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.

Are you even trying to get better??

This is a video called ” If Physical Health Problems Were Treated Like Mental Health Problems” also known as “Are You Even Trying To Get Better?” It is absolutely Brilliant and funny and gets the point across in such an obvious, duh, “oh my god why didn’t I realize this before” way, everyone needs to see this and internalize this! And stop asking depressed people or anxious people, or mentally ill people “Are you even trying to get better?” We also need to stop doing that to ourselves. Easier said than done, sometimes it’s difficult to realize that you are again in the grips of your mental illness. And sometimes, situational things feel like illness and it’s hard to distinguish. But we must try, all of us, the sick, the well, and even the in between. 🙂

Men & Depression: NHL Goalie, Clint Malarchuck

Clint-Malarchuk-hockey-depression

This is an interview that Clint Malarchuk did for ESPERANZA Hope Magazine. I’ve been looking for it and finally found it. It’s a brilliant interview. Very worth everyone’s time to read.

http://www.hopetocope.com/men-depression-nhl-goalie-clint-malarchuck/

The former hockey goalie shares his story on confronting his depression and anxiety.

By Linda Childers

There was a time when the face mask Clint Malarchuk wore as protection against hurtling hockey pucks mirrored the façade he donned to get through the day. In a rough-and-tumble sport where players are valued for their “manly” ability to get physical and play aggressively, the award-winning goaltender became a master at hiding the inner turmoil of anxiety and depression.

“Goalies are the guy everyone looks to for confidence,” explains Malarchuk, who began his professional hockey career before he turned 21. With his high-pressure job plus the stress of keeping up appearances, he says, “I felt that I had to be twice as strong.”

Over 14 years, Malarchuk tended the crease for the National Hockey League’s Quebec Nordiques, Washington Capitals, and Buffalo Sabres before finishing out his playing days with the Las Vegas Thunder of the International Hockey League. When he was out on the ice, immersed in a game, he was able to find some peace. Off the ice, not so much.

“In the locker room, I was the easygoing clown of the team, yet inside, I felt like my brain was on fire,” he recalls.

From puck drop to final whistle, Malarchuk was focused on “the save”—keeping the puck from entering the net. Nowadays “save” has a different interpretation for him—as in, keeping others who grapple with mental distress from feeling alone and hopeless.

He’s a powerful role model for other men. When he speaks in public, Malarchuk tries to stress that depression isn’t just a “woman’s disease” and how important it is for men to confront their depression and seek out treatment.

“I always knew I was physically tough, but I believed I was mentally weak until I started talking to other men and finding out how many of them also suffered from depression,” he says.

At a recent event, Malarchuk recalls, he was approached by a father and his teenage son.  Malarchuk told the young man something he wished someone had shared with him at an earlier age.

“I emphasized how there’s help … not only in the form of medication, but also in therapy, and in talking openly with others.”

‘COWBOY UP’

Malarchuk, 53, details his own struggles in his new memoir, A Matter of Inches: How I Survived in the Crease and Beyond (titled The Crazy Game in Canada). Take that “survived” literally: In a horrifying 1989 incident—witnessed by a nation of TV viewers tuned in to a Buffalo Sabres game—Malarchuk nearly lost his life when a skate blade slashed his neck.

The accident left Malarchuk with post-traumatic stress disorder—although it wasn’t diagnosed until years later—and deepened an emotional maelstrom that began during his difficult boyhood. He got a very different message then from the one he now promotes.

“From childhood, I was taught to cowboy up and move on,” says Malarchuk, who was raised on a ranch in Edmonton, Alberta.

His mask was already in place as he struggled through school and spent restless nights at the mercy of his anxiety and fear. “I remember thinking I was the only person on the planet who felt like their head was always spinning,” he says.

When he was skating, hockey stick in hand, the spinning stopped. The ice was his refuge, and the ebb and flow of the game would override his troubled thoughts. Malarchuk threw himself into the sport—and into obsessive conditioning. He would run 12 to 20 miles each day, lift weights, and box.

The “man up” message also drove Malarchuk to less healthy ways of coping: drinking heavily and erupting in anger.

“I don’t get angry anymore, but in the past, my drinking would often lead to me picking fights and being verbally abusive. I wasn’t even aware of some of the things I said when I lashed out,” Malarchuk recalls. “When I relapsed, I was angry at myself for not being strong enough to control the feelings I thought I had put behind me.”

After working with the team’s doctors and then a psychiatrist who diagnosed his obsessive-compulsive disorder and depression, Malarchuk finally found medication “that helped tremendously.” It also helped with shame and self-doubt when the psychiatrist “compared taking antidepressants to a diabetic needing insulin,” he recalls. “The doctor was the first to explain that my OCD and depression were the result of a chemical imbalance.”

While medication didn’t erase all Malarchuk’s symptoms, it did serve to quiet his mind. He continued his hockey career as a goalie and, after hanging up his jersey in 1996, as a coach.

