What Are Interventional Psychiatric Treatments?
As a board-certified psychiatrist, I can tell you that this is a very exciting time for the field of psychiatry.
No longer will patients with debilitating depression and anxiety symptoms come in for a quick medication adjustment, then go home and wait until they feel better. Psychiatry now has so much more to offer patients.
In the past, patients were given little more than traditional psychotropic medications. These treatments include, but are not limited to:
- Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT)
- Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS)
- Injectable ketamine
- Intranasal Spravato (esketamine)
These treatments can be effective, but symptoms can be improved faster when interventional psychiatry treatments are also used.
What Is Interventional Psychiatry?
Interventional psychiatry is a growing field within psychiatry that utilizes treatments other than these traditional psychotropic medications. When given in addition to traditional care, which consists of medication adjustments and psychotherapy, interventional treatments can enhance overall mental health.
The Difference Between Traditional Psychiatry and Interventional Psychiatry
By relying on more than one treatment modality, psychiatrists don’t have to be so aggressive with psychotropic medications.
For example, a person with severe depressive symptoms might go to a traditional psychiatrist that only utilizes psychotropic medication. They’ll walk out with a prescription for an antidepressant, an “as needed” anxiety medication like clonazepam or alprazolam, and another prescription for sleeping medication. This person might also be referred to a therapist for some form of psychotherapy. They would likely return to the psychiatrist every 2-6 weeks for 15- to 20-minute appointments where this combination of medications would be constantly adjusted (usually in the direction of stronger and higher doses).
Contrast that with if the same patient went to a psychiatrist with experience and access to interventional psychiatric treatments. They may still be prescribed an antidepressant, and potentially anxiety and/or sleeping medication.
However, the interventional psychiatrist can also talk to the patient about other treatments that may be a good fit for them, such as ECT, TMS, and/or an available version of ketamine. Which treatment the psychiatrist recommends will depend on the patient’s clinical circumstances.
For example, if the patient has a commercial health plan, and no contraindications for TMS or the recently-approved intranasal antidepressant, Spravato (esketamine), then those treatments may be suggested. Shortly after starting the recommended medications and additional TMS or Spravato, the patient will begin to see symptom improvement sooner than they would have with the traditional psychiatric medications alone.
When a psychiatrist sees that symptoms are improving faster with the interventional psychiatric treatments, they can be less aggressive with medications. This reduces the risk of adverse effects associated with the higher doses of these medications, and a better eventual outcome for that patient.
Who Is Pacific Psychiatric?
Pacific Psychiatric Intervention & Wellness Centers has treated depression and anxiety patients with traditional and interventional psychiatric treatments at our clinic in San Diego, California for nearly five years.
Five years ago, I (co-founder, Dr. Jake Hollingsworth) left the U.S. Air Force (AF) where I worked as a psychiatrist in an AF base outpatient clinic (more about that in later blog posts). When I left the AF, our family moved to San Diego, California, where I joined a group psychiatric practice and functioned as a traditional outpatient psychiatrist.
I primarily saw patients with mood and anxiety disorders. At that point in time, I had minimal experience with any type of interventional psychiatric treatments. However, I quickly realized that there was a limit to how much could be done with psychiatric medications alone. This motivated me to seek out other types of treatments (or interventions) to offer.
Around this time, I subleased a small office space in another doctor’s office, and with the assistance of my wife, a board-certified anesthesiologist, started offering IV ketamine infusions to depressed patients. This new endeavor, initially called Ketamine For Life, evolved into what is now known as Pacific Psychiatric.
Pacific Psychiatric Offers Interventional Treatment
Pacific Psychiatric Intervention & Wellness Centers, now located in Del Mar, California, has grown steadily since its inception. We are proud to offer many interventional psychiatric treatments, such as:
- Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation
- Theta Burst Stimulation (TBS)
- Intranasal Spravato (esketamine)
- Nutrient Assessments and Injectable Nutrient Treatment
- Traditional Psychiatric Medication Management
- Men’s Hormone Replacement Clinic
I’ll post regularly on this blog to describe the different treatments in detail and help get the word out about interventional psychiatry. I’ll use my experience and current medical evidence to help patients and family members make informed decisions on the best treatment methods for their specific circumstances.
We at Pacific Psychiatric Intervention & Wellness Centers see upwards of 200 patients each month. Every day, we provide all of the interventional treatments, with the exception of ECT. I’m happy to be a resource for your mental health treatment options.