mental-health-awareness mindfulness narrative-nonfiction personal-growth self-awareness

A Coffee Shop, a Stick Vacuum and a Zen Garden

What we can learn when we look and listen

Powered by WPeMatico

mental-health mental-health-awareness psychology relationships writing

Drowning Is A Given Choice

Powered by WPeMatico

mental-health mental-health-awareness mental-illness stress stress-management

Things Help me to Overcome ‘Stress’

Lost my job, break up after a long one year in a relationship, got cheated by my girlfriend, what else worst happened to anyone.

Powered by WPeMatico

anxiety care mental-health-awareness mental-illness myself

Don’t Care Too Much!

How I am coping up with things?

Powered by WPeMatico

creative-writing emotional-intelligence mental-health mental-health-awareness writing

Hemingway’s Injury, or What Papa Never Said

Tuesday morning musings on St. Ernest

Powered by WPeMatico

addiction humorous-life-lessons mental-health-awareness neuroscience psychology

Meet the Mentally Ill

Manics, Schizophrenics, Depressives, Sex addicts, and Psychopaths in the Dayrooms in Mental Health Hospitals.

Powered by WPeMatico

children mental-health mental-health-awareness missing-children runaway

Thoughts of a Run away child

Poetry on the mentality of a runaway

Powered by WPeMatico

drugs medicine mental-health mental-health-awareness mental-illness

The doctor gave me the wrong drugs to treat my OCD and this is what happened….

Do we really need medicine to treat mental illness?

Unsplash _ Anthony Tran

“I think he talks to someone in his head, who asks him to hurt himself”

“Hasn’t he visited a psychiatrist?”, I ask

“He has but they aren’t helping…..I think he’s on the wrong medication”

The first time I came across a mental health issue was in college. Sadly it was quite extreme. And worse, it was my friend who needed urgent help.

Through a common friend, I had found out that Rohit, let’s call him Rohit was suffering from chronic anxiety attacks, insomnia and worst of all hallucinations. In the past 6 months, he had cut himself, stopped studying, become a recluse, had random fits of anger, tried to strangle himself the list went on.

Honestly, it was quite frightening to listen to these accounts.

But what was worse was to find out that he had been suffering like this for months despite medication and infrequent therapy.

I clicked pictures of the tablets and sent them to my mom who’s a doctor and as anticipated the drugs were too strong for him and not the right kind.

As if going through mental anxiety, hallucinations, the feelings of self-harm weren’t enough. My friend here was being prescribed the wrong doses of the wrong medicines to cure him.

We immediately took him to another doctor to get him new medication.

If this was happening to a brilliant 20-year-old, in a completely safe environment, I couldn’t fathom what these medicines were capable of.

What are your Drugs Doing To You?

We get a headache, we pop an aspirin, we get low blood pressure we eat chocolate. But when it comes to the brain, what do we do?

It made me seriously question the role of drugs in people’s mental health.

How do these drugs work? What do they do? Do we really need drugs?Are they replaceable? Whats the data Supporting drugs being successful to treat mentally unwell people?

As a biology major, we are often taught the different areas of the brain. While we love considering the brain an enigma. In an attempt to understand it, it is often likened to a machine.

A complex machine with different sections performing different functions. The neurons are like little gears that keep internal machinery moving, while the brain chemical or neurotransmitters are like fuel that the machine needs to keep it firing and useful.

So just like when a machine gets spoilt we try to change the gear that caused the problem, or maybe it needs more oiling to keep it running. That is exactly how doctors tend to approach the brain. If they see a problem they study it extensively figuring out what’s causing the problem and try to change that part. And when science discovered that depression was in some way correlated to lowered serotonin in the body. They did what any brain mechanic what do, they come up with a way to increase the serotonin levels in the nervous system.

This is what created an Antidepressant.

Now there are several kinds of antidepressants some of them increase the serotonin, dopamine, or norepinephrine in the central nervous system.

The truth is this technique works. The data from hundreds of peer-reviewed studies show that the drugs are helping people.

But there are a hundred more papers showing that they aren’t helping enough.

Volkan Olmez– Unsplash

The doctor we took my friend to diagnosed him with OCD — obsessive-compulsive disorder. He was given a paraphernalia of drugs to help him get through each day. Despite being on six different medications — ranging from antidepressants to antipsychotics, to sleep-inducing drugs. He was expected to be on these drugs for at least a few years. Yet within a fortnight, he had to be sent home for recovery. Instead of an academic semester, his timetable was spent between doctors visits, therapy and distraught parents.

