Why nutritional psychiatry is the future of mental health treatment

Blueberries

Very interesting and may be so helpful.

Below is a direct quote from the article below. I wonder why we are not told to add vitamin and mineral as well as OTC anti-inflammatory supplementation to out diets and medicine regimen? It would be worth it to try it, if it doesn’t help, ok, but imagine it does help! I am going to ask my psychiatrist about all of these and if they have any adverse reactions with the medications I’m on. That’s would be the best way to go here. Wishing us all the best of physical and mental health.

“It is now known that many mental health conditions are caused by inflammation in the brain which ultimately causes our brain cells to die. This inflammatory response starts in our gut and is associated with a lack of nutrients from our food such as magnesium, omega-3 fatty acids, probiotics, vitamins and minerals that are all essential for the optimum functioning of our bodies. Recent research has shown that food supplements such as zinc, magnesium, omega 3, and vitamins B and D3 can help improve people’s mood, relieve anxiety and depression and improve the mental capacity of people with Alzheimer’s. Magnesium is one of most important minerals for optimal health, yet many people are lacking in it. One study found that a daily magnesium citrate supplement led to a significant improvement in depression and anxiety, regardless of age, gender or severity of depression. Improvement did not continue when the supplement was stopped. Omega-3 fatty acids are another nutrient that is critical for the development and function of the central nervous system – and a lack has been associated with low mood, cognitive decline and poor comprehension. Research has shown that supplements like zinc, magnesium and vitamins B and D can improve the mental capacity of people with Alzheimer’s. Shutterstock The role of probiotics – the beneficial live bacteria in your digestive system – in improving mental health has also been explored by psychiatrists and nutritionists, who found that taking them daily was associated with a significant reduction in depression and anxiety. Vitamin B complex and zinc are other supplements found to reduce the symptoms of anxiety and depression. Hope for the future? These over-the-counter” supplements are widely available in supermarkets, chemists and online health food stores, although the cost and quality may vary. For people who have not responded to prescription drugs or who cannot tolerate the side effects, nutritional intervention can offer hope for the future. There is currently much debate over the effectiveness of antidepressants. The use of food supplements offer an alternative approach that has the potential to make a significant difference to the mental health of all age groups.”

 

http://theconversation.com/why-nutritional-psychiatry-is-the-future-of-mental-health-treatment-92545

