Select Page


by Mar 3, 2017

Depression, mania, cyclothymia, anxiety, oh my! I’m preparing for my Psychopathology midterm, and there is so much to learn.


Why do chiropractic and naturopathic medical students need to learn about all these conditions? More likely than not, we will be treating patients with mental health conditions whether we plan to or not. The whole body is connected, including the psyche! Even though many naturopathic doctors don’t prescribe pharmaceuticals (whether it be due to lack of licensure and prescribing rights, or personal choice) having general knowledge to be able to identify these conditions and provide natural solutions and appropriate referrals for counseling and is important. Also, many chronically ill individuals are taking or have been taking medications to treat these conditions, and they will come to us to address other aspects of their health.

How does naturopathic medicine approach the management of these conditions? For every single patient, regardless of their chief complaint, we address the determinants of health. It is essential to correct imbalances in the determinants of health to attain health. Some of the determinants of health include nutrition, hydration, sunlight, epigenetics, sense of community, and spirituality.

For example, depression is a condition that conventional medicine commonly treats with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). SSRIs will increase the amount of serotonin available for the brain. In naturopathic medicine, we ask another question. Why does this patient not have enough serotonin? It turns out that the gut produces the majority of serotonin (about 90%). If a patient has a poor diet, imbalances in gut flora, digestion issues, etc., an insufficient amount of serotonin is produced, leading to the symptoms of depression. We would then treat the digestive tract with dietary changes and perhaps supplements to get the body on the right track.

Subscribe to Our Blog

Follow NUHS on Social Media

About the Author

Mary Simon

Mary Simon

I'm a naturopathic medical student at NUHS. I started the Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine Program in January 2014. I was born and raised in Manitowoc, Wisconsin, a beautiful town on Lake Michigan. My experiences interpreting (Spanish to English) in nearly all medical specialties solidified my decision to study naturopathic medicine, as I saw a deep need for treating the body as a whole, getting to the root causes of symptoms, and using minimally invasive low-cost therapies to restore health.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts

On Perspective

On Perspective

This week, as finals dawn, my own studying regrettably takes me away from the things I enjoy. In light of this…

read more
A Timeless Approach to Health

A Timeless Approach to Health

As students of natural medicine, it is common to experience the constant stream of new — or newly resurrected from old — health trends…

read more

Defining the future of integrated health care.