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Nutritional and Integrative Interventions for Mental Health Disorders: Notes from a Seminar by Anne Procyk, ND

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by Lane Gormley, LPC

Part I – Depression

Psych Meds
My Clients who take psychiatric medications for Depression frequently complain about them. Some say they don’t work. Others say they don’t work well. Some of my Clients are unhappy with side effects like emotional numbness, weight gain, loss of effectiveness over time, and the astronomical cost of being medicated. The medications are often prescribed in combinations so when something needs to be adjusted, it can take time to figure out what the problem is.

My personal belief is that psych meds are too widely prescribed and too often by people who are not specialists in the field of mental health. To be perfectly honest with you, I don’t like them… BUT I also have Clients who, without medication, would have died. Many of my Clients have tried to commit suicide. Medication can stabilize someone in crisis and make it possible for them to benefit from therapy.

Nevertheless, I am always looking for alternatives. Last week, I took a required Continuing Education class on nutritional ways to deal with mental health disorders. It was given by a Naturopath, a doctor of Natural Medicine, who treats her Clients using nutrition and non-pharmaceutical interventions. Her area of specialization is Mental Health Disorders.

If you are currently on psychiatric medication, ask your doctor if any of the following information from Dr. Anne Procyk could help.

If you take no medication, think about trying a natural approach FIRST, and consulting a doctor only if a natural method doesn’t help.

Blah Blah Blah
For years you have been rolling your eyes as I lecture on and on about diet, sleep, and exercise. You know what you need to do to be healthy, so I am skipping the part of Dr. Procyk’s lecture in which she discussed sleep and exercise.

Besides That… Other Alternative Therapies Suggested by Anne Procyk, ND for Depression

Take a probiotic first thing in the morning.

Eat real food. No junk food. Check out Michael Pollan’s In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto.

Read labels. Look for hidden additives in food. Dr. Procyk cited the case of a 10-year-old boy with anger outbursts and behavioral issues who was greatly helped by eliminating food dyes from his diet. Who would have thought that something as innocent as food dyes could be such a problem!

Cut back or avoid when possible caffeine and sugar.

Use “good” oils: start moving toward olive oil, avocado oil, walnut oil, almond oil, and flax oil.

IF YOU ARE NOT USING BLOOD THINNERS, supplement with a high-quality Omega-3 fish oil.
Adequate Omega-3 can prevent psychosis.

Eat 50g of protein per day, distributed among your meals.

IF YOU ARE NOT TAKING A FULL DOSE OF SSRI MEDICATION, take 50-200 mg of 5-HTP (the activated form of Tryptophan) per day.

Take Vitamin B-50 Complex: 50 mg of critical B vitamins plus varying amounts of all other B vitamins. The results can be dramatic for Clients with Depression. Dr. Procyk cited the case of a 43 year old Social Worker who had been first hospitalized for Depression and suicidal ideation as a teenager. Shortly after beginning daily doses of B-50 Complex, she called and asked Dr. Procyk, “Is this what normal people feel like?”

Take Vitamin D3. Over 50% of the population is deficient in D3.

Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of filtered water.

Stay Tuned…
Part II will be about Anxiety. Some people say that Anxiety and Depression are two sides of the same coin.

Questions? Leave me a message!!!