This is a textbook case of a person who should have recovered from medication. Every data states — cases of mental health which cannot be treated with treatment and therapy, show effective recovery with these drugs over long periods of time. But even after 6 months of medication now he still gets panic attacks, is occasionally suicidal and extremely aggressive.

The Data I’m Trying to Believe

WHO states that currently 450 million people in the world are mentally unwell, and at one point every fourth person in the world will go through a period of mental illness. With such predictions, we should have been able to have a foolproof system of therapists, drugs, counsellors, social support systems in place to help people.

40 to 60 people are said to have recovered with antidepressants and antipsychotics, which may be better than the recovery of people given placebos. But there is no guarantee that these drugs will have any effect on you. Moreso the chances of relapse are high, so you’re probably going to be taking these drugs forever.

Its time we start looking at Mental Health as a lifestyle disorder rather than just trying to tweak some chemicals in the brain. Yes, we don’t know what the drugs we’re administering actually do. But we do know that there are more methods than medicine to treat mental illnesses.

Every mental health patient should go through therapy but instead of immediately resorting to medications which are clearly not impactful enough and are permanent. We must really look at alternate forms of treatment for Mental health patients.

Matt Flores- Unsplash

1. Nutrition and Diet based Therapies

Everybody has different nutritional requirements. Tweaking those can be quite effective. There’s an entire article explaining the science behind this.

Can the right Food cure Anxiety ?

2. Music, art, dance — Creatively relaxing Therapies

Getting an opportunity to release endorphins — hormones good for our body health by doing things we love and consider relaxing is an effective way to treat mental afflictions.

3. Flora and Fauna Therapies

Being a homo sapien automatically makes us an animal. yet we often forget to connect with our roots, maybe going back to the origin can make a significant difference to our well being.

4. Meditation, Yoga, Psychotherapy

These techniques are not only relaxing and calming but an age-old method to tap into the subconscious. If that and a little bit of faith works for you then there can nothing better than treating mental illness, with some good energy from the mind.

I am a biologist, I have a tendency to look for scientific proof for everything. Yet the truth is somethings work and have not yet been adequately researched by science to make a conclusion on. If they work for you try them. They might save you from another dose of drugs.

Today we’re going through a pandemic. Doctors are trying different medicines each day and lives are being lost while on the other hand, some people are recovering without medicines.

“Just because you don’t understand it doesn’t mean it isn’t so.” — Lemony Snicket, The Blank Book

Science does not have the answer to everything. It might have your answer in the future. But you will probably find your answer before science does. Please use it. It doesn’t have to be an antidepressant.

The doctor gave me the wrong drugs to treat my OCD and this is what happened…. was originally published in ILLUMINATION on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Powered by WPeMatico

food health health-foods mental-health mental-health-awareness

Can the right Food Improve your Mental Health?

The story of how Julia and Guilia transformed our understanding of the brain, gut and mental health forever.

Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash

In 2014 two women, introduced two eye-opening pieces of research. Dr Julia Rucklidge spoke about her studies on mental health and Dr Guilia Enders spoke about the Gut.

Julia, who is a clinical neuropsychologist introduced the world to her work, through a TED talk which currently has over 1.5 million views. For over six years she had been studying the benefits of micronutrients to treat children who were mentally unwell suffering from illnesses like bipolar disorders, anxiety, PTSD, ADHD.

Gut-Brain Connection

She basically wanted to know if what we eat could impact our mental health.

Yes, Minerals and Vitamins(micronutrients)! Her work claimed that people who made necessary changes to their diet were showing greater recovery from mental health issues than people who were on medications.

But the idea that your food can change your mental health. Feels overly simplified… doesn’t it? We want to hear complex, interesting ways that doctors and scientists have come up with ways to help us solve an issue that has plagued us for so long. And you’re not the only one who feels this way.

Most scientists across the world are uncomfortable simple solutions, they want the simplest solutions to be extensively researched. Academia has a history of refusing to accept simple solutions to persistent problems.

Photo by Natasha Connell on Unsplash

This where Guilia comes into the picture, while Julia studied the brain. Guilia studied the Gut. Her book Gut: The Inside Story of Our Body’s Most Underrated Organ, speaks about this phenomenon as well.

Guilia who is a scientist and doctor had done some extensive research on this organ which is completely independent of mental health research. And came across some astonishing connections between the gut and the brain during her journey.

Guilia states “The gut has not only a remarkable system of nerves to gather all this information, but also a huge surface area. The gut, by contrast, is a huge matrix, sensing our inner life and working on the subconscious mind.”

She said — Anyone who suffers from anxiety or depression should remember that an unhappy gut can be the cause of an unhappy mind. Sometimes, the gut has a perfect right to be unhappy, if it is dealing with an undetected food intolerance, for example. We should not always blame depression on the brain or on our life circumstances — there is much more to us than that.

