My Approach to Helping
"The most beautiful people I’ve known are those who have known trials, have known struggles, have known loss, and have found their way out of the depths."—Elisabeth Kübler-Ross.
I am a Board-Certified Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner. I am dedicated to helping my patients find their way through the tough times in life, get them on the path to healing and feeling good again. Life can improve with the understanding that well-being & quality of life comes through action and engagement.
I work well with adults (18 & over) suffering from depression, mood & adjustment disorders, bipolar, insomnia, sleep disorders, anxiety, OCD, PTSD, ADHD, and other disorders. Together with you, we will create a personalized, holistic, evidence-based treatment plan that includes medication, psychotherapy, talk therapy, or a combination of each therapy.
My care and treatment approach includes medication management, psychotherapy, or a combination of both which creates an individualized treatment plan based on each patient’s mental health needs. I also take great care to find medications and dosages that efficiently & effectively manage symptoms without over-medicating her patients. I make it my priority to regularly follow ongoing psychiatric research and development to provide patients with the finest and most effective care plan. But my greatest joy is derived from helping my patients thrive and feel good in their physical and mental health.
Today is your opportunity to engage, take action and improve your quality of life! Your well-being and healing depend on the stability of both your physical and mental health. Call us today to schedule a free 15-minute screening. We'll discuss a holistic approach to treatment and get you on the path to feeling good again!
More Info About My Practice
Darlene is a board-certified Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner (MSN, APRN, PMHNP-BC). She is authorized to diagnose, prescribe medication, and treat patients in Arizona. She has over two decades of experience in the medical field as an Emergency Room & Intensive Care Unit Registered Nurse. Darlene’s Registered Nurse experience coupled with her education has provided her with a systems perspective of health care and has taught her how to become a change agent to improve mental health care. She approaches mental health concerns in a caring, compassionate, non-judgmental manner and believes in the importance of a comprehensive assessment to properly diagnose and treat mental health conditions. Bottom line, Darlene cares and it shows, just ask her patients. You will be impressed with the care you receive the first time you meet her at your initial and with each successive treatment session.
Specific Issue(s) I'm Skilled at Helping With
Medication Management and Analysis
It is imperative that your medication analysis is performed by a licensed board certified Psychiatric professional. Using Google and online drug interaction and medical diagnostic tools is an ineffective way to manage your medication dosage or determine which medication is best for treating your mental health condition.
Symptoms such as depression or anxiety can be made worse by lifestyle choices, sleep deprivation and stressful situations at home or work. Certain medical conditions can also make the symptoms of your psychiatric condition worse. We will carefully review your medical history, including past and current medications, and other factors such as lifestyle, diet, and supplements you are taking that can impact your physical and mental health.
Determining Underlying Conditions that Can Affect Mental Health
We believe in a thorough & exhaustive approach that carefully evaluates your physical and mental health before changing or adding psychiatric medications. Because of this, we might order laboratory tests, as these can pinpoint any underlying medical conditions that might be contributing to changes in your mental health.
Here are a few examples of patients whose medical conditions were mimicking or contributing to mental health disorders:
- A young woman who was feeling suicidal due to pain resulting from TMJ syndrome. A psychiatric and laboratory analysis found that she actually suffered from trigeminal neuralgia and not TMJ. The Psychiatric provider was able to switch her to a medication for trigeminal neuralgia that relieved her facial pain. After determining the cause of the depression was her pain, she was able to taper off her antidepressants.
- A woman, who had a history of depression, was experiencing extreme fatigue. Lab results showed that she was suffering from iron deficiency anemia. Even though she has a history of depression, prescribing another or stronger antidepressant would not have helped in this case.
- Another woman had exhibited symptoms of depression and extreme fatigue. Lab tests were ordered and indicated that the patient had low vitamin B & D levels. Supplements were ordered and the symptoms eventually subsided.
- A young man was exhibiting symptoms of severe depression and fatigue and was exacerbated by tinnitus and ear pain. Lab tests were ordered and the tests indicated he had severely low vitamin B-12, vitamin D, and folate. Once his vitamin levels increased the tinnitus and ear pain began subsiding.