I am not a psychologist or in the mental health field. However, I have experienced anxieties many, many times in my life, it’s awful! (Anxiety disorders include panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and phobias) I also have had family members and friends that have also suffered from anxieties and depression in some form. After my mom passed away is when “the dark fog” hit me like a tons of bricks. My doctor immediately put me on an anti-depressant. It did help. But, he failed to mention that I could try other ways to relieve what I was going through by possibly using vitamins, minerals, exercise (yoga is a great stress reliever) review what I was eating or lack of eating during that time, run blood or mineral tests to see if I was deficient in anything. I know my body was malnourished during that time. I was able to get off the meds very slowly as stopping cold turkey can be harmful to the body. I feel Medical Doctors (Western Medicine) are way too eager to prescribe pharmaceuticals rather than trying to figure out the “Why’s and how’s” to a person’s dysfunction. Don’t get me wrong, there is a place for Rx’s and Western Medicine. I mean, if you break your arm or leg, you gotta get it fixed before you can go to your acupuncturist for pain relief or calming the inflammation or seeing your chiropractor for adjustments, or seeing your massage therapist and of course if you have a life threatening illness. I just wish Doctor’s were more conservative in prescribing Rx’s and help by seeing what the cause of the dysfunction is rather than giving a pill.
Here are some interesting and scary facts:
- Prescription drug sales have increased from a 72.2 billion dollar industry in 1995 to a 519.2 billion dollar industry in 2009.
- According to the 2005 census 45% of all Americans over the age of 18 have taken at least 1 prescription drug in the last month.
- 7,030 million prescriptions were filled in 2007.
- More than 2 million people have adverse effects to drugs.
- One in five hospitalizations are drug-related.
“An article in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) reported that an estimated 106,000 hospitalized patients die each year from drugs which, by medical standards, are properly prescribed and properly administered. More than two million suffer serious side effects.” wikipedia reference Mercola.com *Lazarou J, Pomeranz BH, Corey PN: “Incidence of adverse drug reactions in hospitalized patients.” JAMA. 1998;279:1200.
Research has shown that there is a direct relationship between nutrients within the body and the production of our personal brain chemistry, specifically the saturation or depletion of the 5 neurotransmitters in the brain. GABA, serotonin, norepinephrine, endorphins and dopamine are the neurotransmitters that help create our chemistry of emotion and are responsible for our moods, depression, anger, problem resolution and energy levels. Nutrition is one of the most influential levels of transmitters. Vitamins, minerals, enzymes, amino acids and essential fatty acids ALL impact the body’s level of neurotransmitters. So, if we do not make the needed nutrients are body desires, we are unable to produce the proteins/neurotransmitters it needs. A shortage in these can lead to depression, hyperactivity, anger and drug/alcohol cravings.
We need to get out B’s on! Vitamin B6 is a cofactor to create brain chemicals that influences our moods. It also strengthens our adrenal glands that in most of us are always in a “fight or flight” mode. B6 increases the function for energy cycle, helps control blood sugar, works in the blood to carry oxygen to tissues, necessary for nervous system function and necessary for the production of HCL (stomach acid) If we are deficient in B6 we can experience depression, insomnia, mental stress, nervousness, and can’t remember our dreams. Properly prepared nutrient dense foods in a diet is needed to supply us with the micronutrients calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, fatty acids, amino acids and potassium that is needed for mental health. Proper digestion plays a role in this as well. We need the proper pH so we can create and absorb neurotransmitters. Another factor to consider is food allergies. Food allergies can play a huge role into how one is feeling. They can cause vitamin and mineral deficiencies and can put people on an emotional roller coaster. Because your depleted, it can cause the reactions that I mentioned above.
There is so much I can write about on this topic. But, I don’t want to overwhelm you with info…I will stop here.
A diet containing properly prepared nutrient dense foods, a working digestion system, blood sugar balance, essential fatty acids, mineral balance, and hydration is the best thing we can do for our body physically, mentally and emotionally. I will post about foods that contain the above in a different post.