90: A Mind Of Your Own: Tackling Mental Illness and Fixing Hormones with Dr. Kelly Brogan

A Mind Of Your Own: Tackling Mental Illness and Fixing Hormones with Dr. Kelly Brogan

In one of my favorite episodes of all time, Dr. Kelly Brogan and I go deep on how to beat depression, anxiety, and other problems with a root-cause approach. We also delve into hormone balance, what to do when blood tests are wrong, and the only non-negotiable part of her protocol for everyone.

Dr. Brogan’s opinions on psychiatric drugs, health, and even motherhood caught my attention early on, and I’ve been an avid follower ever since. This is seriously one of my favorite interviews, ever, and a real bucket list item for me!

Sitting Down with Kelly Brogan MD (S0 Awesome!)

Dr. Kelly Brogan has the training and credentials that make you sit up and listen.

She completed her psychiatric training and fellowship at NYU Medical Center after graduating from Cornell University Medical College, and has a B.S. from MIT in Systems Neuroscience. Dr. Brogan is board certified in psychiatry, psychosomatic medicine, and integrative holistic medicine.

She serves on the boards of GreenMedInfo, Functional Medicine University, Pathways to Family Wellness, NYS Perinatal Association, Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation, Mindd Foundation, the peer-reviewed, indexed journal Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, and the Nicholas Gonzalez Foundation. She is also Medical Director for Fearless Parent and a founding member of Health Freedom Action.

A Radical Approach to Healing Mental Illness

In her practice Dr. Kelly Brogan takes a radical approach for an Ivy League-trained psychiatrist and pharmaceutical expert: she helps her patients heal psychiatric conditions and symptoms without medication.

Despite the controversy, Dr. Brogan’s not shy about why she put down the prescription pad. She vetted her new beliefs about health through thousands of hours of medical research. (She shares my love for PubMed!) What she uncovered led her to realize that much of her medical training was simply behind the times, ignoring the most current scientific research … and was frighteningly wrong.

Today Dr. Brogan works with real passion to bring her patients to holistic healing. In addition to running her practice, she wrote the international and NY Times bestselling book on healing depression, A Mind of Your Own, as well as the awesome e-book Change Your Food, Heal Your Mood. And if you don’t live near her Manhattan practice, she offers a complete wellness program online called Vital Mind Reset. (See the Resources section below for links!)

But enough of my gushing … on to the interview!

In This Episode You’ll Learn:

  • Dr. Brogan’s own struggle with Hashimoto’s and what it uncovered
  • the major problem no one is talking about when it comes to mental health
  • why this Ivy League trained doctor tore up her prescription pad … for good
  • the holistic treatment plan that can heal even serious mental illness, without medications
  • the one non-negotiable part of Dr. Brogan’s protocol for everyone!
  • reasons that incidence of mental illness is escalating (even though we supposedly have better treatments)
  • the surprising way mental illness is diagnosed (and the gaping hole in the process)
  • hormone imbalances that manifest as mental illness but aren’t
  • key clues to look for to tell if blood tests are wrong
  • how the thyroid and the immune system interface … and how it can manifest as mental illness when they get out of balance
  • common antigenic foods that can wreck mental health
  • how Dr. Brogan’s outcomes are so much different than regular practices
  • the reason Dr. Brogan won’t prescribe hormonal contraceptives (even though she took them for 12 years)
  • why psychoneuroimmunology is important to you … even if you don’t know it!
  • how to take back your power and determine your own healing
  • and more!

Resources We Mention:

What do you think of Dr. Kelly Brogan and her radical approach to mental illness? Have you experienced some of the things she’s talking about? Please share!

Special Thanks to Today’s Sponsors

This podcast is brought to you by Kettle and Fire Bone Broth. If you love the benefits of bone broth but don’t love the time it takes to make and how tough it can be to find quality bones to make it, Kettle and Fire is for you! They have the first grass-fed (and grass-finished) non-perishable bone broth and it is ah-mazing! You can find them in many Whole Foods on the west coast and you can also order online from here.

Their bone broth is a regular staple in my kitchen these days, and it was what I used to create the recipes in my new bone broth e-book (releasing later this year). Give Kettle and Fire bone broth a try and support a company making a difference in our food industry!

This episode is also sponsored by Plant Therapy. There are so many options out there when it comes to essential oils and I’ve used a lot of them over the years. Now I most often turn to Plant Therapy because they have a
large assortment of organic oils and a whole lot of kid-safe blends. (It doesn’t hurt that they also have really good prices!) Their oils have no additives or synthetic ingredients and they publish their testing results for all of their oils so you can verify the quality.

