New Book: Natural Solutions for Anxiety

I am pleased to announce that my e-book entitled “Natural Solutions for Anxiety: A Practical Guide” is now available on Amazon.

This book is the result of my many years of working with clients to help them be free from depression and anxiety without medication. It includes practical tips and solutions that anyone can implement right away.

This book also describes an informal research study I did with volunteers who followed my step-by-step protocol for one month. One of the participants began the study with an anxiety level of 9, and ended with a much-improved level 2 at the end of the month.

Highlights include:
-Which nutrients to use for anxiety relief
-How to taper from current medications
-Where to purchase supplements
-How to prevent anxiety in kids and teens
-Natural solutions for related issues such as panic attacks, OCD, PTSD and agoraphobia
-A proven 1-month anxiety healing protocol with detailed shopping list

If you have Kindle Unlimited, you can read the book for free! Otherwise, you can order it at this link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07HLH662V

Finalcoverhighres

Posted in alternative mental health, anxiety, books, Depression, holistic health, magnesium, mental health, mood, orthomolecular, psychiatry | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

How to PREVENT Depression and Anxiety

In my holistic mental health practice, I have been seeing a lot of teenagers struggling with depression and anxiety. This post is for parents who might be concerned about their family history of mental illness and are wondering what preventative measures they can take to help their children avoid depression and anxiety. Here are a few tips:

  1. Choose not to vaccinate. Vaccines contain toxins and heavy metals that may spark depression or anxiety in kids that have the genetic mutation MTHFR, which inhibits normal detoxification. I have seen many teens who had been recently vaccinated (especially with HPV) that are struggling with sudden-onset depression. Hair tests confirm an overload of mercury or aluminum.
  2. Avoid antibiotics. There are several natural and effective antibiotic alternatives that can be used instead (oregano oil, collidial silver, etc.). My own struggle with severe long-term depression was sparked by taking daily antibiotics for acne, combined with antidepressants. Antibiotics kill all of the beneficial bacterial in the gut. As we know, 80% of serotonin is made in the gut.
  3. Supplement with Vitamin C and probiotics as needed.
  4. Avoid food with synthetic folic acid. This ingredient is found in “enriched” flour products such as crackers, spaghetti, bread, and other processed foods.
  5. Avoid dairy, soy, and products with artificial colors and sweeteners. These have all been linked to mood disorders.
  6. Avoid fluoride in toothpaste, water, and at the dentist. (Also avoid getting any mercury fillings.) Fluoride is a known neurotoxin and can impact mood, especially in developing brains.
  7. Encourage and validate your child’s strengths and gifts. Make sure sensitive children know this is a gift of compassion that may be used to help others, and not something to be covered up or hidden. Reframing qualities that are not highly encouraged in today’s society does a lot to help combat societal pressure on sensitive children. (Look up rainbow children.)
  8. Find a holistic pediatrician.

If your teen is struggling with depression and anxiety, I offer Skype sessions to offer an orthomolecular approach (vitamins, minerals and amino acids) that can be used in place of medication. To set-up an appointment, visit my website at http://www.Holisticdepressioncoach.com or e-mail me at HolisticHP@gmail.com.

Judy Meyer, HHP, NHC

San Diego, CA

 

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The ‘Overprescribed’ Podcast

Hello Friends,

This is a quick note to let you know that I was interviewed as a guest on Episode #9 of the podcast entitled “Overprescribed.” This excellent podcast takes a critical look at dangers of prescription medication and the increasingly common occurrence of polypharmacy. Here is a link that will take you directly to a recording of the show: 

In related news, a new study was just published that shows that a third of Americans are taking drugs that could be causing depression symptoms. These medications include:

  • Beta blockers
  • Birth control
  • Blood pressure medication
  • Antacids

According to an NPR article: “More than 200 common medications sold in the U.S. include depression as a potential side effect. Sometimes, the risk stems from taking several drugs at the same time. Now, a new study finds people who take these medicines are, in fact, more likely to be depressed.”

If you have any questions about the dangers of medication, or would like to work with me one-on-one to taper off your medications, please feel free to connect with me in one of the following ways:

E-mail: HolisticHP@gmail.com

Instagram: @holistic_depression_coach

Twitter: @altmentalhealth

Facebook: Holistic_depression_coach

Websites:

http://www.HolisticDepressionCoach.com

http://www.AlternativeMentalHealthRevolution.com

http://www.SanDiegoHolisticHealer.com

To your health!

Judy Meyer, HHP, NHC

 

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Margot Kidder’s Alternative Approach to Bipolar

Yesterday, I had a subscriber to my Instagram account assert that because she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, that she absolutely required medication, and that no nutrients would alleviate the symptoms she experienced.

I knew from experience that many people with bipolar have been helped using nutrient therapy. I cited this excellent article by Superman actress Margot Kidder. In the full article, Margot details the exact vitamins, minerals and amino acids she takes to manage her bipolar without medication.

