Science

Mental health is biologically based

Brain Chemicals Infographic

More than 50 million Americans suffer from a mental health condition. Most are not severe and therefore go untreated. However, decreased mental health manifests itself in everyday life in a variety of ways, leaving many people yearning to feel better. Stigma and a lack of education around mental health has left many people afraid to seek help.

We know that mental health conditions develop due to imbalances in brain chemicals. These chemicals, called neurotransmitters, act as messengers and facilitate the brain’s ability to communicate and function normally. Stress, poor diet, lack of exercise or genetics can cause our bodies to have low levels of neurotransmitters. Other times, our bodies may produce too much of a certain neurotransmitter. Symptoms begin to show not only in the mind, but also in the physical body.

Mental Illness & Physical Pain

Mental health affects the whole body and is biologically based. This knowledge holds the potential to completely transform how we view and treat mental health. This is the driving force behind Total MINDCARE.

MINDCARE, the new way to a healthier mind

Interventions exist to address the underlying chemical imbalances that cause mental health conditions. Most mental health medications work by altering levels or effects of neurotransmitters. There are many additional methods that have shown to be just as effective as medication.

Total MINDCARE integrates the breadth of clinically supported interventions and tools in a holistic way to help you find what works.

These options include measurement-based care, a mental wellness program, neurotransmitter specific nutrition, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), clinical care through chat-based therapy or telemedicine visits, personalized medication selection, and our digital guide myMINDCARE.

Let’s take a deeper look into how these options impact mental health.

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Science-based mental wellness. Live with more HERO.

Total MINDCARE uses the HERO (Happy, Enthusiastic, Resilient, and Optimistic) system to measure mental wellness and targets specific areas to improve HERO. Using our guided 90-day program, our members can greatly increase their HERO wellness rating and greatly reduce their depression and anxiety symptoms. These results are independent of other interventions such as medications or cognitive therapy.

Click on any topic below to learn more:

We know that regular movement of our body in the form of exercise is necessary to maintain good physical health. But the benefits extend far beyond physical health and into mental well-being. Regular exercise improves your mood and reduces stress by stimulating mood-regulating brain chemicals, including dopamine and serotonin. We help you incorporate an effective exercise practice into your life – and stick with it.
Being mindful means you are paying attention to the present moment. Your attention is focused on your experience and the things that are creating your experience, like thoughts, emotions, smells and feelings. Practicing mindfulness is allowing the experience to be as it is, without judgement. Refraining from labeling your experiences as good or bad frees your mind. Over time, you will begin to feel the spaces between your thoughts. Multitudes of studies tell us that practicing mindfulness improves both physical and mental health. Don’t worry, every single person that practices mindfulness is successful with it, because there is no “wrong” way. We simply guide you with techniques and methods to begin the practice as an immediate way to counteract moods, stress and anxiety.

Inadequate or poor sleep can have detrimental effects on one’s physical and mental health. Insomnia can be a symptom of many mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, ADHD, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and chronic pain. It can also cause many of these mental health conditions to worsen. Conversely, some conditions may cause too much sleep.

We utilize a variety of techniques to help you improve the overall quality of your sleep, including the ability to fall asleep faster and stay asleep for longer periods of time. We guide you through the creation of a pro-sleep environment and elimination of behaviors that are toxic to quality sleep. We will help you learn to use your body’s natural sleep mechanisms to enhance your sleep quantity and quality.

You are not alone, but so often we feel as though we are. We all need the relief of support and people with whom to share in our struggles, our discoveries, and our triumphs. Sometimes we just need someone who understands or remind us of our own accountability. Decades of research has shown that human connections are necessary for optimal mental health. We help you become more socially connected by offering instant access to a supportive community of people, like you, finding their way to well-being. Additionally, we guide you through examining any barriers you may experience and teach you how to effectively add meaningful social connections to your life. Greater social connectedness has even been associated with living longer!

Nutrients fuel your brain and body functions, thus good nutrition is vitally important to mental and physical health. Research overwhelmingly shows that what we eat affects our brain. We tend to consume an excess of refined carbohydrates, which causes inflammation not only in our bodies but in our brains as well. To make matters worse, we tend to be deficient in vitamins and minerals referred to as micro-nutrients. Most importantly, our brains need specific amino acids as building blocks for the brain’s messengers, called neurotransmitters. When our bodies don’t get the nutrients that they need we are essentially starving our brains and causing imbalances. These conditions set the stage for mental health conditions.