BETTER TOOLS

Learning to manage his depression has been an ongoing enterprise. After a serious relapse in 2008, Malarchuk finally sought out talk therapy. He was challenged to face unresolved emotions related to his traumatic neck injury years earlier.

“In therapy, I had to … cry, and to acknowledge my feelings,” he admits.

He also learned more about overall mental wellness.

“I’ve tried to change my habits and focus on staying in the right emotional, mental and spiritual state,” he says.

Malarchuk relapsed again while writing his memoir, turning back to old coping methods as old anguish resurfaced. He was goaltender coach for the Calgary Flames at the time, and team administrators offered to send him to a treatment center. Part of the month-long rehab involved targeting the underlying causes of his alcohol use.

Malarchuk says he learned more about tools like self-talk, personal time-outs, problem-solving and relaxation techniques.

Last summer, Malarchuk began a new chapter in his life. He retired from hockey to live full-time on his ranch in Nevada, where he’s been raising emus for years. He is devoting himself to a second career as an equine chiropractor and dentist.

Malarchuk is living the dream, part 2. As a teen, he worked as a ranch hand during summers and thought about becoming a veterinarian. Throughout his hockey years—the dream, part 1—he maintained a love for horses, ranching, and rodeo. (Thus his nickname “the cowboy goalie.”)

“Being around horses comforts me,” Malarchuk says. “The smell of the barn and the horses, even watching them eat calms me.”

(He also gets some animal therapy from one of the house dogs, a Yorkie, “who senses when I’m anxious or upset,” Malarchuk says. “He’ll come up to me and want to nuzzle close to my neck and offer comfort.”)

FAMILY MAN

Where playing hockey was once his escape, now the barn is Malarchuk’s refuge. His office is there, and a gym space where he lifts weights and works out every day he’s home.

“Sometimes when I start to feel down or anxious, I’ll tell my wife, Joanie that I need to take some time out and go to the barn to meditate,” Malarchuk says. “Joanie has been very supportive and is great about encouraging me to do whatever I need to, in order to stay healthy mentally.”

A father of three, with one teenage daughter still in the nest, Malarchuk tries to be open with his children about his depression. He recalls one occasion last winter when depressive symptoms arose and he began to cry. Instead of hiding away, he asked his daughter to come sit with him.

“I asked if she had ever felt depressed, and I told her that no matter what she was going through, that she could always talk to me,” he explains.
Malarchuk hopes he can be there for his own children the way his mom, Jean, has been there for him.

“My mom and I are very close,” he says. “She has always supported me through good and bad, and I don’t know what I would do without her and Joanie in my life.”

In recent months, Malarchuk and his wife have been traveling across North America to promote his book. At book signings and in emails, other men often thank him for “being honest about my feelings because it has helped them to be more open and to better manage their own depression,” Malarchuk says. “I also get e-mails from women who thank me for helping their husband or their son realize that depression is a true illness.”

In the past, Malarchuk’s honesty has opened him up to attacks that he’s somehow weak. He’s heard taunts—“Hey, Malarchuk, pop another pill.” He recognizes that depression can be hard to understand for someone who hasn’t been through it. That’s partly why he’s so passionate about speaking out.

“I used to think my purpose in life was being in the NHL as a player and then a coach,” Malarchuk says. “I realize now that playing hockey gave me the platform for my real purpose—to raise awareness of mental illness, and to help reduce the stigma surrounding depression and anxiety so that no one has to feel alone.”

Sidebar: How Clint copes

By looking outward: Malarchuk has learned that focusing his energy on helping others is an antidote for his own depression, whether it’s caring for horses or answering e-mails from people who write him about their struggles.

By looking inward: Malarchuk practices his own form of meditation. “I lay down and read a book of daily reflections, and I meditate on the reflection,” he says. “I also use this time to pray about the things in my life that I have control over, and that I can take charge of, while releasing the things that are beyond my control to a higher power.”

By looking beyond: When Malarchuk begins to feel anxious or depressed, he searches for the root cause. He was experiencing symptoms after a recent trip and determined that he hadn’t been sleeping enough while traveling. “I’ve learned that it’s important for me to get 8 to 10 hours of sleep each night in order to feel my best,” he notes.

Clint Malarchuk’s Amazing Commitment to Getting and Staying Better!

clint cowboy clint cowboy

My second interview with Clint Malarchuk, posted on 2/24/15 (link below*) is pretty amazing all on it’s own, in it’s full length! In this post, I have chosen some things that Clint said that struck me as quite profound and just talked a little about those passages. Clint is amazingly intuitive, intelligent and insightful. He is also incredibly committed to doing everything in his power to stay healthy. I have learned a lot from him in just the two interviews I’ve done. I hope this post will be helpful and insightful for many. I hope he writes more books, I sincerely believe he has a lot more to tell us and teach us. Thank you Clint for doing the interviews. Best Wishes and Happy Trails 🙂  http://www.malarchuk.com/

https://bipolar1blog.wordpress.com/2015/02/24/clint-malarchuk-an-amazing-follow-up-interview-by-samina-raza/

“Like stress, when I start getting stressed out, that’s when I have to take the extra time to check in with myself. I’m not sure if I told you last time, my tools are a 12 step program, I meditate and pray everyday and I try to exercise. I have a workout routine that I try to do every day. Those things keep me balanced.”