Their kid-safe blends are formulated by Robert Tisserand, who is largely considered one of the foremost experts in essential oil safety, so I feel I can trust him. If you want to check them out, right now they’re running some big sales that are changing daily. Go to wellnessmama.com/go/oils to get all the current discounts.

This post contains affiliate links. Click here to read my affiliate policy.

Reader Interactions

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Reader Comments

  1. I just wanted to say thank you so much for making a transcript of the podcasts! I never have time to listen to long podcasts, but I can read very quickly and it’s much more convenient for me, and I loved being able to get the information this time in a format that suited me! 🙂

  2. Thank you for the uplifting conversation. It gave me hope that some day I’m going to get out of the fog of these chemicals.

  3. Brilliant! As a clinical social and long-time user of homeopathy, acupuncture, and alternative medicine, I have reached many of the same conclusions. I really appreciate Dr. Brogan’s explanations and in-depth research. Very inspiring, thank you!

  4. I love this! Thank you so much. I’m a high school teacher, and I see the increase in anxiety and depression in teens these days and I’m constantly on the look out for ways to help them. I also like Marisa Peer — she has a similar approach to mental health issues.

  5. Thank you Katie. Our family has been in the “wellness community” for 8 years as we’ve struggled and learned through health issues in our 3 biological boys. We’ve been home 6 months with our 14 year old adopted daughter from Colombia and I feel we are starting from scratch. Her fight or flight response is so intense that she seems to be in survival mode daily and her health is suffering. Add the changing hormones of puberty and it’s pretty intense. I’ve thrown myself back into research for her sake and resonated with this podcast so much.

  6. You wouldn’t think an (almost!) 65 year old woman with no children would enjoy your blog/podcasts, but I assure you, I love what you do and you have been SO helpful to me in ways other than Mama ways!
    And then to have my beloved Dr. Brogan on your podcast……thank you, thank you so much Katie!

  7. I love that we are talking about mental health. There was one concern I had with the personality responsibility idea. Lifestyle change has really helped me with mental health but I feel like there is a limit to personal responsibility. I have taken and am taking responsibility as much as I’m able but do I just “try harder” when I’m exhausted and alone? That feels a bit like victim blaming. As does the suggestion that I have the power to change things in my life that are stressful (the housing and job markets where I live are impossible; I’ve been trying for over a year to change both in my life, for example). Mindset is powerful, yes, but it only goes so far I think. We need each other.

    I relate deeply to the wound of isolation. Living in such an isolating, emotionally abusive culture as America is a direct cause of mental health. Community is almost impossible where I live (the Seattle Freeze is very real); online communities I’ve tried have not helped me feel seen, heard or that I matter at all but being lonely is lethal, especially when you’re struggling with chronic pain/PTSD/depression (at times suicidal).

  8. There is hope and you can change it right now. Please turn off your computer, set down the phone, and walk or drive or bike to any church. Walk into the parish office. Be honest. You can say, I am an agnostic, atheist, any or none faith – but I am lonely, frustrated, depressed – and I need community.

    The response should be immediate. Friendly people who want to welcome you, and have a spot where you can help others. Serving coffee at the Sunday donut social, or lunches in the mission for homeless. Working youth or elderly. Supporting the unborn, newborn, dying. Rebuilding houses. Joining a book club. Teaching a class on $ or speaking English.

    There is no better aid to your mental health than taking small steps towards helping someone else. Pull you from your own head, habits, situation, and towards someone else in greater need.

    Contrary to the message on tv and pop culture, America has always been the country of faith, fellowship, brotherly love. Helping oneself and one’s neighbor. Even the most secular of the founding fathers recognized the benefit that was the values and actions that flow from Religion and paticipating in a faith community. Effect on family and society.

    This is not a message suggesting you “fake it til you make it.” Or that you join a group while feeling like a hypocrite. You can be honest, yourself, and recognize that this world is a mess, but there are bright spots where folks have a common goal of building community and helping others.

    And if serving does not appeal in any capacity, or you are in a place where you need to hunker down and just heal, please consider checking out the entire Little House on the Prairie series to read. Those humble books are not just for kids. They are an amazing reminder of true isolation, hard work, resourcefulness, virtues, tragedies, and simple joys. Is not the same as the sweet old tv show.

    Reading or listening on cd is a course in therapy of its own. And a reminder of when Dr. Brogan’s revolutionary “prescription” of clean eating, physical work, sunshine, and sleep was all natural and lived daily.

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