 

From the article:

Actress Margot Kidder, well-known for her extensive screen career, including her performance as Lois Lane in Superman, has been a powerful spokesperson for alternative mental health treatments after a personal recovery from mood swings that are commonly referred to as bipolar disorder. Ms. Kidder sent AlternativeMentalHealth.com the following information, based on her successful experience with nutrient therapy.

Coincidentally, I learned today that Margot Kidder has passed, and wanted to take this opportunity to honor her important voice in advocating for alternative mental health.

If you are looking for effective natural solutions for depression, anxiety or bipolar, I offer personalized recommendations and support. You can request a free 15-minute phone consult at HolisticDepressionCoach.com.

 

 

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Nutritional Therapies for Mental Wellness

Greetings Friends!

In my research, I came across a wonderful scientific article that was published in Nutrition Journal and I found it very comprehensive and useful. It includes specific nutrients and dosages for treatment of OCD, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and major depression. I urge you to click on the link and read the full article here:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2248201/

Here are some highlights from the conclusion section:

“Here we have shown just a few of the many documented nutritional therapies that can be utilized when treating mental disorders. Many of these studies were done in the 1970s and 1980s, but were soon discontinued because they were underfunded. Nutritional therapies have now become a long-forgotten method of treatment, because they were of no interest to pharmaceutical companies that could not patent or own them. Instead, the companies that funded most clinical research spent their dollars investigating synthetic drugs they could patent and sell; these drugs however usually caused adverse side effects.

There is tremendous resistance to using supplements as treatments from clinicians, mostly due to their lack of knowledge on the subject. Others rather use prescription drugs that the drug companies and the FDA researches, monitors and recalls if necessary. However, for some patients, prescription drugs do not have the efficacy of nutritional supplements and they sometimes have far more dangerous side effects. So for clinicians to avoid these supplement therapies because of a lack of knowledge and unwillingness to use treatments not backed by drug companies and the FDA, they are compromising their patients’ recovery due to their own laziness or selfishness.”

I include below a recent review from one of my clients who tried specific vitamins and nutrients for a month and experiences fantastic improvements.

Dorisreview2018

If you wish to work with me to find out which nutrients might be best for your specific situation, I offer in person and Skype sessions. Further information about pricing can be found here.

 

 

Posted in alternative mental health, alternative therapies, Depression, mental health, mental illness, nutrients, orthomolecular, pharmaceuticals, side effects, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Antibiotics and Depression

Did you know that there is a proven link between antibiotic use and mental health symptoms? Research has shown that just ONE course of antibiotics raises the risk of depression. I had a recent experience that reminded me of just how true this is.

This weekend I found myself at urgent care for a severe cat bite. The medical protocol in this situation is a 10-day course of antibiotics. Being a natural health practitioner, my gut (and years of research) told me not to take antibiotics.

But in this medical setting, the doctor explained that if I didn’t start immediately on antibiotics, my hand would most likely get infected and could lead to “surgical intervention.” That was scary and I succumbed to the fear. In my mind, I had always thought that a cat bite was something that MUST be treated with antibiotics, so I went along with the recommendations.

I picked up the antibiotics and began to take them right away as prescribed. On the second day of taking them, my stomach was nauseous and I began to notice that my mood had plummeted dramatically. I felt the old tug of depression creeping up on me.

I remembered back to the time when I was 19 and was prescribed antibiotics for acne. I was on them for several months. Thinking back, it was probably no coincidence that it was around that time that I had my first bout of major depression.

On the second day of taking antibiotics for the cat bite, I instinctively knew they were doing more harm than good.  I decided to follow my intuition and stop taking them.

So I turned to my known natural solutions to boost my body’s immune system and gut health. My friends were doubtful and questioned that this could work. To be honest, I was a little worried too.

Here’s what I did:

  • I took a refrigerated probiotic to start to re-populate my digestive system with beneficial bacteria
  • I picked up some locally-brewed kombucha and drank it several times a day to restore gut health.
  • I began taking 6,000mg of vitamin C in capsules, in divided doses throughout the day.

The day after I began the mega doses of vitamin C, my hand (which had begun to swell and get red) quickly started to heal. The swelling receded and was almost back to a normal size. After two days of the vitamin C, I saw major improvements in the wounds as they started to scab over and heal. The hand returned to normal size and I felt incredibly relieved.

It is now my opinion that antibiotics are a major contributor to the current mental health crisis. I find it to be one of several primary root causes of depression and anxiety. If this is true, a simple solution is to support gut health and the immune system for improved mental health. Of course, there are other factors such as genetics, toxicity, copper overload, methylation issues, parasites, and a host of other probably root causes as well. But because antibiotics are so prevalent, this is a great place to start for the general population that would no doubt help relieve suffering of thousands of people who are dealing with depression and anxiety.

