I love fall, but I haven’t always. It wasn’t that long ago that I dreaded the end of summer. To me, fall felt dark, lonely and draining. I started to feel this way about 4 or 5 years ago, after finishing 3 years of Lyme disease treatment. I thought I was associating the isolation of Lyme with autumn stimuli, but I was wrong.
During this time, I went in for a physical exam and much to my surprise, my doctor found a deficiency in Vitamin D and Calcium. As soon as I began supplementing with Vitamin D, Calcium and Magnesium, I felt worlds better. Science is showing us that many with Seasonal Affect Disorder need more than meds, they need supplements!
Is it Really a Mental Health Disorder is Something Off Balance?
I used to think that mental illness was an “is”. She has schizophrenia. He has bi-polar. My child has ADHD. OK. Everyone, go see a psychiatrist and come back and let me know how you are feeling.
Then something happened. I was diagnosed with Lyme disease and other co-infections that impacted my brain and mental health. I unfortunately gave these diseases gestationally to my children and shared them with my husband sexually. About 5 or 6 years of our family life was spent in the darkness of illness.
As we immerged out of this helpless pit, something beautiful happened. My Executive Functioning/ADD symptoms were no longer a part of me. My husband’s mania and debilitating anxiety disappeared. We found gene mutations (MTHFR) that spoke to methylation and detox and eradicated infection that created depression, anxiety and more.
Mental Health Re-Defined/Evaluated in a Mental Health Practice
Let’s take this to my practice. In my experience, young children with Lyme and Co tend to hallucinate until the inflammation in the brain is controlled and many are suicidal. We are talking 6 year olds AND Lyme isn’t the only culprit.
I have had a handful of people experience extreme intrusive thoughts. Thoughts of self-harm and darkness. Could they benefit from an antidepressant? Maybe, but in these cases, their Ammonia levels were so elevated that their brains became impacted.
Low Vitamin D levels, red food dye, gluten and other food intolerances can look like ADHD. Anxiety or panic that comes out of nowhere can be PANDAS (from strep). If gut flora is off or digestive food enzymes are needed, mental health symptoms can arise.
Wait. What?! Why are Americans Popping so Many Pills?
I am a firm believer that when our physical, emotional or social systems are out of balance, our bodies will try to communicate this to us. It would be great if our bodies spoke English, but unfortunately they speak body and it is important for us to learn how to translate.
Ok Body, I am Listening. What Are You Trying To Tell Me?
In my practice I teach clients how listen to the body...
- Are you taking in too much energy from others?
- Maybe someone close to you died or you are walking through a divorce. Are you giving yourself enough time to
grieve or expecting too much too fast?
- What is it costing you to stay in a job that you hate?
- Is your over-eating trying to alert you to an imbalance in your life?
- Could it be Methylation or infection?
Might meds help the above situations? Sure. But if that is the only intervention, the body’s cry for help voice may become muffled or even inaudible. I am not against medications, but I work full time and can count on ONE hand the number of clients I have sent to the doctor for psychiatric medications. In these instances, we knew what the body was communicating, but the symptoms were too intense to address without pharmaceuticals. Learning to listen to the cries of the body can be priceless.
What might your body be trying to say? Can you sit in silence or with a professional and learn to listen? If you are on psychiatric medications, PLEASE stay on your meds. But use this article as a launching pad to increase curiosity and to open up a dialogue of honesty. Could something else be creating your symptoms? This is a great place to start.
Who is the Author?
Gabrielle Anderson, lmft is the owner of the Family Therapy Center in Ashburn as well as a Marriage and Family therapist. She is a married mother of 2 and lives in Loudoun county. Contact Gabrielle here if you would like to schedule an appointment for therapy or if you have questions about the practice.
These blog entries are written by our very own clinicians. When inspiration hits, another entry will be logged.
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