Most healthcare systems in the world work in a systematic method to cure Mental Illness. They start with therapy and counselling sessions, followed by antidepressants, antipsychotic drugs and if none of this helps they just increase your drug dosage. When we see people around us on these drugs we assume they’re getting better because the symptoms begin reducing.

But does reduced symptoms mean the person is cured? Symptoms are always a consequence of a disease. Not the disease itself. Just because a person is no longer hallucinating, or trembling does it mean he or she recovered?

This is what Julia’s work looked into.

Julia performed 10’s of researchers over short spans of time usually 8weeks to months. Most of her studies showed that patients who were given the micronutrients were showing phenomenal improvement.

Her 8-week study on ADHD adults showed a 200% improvement as compared to children who were given no medication. These people had lowered Hyperactivity and impulsivity into the normal social range. One year later people who stuck to the medicine were improving, while those who switched to medication or went of the micronutrients saw worsening of symptoms. She saw an improvement of Bipolar disorder by 50% in children over 6 months, along with a reduced dosage of medicines. Reduced PTSD from 65% to 18% by giving micronutrients. These studies have been replicated across the world, and the results are positive.

Not only are the results positive. Currently, there are plenty of researches which show that people on medications are weaned off the drugs due to the micronutrients, as a matter of fact, its recommended to reduce the drug dosage to ensure less toxicity in the body.

The brilliance of this is — it never looked at alleviating mental health symptoms like sleeplessness, or addiction, or trembling, hallucination. Instead, it looked at the problem as a whole. Instead of looking at the brain as a machine, which needs oiling in the form of drugs. This method nourishes the body and mind as a whole. It provides nutrients which not only alleviate symptoms but created a long term solution to fight mental illness.

Now if you do have a look at the studies or the TED talk, an underlying academic concern that was raised was these studies aren’t long enough.

Except for recent research in 2019, was performed on a small sample of children and adults suffering from ADHD, anxiety, depression was given micronutrients for an average of 2.66 years. The results were safe, effective and positive.

Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash

Should you change what you eat?

Now you may be considering changing your diet to make it more vitamin and mineral-rich. But these micronutrients were administered in the form of 15 pills consisting of a wide range of 36 nutrients the most important being — vitamin B12, vitamin D, zinc, copper, folate, potassium, sodium, calcium many more.

The kind of broad range micronutrients that were administered would never be available over the counter at a drug store. As a matter of fact, most multivitamin pills are not this broad range. But yes maintaining a healthy diet, does significantly reduce your chances of suffering fro mental disorders. Of course, the nutritional requirements vary from person to person, which is why the exact same supplements would not work on two different people, but would still be effective in making them feel better.

That is a huge learning for us as a society which is progressing towards processed food, refined oils, fast food. Every second we try to save in the kitchen will cost us our health. And its no longer just our physical appearance. The cost is our mental health. Which is absolutely irreplaceable.

While there is still plenty of ongoing research in this field. We are not far from the day when your therapist might administer you micronutrients instead of a drug to help you take care of your mental health.

Apart from these researches, I came across several articles and podcasts from people who switched to healthier diets. They shifted from processed foods to food rich in protein, vegetables, image fatty acids present in fish. These are some irreplaceable nutrients and minerals very easily available all around us.

Tim who runs the Mind podcast said

“I’d always thought of food as obviously nutrition, but also probably without realising it also as a kind of comfort thing and as an emotional support.”

“Changing my diet made EVERY BIT OF DIFFERENCE IN THE DAMN WORLD TO MY MENTAL HEALTH. Nothing has been as effective. I’d probably be dead by now if I hadn’t done so. Raw plant-based diet for almost 9 years and no medication.” commented Lorra Fae

The stories of all these people further served as precedence, that while these researches may not be complete to get you a micronutrient prescription from your doctor.

You certainly can try and change your diet, making it more nutritious, taking dietary supplements and seeing the effect it has on your body. This research is presenting facts, while it may not be perfect in the world of academia. It might be just what you need. So consider the lifestyle and dietary changes suggested here and by so many people who have been able to improve their mental health with just their food.

This does not mean that you stop taking your medication. It just means that maybe over time with the right dietary changes you might not even need to take your medication.

After looking through her studies it became.

Can the right Food Improve your Mental Health? was originally published in ILLUMINATION on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Powered by WPeMatico

mental-health mental-health-awareness mental-illness necrophilia psychology

Corpses Who Turn in to Prostitutes

I had a conversation with an embalmer and the truth hurts.

Powered by WPeMatico