In another real-life example, I had a client recently who was doing very well on her holistic mental health protocol. When she got her wisdom teeth removed,  the dentist gave her a dose of antibiotics. Within days, her original depression and lethargy returned. I recommended she start on a dose of probiotics and as a result, her symptoms quickly lifted. (I could see this clearly for her, but yet I felt my cat bite was somehow different.)

Below is a sampling of some of the research that correlates the use of antibiotics with an increase in mood disorders:

Journal of Clinical Psychiatry:
RESULTS: Treatment with a single antibiotic course was associated with higher risk for depression with all antibiotic groups.

WebMD: Drugs That Cause Depression
“Medications that cause mania or depression appear to alter brain chemicals in some way. And even though the drugs may be necessary to treat the condition, the side effect is hardly acceptable. As an example, isotretinoin (Absorica, Amnesteem, Claravis, Myorisan, Zenatane), which is prescribed for the treatment of acne, has been found to also sometimes cause depression. So have oral contraceptives, high blood pressure drugs, and even statins that treat high cholesterol.”

“Antibiotics can have a severe impact on good microbes in the gut — and that can cause a lifetime of physical and psychological problems.”

This personal experience was a reminder to me of what I already knew: The body can heal itself given the right tools and nutrients.

Judy Meyer, HHP, NHC is a holistic mental health coach and energy healer practicing in San Diego, CA. She is the founder of Alternativementalhealthrevolution.com, a free resource for alternative solutions for mental wellness.

Please note: This blog does not attempt to diagnose, treat or cure any disease or illness. The author is not a medical doctor.

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4 Things Your Psychiatrist May Not Have Told You

Here are four things your psychiatrist may not have mentioned to you about psychiatric medications, but that are very important for you to know:

  1. There are many safety concerns with medication: It is well-documented that more than 100,000 people per year die simply by taking their medications as directed by their doctor. In contrast, zero people are killed by taking vitamins. This YouTube video by Dr. Peter Gøtzsche asserts that the number is now 200,000 deaths per year and prescription drugs are now the third leading cause of death, after heart disease and cancer.
  2. There are negative health consequences associated with taking medication: You may find relief when you first begin taking medications. However, after a while, most people find that the beneficial effects of the medications lessen. The standard procedure is for the doctor to recommend increasing the amount of medication. They may even suggest you start an additional prescription. It is common for this cycle to continue until people are taking 5-10 different medications daily, each one with their own adverse side effects. It gets to be a vicious cycle of prescribing one drug to combat the side effects of the previous drug. This can lead to a condition called Tardive Dyskinesia, described as involuntary repetitive body movements caused by long-term use of psychiatric medications. Symptoms include “stiff, jerky movements of your face and body that you can’t control. You might blink your eyes, stick out your tongue, or wave your arms without meaning to do so.” This condition is often permanent, even after discontinuing medications. You may also be put on a medication that makes your condition worse. There are many documented cases about this on the website SSRI Stories.
  3. You may have a difficult time when you withdrawal: If, after taking your medications for a while, you decide you no longer want to take them, you may face challenges as you as you taper off the drugs. It has been noted that certain classes of psychiatric medications called benzodiazapenes can become addictive after only a few weeks. This blog post by Martin C. Winer gives a firsthand account of his experience with psychiatric medications. This Huffington Post article describes another person’s experience with the drug Klonopin. There are many Facebook groups where you can read accounts of people who are attempting to withdrawal from medications. You can type in the name of the drug your doctor wants to put you on, and the word withdrawal. For example, search Facebook for ‘Cymbalta Withdrawal’ and request to join the group.
  4. There are a glaring number of conflict of interests in the pharma industry: There are several moral and ethical breaches occurring within the medical and pharmaceutical industries that are rarely talked about. This article reports that 65% of doctors are receiving compensation or “kickbacks,” from a drug company. This means that your doctor has a vested financial interest in prescribing you a certain drug, even if you don’t need it. In addition, several mental health advocacy groups (such as NAMI) are funded primarily in large part by the pharmaceutical industry. This is the reason why advocacy groups are reluctant to speak out against the dangers of pharmaceuticals. The FDA, the government group tasked with making sure drugs are safe before being approved, has also been infiltrated by former heads of pharmaceutical companies. There are many other instances of conflicts of interests that are happening, including suppressing information about large court settlements against the pharma industries where people’s lives have been ruined by taking psychiatric medications. The list goes on and on.

Now, with all that being said, if you decide you DON’T want to take pharmaceutical drugs, what CAN you can do to improve your mental health?  This site is a great resource for books, websites, and YouTube videos that will help you decide what you can do instead of taking medication. An introductory book I often recommend to people is The Mood Cure by Julia Ross. Another helpful book is The Secrets to Real Mental Health by Linda Van Zandt. You can find more suggestions by visiting the resources page.

You can also contact me at HolisticHP at gmail.com for personal coaching and assistance in finding holistic solutions for depression and anxiety.

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New Alternative Mental Health Resource

I’m so pleased to announce the launch today of a free resource for people wanting to explore holistic options for mental health.

