The Functional Medicine Approach For Stress, Anxiety and Depression – Part 1

Mental health disorders such as Anxiety and Depression can significantly impact your quality of life. While the conventional medicine approach focuses mainly on balancing neurotransmitters in the brain, a functional medicine approach looks in an integrative way and wants to find out the sources of imbalance and then treat the underlying cause.


When we think about mental health through a functional medicine perspective, we want to consider what are the underlying causes that have led to the psychological distress in the first place. Therefore, we will start with a full case history, understanding physical, psycho-social and mental stressors.  Additionally, a full blood panel will be ordered and laboratory specimens to understand potential imbalances and deficiencies.


Areas that are covered during the history taking:

  1. Patient’s Background Information
  2. Why is the patient looking for treatment? What are the primary factors motivating the patient to come for treatment? What aspects of the patient’s life circumstances, significant events, symptoms/disorders, or problematic emotions/behaviours are contributing to his/her problems (e.g., health problems, relationship issues, angry outbursts, anorexia, substance abuse, work difficulties, stage of life)?
  3. Assessment of the current level of functioning in the following areas: Occupational/School performance, Intimate Relationships, Family Relationships, Friends and Alone time.
  4. Major Life Problems/Symptoms: potential trauma
  5. Childhood & Adolescent Origins of Current Problems: Core unmet needs biological, genetic and cultural influences


Functional medicine is unique in that it asks the patient to take an active part in their healing. The therapy approach called “Schema Therapy” is exactly constituted to understand the underlying/root core issues and at the same time understand current maladaptive coping modes that contribute to depression and anxiety disorders.


For more information regarding the functional medicine approach to mental health, please contact Registered Psychologist Julia Andre at 2881 8131 or

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