"Natural Psychiatry" Hormones, Anxiety, Depression, ADHD and PTSD

June 24, 2024

"Natural Psychiatry" Hormones, Anxiety, Depression, ADHD and PTSD

Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD

Female Hormone Specialist

"Are you a Natural Psychiatrist? How does my monthly cycle effect my mood? " ~Morgan Scottsdale, AZ

Psychiatry is one of my favorite topics in Women's Health, however I am not a psychiatrist. Many of my patients refer to me as their "Natural Psychiatrist" though because I am working with them as a team with their counselor on managing their hormones, supplements, vitamins, and herbs related to their mental health. So they don't exactly want to be on psychiatric meds or need them, but they need something to improve their mood more than just counseling weekly with their therapist (highly reccomended!)

My mental health patients are generally women that prefer to take natural medicines, and are not in such a severe state that they require psychiatric care. Although I do have many women in my practice that work with me, a psychiatrist, and a counselor due to debilitating mental health challenges.

Many women with hormone imbalance end up sad, angry, depressed, anxious, and/or blah feeling.

Hormones should never be ignored in women with mental health challenges such as anxiety, depression, ADHD, rage, and PTSD.

With Holistic Psychiatry, we are treating your mood disorder such as anxiety, depression, bipolar, rage, ADHD, addictions, PTSD, OCD, and even schizophrenia with natural medicines. We also are more importantly following a detective process that utilizes metrics such as hormone testing, and nutritional testing, to determine if there is a vitamin or mineral deficiency or a hormone imbalance. An easy indicator a woman’s moodiness is caused by hormone imbalance, is seeing fluctuations in the mood during the monthly cycle. You can test this yourself at no charge by downloading a free “Period Tracker App” and rating your mood every day for an entire cycle. 

If the mood is not good the 7 days prior to your period or the first few days of your period then we can work together to change that with Naturopathic Medicine! Also if your mood has suddenly shifted in your thirties, forties or fifties then I can bet your hormones have shifted as well.

Fear not, there IS HOPE! Let me walk you through my process of helping women with their hormones, nutrition, and mental health. First, lets go over what happens in a women's monthly cycle and then in her forties and fifties.

When women are generally happy in the first half of their cycle days 1-14, with day 1 being the first day you start bleeding, and then struggle with anger, agitations, depression, anxiety, hopelessness, rage, crying, and sadness during the PMS window or days 21-28 then you need hormone testing as there is likely a hormone imbalance going on that can be addressed with Naturopathic Medicine. 

Also if you have never experienced anxiety or depression until after having a baby or with your forties or fifties and your mood suddenly shifts, this is a sign you are experiencing hormone imbalance. Common hormone imbalances in the following conditions can be improved for mental health patients with natural hormones or herbs such as Postpartum Depression, Hypothyroidism, Perimenopause, Menopause, or even Hashimotos impacting your mood. 

The #1 Sign that something physical is causing the mental health disorder is when nothing stressful or sad is actually going on yet the patient feels anxious or depressed. When women tell me “My life is great, I love my husband, my kids are great, I love my job...I just don’t know why I feel like this…” This is when I think there is a mental health mystery for me to solve!

As a Naturopathic Doctor and Female Hormone Specialist, I love helping patients with depression and anxiety. Especially since I have battled my own depression and anxiety for over 30 years, and it started in my teen years indicating a strong hormonal link. I was never depressed as a child. I had a very happy childhood and wonderful parents. But suddenly, in my teens my attitude rapidly changed, I was angry at my Mom all the time. I was grouchy, depressed, sad, cried a lot, and constantly had anxiety about everything. 

I had social anxiety and a lot of perfectionism OCD like anxiety about my school work. I was an overachiever that would cry over an A- or a “Chinese F’ as they call it. My older sister got all C's and none of this pressure was pushed upon my by my parents to obsess about my grades. I had enrolled myself into all honor's classes and put this all upon myself.

First, my parents sent me to counseling to no avail, then I tried a lot of different antidepressant medications, I was even sent to a psychiatrist to try to medicate my mood. Many of the antidepressants they gave me just made my mood worse and caused me to gain weight or have an upset stomach, which made my mood even worse because now I was overweight and my stomach hurt!