The website www.alternativementalhealthrevolution.com contains resources, information, links to other helpful websites, info about tapering off medication, healing stories and more!

Please take a look at the first blog post which explains the mission and goals of the website.

There is also a menu tab that features stories of people who have healed using various holistic modalities. If you wish to share your story and inspire others, please send an e-mail to HolisticHP at gmail.com.

At the site, you can also sign up to receive e-mail notifications about new blog posts. If you’d like to contribute to the site or if you are interested in writing a guest post, your contributions are most welcomed!

Thank you for checking it out and recommending it to friends who may be interested in a holistic way to address mental health issues!

-Judy Meyer, HHP, NHC

 

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Podcast: Natural Solutions for Anxiety

I recently had the pleasure of being a guest on the Voices of Anxiety podcast. I spoke about several holistic ways to heal anxiety. My aim was to give very specific information about what someone can do immediately to feel better, and which nutrients to focus on. I hope you’ll give it a listen, and pass it along to anyone who suffers from anxiety.

Here’s the link:

http://bit.ly/2lNUOPz

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Depression and Addiction

Depression and addiction can go hand-in-hand.  This is because people often try to self-medicate in an effort to alleviate symptoms of mood disorders. Unfortunately, the risk of suicide and self-harm is elevated among addicts. For example, 40% of all alcoholics attempt suicide at least once.

Another unfortunate statistic is that 90% of people who try to get sober are unsuccessful.

The good news is that there are effective, natural ways to address addiction using targeted amino acids and nutrients.

Researcher Kenneth Blum, PhD studied brain chemistry of alcoholics and drug addicts and coined the term “reward deficiency syndrome.” He found that when people in recovery supplemented with amino acids and nutrients, their relapse rates were 4x less than those not taking supplements.

The key to finding the appropriate supplements for you is to ask yourself how your drug makes you feel. For instance, some users of marijuana use it to relax, while others use it to increase motivation and get things done.

If you use drugs or alcohol to relax or calm down, nutrients that may support your recovery include:

  • -Gaba
  • -Inositol
  • -5-HTP or Tryptophan
  • -Melatonin
  • -Magnesium

If you use drugs or alcohol to get energy, you may benefit from:

  • -L-tyrosine
  • -L-phenylalnine
  • -Omega-3 fish oils
  • -SAM-e
  • -Milk thistle

In addition, 95% of alcoholics have low blood sugar and are often drawn to sweets and carbohydrates. A mineral called chromium may be lacking in the diet. Eating more protein and eliminating sweets and white flour products may be useful.

Addiction depletes essential nutrients in the body. The longer someone has been using, the more they will need basic nutrients to build their bodies back up.

If you are interested in treating your addiction using nutritional supplements and amino acids, I highly recommend purchasing both of these excellent books.

The Mood Cure by Julia Ross, MA

Seven Weeks to Sobriety by Joan Mathews Larson, PhD

7weeks2

Please note: the information in this blog is not intended to treat, cure or diagnose any disease. Consult a qualified healthcare practitioner before taking any supplements.

 

 

 

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Anti-anxiety Nutrients

Depression often goes hand-in-hand with anxiety. Many people ask me about what they can do to help with stress, anxiety, or panic attacks. Here are a few nutrients I recommend.

My first suggestion is to get more magnesium. Most people are deficient in this very important mineral that supports relaxation (as well as so many other important processes in the body.) A quick and easy way to get magnesium into your body is by taking an epsom salt bath. Using a dry body brush beforehand will allow your skin to absorb the magnesium in the epsom salts even better. You can also purchase a magnesium spray or make your own. This great blog post from gotmag.org describes how to restore magnesium levels quickly.

bathstuff

My second suggestion is Gamma-Amino Butyric Acid, also known as GABA. This amino acid is known as “the brain’s natural Valium.” GABA comes in a sublingual form that can be placed under the tongue in stressful situations. I keep it in my purse in case I’m out in the world and find myself overly stressed. I just pop one under my tongue and usually feel relief within minutes.

Gabainpurse

Other amino acids that promote relaxation are taurine and glycine. There are some supplements available that combine GABA, taurine and glycine in one anti-stress formula.

If your serotonin levels are low, you are more prone to anxiety and panic attacks. To increase your stores of serotonin naturally, you can supplement with 5-HTP or L-tryptophan.

The B vitamin known as inositol has also been reported as being helpful in easing stress and supporting adrenal function.

Some excellent herbs that support the adrenals and the nervous system include: Ashwagandha, Holy Basil, and Rhodiola. Many people have found success with these herbs, but I have found them to be too subtle for my needs. I have found that I respond much quicker to vitamins and amino acids.

Finally, a well-known homeopathic solution for stressful situations is Bach’s Rescue Remedy, which is a blend of 5 different Bach Flower remedies. This comes in sprays, gels, or pastilles.