A lack of essential nutrients is known to contribute to the onset of poor mental health in people suffering from anxiety and depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and ADHD. Nutritional psychiatry is a growing discipline that focuses on the use of food and supplements to provide these essential nutrients as part of an integrated or alternative treatment for mental health disorders. But nutritional approaches for these debilitating conditions are not widely accepted by mainstream medicine. Treatment options tend to be limited to official National Institute for Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines which recommend talking therapies and antidepressants. Use of antidepressants Antidepressant use has more than doubled in recent years. In England 64.7m prescriptions were issued for antidepressants in 2016 at a cost of £266.6m. This is an increase of 3.7m on the number of items prescribed in 2015 and more than double than the 31m issued in 2006. A recent Oxford University study found that antidepressants were more effective in treating depression than placebo. The study was led by Dr Andrea Cipriani who claimed that depression is under treated. Cipriani maintains that antidepressants are effective and a further 1m prescriptions should be issued to people in the UK. This approach suggests that poor mental health caused by social conditions is viewed as easily treated by simply dispensing drugs. But antidepressants are shunned by people whom they could help because of the social stigma associated with mental ill-health which leads to discrimination and exclusion. Prescriptions for 64.7m items of antidepressants were dispensed in England in 2016, the highest level recorded by the NHS. Shutterstock More worrying is the increase in the use of antidepressants by children and young people. In Scotland, 5,572 children under 18 were prescribed antidepressants for anxiety and depression in 2016. This figure has more than doubled since 2009/2010. But according to British psychopharmacologist Professor David Healy, 29 clinical trials of antidepressant use in young people found no benefits at all. These trials revealed that instead of relieving symptoms of anxiety and depression, antidepressants caused children and young people to feel suicidal. Healy also challenges their safety and effectiveness in adults. He believes that antidepressants are over-prescribed and that there is little evidence that they are safe for long-term use. Antidepressants are said to create dependency, have unpleasant side effects and cannot be relied upon to always relieve symptoms. Nutrition and poor mental health In developed countries such as the UK we eat a greater variety of foodstuffs than ever before – but it doesn’t follow that we are well nourished. In fact, many people do not eat enough nutrients that are essential for good brain health, opting for a diet of heavily processed food containing artificial additives and sugar. The link between poor mental health and nutritional deficiencies has long been recognised by nutritionists working in the complementary health sector. However, psychiatrists are only now becoming increasingly aware of the benefits of using nutritional approaches to mental health, calling for their peers to support and research this new field of treatment. It is now known that many mental health conditions are caused by inflammation in the brain which ultimately causes our brain cells to die. This inflammatory response starts in our gut and is associated with a lack of nutrients from our food such as magnesium, omega-3 fatty acids, probiotics, vitamins and minerals that are all essential for the optimum functioning of our bodies. Recent research has shown that food supplements such as zinc, magnesium, omega 3, and vitamins B and D3 can help improve people’s mood, relieve anxiety and depression and improve the mental capacity of people with Alzheimer’s. Magnesium is one of most important minerals for optimal health, yet many people are lacking in it. One study found that a daily magnesium citrate supplement led to a significant improvement in depression and anxiety, regardless of age, gender or severity of depression. Improvement did not continue when the supplement was stopped. Omega-3 fatty acids are another nutrient that is critical for the development and function of the central nervous system – and a lack has been associated with low mood, cognitive decline and poor comprehension. Research has shown that supplements like zinc, magnesium and vitamins B and D can improve the mental capacity of people with Alzheimer’s. Shutterstock The role of probiotics – the beneficial live bacteria in your digestive system – in improving mental health has also been explored by psychiatrists and nutritionists, who found that taking them daily was associated with a significant reduction in depression and anxiety. Vitamin B complex and zinc are other supplements found to reduce the symptoms of anxiety and depression. Hope for the future? These over-the-counter” supplements are widely available in supermarkets, chemists and online health food stores, although the cost and quality may vary. For people who have not responded to prescription drugs or who cannot tolerate the side effects, nutritional intervention can offer hope for the future. There is currently much debate over the effectiveness of antidepressants. The use of food supplements offer an alternative approach that has the potential to make a significant difference to the mental health of all age groups. The emerging scientific evidence suggests that there should be a bigger role for nutritional psychiatry in mental health within conventional health services. If the burden of mental ill health is to be reduced, GPs and psychiatrists need to be aware of the connection between food, inflammation and mental illness. Medical education has traditionally excluded nutritional knowledge and its association with disease. This has led to a situation where very few doctors in the UK have a proper understanding of the importance of nutrition. Nutritional interventions are thought to have little evidence to support their use to prevent or maintain well-being and so are left to dietitians, rather than doctors, to advise on. But as the evidence mounts up, it is time for medical education to take nutrition seriously so that GPs and psychiatrists of the future know as much about its role in good health as they do about anatomy and physiology. The state of our mental health could depend on it.

Irritable Depression

img_0546Depression, the irritable kind is when one is quick to anger and quick to tears. Unfortunately this is the kind that I often have, where I get so angry and even rageful, and then the tears, yes the tears come. Julie Fast’s blog is the first place where I learned this was a thing. I wrote about it, see here: https://bipolar1blog.com/2016/08/20/mean-bipolar-downswings-check-yourself-before-you-wreck-yourself/

Now here is an article that describes Irritable depression as a subcategory of depression. It’s not bad enough to feel bad, but on top of it all is the anger and then the dissolution into tears. I get a very short fuse, things that would normally not set me off, do. It is one of the lease fun things that one can experience.

For me, the treatment is to increase my dose of Seroquel, let’s say fro 50 mg to 75 mg and then possibly to 100 mg.