Hormone testing is the most important thing we do for women with PMS like hormone imbalance. I like to conduct “Biphasic Labs'' which means we test your hormones while you are happy and feeling good during the first half of your cycle, and then, we test them in the PMS window days 21-25 when you are feeling at your worst, so we can capture the hormone imbalance. As I describe in my PMS blog, Jenny's husband called me panicking and wondering if the mental health issue with her stuck on the floor crying was her hormones. He said, "If this could be a hormone problem, sign her up now!"  

So I took her on as a Women's Health emergency, and then emailed him a lab slip while saying, “Take her in NOW to get her hormones drawn.'' Of course, it was the last thing Jenny felt like doing while suffering from a migraine, depression, and anxiety but as a Female Hormone Specialist, I know how important it is to get the PMS labs drawn when the patients are at their worst for me to solve the hormone puzzle. The best thing about getting your labs checked when you are at your best mood is, we can set those aside in the event you need bioidentical hormones someday with menopause, and then I know exactly what numbers I need to have you at, to make you feel your "personal awesome!" For more information about hormone imbalance and the blood hormone testing I conduct via women’s insurance please visit my HORMONE THERAPY page. 

The state of Arizona does not allow Naturopathic Doctors to order labs for Medicaid patients. But most decent insurance plans including Medicare, allow me to check your hormones per your insurance plan reimbursement. So long as you are at the correct lab which is either Labcorp or Sonora Quest. Be sure to call your insurance and find out which lab is contracted with your insurance, otherwise, the testing can be quite expensive! If you do not have insurance I have cash lab options, and the first panel should be around -$500 depending on what is going on, so please do not sign up to work with me if you cannot afford cash labs, or have Medicaid insurance. My ability to help you will be left with just guessing as what happens in prescription psychiatry, and that is my personal pet peeve, and not how I work, I like to rely on metrics and numbers to ensure each woman is in an optimal range for their hormones and vitamins. Any doctor can randomly slap you on different anti-depressants and anti-anxiety drugs and study if you are made better or worse by them. That is not what I do, nor in my alignment with my philosophy on what women with mental health disorders truly need to understand, heal, and restore their mental wellness.

Once I have perfected physical health a lot of mental health and insomnia issues naturally subside.

Vitamin and Mineral Testing for Mental Health

Testing nutritional metrics is extremely important as many vitamins and minerals are the very cofactors, and coenzymes that form the neurotransmitters such as serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine, and epinephrine that impact our mood. Most of this can easily be done via blood testing through your insurance, although I will say Medicare is the worst at reimbursing for vitamin testing. Basically, the government does not care what your vitamin levels are and they may or may not pay for this part of the testing if you have medicare. If you have a secondary insurance it may be picked up by that, but you still will get the “contracted price” which is generally $20-$50 per vitamin we test, so they usually cover the hormones and then send the patient a bill for the vitamins. Just because I think it is necessary does not always mean the government is going to agree with me. The good news with mental health testing is you are making a one time investment in understanding what your personal weak spots are and once we know what those are the follow up lab testing is never as expensive, as the first panel when I am on a Detective Mission to figure out the ROOT CAUSE of your mental health issue. 

Neurotransmitter Testing for Mental Health

Is neurotransmitter testing really necessary for mental health patients? 

Yes and No. 

This is why it is the 3rd step, I list in my simple 3 step process of addressing the physical causes that impact the mental health of patients with anxiety, depression, and mental health disorders. Because, oftentimes we can determine the cause of the mood disturbance via hormone testing and vitamin and mineral testing. This is the final step I resort to when the above testing is not helpful in revealing any physical causes of depression. 

For a small handful of my patients, I will admit that neurotransmitter testing has been a futile waste of their time and money. But for the majority of my patients that do not improve from balancing hormones and nutrition, the neurotransmitter and adrenal testing can unearth some very important neurotransmitter deficiencies or excesses that we can balance with “Amino Acid Therapy.” By using amino acids targeted to boost specific neurotransmitters that are low we can improve mood via a different pathway that an antidepressant works. 

