For the past two centuries, the treatment of severe mental symptoms has been the province of that branch of medicine called psychiatry. The most common treatments psychiatry has offered in the past fifty years have been drugs, electroshock therapy and other forms of shock treatments.

Today drugs prevail as the accepted and widespread antidote for mental troubles. The psychiatric approach views “mental illness” primarily as an incurable, genetic ailment that has to somehow be controlled.

However, many people do not want these treatments for themselves or their loved ones. And many do not believe that “mental illness” is a life sentence from one’s genes. Indeed, quite a few do not believe “mental illness” even exists as such.

Over the years, numerous observant physicians have discovered that psychiatric treatments are not the only answer. There are, in fact, alternatives to standard psychiatric care. The best alternatives find the root causes of the severe mental symptoms and cure them. The sources may be nutritional problems, allergies, glandular ailments, heavy metal poisoning, infections or a combination of these and other problems.

Thousands of documented cases exist of people who have successfully recovered from a diagnosis of “mental illness.”  A great many were, in fact, physically ill. They only improved when their physical disorder was discovered and treated.

As a simple example, Dr. Carl Pfeiffer, one of the early researchers into nutritional treatment of the mentally disturbed, found that 90% of patients classified as schizophrenics could be “socially rehabilitated” through nutritional means. These same patients are generally considered incurable by psychiatrists and are normally relegated to a lifetime on drugs.

For those who are suffering from mental ailments, even if the root causes can’t be found, many alternative remedies exist that soothe symptoms without the toxic effects of drugs. Exercise,  yoga,  special nutrients and herbs are but a few of the treatments that can safely soften the pain of extreme mental suffering.

Resolving mental troubles through alternative means is not the same quick fix as drugs. It commonly requires testing of blood, urine, etc., with a Sherlock Holmes attitude, intent on tracking down the physical source of the trouble. Sometimes a number of approaches must be tried before success is achieved.

But the reward, of course, is the eradication of the cause of the severe symptoms and, commonly, the avoidance of a lifetime on psychiatric medication.

Alternative mental health is a growing force in today’s world – a beacon of hope for the many who seek a choice over the treadmill of daily medication.