Currently I am on 100 mg of Seroquel and 900 mg of lithium daily. And this seems to be controlling my mood quite well. Of course anxiety, though somewhat controlled by Seroquel, sometimes gets beyond me.

Some of my friends have asked if their or their loved ones’ symptoms of anger, tears and depression are depression. Well, here’s the answer, yes they are.

https://www.elementsbehavioralhealth.com/depression/irritable-depression-when-sadness-feels-like-anger/

Ever feel so frustrated and pent up that even the slightest thing seems like it could set you off? On the verge of rage, but is it truly rage or is it a different emotion – one that defies words but combines anger, frustration, sadness, anxiety, “stressed out” and edginess? Irritability can feel like emotional sandpaper under your skin and once it is in full swing, everything, from a partner’s kind words to your dog’s whine, seems to make it worse.

Typically when we think of depression, we think of the classic symptoms: sadness, low energy, insomnia, appetite changes, and so on. Sometimes, however, depression presents with a slightly different constellation of symptoms, especially in children and young adults. In fact, in children, sadness might not even be present and irritability alone can lead to a diagnosis of depression. The notion of an irritable or agitated depression has been around in mental health treatment for decades, but is not yet supported by the formal diagnostic process for adults.

Diagnostic Criteria

Currently, the basic criteria required to diagnose depression must include at least five of the following symptoms, and must include either sadness or loss of interest as one of the five:

  • Sadness, “the blues,” low mood, feeling glum, bummed out, or down for no clear reason.
  • No longer being interest in doing things that previously were compelling or interesting. In some cases, this escalates into a complete loss of interest in doing anything at all, and withdrawing from social activity. In other cases, the activity continues but pleasure/enjoyment ceases.
  • Appetite changes that result in weight changes: increases or decreases may be part of depression, but only significant weight loss is noted as diagnostic criterion.
  • Changes in sleep patterns: oversleeping (can’t get out of bed, sleeping excessive number of hours) or inability to sleep.
  • Feeling tired, washed out, and exhausted despite sleeping.
  • An increase in fidgety, purposeless movement such as pacing, nail biting, or chewing the insides of your mouth or a complete absence of such movements (the technical term for this is psychomotor agitation or retardation).
  • Excessive guilt and feeling worthless.
  • Difficulty concentrating, feeling overwhelmed or unable to complete basic mental or physical tasks; feeling unable to do “normal” activities such as driving, food shopping, answering emails, etc.
  • Thoughts of death, thoughts of suicide, plans of suicide, or attempting suicide.

In adults, a sad mood must be present to diagnose depression. In children, this is not so. The first criteria, sadness or a low mood, need not be present in children if the dominant mood state is irritable. However, in May 2013, a new revision of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) will be released and some changes in understanding depression and irritability in both adults and children are expected.

Irritable Subtype?

Much has been written about diagnosing depression, and the age exclusion regarding irritability. Studies show that many depressed adults report significant irritability, yet this symptom alone is not sufficient for the diagnosis of depression. Some researchers and clinicians have been arguing for the inclusion of an irritable subcategory of Major Depressive Disorder to help identify, diagnose, and treat this group of depression sufferers. As the DSM heads for its fifth revision, the inclusion of an irritable subtype of major depression may become a reality.

What is Irritability?

Quick to anger and quick to tears, most of us know when we are irritable, or more poignantly, we know when those around us are irritable. When children are irritable, they are easily frustrated, have a “short fuse” and may be more prone to acting out behaviorally. Adults also show irritability by becoming easily angered or frustrated, allowing small annoyances to take on inappropriate significance, or having trouble filtering out a sharp word or impatient sigh.

In terms of diagnosing a psychiatric illness such as depression, though, clarity and precision are important. Reflect for a moment upon the overlap among feelings of anger, aggression, hostility, and irritability: if irritability is to be featured more prominently in the diagnosis of depression, then it becomes increasingly important to have a clear and precise understanding of this emotion.

