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5 Alternative Ways Functional Medicine Can Treat Depression and Prevent Suicide

September is recognized as Suicide Prevention Month in the United States. It’s a sobering time for Rising Health Specialty Clinic as our team of functional medicine practitioners seek to bring awareness to this issue in our communities. If you are reading this because you are in crisis, call the toll-free National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The service is available to anyone. All calls are confidential.

Depression is a growing health concern in the United States. Statistics show that 1/10 Americans admit to experiencing mild to severe depressive symptoms in the past two weeks. Moreover, 47,500 people take their own lives in an attempt to escape feelings of sadness, anxiety, and hopelessness. Unfortunately, many people try typical mental health treatments and don’t experience lasting relief. Perhaps you or a loved one feel like there are no options left for treating your depression. Before you give up hope, make sure you call Rising Health Specialty Clinic.

Our clinic offers alternative mental health therapies based on the principles of functional medicine. Patients who come to us hoping to reduce suicidal thoughts often haven’t responded to mainline remedies like talk therapy, self-help books, and psychiatric drugs.

The common issue with these therapies is that they compartmentalize depression to one part of the body. For counselors, depression is an emotional issue. For psychiatric doctors, depression is a chemical issue. However, depression affects the entire person.

Functional medicine provides holistic alternatives to prescription drugs and traditional talk therapy. We understand that each patient has a unique brain chemistry and health history. We treat the whole person through our one-on-one treatment plans. If you or someone you know hasn’t responded well to other programs, it’s time to try functional medicine.

Feeling heard and understood

The first way functional medicine addresses depression is to make the patient feel safe and understood. Functional medicine is focused on getting to the root cause of your health issues. This means your doctor will sit down and listen to your unique situation and health history. When you come to Rising Health Specialty Clinic, don’t expect a short 10-minute consultation that ends in a generalized prescription for medication. Expect one-on-one care and a personalized treatment plan.

Our founder, Sharlene Watson, started Rising Health Specialty Clinic because too many patients weren’t allowed to take charge of their healthcare. She’s been joined by other partners like Anne Bowden who work hard to live out this mission. Depression is not a one-size-fits-all condition. When someone is wrestling with thoughts of suicide, it’s important that they feel heard and valued as an individual. You will receive that level of care with functional medicine.


Exercise is a core component of any depression therapy. The natural benefits of exercise are incredible. In short, active movement produces “feel-good” hormones called endorphins that help regulate e

motions. Exercise can also address certain types of chronic pain. For example, stretching and strengthening certain muscle groups can relieve pain related to bad posture, and that pain relief can go a long way in relieving mental stress.


Did you know that a poor diet can bring down your mood? According to the Mayo Clinic, “Several studies have found that people who ate a poor-quality diet — one that was high in processed meat, chocolates, sweet desserts, fried food, refined cereals, and high-fat dairy products — were more likely to report symptoms of depression. The good news is that the people who ate a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and fish were less likely to report being depressed.”

As part of your holistic functional medicine treatment plan, you’ll be coached on how to maintain healthy diet habits while still enjoying foods that taste good to you.

Ketamine Therapy

Although ketamine has been used since the 1960s as a medical anesthetic, new research has shown ketamine to be effective in treating many depression-related disorders. Many patients wrestling with depression, PTSD, OCD, bipolar disorder, mood disorders, and postpartum depression have found relief through ketamine therapy. Low doses of ketamine can improve neural connections in the brain and regulate proteins to address symptoms of depression.

Patient-Specific Therapy

Chronic disease is a major contributor to depression. Constant pain and lack of function can take the joy out of life. Many of our patients struggle with underlying health conditions that affect quality of life. These diseases include a range of conditions from autoimune complications to severe migraines. After diagnosing the root cause of your discomfort, a doctor will help you manage symptoms and eradicate the disease for long-term physical and mental relief.

Our clinic offers multiple alternative therapies that realign bodily systems for peak performance. For example, our practitioners are trained in Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy (PEMF). This therapy uses low field magnetic stimulation to heal the body, even depression, by reestablishing proper electrical voltage on a cellular level. Other alternative therapies include NAD IV therapy, which injects your body with necessary coenzymes that support cellular health.

It’s time to take full control of your mental wellbeing. You have options when it comes to treating your depression, and functional medicine might be the right alternative for you. Please sign up for a free, 15-minute consultation by contacting our clinic today.


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