Have you tried these natural solutions for anxiety? Are there others you have found helpful? Let me know in the comments!

*Please note that this blog is for informational purposes only and should not be substituted for medical advice. Judy Meyer, HHP is not a doctor and cannot diagnose, treat or cure any disease. If you are currently on medication, it would be wise to consult your healthcare provider before experimenting with amino acids.

 

 

 

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A Natural Solution for Constipation

Constipation can occur for a variety of reasons, including when people change their diets, or if they add certain supplements such as iron or calcium.

One of my clients recently cut back on his coffee consumption and as a result, started to experience constipation.

Initially he tried several solutions: taking more epsom salt baths baths, eating more fruits and vegetables, drinking more water, getting colonics, and drinking more fresh pressed vegetable juice. However, none of these solved the problem long-term.

I advised him to try the following safe and effective natural treatment known as the Ivy Bridges Formula, as published in The Detox Book by Bruce Fife, N.D.

The recipe is as follows:

  • 1/2 cup apple juice
  • 2 Tbs. liquid chlorophyll
  • 2 Tbs. aloe vera juice
  • 1 heaping tsp. psyllium powder
  • 2 cascara sagrada capsules
  • 1 glass of water

Mix the apple juice, chlorophyll, aloe vera juice and psyllium powder together and drink immediately, as it thickens quickly. Follow with a full glass of water taken with 2 cascara sagrada capsules. This is best taken in the evening before bed so it has time to work during the night.

This drink is safe to take everyday for 30 days and or even longer if needed. Unlike commercial laxatives, it is safe and natural and is not habit-forming. It will actually strengthen and promote healing of the intestinal canal.

IvyBridges

 

 

 

 

 

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ZERO Deaths from Supplements

People are sometimes reluctant to try vitamins and supplements because they worry about side effects or possible interactions. But here’s the real truth:

The most recent information from U.S. National Poison Data System shows that there have been no deaths reported from any vitamin, mineral or amino acid. Ever.

In stark contrast, it’s been reported that approximately 100,000 people die every year from pharmaceuticals taken as prescribed. That’s approximately 270 people per day.

Why is this stunning statistic not being widely reported?

The answer is that pharmaceutical companies are powerful and their pockets are deep. They have money to advertise. They have money to lobby congress. They have money to hire the best lawyers and pay people off to be silent about the dangers of their products. Because they have money, they also have power to intimidate, influence and corrupt the media.

Having worked in the medical publishing business for years, I’ve seen first-hand the lengths pharmaceutical companies will go through to promote their product and protect their revenues.

But even more important than the negative aspect of this story is the positive one. There is something we can all do take back our health. We can add vitamins and amino acids to our health program knowing that the dangers that the media sometimes reports are simply not there.

 

 

Featured image by Simon Zirkunow

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Follow Your Intuition

When it comes to healing from depression, anxiety or any other mental health issues, I have found that it’s really important to follow your intuition.

Unfortunately, people dealing with mental illness often come to mistrust their “little voice” or their “gut feeling.” They learn to discount their intuition because their brain has tricked them in the past.

However, once you’ve begun the process of healing by getting more of the right nutrients (vitamins, minerals and amino acids), it’s important to practicing learning to trust in what our bodies are trying to convey to us.

Our bodies are very wise.

If something feels wrong, don’t go against that feeling. I had several instances in my healing process where a practitioner recommended something to me and it felt wrong. Unfortunately, I often went ahead with it anyway because 1. I was desperate to feel better and 2. the person in authority was confident it would help me.

I would have saved myself a lot of suffering by listening to my intuition when something felt “off.”

Practitioners use their own knowledge and experience to recommend protocols, but because everyone is so different, what worked for one person may not work for another. Also, every practitioner is biased by their own personal experiences.

Here’s a simple truth: You know yourself better than anyone. You know how you react to certain foods. You know what makes you feel better. You know subtle things about yourself that cannot be conveyed through a questionnaire.

It’s easy to be persuaded to buy a supplement you don’t want, get a yet another test you don’t need, or continue to see a practitioner who isn’t helping you make progress. But it’s even more important to listen to yourself and trust your inner voice.

Check to make sure that you are giving your own opinion and feelings the same amount of respect that you would give a trusted practitioner. Listen to what others say but ultimately, go with what your own inner voice is telling you.

The more you practice tuning into yourself and your needs, the easier it will get.

If you’re having trouble tuning into your intuition, try one of these techniques:

  1. Sit in a comfortable position and silently ask your body what it needs. You may be really surprised by the answers that come to you.
  2. Keep a journal so you can track your progress and go back and read what has worked for you. What did you do on your good days? What were you doing on your bad days? List the supplements you took that day, and how they made you feel, along with any side effects. This will often give you insights when you’re in a fog and don’t know how to proceed. You may spot a “big picture” pattern that will help. Some of my best insights have come from re-reading my journals.
  3. Talk about your breakthroughs with a trusted friend or coach. Once when I was having a tough day, my friend asked me: “Are you taking your amino acids?” I was shocked that she reflected that back to me since she wasn’t much interested in my approach to my depression. I sheepishly answered “No” and tried to explain the many reasons why I wasn’t. Then, I shut up and took my amino acids. I felt better almost right away.

