Monday, September 26, 2011

Holistic Approach To Anxiety & Depression

The holistic approach to treating anxiety and depression recognizes that mental health is influenced by diet, exercise, spirituality and lifestyle. Allopathic approaches to mental health focus on treating symptoms, whereas holistic approaches address underlying causes of anxiety and depression and seek to restore the natural balance of your body and mind. According to Merriam-Webster, holistic medicine is interested in treating your whole system rather than separately analyzing its parts.

What you eat influences the balance of chemicals produced and released in your brain. According to Kathleen DeMaisons in "Potatoes Not Prozac," irregular eating habits and unbalanced meals cause depression and anxiety. DeMaisons recommends eating three regular meals a day with a significant source of protein at each meal. Protein contains enzymes that are used in the production of serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine. Without sufficient protein, the brain can become deficient in these chemicals, resulting in depression and anxiety. DeMaisons also recommends eating whole grains and vegetables with each meal to prevent mood swings and provide healthy nutrients for your brain.

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According to Dr. Henry Emmons in "The Chemistry of Joy," regular vigorous exercise is the best, free way to improve your mood. Studies looked at in Dr. Emmons' book show that regular exercise has been proved just as effective, and sometimes more effective, than psychotherapy and medication. According to the U.S. Department of Health's "Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans," moderate exercise three to five times a week for 30 to 60 minutes is enough to provide mental health benefits. Changes in brain chemistry levels can take place in as few as two to four weeks of an exercise program.

Emotional Acceptance
Repressing emotions leads to depression and anxiety. Emotions are a practical guidance system that helps you to learn and grow. Usually, when you acknowledge and accept your emotions in a non-judgmental manner, they dissipate and fade. If embracing an emotion does not alleviate it, you may need to examine the source of the emotion more closely. Working with a qualified therapist helps you to understand your emotions.

Vitamins, herbs, enzymes and oils are common supplements used to improve mental health. Common supplements used for holistic mental health care are vitamin D, fish oil, St. Johns wort and amino acid precursors Sam-E, 5-HTP, DL-Phenylalanine, L-Tyrosine and L-Tryptophan. Caution should be exercised in the use of supplements as many can have adverse affects and interact with other medications. Consult with your doctor before taking supplements.

Every person is different, so there is no specific formula for holistic healing. If one holistic treatment does not work, then try another. Frequently, several treatments, such as nutritional therapy, exercise and counseling, must be used together to result in recovery. Mind-body exercises such as yoga and tai chi have the potential to enhance fitness and improve emotional balance at the same time. Holistic approaches to mental health have the potential to greatly improve your quality of life and possibly reduce your reliance on psychiatric medications. Do not change your medications without consulting your doctor.

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Thursday, September 22, 2011

What a Cute Face

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Tough Life Being A Cat

Shark Shark aka Casper aka Mr. White

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Awarded The Service Excellence Reward

For keeping a patient on the phone until help arrived who wanted to commit suicide. It was a very intense 45 mins. See original post.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Oh Brother

Tired but Happy Bunch of Brothers


Sunday, September 11, 2011


I stood in the waiting room at the lab where I worked watching the news's report on the North Tower being hit. At the time no one seemed to know what hit the tower. Some were saying a small plane. As I continued to watch the North Tower burning, I could not believe what I was seeing, a plane crashing into the South Tower. By that point there were several of us standing in shock just watching the towers burn. It was Joe's first day at Temple and I tried desperately to contact him but the phone lines were overwhelmed. I could not get a hold of anyone and watched as they evacuated the city in Philadelphia. Driving home that day seemed so eerie. 95 had no traffic and it was so quiet except for the fighter jets that flew up and down the area. I was unsure what to do so I stopped at Sam's club and loaded up on supplies. Are we at war? My grandson Shaun was just born a month earlier and I remember calling my son to make sure they were alright.

As the days went on and our country began fighting back, my youngest son paced back and forth then informed me and his father he was joining the military. He joined the Navy. I remember that cold early morning hour when he was picked up outside the house. I cried as I said "goodbye" and after he left I placed a statue of the Blessed Mother on my kitchen window. We all flew to the Great Lakes and watched him graduate. When we left for the airport to fly home, I cried because I was leaving my baby and I knew we were at war. That spring I planted a Victory Garden on the side of the house. It was the first garden I ever planted. It was the first time I realized that by digging my hands in dirt in order to create something beautiful was a great way to relieve stress. Joe was sent to Florida then Texas and then to Norfolk on the carrier Theodore Roosevelt. They would go out to sea for months at a time with no contact. His carrier went out to the Mediterranean Sea pass the Strait of Gibraltar and planted itself on the coast of the Middle East. Joe received a medal for joining the military during war time. He followed in the foot steps of my brother, my father and all the ancestors dating back to the Civil War. Today marks the 10th anniversary of a horror that changed the world. God Bless America.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011


National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)

September is Recovery Month for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Check out for more info on events, resources, and how to participate.