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Integrative Psychiatry: Past, Present and Future by Scott Shannon, MD

Where are we in Psychiatry? What is the future for mental health?

Come join us with Dr. Scott Shannon as he talks about Integrative Psychiatry: Past, Present and Future.


People are reluctant to jump off a ship, even if it’s burning unless they know somewhere that they can jump to. And we’ll see this repeatedly in history, that it’s not until there’s a new paradigm that people can step on to that all of the obvious flaws of the old paradigm become laughingly absurd and embarrassing, frankly. And I would say that the integrative approach is approach that is maybe more person centric, and says, I’m not so sure about these rationalizations. I really don’t like lumping people together. I think rather, we need to look at people individually, and try to make some gains from there.

Where are we in Psychiatry?

Number one, neuro psychiatric disorders are contributing most to morbidity. In the modern world in the United States. As of 2020, depression is the number one disabling condition worldwide according to the World Health Organization, medical spending, if we look at medical spending, both institutionalized active duty military and civilian, we see that mental disorders have far outpaced the next competition and and this spending is accelerating. So in 10, or 15 years, probably the spending for mental disorders will be twice that of the next most impairing condition.


As we understand the profound, lifelong implications of early life trauma, this becomes something that could shift and potentially dramatically change should shift and potentially dramatically change our approach to all mental illness.

Our Future

So I think the future for mental health is understanding that the body is damn important. And I mean, this should not be a revolutionary insight. And the fact that if inflammation is going on in the body, it affects the brain. If gut function is impaired, it affects the brain. You know that if diet is poor, it affects the brain, that if our water is polluted, and our air is polluted, it affects the brain. And that new paradigm is opening up from here, I think this new paradigm is going to be one that honors the psyche in ways and it’s going to be a paradigm that moved from a model of suppressing the psyche, with antidepressants, anti psychotics, and medications that blunt awareness and blunt capacity to a new model that is an evocative model that calls through and respects and honors all that. We are