Finally, be gentle with yourself and your body. Trust that when you give your body the nutrients, love and support it needs, it will be able to heal itself in the most wonderful way.

 

 

 

 

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The Secret is Out

Lately I’ve been feeling like I have this big secret, and all I want to do is run around telling everyone about it.

But the thing is, I don’t want it to be a secret. I want everyone to know.  I wish I had a bullhorn to shout it from the rooftops.

Here’s what I wish everyone who is suffering from mental illness knew right now:

You can heal your depression and anxiety simply by taking a few nutrients that are right for your biochemistry.

This statement still amazes me and if I didn’t experience it for myself, I wouldn’t believe it. But it’s true. I know this because I battled depression for 20 years. I’ve attempted suicide. I’ve been to the depths of despair and unhappiness that made me feel like I couldn’t go on anymore.

But today I feel better than I ever have. I wake up happy. I have a productive life. I no longer want to kill myself.

If you’re struggling right now, I’d like you to really hear this: You CAN heal and you have effective options that go beyond therapy and pharmaceuticals.

Please research orthomolecular psychiatry, and learn more about how you can use vitamins and nutrients to heal your emotional pain. The research is out there but you have to dig a little bit to find it. Check out the resources page for books and websites that will get you started.

mybooks

If you need help in figuring out where to start, I can help.

Wishing you emotional health and happiness!

 

 

 

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The 5 Biotypes of Depression

I first experienced major depression as a teenager. Like most people who find themselves struggling with this, I tried pharmaceuticals. However, this never felt right to me. I always knew that I didn’t want to take medications that had a long list of side effects. The trouble was, there didn’t seem to be any alternatives. No one was really talking about any other possibilities.

Things really changed for me when I came upon the exciting research of William J. Walsh, PhD. His work focuses on the root causes of depression.  For the past 20 years, he has collected lab samples from more than 2,800 depressed people. In examining the data, he discovered that depressed people are biochemically different from the rest of the population.

Dr. Walsh concluded that there are essentially only 5 major chemical classifications (or biotypes) of the depressive population. This made me feel very hopeful that I would be able to narrow it down to see which one(s) were affecting me personally. Here is a brief explanation of his findings. More detailed information about each classification can be found in Dr. Walsh’s groundbreaking book, Nutrient Power.

biotypechart2

Undermethylation– 38% This biotype accounts for the biggest percentage of depressed patients. These patients usually have reduced levels of serotonin and dopamine.

Folate deficiency– 20% These patients exhibit elevated serotonin and dopamine. In contrast to the undermethylation group, these patients usually show an intolerance to SSRI medications. Most report anxiety in addition to depression and about 20% have a history of panic disorder.

Copper overload– 17% These patients tend to have elevated norepinephrine. It is mostly women who are affected with hypercupremic (high copper) depression. It can be traced to drinking water, birth control pill use, and estrogen dominance.

Pyrrole disorder– 15% These patients show reduced serotonin and GABA, which is the main calming neurotransmitter. This disorder may be genetic and can be identified using a simple urine test. It is treated primarily with B-6 and zinc.

Toxics– 5% These patients have an overload of toxins in their body that impair the blood-brain barrier and damage the myelin sheath, resulting in symptoms of depression.

These 5 biotypes often overlap and people can sometimes fit into more than one category. I personally have a combination of copper overload, toxics and folate deficiency.

The really fantastic news is that most of these issues can be identified using blood or urine tests. Even better news is that they can usually be addressed using a few targeted vitamins, minerals and amino acids.

Walsh quote

If you are interested in finding out about which of these 5 might be contributing to your depression, send me an e-mail so we can set up a free 15-minute consultation.

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Liver/Gallbladder Cleanse

I recently completed a liver/gallbladder cleanse for the second time, and I wanted to share my experience. The first time I did this was about a year ago, and I had great results: my energy increased, my skin and eyes became clearer, and I felt great!

One of the pieces of my depression puzzle (there are several) is that I have a mutation of the MTHFR gene. This means that I do not get rid of toxins as well as I should. Therefore, anytime I can assist my body to eliminate toxins faster, I feel much better.

The recipe I follow for my liver cleanse comes from The Detox Book, 3e by Bruce Fife, ND. I absolutely love this book and highly recommend it. It has many different recipes and specific techniques to help eliminate toxins.

The ingredients needed for the cleanse are: olive oil, fresh grapefruit, epsom salt, and l-ornithine capsules. The protocol has 6 steps, and includes detailed instructions. There is a similar recipe here, but it’s not exactly the same as the recipe in the book.

The good news is that if you follow the directions carefully, there is no pain involved and the stones are dislodged and eliminated without much trouble.

