Do you suffer from anxiety, depression, PTSD, attention or behavioral problems? You are not alone. In fact, mental health awareness is everywhere these days, from television shows to Instagram storiesbecause mental illness is a top global health concern.
Statistically, depression, is predicted to become the second leading cause of disability in the world within the next few years, behind heart disease. Many people who suffer from mental illness are prescribed medications such as Xanax, Zoloft, or Adderall. For some, these medications make day to day activities much more bearable. For others, however, these medications have terrible side effects, such as adverse effects on one’s mood and behavior, or the effect of the drugs after prolonged use. There are a variety of effective techniques and approaches done without psychotropic medications that may be beneficial for mental health conditions. At Spark Health, we specialize in functional medicine in the San Diego. We offer patients an alternative, holistic approach to treating mental illness. Our comprehensive approach allows us to factor in not only mental but social factors, to customize a treatment program.
Here are some of the top natural approaches:
Nutrient Deficiencies and Dietary Changes
Many people suffer from nutrient deficiencies and are unaware of the havoc it is wreaking on their body and mental health. Less extreme nutrient deficiencies of vitamins, minerals, macronutrients and amino acids can be detrimental to your mental well-being. Vitamins B6 (pyridoxine), B9 (folic acid), B12 (cobalamin), vitamin C and vitamin D are involved in the synthesis of neurotransmitters. Magnesium and calcium are involved in nerve cell communication. Without an adequate amount of each of these key nutrients, your body cannot perform at its optimum function.
Studies have shown that your diet and your mood are connected, so it makes sense that changing your diet may help calm your symptoms. Eating more non-processed foods such as vegetables, fruits, and less whole grains can help balance your hormones and gut health. Additionally, be sure to watch what you drink. Cut out caffeine and alcohol to prevent mood swings.
There are a variety of vitamins, herbs, enzymes, infusions, and oils that our highly experienced naturopathic doctor at Spark Health can help implement into your diet depending on your symptoms and illness.
Exercise not only helps to prevent chronic illness and obesity, but it can also improve one’s mental health. Exercise sends endorphins to the brain which encourages positive thought, heightened energy, and increased circulation in the body. Additionally, exercising is a great distraction that allows you to escape negative thoughts that feed anxiety and depression. Be sure to move at least 30 minutes a day 3-5 times a week to ward of negative energy and thoughts.
Mindfulness is a great way to combat stress. Clearing the mind of negative thoughts and embracing a minimalistic form of thinking when extremely stressed has shown to calm both the body and mind. When meditating, the chemistry in the brain actually changes. The mind is more susceptible to positive emotions such as joy, love, and peace. So, when you meditate, your brain embraces the positive emotions while clearing out the negative ones. If you or a loved one suffers from a mental illness or symptoms such as anxiety or depression and would like to schedule a consultation with one of our experts at Spark Health, please contact us or visit our website.