if truly in physical danger, but the mental stressors and worries of life usually do not require such an extreme reaction.  If in a constant state of anxiety and stress, the body will begin to hurt itself through these responses.

This is why it is so important to worry over what truly matters most and when worrying, to worry well.  Worrying over things that cannot be changed do not help to the situation.  Worrying late at night, losing sleep, and becoming ill, do not help situations either, but individuals due to a variety of bad worrying habits, or mental ticks are unable to turn off bad worrying.  In effect, they become sick from worrying.  They do not possess the ability to shut down the sympathetic nervous system to find relaxation.

The Parasympathetic nervous system is the opposite of the Sympathetic.  It lowers the heartrate, blood pressure, and relaxes the body’s muscles and permits better digestion.  It is imperative to return to this type of operation and find new balance.  Individuals with panic and anxiety disorders that explode with worry do not have the abilities to find that balance.  Many times they turn to a variety of medications which only blanket the symptoms but once untaken, do nothing for the body to learn to balance

This is why it is so important to learn to worry well.  In the MED300/SM550 course, the text and CD of Dr. Weil is utilized to teach individuals how to use meditation and visualization as a way to combat and cope with worry.  Dr. Weil emphasizes that one needs to place worries in three different columns.  Situations that can be changed, may be changed, and cannot be changed.

Worry should be proportionately applied to things that can be changed.  Through identification of what one wishes to accomplish, one can then follow a plan of action, choosing the best options and how those options will be carried out.  Affirmation of success is key as a follow through.   Dr Weil encourages visualization as a technique in meditation to find a quiet and peaceful place where one can find an inner wisdom guide, which in actuality is one’s unbiased subconscious.  Some individuals make this spiritual by prayer and speak with Christ or Mohammed or Buddha, while others relate to deceased parents.  This inner wisdom can sometimes supply fresh insight into an issue that seemed difficult prior.

In reaching these states of meditation, Dr Weil believes in the importance of breathing as a source of helping the body again find balance with the Parasympathetic system.  Focused, deep, longer breaths can help the body find balance and reduce the tension in the body.  The focus on breath also can closely follow Dr. Benson’s Relaxation Response, which follows the same ideals of breath, focus words and muscle relaxation.   While these steps follow religious guidelines, they also coincidentally open the body up to more tranquil states associated with the Parasympathetic system.  This can reduce the effects of stress, anxiety and unneeded worry.

Proper breath work in meditation can help one return to a more balanced state with the Parasympathetic Nervous System. Please also review AIHCP’s Meditation Instructor Program.


Good breath work and meditation can be used to free the body from unchangeable worries and also be used to guide the mind to find resolutions for things that can be changed.   It can also help the mind find ways to transform oneself to things that cannot be changed.  Some worries cannot be altered but they can be accepted and the situation can be adjusted to.  The worries that cannot find solutions should generate transformation.  In doing so,  worrying is then used the natural way it was intended through evolution as a way to help the body deal with problems.

Through analyzation of worry, proper breath work, meditation, visualization and affirmation, one is better equipped to free the body from the stress and anxiety of the Sympathetic Nervous System and allow it to rest but also to be better able to dismiss unneeded worry and focus on real solutions to real life issues.

If you worry too much, it may be time to try to utilize these techniques to minimize unnecessary problems and focus on real problems but in a productive way by retraining how you approach worrying itself.

Please also review AIHCP’s Meditation Instructor Program as well AIHCP’s Stress Management Certification Program and see if they match your academic and professional goals.  The programs are online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four certification.