Irritability is already seen as a diagnostic indicator in several psychiatric disorders, including mania, ADHD, PTSD, and substance abuse. However, researchers note that the definition of this term within the DSM IV is lacking precision. Some researchers have advocated for removing irritability as a criteria from a number of diagnoses, and instead creating a working definition of “dysfunctional anger.” Whatever it ends up being called, the addition of a mood state other than sadness being key in the diagnosis of depression in some cases is a positive step forward in helping those with this type of depression gain better access to treatment.

Beneath the Surface: Exploring Mental Illness.

DSCN0356Mental illness, it’s invisible. There are no bandages, no casts, no crutches, no external wounds. How do you know someone is suffering from one? We, the afflicted, talk about feeling bad, talk about our depression and anxiety woes. You, our friends, look at us with bewildered eyes. You think to yourself “This person is all put together, she has makeup on, is dressed well, there are no signs of illness. I don’t understand.”

It’s not easy to explain mental illness to people who don’t have it. You can’t show them anything that is broken, or any flulike symptoms, or anything visible at all.

The key is listening, trying to understand where your mentally ill friend is coming from, what your mentally ill friend feels like, what they are trying to explain to you. And many will not even explain anything, because of the stigma, because they don’t want to appear “crazy” or abnormal.

Yes it’s confusing. I’ve had bipolar disorder since 1985, and sometimes it’s still confusing for me, so don’t anyone beat themselves over this. Basically the only empirical thing you have to gauge mental illness by is behavior. For example, in mania, people talk a lot, have very high energy, don’t sleep much, may have delusions of grandeur, may have a lot of anxiety. In depression, they have no energy, may sleep a lot, or not, are in a downcast mood, hopeless, and may also have a lot of anxiety. Paradoxically, in hypomania (the stage before going into full blown mania), we can actually get a lot accomplished, we are energetic, focused, not over the edge yet. This might be considered the “industrious” phase of bipolar disorder.

So the way your friend is behaving, a departure from their normal self, is a clue to their mental illness. What they are saying and how they’re saying it is as well. Are they being grandiose, talking non stop, switching from subject to subject (flight of ideas,) these are all clues.

In schizophrenia, people can have auditory hallucinations, where they hear voices, that’s definitely a clue, if they tell you, if they are aware that this is happening and admit to it… Yet most of the time, looking at a mentally ill person, you’d never know anything was wrong at all. It’s all below the surface, in their brain. Just like in a sea, where the water looks still and calm but a savage riptide is flowing under the surface.

Signs and signals, feelings and observations, those are clues to understanding mental illness. Just being an observant and understanding friend who listens and tries to comprehend what is being said and shown to them, that my friends is what is needed to understand the illusive nature of mental illness.

Love and Other Drugs


 So many of us who have been traumatized as children, who were unloved or not loved enough, who were rejected, abandoned, abused, develop addictions later on in life. The trauma that we suffered in our childhood leads to pain, anxiety, emptiness, depression, self hate, and on and on and on. All these feelings are extremely unpleasant and painful to feel, therefore we try to get away from them by using something or someone to mask the pain. This can lead to addictive behavior. Addiction is not only to substances like alcohol, or drugs, you can also be addicted to a person. In the case of alcohol, although a depressant, it increases dopamine in your brain. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter, and one of our feel good chemicals. So initially, alcohol makes us feel good, due to the increase in dopamine. However, its depressant effect takes over soon after, and also one needs to drink more and more to get the mood enhancing effect, all of this can lead to alcohol addiction or alcoholism. Same with drugs, they can alleviate anxiety, make us feel good temporarily, but again, it may take higher doses to achieve the same effects and that can lead to addiction. And people can have the same effect on us, this is known as “love addiction,” one can be addicted to a lover or friend, as this also produces feel good chemicals in our brain.

Love addiction is extremely destructive. You are dependent on a whole other human being for your happiness! Really?! I know, I get it, I’ve been there. The feelings swirling inside of you from your childhood trauma are so painful and heartbreaking, that you, without even knowing it, put the responsibility of your happiness on to someone else’s unsuspecting shoulders!

