Plus in general, if you have an older person who is in constant pain, which makes them depressed. OMT will rid them of somatic dysfunction if there is any present. This will in turn bring them to their functional potential which will increase their quality of life, which might relieve their depression.
I am very interested in becoming a psychiatrist, and I am interested in the osteopathic viewpoint. Currently I am a first year at NYCOM, and the prospects look kind of bleak. I'm going to have to make my opportunities. We have 1 block or two (~2 mos) for behavioral medicine. There are no psychiatry electives and no psychiatry research here. Cranial manipulation is interesting but I have not seen any controlled studies. However, in the early 1900's D.O.'s who were treating for a spanish flu epidemic had a mortality rate of about 1/3. I realize it is not relevant, but in spirit it is, because it showed that osteopathy can effectively treat things besides lower back pain.
I think there is a lot of opportunity for an osteopathic psychiatrist. Using one's hands on a patient is unheard of in psychiatry, and it poses some interesting questions re: people with schitzophrenia, who are typically very protective of their personal space.
Biofeedback presents an interesting modality for training relaxation and breathing techniques.
Hypnosis is a much-overlooked and difficult technique that I believe should be the basis for any kind of psychotherapy.
Osteopathy will bring an approach to the table that will try many different things besides pharmacology. Just knowing that there is another way to treat patients (e.g. OMM) will spark the D.O. psychiatrist's imagination to come up with individualized treatment approaches.
As you can see I have a lot to say on this subject. I am interested to see where people are in this discussion. Right now I feel a little "on my own" with respect to psychiatry in general.
1) What is the D.O. residency situation for psychiatry?
2) What kind of psychotherapy is SOP for psychiatry?
3) Are ne D.O.'s doing any research on OMM and mental illness?
4) Does anybody know any bright lights in D.O. psychiatry?
Trimble, the reason that it is hard to get good research going using OMM is because it is hard to quantify the results. Drugs are easy because they have certain physiological pathways that they effect. Test someone for presense of a certain disease before meds and after meds, if the disease is reduced or gone, then it works.
OMM on the other hand treats Somatic Dysfunction, and only Somatic Dysfunction. It is a treatment for the Host component of illness, kind of like therapy with the mental patient. Listening to a patient and giving feedback does not change the way chemical receptor are working in the brain for instance, it helps the person, not the disease. You could make the argument that most psychiatists practice with osteopathic priniciples because they address both the disease state through drugs, and the host component through listening and therapy sessions.
Somatic Dysfunction is a problem with the body, not a disease process. Some people can have a ton of dysfunction and adapt quite nicely to it, others can have a little and become totally open to disease. As far as what OMM could do in your field, it would do what it does in every field; make the patient feel better and raise their potential for wellness by removing Somatic Dysfunction. If the patient feels better, the body should respond better to medical treatment and heal better on its own.
Doing Psych is now more competitive I know a couple DO's who were accepted to Mayo, Columbia, Yale. Using the CV4 technique is very effective and could be use in conjuction with psychotheraphy and medical management, though allopathic programs do not combine them. I would check the AOA home page to find the DO psych residencies.