Houston-area mental health hospital gets to the root of the problem

A local facility that treats mental health has a new way of doing things. They're offering unique therapies to treat all kinds of problems, ranging from anxiety during the pandemic to depression, substance abuse, PTSD, OCD, and the list goes on.  

New Horizon Hospital is using cutting edge technology to help patients dealing with mental health issues. They do this in a warm environment to help patients feel the comforts of home.


"I can't tell you how excited I am to tell you about the most cutting edge psychiatric hospital, inpatient and outpatient, in the state of Texas," exclaims Dr. Shama Rasheed, who is not only a psychiatrist for children and adults, but also the Medical Director of New Horizon Hospital.

This is where she and her colleagues offer a four-pronged approach to healthcare.

"We believe in an integrative model, where we combine physical health, emotional health, spiritual health and intellectual health, in creating a well-rounded individual that is really excelling in all four areas of life. We found that there's a huge interface between mental health and physical health, and spiritual health and you can't separate them, and I think prior to this medicine was very segregated," explains Dr. Rasheed.


She explains they do believe in talk therapy and prescription medications, but she says they're taking it to a higher level, to get to the root of the problem. They’re doing this by studying a patient's gut, to find out how it rules their mental health.

"What we’ve learned is that there are a lot of micronutrients that are deficient in patients who are suffering with mental health issues, as well as substance abuse and addiction issues. They have a depletion of amino acids in the brain. They are generally in a state where patients are depressed or anxious or dealing with other stressful situations, they definitely aren't taking care of their nutrition properly, and a lot of these micronutrients serve as precursors for the development of neurotransmitters in the brain to produce healthy levels of dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine, which are the three neurotransmitters that are involved in mood. So what we realized is, instead of just giving medications to increase those levels, what if we just fed the body in the right way," states Dr. Rasheed.

She says to do this, they offer an IV infusion of exactly what the patient needs, based on their own DNA.

"What we do is we actually take a cheek swab sample. We unravel your entire DNA, the whole exome, and we find out all the deficiencies that are in your body. Then we actually are able to create customized micronutrient infusions to actually address those deficiencies in your body, and it's incredible when patients read their entire DNA booklet, they're like, wow, I had no idea that for example, I don't process caffeine. I shouldn't be drinking that, it's actually increasing my anxiety, or I didn’t know that I don't absorb vitamin D, no matter how much I take it, I have to take it through an infusion because my stomach just doesn't digest it because I have a genetic marker that tells me that I don't," says Dr. Rasheed.

She says the natural infusion removes the severe side effects that many patients face when taking medication, but for those who do need medicine, she looks at their DNA to determine which medications her patient would best respond to, though she says micronutrient infusions usually offer a powerful punch for her patients.

"We're able to give them energy, good sleep, and improvement in their anxiety and depression and a decrease in their cravings for drugs and alcohol," states Dr. Rasheed.


Blue light therapy is something else that New Horizon Hospital offers. Doctors have known for years that light can help treat depression and anxiety, but too many UV rays can be harmful, so they made a safe form of it for patients.

"Researchers spliced up all the radio frequencies of light and spliced out all the ones that are harmful and kept the ones that actually helped treat the depression and anxiety. So we are able to have our patients lay under blue light therapy, and it has shown incredible results in treatment of anxiety, depression, fatigue, insomnia, and chronic pain," says Dr. Rasheed.

She also says for all therapy she offers, she creates a safe environment for her clients, wrapping religion around it.

"No matter which faith background you come from, I'm here to draw out that faith, because I tell them you know what you're going to get better here, and I'm 100% confident, you're going to get better. Then they ask how I know that because they’ve tried so many different doctors. I say you know what, because we have God in this room with us. We have what's called the trifecta of success. We've got the Lord, you and me, and we're a team," smiles Dr. Rasheed.  She says she believes that's as powerful as a team can get, working together to build stronger mental health.

At this moment, New Horizon Hospital has two locations. One of them is on the north side of Houston, while another is in the Pearland area. Now they’re building a third location in Bellaire.

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