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Meet Maria Ingalla

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Dr. Maria Ingalla, DNP, PMHNP-BC (she/her)
 

Specialties: Perinatal psychiatry, child psych, PTSD, bipolar

Contact: maria@paperflowerpsychiatry.com

Maria Ingalla, a certified nurse practitioner specializing in family psychiatric mental health, brings a wealth of experience in mental health from years working in community mental health agencies throughout the Valley. She frequently was argumentative with leadership over poor quality of care and the "pill mill" ideology that these companies depended on for money. After some unexpected exits from these past jobs (let's call them unplanned career detours), Maria decided it was time to start a company that had openly progressive values and focused on patients instead of dollars.

Certified as a Peripartum Mental Health professional by Postpartum Support International, Maria specializes in providing compassionate care for mental health challenges during the perinatal period. After her daughter suffered from serotonin syndrome from breastfeeding, she became an advocatefor educating others on recognizing serotonin syndrome in breastfeeding infants.

In her previous role as a nursing instructor at Arizona State University, Maria taught pharmacology and mental health courses to nursing students in Bachelor's and Master's programs. Her dedication to education was recognized with a Daisy Award nomination for excellent faculty in Spring 2022. Maria has also made valuable contributions to the academic community at Aspen University. She continues mental health education to the general public on her Tik Tok account: @dr.mariaingalla

Maria's extensive experience as a psychiatric consultant spans nationwide collaboration with pediatricians, primary care doctors, and OB/GYNs, focusing on the holistic management of mental health for complex patients. Her commitment to providing high-quality mental health care is evident in her multifaceted contributions to the field.

 

Maria remains an advocate for social justice, and equity within the mental health system. Maria now mentors new graduates with similar ideologies to be your excellent practitioners within Paperflower. She is currently working on ways to continue educating new graduate nurse practitioners and the general public on psychiatry.

Maria currently lives with her husband, two daughters, two dogs, Marshmallow and Potato. She used to enjoy a lot of things but let's be honest, now she's a mom and she doesn't have much of a life besides chasing around two small children.

Q&A

Favorite movie: I'm not sure I have one, I don't focus very well on movies. Maybe I should watch after I take Adderall. Lately I watch a lot of Marvel because my husband likes it. "My Octopus Teacher" made me cry for two hours because I was so touched. But I was also pregnant. So I don't know.

Favorite superhero: Captain Marvel. 

If you could have a superpower, what superpower would you pick: Pausing time. 

Favorite bands: Rise Against..but all I listen to lately is "happy birthday" and "the dinosaur song" by Blippi. Thx kids.

If you had 3 wishes, what would you wish for: 1. To stop suffering for all living creatures 2. For my daughters to have the best, happiest life 3. For this world to stop being a big piece of corrupt shit

Tell us about your pets: I have an orange cat named Moose who I adopted after a divorce while I lived in Massachusetts. She was older, obese, distressed and at the shelter for years after living with 4 owners. Potato is our tiny schnauzer/terrier mix and he's definitely the alpha of the house. Marshmallow is literally a giant goofball who misses and plops backwards when she attempts to jump on the couch. They are both rescues.

 

What are you most passionate about in the mental health field?  Helping people become empowered to understand mental health, destigmatizing and I am definitely passionate about helping people who have endured trauma. 

 

What are your thoughts about treating adult ADHD? I was diagnosed as an adult. For my entire life, I thought something was wrong with me. I never was able to remember things, I read textbooks backwards, and struggled with basic functions. I was constantly hitting poles with my car. My anxiety was unimaginable. Nope, just ADHD. Women are often misdiagnosed and it leads to so many problems with self esteem, depression and anxiety.

 

What is your philosophy on using medication to treat mental health? Are medications lifelong? Does a patient who sees you HAVE to be on medication? Medication can be lifechanging and lifesaving for some people. Other people - it doesn't work for. It may or may not be lifelong depending on a million different factors. But at the end of the day, I'm here to educate and give options, not force anything. 

 

If a patient is nervous about an evaluation, especially when talking about tough things like trauma or sexual abuse, what would you want them to know? It sucks to talk about. I've been there. We don't have to go into any detail you don't want to. We can skip the topic. We can dive into it a little. It's up to you, totally. I'm here to listen and I've been through my own shit. If you think it's awkward or uncomfortable to talk about, chances are I've talked about it a million times and won't think twice. No judgment. I'm also here to be like, "fuck that person who hurt you" if it helps.

How do you feel about medical marijuana? Pro. 

 

Do you have any personal experiences regarding mental health you are opening to sharing?

I've definitely experienced my own shit. I've been through some significant trauma in my childhood and adult life. You name it. I love what I do because I made it. The journey to healing freaking sucks. But there's an end. There's an end to depression, anxiety, trauma symptoms.. There's hope. 

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