I began my journey into figuring out my hormone imbalances at Health Rejuvenation Institute in Spanish Fork, Utah. Their website is http://www.mountainspringsmedicine.com/.
Another option is Genysis Medical Institute in Midvale, Utah. I have had a couple of recommendations for them. Search their website, make a call, ask questions.
Balanced hormones–for both men and women–is a very important component to overall health. My experience with all of this showed me that gut and hormone health was the first step to finding healing. When our bodies are depleted and running on “empty,” our brains are greatly affected and the mind is thus more likely to be negatively impacted as well.
Doctors of this kind are popping up all over. Find one in your area. It matters!
The following is part 1 in a series about the thyroid that Rachel Haines, a certified dietitian, has written for this blog. I have personally been on thyroid medication for over 10 years and am working with Rachel to be able to help my body not need it anymore. As you can see from the model, learning about and doing something about hormone imbalances is a critical component to healing from mental illness.
It is amazing to me the complexity of the human body. The way our body functions is based on a collection of our inherited genetics, our diet, our exercise, and perhaps most importantly, the way we manage the stressors in our life. Mandy Marie asked if I would share some of what I have learned about the thyroid with her readers.
First it is important to understand that thyroid hormone (produced by the thyroid gland), cortisol (produced by the adrenals) and also the sex hormones (estrogen, progesterone and testosterone) are all interconnected. When there is a change or an imbalance that occurs in one of these, it tends to affect the others. For example, when we produce too much cortisol (due to unrelenting physical, emotional or mental stress), our thyroid hormone production actually decreases. Excess cortisol production also results in decreased production of estrogen and testosterone within the body. Learning to manage stress is a vital part of wellness. If we are constantly “reacting” to life events, we will struggle with maintaining a balance of these three important hormones.
In women over 35, it is not uncommon to experience a combination of both decreased thyroid function, as well as imbalanced sex hormones. Some physicians refer to this as thyropause.
The brain is full of thyroid hormone receptor sites. Most people understand that thyroid hormone stokes the metabolic fires of the body, but may not be aware of how it affects the brain. With hypothyroidism (low thyroid hormone), the brain and the body both slow down. Researchers have found that 15-20 % of people with depression are low in thyroid hormones. The brains of hypothyroid patients appear similar to the brains of people with depression in imaging studies.
In addition, the risk of thyroid problems also increases with age. Untreated hypothyroid conditions will result in brain degeneration. Low thyroid manifests affecting the brain manifests as depression, cognitive impairment (difficulty remembering or learning new things, concentrating, or making decisions that affect their everyday life), anxiousness and mental fogginess.
Rachel Haines is a certified Body Code practitioner and also a registered dietitian. She works via phone consults and also video streaming with clients all over the US. Using applied kinesiology, she determines energetic imbalances that are contributing to diminished physical or emotional health. If you feel stuck and would like to delve deeper into an issue with your thyroid, or any other physical or emotional issue plaguing your life, contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org to set up an appointment. God bless you in your efforts!
For several days now I have been working on the following model. It was a download to me directly from heaven! I have had lots and lots of internal voices tell me to just leave it be, to not waste my time, that it doesn’t really matter, that no one is going to care, that I’m not a physician or psychiatrist and so I don’t have the authority…
Thankfully my husband and children tell me to keep going because maybe there is someone out there who is benefiting…and it might change their lives to know that they do not have to endure their mental illness for the rest of their life.
And so I offer it to you, the general public…and to you who truly want answers. I guess in a lot of ways I went first–at least in my family–and even though there are days when I just want to quit this blog, deep down inside I know that I have to continue sharing what I have been freed to do. And somehow, I still know that it matters!
I mentor people who are ready to heal the MIND. I provide resources for those who are ready to heal the BRAIN. Are you ready? BRAIN and MIND health are BOTH needed to overcome depression and anxiety.
I think it’s time to post this great article on mental illness. There are so many ideas about what mental illness is and is not. Some say it is genetic and so nothing can be done about it. Some say a person should just “think happy thoughts and pull themselves up by the bootstraps.” Some say the only way to “fix” it is through medication.
My own experience has taught me that depression and other mental disorders can best be explained through the bio-psycho-social model that Dr. John Grohol speaks about in this article in the World of Psychology.
My intention is for you, the reader, to either 1) gain a broader knowledge of mental illness; or 2) be introduced to myths surrounding it; or 3) give yourself permission to acknowledge that you are not alone and that there are answers that can lead you to healing.
You are not alone! The plague of mental illness is everywhere. Almost every day I hear people say things like, “There are so many people who are struggling with this–in our neighborhood!” or “Why are there so many suicides?”
It matters that you know that others are also struggling and that some of those who have struggled have found healing.:) Hold on!
It is the summer of 2011. I have been battling the war for 11 years now. I’ve been off anti-depressants fairly regularly for two years as I try to get to the root of this. I am on a really good vitamin supplement plan. But the darkness still rears its ugly head off and on. I wonder, really wonder, if I’m ever going to beat this. There are times that are really hopeful. Other times are far from hopeful as I battle the voices in my head.
Those voices keep telling me there is no other way; that this is just part of my mortal experience; that it could be so much worse–at least I get out of bed every day; that feeling so much sadness is just how it is…Some days I think I will go crazy if I have to fight this the rest of my life.
I did a lot of silent suffering. As I’ve mentioned before, I didn’t open up to very many people. It was a weakness. Not a sin, a weakness. And this weakness kept help from coming more quickly. I can see that now. I subconsciously believed that I needed to just trudge through the daily challenge on my own. Somehow I believed that reaching out for help would make me less than who I wanted to be. This one belief was poison. Poison.
Depression and any other mental illness is laced with poison–poison that swirls around in the brain. Locating that poison with a counter attack is vital. The counter attack may sound too simple. It may sound like there is no way it will make a difference.
I learned this counter attack in August 2011. It came unexpectedly. I was attending a class on personal development and the teacher taught the why and the how. Something stirred inside me when I heard it. I decided to begin trying it out. After all, I certainly didn’t have anything to loose! What happened showed me that I had everything to gain because I decided to give it a try.
The counter attack is this: write down every negative message you hear in your head. This is the poison. Then counter it with its exact opposite. When the thought pops into your head again, say its opposite again. It may take a fair amount of time to reprogram your brain with the truth. That’s okay. Just keep at it!
I’ve written about this before. I write about it again today because of a recent experience where a person shared with me how critical it was to her healing that she launch this counter attack. Her therapist had recommended it to her. It took time and tremendous effort but it enabled her to move into complete healing. My personal experience with counter attacking also moved me into healing.
So, counter attack! Remove the poison. You’re worth it and it matters!
When a person is fighting mental illness, it is easy to believe that the illness defines who they are. It is easy to believe that the label attached to the mental illness–depression, anxiety, bipolar, ADHD, OCD–is who they really are.
The truth is, the person with the mental illness is, AT THEIR CORE, far from the labels attached to the illness.
This video beautifully illustrates my point. I am NOT saying that all mental illness is incorrectly diagnosed. Instead, I AM asking you to consider this:
At my very best, who am I? If I was not struggling with depression or anxiety or any other mental illness, who am I? Even if I am struggling, who am I really? Who do I want to be?
I invite you to take 60 seconds and write down words that come to your mind. Then post them on your bathroom mirror or by your bed and read them every day. Here is my list:
|We made this a family effort too!
DEFINE the real you. It matters!