However, I have found two minor drawbacks to the cleanse:

1. I tend to get grumpy if I don’t eat and I find it challenging to fast for two meals (dinner one night and breakfast the next day.). However, the results are well worth this brief discomfort of feeling hungry. 2. The other challenge for me is drinking the bad-tasting epsom salt and water concoction. To help get it down, I make the doses all at one time so the salt dissolves in the water, and I keep it cold in the refrigerator. When I drink it, I use a straw and plug my nose. Again, a minor temporary discomfort and well worth the results of long-term increased energy.

The next day is spent mostly on the toilet as a result of the epsom salt, which has a laxative effect. The first time I did the cleanse, I passed hundreds of small pea-sized stones and a few slightly larger ones. The stones are green and they float, so they are easily recognized. This time, I ended up passing 7-10 stones the size of a thumbnail, and maybe 50 or so smaller stones. They looked similar to the ones in this photo:

Photo courtesy of OrgonSi via Flickr

Photo courtesy of OrgonSi via Flickr

It amazes me to think about these stones plugging up the ducts of my body. Some skeptics do not think these are gallstones for various reasons, but all I can think is that I’d rather have these stones out of me rather than lodged in my body!

The day after the cleanse, I did my best to rest and take it easy so that my kidneys and liver could mop up any excess toxins that were floating around after being dislodged. I drank lots of water and ate mostly fruits and vegetables.

The next few days, I felt fantastic! I ended up taking two walks in one day, totaling 7 miles. I also did all the chores I’d been putting off for a few days, including the dishes and laundry. When I breeze through doing the dishes, I know I must be feeling good!

If you’re interested in more information, there is a great Facebook group that discusses recipes, success stories, and cautions.

Have you tried a liver cleanse? How did it make you feel? I’d love to hear your feedback!

Posted in alternative medicine, anxiety, biochemistry, cleanse, cleansing, detox, detoxification, gallbladder, genetics, liver, mental health, mental illness, MTHFR, orthomolecular, stones, toxins | Tagged | Leave a comment

Withdrawl from Psych Meds

There are several Facebook groups to support people who are withdrawing from psychiatric medications. It breaks my heart to read posts describing the immense suffering these folks are going through as they taper off their medicines. Generally, people are struggling through months and even years of pain and symptoms, even after they stop taking medications. When they decide to get off meds (or their failing liver function mandates it), they not only have the original symptoms to deal with, but they also have a variety of other problems that were caused by taking the medication. It’s really awful.

If you’re on medication, please know that I’m not judging you. I have taken medication myself and I understand why people start taking it. I think people should be commended for bravely reaching out to seek help and save their own lives. This takes HUGE courage.

The trouble is, media campaigns about mental health tell us that taking medication is our best option. Rarely are patients given realistic information about side effects and long-term implications of psychiatric medication. Neither are they given useful information about vitamins or amino acids. I think if given the choice, most people would choose to take vitamins over a pharmaceutical drug. But there are several factors involved, including 1. what insurance will pay for, and 2. a lack of awareness that mental health can be improved and often reversed simply by taking a few targeted nutrients.

When I was on medication, I knew that the doctors were playing a guessing game and didn’t really know how to help me, even though they wanted to. I definitely knew that my body wasn’t suffering from a lack of pharmaceuticals. I instinctively felt the problem went deeper.

I guess what it boils down to is this: If you’re not already on medication, please do diligent research before you start taking it. Read books on natural health, join forums, seek out alternative health practitioners. If you aren’t in a healthy place to do this, enlist someone to help you. There ARE resources out there, but sadly, no one is really talking about effective natural solutions for depression and anxiety.

If you are interested in starting the process to get off medications, Beyond Meds has a great posting which lists lots of fantastic information and useful tools. Please consider supplementing with nutrients that your body needs if you are going to undertake this transition. This will help ease the process and save a lot of needless suffering. Please note that you should talk to your doctor before beginning a tapering program. Never just quit “cold turkey,” as this could put your life in danger.

A fantastic film on YouTube called “Death by Medicine” addresses this subject. It features a woman who is going through withdrawals of her psych medications a year after stopping taking medications. It’s lengthy but well worth your time.

It is my ardent hope that someday soon, people will come to know that mental health issues can be effectively addressed and corrected using nutrients tailored to their specific biochemistry.

Posted in abilify, anti-depressants, anxiety, benzos, biochemistry, Death by Medicine, dependency, Gary Null, holistic, medication, mental health, mental illness, nutrients, pharmaceuticals, side effects, ssri, wellbutrin, withdrawl | Tagged , | Leave a comment

No Magic Pill?

There-Aint-No-Magic-Pill2

This type of meme makes its rounds occasionally, especially in anti-pharmaceutical or fitness threads. Whenever I see it, my immediate reaction is: YES, THERE IS!