We connect you with nutritional counselors and create a personalized plan to help you reduce inflammatory foods and increase nutritious foods in your diet. Our digital tools help you track your daily meals. Our myMINDCARE can help you map your symptoms to identify possible neurotransmitter deficits. Fortunately, we can help our bodies make more neurotransmitters with inexpensive supplements. If supplements are needed, your nutritional counselor will guide you through the options.

Neurotransmitter Too little Too Much Supplement
Dopamine Lack of pleasure
Lack of motivation
Parkinsons
Schizophrenia Phenylalanine or tyrosine, vitamin B6
GABA Anxiety
Sleep
Epilepsy
GABA
Norepinephrine Lack of concentration Anxiety disorders Phenylalanine or tyrosine, copper, vitamin C
Serotonin Low mood
Poor sleep
Eating disorders
5-HTP
Methyl-folate
myMINDCARE is your personal, digital guide that helps you keep track of your appointments, your medications and your wellness programs (exercise, nutrition, sleep, etc). It helps you record and measure your progress towards a healthier mind. It connects your daily programs with the other members of your care team in order to use all of your records to create your personalized care plan. myMINDCARE does all of the scheduling, tracking and number crunching so that you and your team can focus on YOU and YOUR journey.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) has been used successfully for over 50 years to treat a variety of psychological conditions, including anxiety and depression. It is a form of psychotherapy that focuses on how your thoughts, beliefs and attitudes impact your mental wellness. Results are quick, extremely effective and long-lasting for people who work through the program.

CBT helps you identify thoughts that are unrealistic and teaches you how to change them to more helpful ways of thinking. CBT can be as effective as medication in helping deal with depression, anxiety and sleep disorders. Total MINDCARE provides a digital version of CBT that you can use at your own pace for about 10% of the cost of seeing a therapist in person.

Using data to improve outcomes is the very heart of the Total MINDCARE way. Because it is effective! Incorporating measurement-based care (MBC) into clinical practice has shown patients are nearly 7x more likely to achieve remission and 2x as fast when MBC is used. Yet few practices report routinely utilizing MBC.

Total MINDCARE facilitates MBC into your care by helping you measure and track your progress over time and providing this information to your healthcare provider. Consistently measuring symptoms to judge the effectiveness of a medication and utilizing the information to make appropriate adjustments to dose or to change medication leads to better outcomes.

Total MINDCARE provides access to many proven therapies utilized in a clinical setting through digital tools and resources. So it’s like having your therapist with you at all times. However, sometimes it is easier to be healthier if we have someone in our corner helping us along.

Total MINDCARE provides access to real healthcare providers to help you on your journey, whether it is a coach, therapist or psychiatrist. Our network of healthcare providers are able to provide the level of care that best fits your needs, in a format that best suits you.

Chat-based therapy with a therapist or a coach: Our private and secure chat program allows you to send messages to your care team and get responses back within a day. Of course, sometimes you may need to chat with someone right away, and we will be there for you when you need us.

Telemedicine visits with prescribers: Sometimes you may want to speak with or have a video conference with a member of your care team or you may want to include a prescription in your care plan. Total MINDCARE offers secure video calls with your team by appointment or for emergencies.

Every person has a unique biochemistry influenced by our genes and environment. Genetics and other medicines that we take can greatly influence how well and safely many psychiatric medications work.
If you need the additional support of psychiatric medication, either temporarily or long-term, we help you through the process of finding the medication that works best for you. Our goal is to shorten the time this process takes.

myMINDCARE can help you and your care team navigate these complex interactions to find the medicine best suited to your symptoms, biology, and other medicines.

Total MINDCARE recommends that everyone considering a psychiatric medication have genetic testing performed. If you have already had genetic testing performed, we can use those results without requiring you to be retested. If you need testing, Total MINDCARE offers affordable options for you.

The importance of pharmacogenetic testing in use of psychiatric medications.

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