This is because you do not know how to soothe yourself, so when you are thinking of your “love” interest, you’re not thinking painful thoughts, or you think this person you’re addicted to will do it. And believe me this has nothing to do with love, and everything to do with addiction. You think you can’t live without this person, you get a high when you see this person, it’s all about you. True love is selfless and you care about the person you love more than yourself, ok if not more than, at least as much as… Addiction is different, it’s a fix, it’s something you crave, it’s a very self involved thing. With addiction, most people are trying to reduce their own suffering, unfortunately, they are using self destructive behaviors to accomplish their goal of no suffering. The goal is positive, the methods… perhaps not so much…

It’s because you don’t know how to tamp down your fight or flight from going from 0 to 500 in 5 seconds, you think the presence of the person you’re addicted to will do this.

It’s because no one taught you to love yourself, to value yourself, to forgive yourself, you think the poor person you are addicted to will do it.

Your boundaries were continuously violated, you never learned what a boundary was, so you want to be totally enmeshed with this unfortunate person you are addicted to, and whose boundaries you don’t know how to respect.

The above three are skills that people who grow up in loving, nurturing, normal homes learn when they are young children.

We people, who grew up in abusive, abandoning homes, do not learn these skills when we are children.

Well it’s never too late to learn. Never too late to reparent yourself, or work with your inner child. Meditation can be used to calm your flight or flight response. There are apps for your cell phones such as Headspace (https://www.headspace.com/) that will help you learn meditation. This can take as little as 10 minutes! There are resources that will help you heal from love addiction, here’s a link to a book that helped me a lot; http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004HW88LU/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?ie=UTF8&btkr=1

And one last thing, this is very important, we adult survivors of child abuse and abandonment sometimes get so involved in our feelings and feel so sorry for our own selves that we don’t even realize that we are trespassing on other people’s rights. We do it totally unknowingly, however, we do do it. Let me give you an example, the person we’re addicted to, known as “poor person” from hereon in, is busy, hasn’t answered our texts in a few days. Our abandonment issues are extensively triggered by this because we think this poor person has now abandoned us. So we bombard them with every manner of contact we have for them, Facebook messenger, Snapchat, texting, emailing, Whatsapp, and many others in this age of technology, all begging, apologizing, and generally making as big a pest of ourselves as possible. We have no boundaries, we think this is ok. Well it’s not ok. This poor person should not have to put up with this level of, frankly, harassment. If this poor person is our friend, they did not sign on to deal with this. The bottom line is: You and I are responsible for our issues and for healing from them! Some friends will hold our hand and walk with us, and some won’t. But, no one has to. It is wholly our own responsibility to get help, to realize what our issues are and to heal from them. And once the healing has taken place, at least to some degree, we can be friends with anyone, yet be dependent on no one. We’ve won the war of independence, congratulations! This is not to be harsh, but to help us realize what we’re doing is not in anyone’s best interests, including our own. It’s a difficult lesson to learn, but once we learn it, and we (and I am definitely included here) can live our lives without being dependent on anyone else to make us happy, once we own our own lives and become responsible for ourselves, then really and truly, we’ve healed and we have arrived! 🙂

Yours in mental wellness and health,

Samina.

Bipolar1blog

http://m.huffpost.com/us/author/samina-raza

Immune Activity During Pregnancy Tied to Neuronal Defects, Anxiety, and Cognitive Impairments

Apple blossoms

I’m definitely cataloguing this in the Interesting category!

Neurons called Parvalbumin Interneurons in the brains of mice pups were underactive when their mothers had an infection while pregnant, i.e. the mother’s immune systems were ramped up due to the infection. This did not happen to mice whose mothers had no infection during pregnancy. The mice with underactive Parvalbumin Interneurons exhibited more anxiety and struggled with behavioral tests.

Also it was possible to induce these effects (anxiety and difficulty in behavioral tests) in normal mice (no infection in mother while pregnant) by shutting off the Parvalbumin Interneurons.