Of course, the implied message is that there’s no magic pharmaceutical pill that will solve one’s problems. And I do agree with that. Because let’s face it, no one is suffering from a lack of pharmaceuticals.

But when I look back and think about some of the key vitamins and nutrients I’ve taken, sometimes it feels like they ARE magic pills. This is because my body really needed those specific nutrients.

For example, when I first took l-methylfolate (the bio-available form of folic acid), I couldn’t believe how amazing I felt. I ran around telling everyone I knew that I finally knew what it felt like to feel “normal.” I was calm. I was at ease. I was happy for no apparent reason. It was such a welcome and surprising change from wanting to cry for no reason.

Another vitamin that made me feel magical when I first took it was ADB12. I had been taking other forms of B-12, but those were making me feel worse. The first day I took the ADB12, I felt like I could climb any mountain. I felt like superwoman, with the motivation to get everything on my to-do list finished.

When I first tried Tyrosine and DLPA (amino acids), I felt the same type of feelings. I no longer needed coffee in the morning to get me going. I would take these in the morning upon awakening and would feel a sense of peace within a few minutes.

One of my rules of thumb is that when a vitamin or mineral makes you feel this way right from the start, it is a good sign. It means your body really needed that particular nutrient, and was thirsty for it.

Over time, I have found that I usually don’t need as much of a nutrient as when I first started taking it.  I usually end up taking nutrients every other day (or every third day). The feelings of euphoria that I got right away from my “magic” pills tends to fade as my body becomes accustomed to that nutrient.

So, not only do I think there IS a magic pill, I think there could be several! It really just depends on your individual genetics and the nutrients that your body is craving.

What vitamins, minerals or supplements have made you feel amazing when you first started taking them?

Note: Please consult your doctor or holistic health practitioner before starting a nutritional program, especially if you are currently taking medications. Some nutrients may counteract or interfere with your medications. The nutrients listed above may not be appropriate for your particular situation.

Posted in alternative medicine, amino acids, antidepressants, anxiety, b-12, biochemistry, Depression, epigenetics, magic pills, methylfolate, normal, nutritional balancing | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Recovering from an Inadvertent Detox

For the last two days, I have been a real grump.

I’ve been super irritable and annoyed by things that don’t normally bother me. This is strange for me, because I’ve been feeling really good for a while now. For example, I usually walk a few miles a day but the past few days, I’ve barely had the energy to get off the couch.

Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images

Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images

I wondered why the sudden change? I tried to think back and recreate what may have caused the sudden lack of energy and lethargy. I finally figured it out: I recently started to rotate in some supplements I haven’t taken for a while. Two that I started up again were NAC (N-Acetyl Cysteine) and ALA (Alpha-Lipoic Acid).

I remembered that these two are known to be chelators of heavy metals. A-ha! It started to make sense!

So my theory is that I inadvertently released some toxins and that was why I was feeling so awful. I remember this happening before when I’ve done detox protocols. But I certainly wasn’t trying to do a detox right now, and it took me by surprise.

Here’s what I did to feel better today (and why I have the renewed energy to write this blog post!):

-I stopped all supplements except for vitamin C, which is known to help the liver.

-Even though it took a lot of energy, I juiced some fruits and veggies. I used the following ingredients: apples, beets, carrots, ginger, celery, and parsley. I keep these items in my fridge all the time.  Sometimes if I don’t use them, I have to throw them away. However, I find it’s so helpful to have them on hand at times like these when I really need quick nutrients and don’t have the energy to go to the store.  I managed to clean-up quickly and then went back to the couch.

-An really important thing I did was to be gentle with myself. I had so many things I wanted to do, but absolutely no energy or motivation. My brain was really upset that my body couldn’t check some things off my to do list. However, I didn’t want to add shame and guilt to the mix of not feeling good. I gave myself permission to just be a lump on the couch. I felt a sense of relief just by doing that.

-As I was lying on the couch struggling with trying to gather the motivation and energy to get up and do things, I decided to make the best of it. I put on a castor oil pack with a flannel on top of my liver. I kept it on for approximately 30 minutes. This seemed to make a big difference and I was able to get up and do the dishes. Hurray!

-At about 6pm, I brushed my skin with a dry skin brush and then took a hot epsom salt bath with lavender essential oil. I stayed in the bath until it was no longer warm- about 20 minutes or so.

Then, I felt so good, I jumped up and wrote this post! : )

I am so grateful to have a variety of tools in my toolbox for times like these. Once I recognize that I’m not feeling good, I am usually able to take an action to change the way I’m feeling. I’m getting really good at knowing what works for me with certain symptoms. If one things doesn’t work, I try something else.

Of course, toxin elimination isn’t the only piece to my complex individual depression puzzle, but these last few days remind me that it is indeed significant. I was amazed at how just a few simple actions got me feeling back to normal again.

What kinds of things work wonders for you when you’re feeling down?

Posted in ALA, angry, chelating, detoxing, fatigue, grumpy, heavy metals, NAC | 2 Comments