For instance, low dopamine can be related to depression, low motivation, memory issues, ADHD, addiction,  impulse control disorders, dementia and even schizophrenia. Physical symptoms of low dopamine include Pain muscle cramps and stiffness, tremors, trouble swallowing, back pain, balance problems, and constipation, 

Symptoms of low serotonin include depression, crying, insomnia, carbohydrate cravings, weight gain, nausea, poor self-esteem, anxiety, and poor memory.  When serotonin is low then an anti-depressant is often useless for the patient because the way the antidepressant works is to recycle serotonin so if there are “no pop cans in the recycling program” then there is nothing to recycle. The patient gets no benefit from the antidepressant and gets side effects like dry mouth, sweating, weight gain, poor libido, erectile dysfunction or stomach ache. Neurotransmitter testing is also great for patients that have no triggers for their anxiety or depression yet feel flat, blah, anxious, or stressed and don’t know why. If it isn’t a hormone imbalance like what we often find via insurance-paid labs then we need to look at a neurotransmitter profile. This can be done via simple saliva and urine testing.  

So that is the simple 3 step system I used in my Mental Health Detective process to understand any physical causes that may be contributing to your depression, anxiety, and mental health disorders. 


  1. My favorite and always successful patients are the ones that show up with a pen and paper handy to take notes and want to be a student and learn everything they can about their mental health and how to improve it in every possible way- Mind-Body-Spirit.
  2. Women that enjoy making herbal teas, taking capsules and vitamins, and prefer to support their body in this manner, I specialize in food as medicine. You are my perfect mental health patient!
  3. Women that want to make the diet changes to what I think their brain/body needs.
  4. Women that have a care team that will ensure they are following their plan if they are slipping. 
  5. Women that are also working in conjunction with a counselor or therapist on their issues will always have awesome results! I highly recommend counseling at all times!
  6. Women with inquiring minds that also "Need to Know" what is causing their symptoms. I like patients that are just as involved in helping me solve the riddle as I am.

If you think we would be a good fit working together, pop on over to my SCHEDULE page and book your new patient visit so we can get started helping you feel better immediately. You do not have to live in depression as I did for many years, you do not have to live with anxiety and panic attacks in terror like I did for many years, I am happy to help you with your anxiety or depression. The #1 most important mental health disorder I have learned hormone balancing helps is PTSD, so please share this information with your loved ones struggling with their mental health.

Let's go through this detective process together so we can determine what your individual weak spots are when it comes to your personal mental health so we can strengthen your mood from the inside out! 

Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD

(480) 837-0900

Dr. Sundene is a Naturopathic Doctor in Scottsdale, Arizona, and is considered a Female Hormone Expert  in Women's Health and Bioidentical Hormones. She specializes in Holistic Women's Health for MenopauseThyroidHashimotosPMS, PerimenopauseAutoimmune, Postpartum, Chronic Fatigue, Depression, Anxiety, Food Allergies, Digestion, Dermatology , Acne, Psoriasis, Eczema and Adrenal Hormonal Conditions. In 1999 she began working for a Hormone Doctor prior to starting Naturopathic Medical School. With over 22 years of experience in both Prescription and Natural women's health and hormones, she presents to women the best-integrated health solutions for their Chronic Disease. She has been an Herbalist for over 27 years and enjoys teaching women how to use herbs to balance their hormones, nutrition and optimize their health. Dr. Sundene relies on blood testing for her hormone metrics. The hormone testing is covered per the patient's insurance plan and conducted at certain points in the woman's menstrual cycle. To learn more about Hormone Testing for Women Visit: Bioidentical Hormones. Follow Dr. Sundene on InstagramTwitter, and Facebook for more tips on Women's Health, Female Hormones and Naturopathy!

One comment on “"Natural Psychiatry" Hormones, Anxiety, Depression, ADHD and PTSD”

Location: 14300 N Northsight 
Blvd Ste 124
Scottsdale, AZ 85260
Ph: 480-837-0900
Fax: 480-409-2644
© Copyright 2024 | Scottsdale Naturopathic Hormones 
map-markersmartphone linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram