Treating Mood Disorders, Anxiety, and ADD without Medication: Is It Possible?

Presented by Robert J. Hedaya, MD, ABPN, DFAPA on 10-25-2013 at 9 a.m. Pacific to 11 a.m. Pacific (2 p.m. Eastern)

Depression, anxiety, and ADD are epidemic in western societies, and five years of peer-reviewed studies conclude that medication and talk therapy alone will leave the majority of people inadequately treated. Clearly, new paradigms and treatments are needed. This web conference will present a comprehensive model, based on published clinical and basic science research, that will support the expansion of our clinical perspective to encompass multiple dimensions of physical—and mental—well-being.

We’ll explore what it means to treat the “whole” person, starting with an examination of the root causes of depression, anxiety, and ADD. Dr. Hedaya will focus on the role of body systems and functions, such as digestion, nutrition, hormones, and immunity, with regards to these disorders, and the way they complement the psychosocial and spiritual systems. We will review basic tools that you can use in your practice to identify those whose physiology is playing a role in their mental health. You will be coached in easy and effective techniques that, while doing no harm, often work to help normalize the body systems that affect mental health. We’ll look at case histories to demonstrate how to put these ideas into action, and you’ll leave with new knowledge and specific written tools to get people on track to better health with less medicine.

This web conference is beginning instructional level and designed to help clinicians:

  1. Assess those whose nutrition may contribute to depression, ADD, and anxiety;
  2. Describe why digestion may contribute to depression, ADD, and anxiety;
  3. Explain why hormones may contribute to depression, ADD, and anxiety;
  4. Identify those whose immune systems may contribute to depression, ADD, and anxiety.

If you have any questions about this web conference or would like more information, please contact us here.

Event Reviews from Members

An excellent example of the quality of speaker that is most helpful to therapists -- at any level. This was among the best top three that I have heard via GoodTherapy. -Jill R. Turcott-Nielsen, LCSW, MSSW

Continuing Education (CE) Information

Two CE credits will be provided by for attending this web conference in its entirety. is also an Approved Education Provider by NAADAC, The Association for Addiction Professionals (provider #135463). Of the eight counselor skill groups ascribed to by NAADAC, this course is classified within counseling services. is an NBCC-Approved Continuing Education Provider (ACEPTM) and may offer NBCC-approved clock hours for events that meet NBCC requirements. is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. maintains responsibility for this program and its content., SW CPE is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #0395.

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Mental health professionals who are not members can attend this live web conference for $30.95 or access the homestudy recording for $15.50. Sign up here to purchase this CE course and earn a CE certificate.

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The adrenal gland releases cortisol, which is a stress hormone, and a number of other hormones. The important thing here is that there are two types of depression, broadly speaking. There’s a low-cortisol depression and there’s high-cortisol depression . . . the low-cortisol depression pretty much appears like what most people will see as depression. People who have no energy; they’re sluggish; they sleep a lot; they eat a lot. You know, their memory is impaired; they gain weight; they love chocolate; or they might be sensitive to rejection and criticism. Those are the people who have very low cortisol. The people who have high cortisol are what we call melancholic depression. And these are the people who are agitated—very agitated. And they lose weight; they pace; and they’re wringing their hands; and they can’t sleep at all; and they can even be psychotic and delusional.

This is important, because it has different consequences for treatment. Clearly, in someone who has high levels of cortisol, you want to bring that down, and there are different way of doing that. And someone whose cortisol is low, you actually want to bring that up. And sometimes I’ve used hydrocortisone, which is bio-identical cortisol, in normal doses so that the blood levels are what a normal person would have, and that has been successful in bringing these people out of depression.

But there are other things that you can do. You’re not going to use cortisol in your practice, but you can use adaptogens like ginseng and ashwagandha and rhodiola and cordyceps. These are different plants and herbs and mushrooms; and you can get people on a good course of B vitamins; and you can teach people meditative skills. That’s very helpful, unless they’re in a severe depressive state. And you can make sure they eat regularly and don’t become hypoglycemic, which stresses their system. And over time, depending on the person—could be six months or a year—if they’re actually engaged in this process, their adrenal function will most of the time return to normal.

There are some people who have just adrenal insufficiency, and none of that would do any good. These people lose weight and they’re anxious and crave a lot of salt, and they have other signs and symptoms. But for most of the patients, they have adrenal abnormalities, the cortisol is not normal. And all of those things I just mentioned would be helpful to most of them. I think that’s something that anybody listening to this call can do; focus on those things and it’ll make a big difference. - Robert J. Hedaya, MD, ABPN, DFAPA

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Meet the Presenter

Robert J. Hedaya, MD, ABPN, DFAPA

Robert J. Hedaya, MD, ABPN, DFAPA

Robert J. Hedaya, MD, ABPN, DFAPA, is the developer of the Whole Psychiatry methodology, which offers a comprehensive psychosocial and physiological approach to mental health. Dr. Hedaya evaluates major psychiatric disorders and then treats people by focusing on the bi-directional interactions between and among a person’s gastrointestinal system, immune system, hormonal system, nutrition, inflammation, environment, genetics, infection, cell signaling, detoxification, life circumstance, gender, and age. As a result of this approach, Dr. Hedaya significantly improves outcomes and the potential for reducing and in some cases even avoiding medication.

Dr. Hedaya is board certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology and he is certified as proficient in psychopharmacology by The American Society of Clinical Psychopharmacology. Hedaya is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and has several decades of experience. He is a clinical professor of psychiatry at Georgetown University Medical Center, where the Department of Psychiatry voted him Outstanding Teacher of the Year many times. The American Medical Association awarded Dr. Hedaya the Physician’s Recognition Award, and the Institute for Functional Medicine has recognized him as a Master Clinician. He is the author of Understanding Biological Psychiatry (Norton, 1996), The Antidepressant Survival Program: How to Beat the Side Effects and Enhance the Benefits of Your Medication (Crown-Harmony, 2000), and Depression: Advancing the Treatment Paradigm (2008, the Institute for Functional Medicine). Dr. Hedaya is an expert consultant and has been featured on CBS Evening News, The Today Show, 20/20, Fox, MSNBC, and CNN. Dr. Hedaya is also an expert on Dr. Oz’s Sharecare website. For more information on Dr. Hedaya and his work in Whole Psychiatry, please visit

Continuing Education Provider Approvals

  • is Approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. maintains responsibility for this program and its content.
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  •, LLC is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #SW-0395.
  •, LLC is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed marriage and family therapists #MFT-0022 and for licensed mental health counselors #MHC-0031.

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