Parvalbumin Interneurons are neurons which send inhibitory signals to other neurons are much weaker in neurons of mice born to mothers whose immune system had been activated during pregnancy. “Parvalbumin interneurons help coordinate the activity of other cells in the brain, and are thought to be important for memory and cognitive flexibility. Reduced numbers and structural abnormalities in parvalbumin interneurons have been linked to multiple psychiatric disorders…”

https://bbrfoundation.org/brain-matters-discoveries/immune-activity-during-pregnancy-tied-to-neuronal-defects-anxiety-and

Researchers are investigating the possibility that infections during pregnancy increase the likelihood that the fetus will develop into a person who will have mental illness later in life. There is evidence that immune activity in response to maternal infections may increase the offspring’s risk of schizophrenia,bipolar disorder, depression, and anxiety disorders.

In a new animal study led by Christoph Kellendonk, Ph.D., a 2002 and 2008 NARSAD Young Investigator at Columbia University Medical Center, scientists have shown that inhibitory brain cells called parvalbumin interneurons are particularly vulnerable to such maternal immune activation. These cells do not signal as they should in mice whose mothers’ immune systems are activated during pregnancy, the researchers have shown. What’s more, the signaling problems are associated with cognitive impairments and anxiety-like behavior in mice.

Activated immune system in pregnant mice linked to later cognitive impairments in their offspring. Tweet >

The research team, which included Alan Stewart Brown, M.D., M.P.H., a 1993, 1996 Young Investigator, 2000, 2004 Independent Investigator and 2015 Distinguished Investigator, 2013 Young Investigator Sarah E. Canetta, Ph.D. and BBRF Scientific Council Member and 2001, 2003 Young Investigator Joshua A. Gordon, M.D., Ph.D., all at Columbia, published its findings February 2 in the journal Molecular Psychiatry.

Parvalbumin interneurons help coordinate the activity of other cells in the brain, and are thought to be important for memory and cognitive flexibility. Reduced numbers and structural abnormalities in parvalbumin interneurons have been linked to multiple psychiatric disorders, but so far it has been difficult to assess how these abnormalities affect brain function.

In their mouse study, Dr. Kellendonk and colleagues determined that the inhibitory signals that parvalbumin interneurons usually send to target cells are much weaker than usual in mice whose mothers’ immune systems had been active during pregnancy. Those mice struggled with a behavioral test that involved task switching, suggesting certain cognitive impairments, and also exhibited more anxiety than mice whose mothers had no immune activation during pregnancy.

In mice whose mothers did not have activated immune systems during pregnancy, the scientists could provoke the same increase in anxiety and cognitive defects simply by artificially shutting off parvalbumin interneurons, supporting the idea that defects in the cells were responsible for the affected animals’ behavior.

Takeaway: Study in mice identifies brain cells that are vulnerable to a mother’s infection during pregnancy. Reduced signaling from these cells was associated with increased anxiety and cognitive impairments.

Fear is everywhere, it is anger, it is anxiety, it is hopelessness and so much more. How do we help ourselves overcome it?

Fear is everywhere, it is anger, anxiety, hopelessness. It is a primal emotion which has helped us survive, evolutionarily. But now our fear response can be triggered because of non urgent events. And we can react by getting angry, getting anxious, having all the negative emotions. It activates our fight or flight or freeze response. We can become habituated to feel fear, anger, anxious, hopeless, etc, etc. And we try to get away from these emotions, we run away from them.But that doesn’t work. What do we do about it? We accept it, we sit with it in meditation. Every time we feel fear and anger means we have hit a boundary in our life. Meaning fear is at the outer limit of what is acceptable to us. We have reached our limits. And we experience fear. We can sit with it, we can push against it and this is growth. When we reach out outer edges, we can either be fearful, or we can accept the fear and push back, and that is where growth happens for us. So as frightening as fear, anger, anxiety are, they are the catalysts for our own growth!

Keep listening, she’s really good!