The Physical Side of Mental Health Success
Anxiety, depression and other mental disorders are some of the most common conditions present today. High-stress living, traumatic experiences and relationships, increasing costs, decreasing nutrition and environmental toxins have completely flooded modern life with unnatural stress at levels never before seen.
These unmanageable stresses create conditions like anxiety and depression which are actually appropriate but unwelcome responses to mental or physical stresses and traumas.
The result of these traumas and stresses is a feeling of fear, dread, worry, sadness, fatigue or worse as a result of relentless stress and the discomfort of feeling unsettled.
Traditional means of treatment include medication and traditional talk therapy along with coping strategies. Skilled therapists use the resources they have in order to address past traumas, ineffective coping mechanisms, diet imbalances, lifestyle strategies and much much more. They perform the critical mental and spiritual therapy necessary for recovery from anxiety and depression.
Unfortunately, the therapist is typically not afforded the opportunity or the clinical setting to evaluate and treat the physical components of anxiety and depression. The ”Gut-Brain Connection” represents the primary physical and chemical influence the body has on emotions. By getting a handle on this critical portion of these mental states, greater strides in treatment can be realized.
Mental Health and that “Gut Feeling.”
The brain is the master control center of all body symptoms but it is in direct relationship with the gut which represents the large and small intestines. The gut is referred to as the “second brain” as it has direct influence over the body and brain as well.
Inside the gut are trillions of bacteria that actually make and store 90% of the things that make us feel good, feel relaxed and sleep normally.
These “feel-good” substances are called “neurotransmitters.” Neurotransmitters communicate with nerves and control how we feel. Some of these important neurotransmitters are Serotonin, Dopamine and GABA.
REMEMBER: Neurotransmitters are actually made by bacteria and you have 3-4 pounds of them in your gut right now!
When the gut is operating normally, plenty of neurotransmitters are created and keep us feeling fine. Unfortunately, disruption to the levels of healthy and balanced gut bacteria can occur.
This disruption is caused by:
- Mental stress and trauma (the top causes of gut dysfunction!)
- Antibiotic or classic medication use
- Food additives or pesticides
- Food sensitivities
Under normal conditions, bacteria create plenty of neurotransmitters but during acute or chronic stress, the body shifts into fight or flight mode and instead makes things necessary for self-defense in order to protect the delicate nature of the gut. This self-defense mechanism is called inflammation and it can create chaos right in the birthplace of neurotransmitters.
This shift is actually a normal survival response to stress but it can have some terrible long-term emotional effects.
Simply stated, the fight or flight part of your nervous system turns off normal neurotransmitter production during acute or chronic stress and can result in conditions like anxiety or depression.
Getting the gut in order through evaluation and effective natural treatment is critical in order to see the best outcomes for those dealing with anxiety or depression.
In fact, this approach has been studied and embraced by dozens of research centers such as Harvard Health, the Cleveland Clinic, the American Psychological Association and the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA). UCLA actually offers a program they call “GI Health Psychology.”
It is clear: The Gut-Brain connection is a crucial piece of recovery from anxiety, depression and other mental conditions.
Since anxiety, depression and numerous mental health conditions are directly related to the state of neurotransmitters in the body the state of health of the gut must be evaluated for the best possible outcomes.
Recovery and Medication Reduction
Recovery is possible. With a comprehensive approach, some can begin to feel better in days or weeks. Time to heal physically is slow and steady over the course of months barring setbacks.
All-natural herbal supplementation is available to support neurotransmitter production along the way. This can help the careful transition to lower or even zero medication use in some cases. The prescribing physician will determine a safe and steady plan to lessen medication if possible but be aware that some conditions do require a lifetime of support in the interest of safety.
An integral part of recovery is in the care provided by an experienced Holistic Therapist, Spiritual Counselor, Psychologist, Psychiatrist, Social Worker or Traditional Counselor. These trained professionals can help to reframe fears, restructure coping mechanisms and to heal old traumas. Consistency of therapy during the healing process is critical.
Anxiety and depression represent some of the most common and sometimes most difficult to treat conditions for a single therapist or clinician. Gratefully, an integrative, multi-disciplinary approach is now available.
By applying basic gut-health principles to time-tested counseling strategies administered by a caring therapist, the dream of a new hope for recovery has become a reality.