Mood disorders cover a range of conditions including stress, anger, depression, manic depression, schizophrenia as well as many others listed in
the DSM 4.
The most common being ‘stress’ as 9 out of 10 Australians report being stressed and 41% of people feel they experience unhealthy levels of stress. This is caused by everyday circumstances and is a very healthy reaction to keep us alert and motivated. The problem is when stress is an every day, every minute occurrence it can interfere with our nervous, immune and endocrine system. This can cause a disruption to your health and may progress to tension headaches, high blood pressure, frequent colds and flus, digestive disorders or a worsening of an existing condition. Stress can age us more quickly from the body plowing through our nutrient supply.
It is important to learn to manage your stress now. Managing the stress will reduce the impact it has on your body. Ongoing stress can cause adrenal fatigue, where the body and mind shuts down causing extreme exhaustion, hair loss, and concentration problems as well as thinning skin.
Adrenal fatigue is a debilitating condition where people find it a major challenge to do every day things and often end up loosing their job. The person suffering from adrenal fatigue can still look ‘normal’ and this can confuse family and friends as they can’t see anything wrong and can have a hard time offering much needed help.
Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) where a person has not a care in the world but still feels highly agitated or in certain company or surroundings the person would undergo a feeling of tension, quickened heart rate, perspiration and difficulty breathing due to tightness in their chest. This can be due to a highly stressful situation that occurred some time ago. Many war veterans have experienced PTSD as well as people who have been the victim of bullying or abuse.
Naturopathic medicine offers sound solutions to stress by adding depleted nutrients, supportive herbal medicine and specific stress reduction techniques which you can learn as part of your naturopathic session and use anywhere and anytime.
Depression is where you feel heavy in the body, have trouble laughing and seeing the joy and light in situations as well as overall feeling of sadness / flatness. This can be more thoroughly diagnosed with various questionnaires and, if needed, pathology tests to measure specific neurotransmitter and hormone levels.
Naturopathically, there is many nutrients which can help balance the nervous system to help you feel happier sooner without the numb feeling.
Schizophrenia is where you see and hear things that may not be there. Often this is due to lesions in the brain and is only treated by antipsychotic medications. Often when the patient is prescribed antipsychotic medications the condition is quickly rectified, however, the medications can have unpleasant side effects such as weight gain, fatigue, acne, mind numbness and lack of motivation. Naturopathically, these side effects can be supported efficiently by diet, supplements and herbal medicine. The positive changes can allow you to feel stronger. With proper care there may be a possibility of reducing the medication dose as many studies have shown that certain foods cause the condition to worsen. Reducing medication obviously reduces side effects and you are on the road to living a full life whilst under the care of medication, psychiatrists and your naturopath.
Manic depression or bipolar is when the patient feels big highs and big lows. This can be a dangerous condition for the patient and their family as when they are feeling the highs it is difficult for them to see if there is anything wrong as they are feeling so elated. In this state they can be at risk of spending money recklessly, indulge in unsafe sexual encounters and use dangerous machinery.
When looking at the cellular biochemistry of these conditions it is clear to see how the mind can be more balanced with the support of vitamins, minerals and macronutrients (fats, carbohydrates and protein).
Managing your mind disturbance can be relatively easy in a supportive environment. When coming to the Coogee Natural Health Care clinic you will have the opportunity to fill in questionnaires, be prescribed specific pathology tests as well as specialized testing to check pyloruria, adrenal cortisol levels, blood sugar levels and hormone profiles as these can have a large impact on moods so we can clearly see where the cellular biochemical imbalance lies.
Using a combination of mind consciousness techniques where you will find the ones that suit you the best to practice daily along with key herbal medicines and nutritional supplements to support your body’s biochemical imbalances individual stress response system.
If you are wanting to change your dose of medications it is important we do this slowly and carefully with your general practitioner playing an integral role.
Tips to Help Manage Stress
Managing your stress is essential for long term health and vitality. With the support of your naturopath, a variety of stress relief techniques can be introduced, in conjunction with a healthy eating plan to help you stress less. These may include:
- Exercise: Daily movement is essential for brain health. Aerobic exercise including running, swimming or walking is proven to decrease stress hormones.
- Enjoy the benefits of spending some time in the sun. Being in nature for 30 minutes per day can help reduce stress hormones and assist recovery after a stressful situation.
- Meditation and/or yoga can help to increase relaxation whilst benefiting not just the mind, but also the body. Learning to unwind is important for reducing stress.
- Favourite pastime: create time for YOU! Do something that you love, like listening to music, enjoying a candle lit bath, watching a movie, or starting a creative project – these fun activities can help you become more tolerant of everyday stress.
- Get creative and express yourself in as many different ways as feels good; singing, dancing, and art projects are but a few ways to do this.
- Eat seasonally, fresh and organic as much as possible. Include protein at every meal with a variety of fruit and vegetables.
- Include good fats such as omega 3s from fish, nuts and seeds, and olive oil to help with brain health and mood regulation.
- Drink plenty of water, a minimum of eight glasses per day and avoid excessive alcohol, caffeine, sugar and salt.
Keep an eye out or email me if you are interested in joining the next wellness coaching group. This space gives you lots of information about your body and how to reduce stress and stay healthy in a community group atmosphere.