This is pure insight and introspection and an amazing commitment to his health. This is just so impressive, it is clear that he is going to stay healthy. Every avenue you can think of that one can take in the quest for good mental health, Clint is taking here.

“I find that my animals, I have a little dog, and she is my emotional support. When I meditate, I lay down and the cat lays on my belly and the dog curls up beside me, it is very relaxing.”

They have depression dogs now, it seems Clint knew all about the healing power of animals before they were being given little sweaters and allowed on planes. I observed to him that animals pull out the love from inside of us, and Clint conceded, he said “Yes you can call it love, it simplifies things.” Doesn’t it though.

“I’m really in to animals. And people have always said that, when I work on horses for my business, the horses that no one can really get close to, I just walk up to them. And people say “How did you do that, what are you doing? This horse is always afraid of people!” I believe in your energy, we all have it. We’re animals just like they are, so I really believe that my energy is really confident with animals, so they respond to me.”

Clint observes, and quite rightly so that humans are animals, so horses respond to our energy, actually the energy of confidence. Who knows, maybe that’s how people choose their mates, sensing their energy and if it is compatible, well then they are the chosen ones for each other.

“Well I’m a big proponent of you are being treated because you’re sick. You’re not weak. And if you’re chemically imbalanced, whether it’s your pancreas/diabetes or if it’s your brain/serotonin, it doesn’t matter.”

How’s that for profound? People, mental illness is a physical illness. It involves your brain and it involves imbalances in your neurotransmitters. So don’t sweat  it, go see your psychiatrist, get your medications, and get better! No stigma, no shame, no hiding. Just do it!

“Yes, right. But don’t forget, it takes a long time to be on those medications before they either kick in if they’re going to work, or you figure out “Oops they don’t work, I have to try something else.”

This is quite another gem, don’t forget it took a long time for the medication to work. So if you have to come off it, it’ll probably take a long time for the withdrawal symptoms to go away. How insightful is that!

“I have to be kind to myself and remind myself I deserve to be happy. “

This is indeed profound. Who doesn’t need to learn this lesson? How many people, mentally ill or not, are self loathers? Shouldn’t compassion start with oneself? If you can’t be kind to yourself, then how can you genuinely be kind to another?

“I think that growing up in turmoil that anxiety was the norm for me. And sometimes, if I’m not feeling anxious, I feel like I have to think of something to worry about, to get anxious.”

This is truly a gem! Why is there always a nagging voice inside my head making me anxious, even when there isn’t anything to be anxious about? Yes it could very well be that I grew up in a very anxious environment. When things are calm, you miss the anxious adrenalin rush. This is also the definition of an anxiety disorder. So which came first, the anxiety disorder or the anxious environment? No matter. We have to realize that we are in a way, addicted to anxiety. That our minds/brains search for reasons to be anxious. That is probably the beginning, the birth of peace and calm. And not just realize, but really stay on our medication. Again, Clint says just that.

“Helping each other, that’s what it’s all about!”

Such truth in this statement. What else is life about if not helping each other? Are we here to amass diamonds? They’re just glittery stones. Are we here to build ourselves gigantic mansions? How much room de we need to live in? Are we here to be in exclusive clubs. communities, wear exclusive clothes? Well, at least in my book, we are here to be inclusive and just like Clint says: “Help each other.”

Also, how committed he is to his health is astounding! He exercises, meditates, prays, goes to AA  (Alcoholics Anonymous) meetings, checks in with himself as to why he is feeling bad or anxious, and he sees his doctors regularly and takes his medications. If this isn’t the recipe to Mental Health, I don’t know what is.

“To me it’s like a course in life. Because it’s not just about not drinking. The 12 steps are a lot deeper than that.”

That’s what Clint says about AA. He also believes, as they teach in AA, in a higher power. You have to admit that you are powerless against ____, fill in the blank, it’s your substance of abuse. Or for me Clint suggests it could be “Life” or “Moods” that I am powerless against. Then if you follow the 12 steps, allow your higher power to assist you, you will be victorious over your addiction/illness.

“So I have to communicate that to loved ones that this is what I need to do.”

Also when you are doing all these healthy things, communication with your loved ones is crucial! And not only communication, but their support for the healthy things and for the essential things you are doing to keep yourself healthy. When we have our loved ones’ support, aren’t we more likely to be successful?  And if they love us, then why wouldn’t they give us support?

“And that’s the creatures of habit! If we’re going to change habits, we have to replace them with other habits.”

This one is extremely powerful. In order to get rid of old bad habits, you have to replace them with new, healthier, good habits. How many of us try to do this but end up going back to our bad habits, because we did not replace them with new healthy habits. We may know this and have forgotten it, or we may be seeing this for the first time. Thank you Clint!