What is mental health? Sounds scientific, but really, it is simple.
It could be summed up into these statements:
"I feel good. When I don't feel good, I ride it, it's temporary and I take it as a challenge. I face it, I adjust, I know I will bounce back."
"I know what I want. I know what the others want and I am able to meet them in the middle."
"I don't dwell on guilt or regret, I naturally move on. The same with anger. It comes and it goes."
I know my worth and I appreciate the precious people in my life. My life has a purpose. The whole world around me makes sense and I take it as it is. I endeavour to achieve things, but when I see I am hitting a brick wall, I stop."
If this is your reality, congratulations, you have a good life. Notice I did not mention that all must always go well for you. Rather it's you attitude towards all situations you may encounter. A quality of resilience and an ability to remain open.
Now, if this is NOT your life... How did it happen? What is the cause?
These questions take you on a journey. If your goal is to know and to heal, you will be led through progressive realisations, you will meet the right people and go through the right circumstances. Now, where does nutrition fit into this?
Body and mind are connected. When we are emotionally distressed, it taxes our physical resources. Your body will activate compensatory processes which will use more vitamins, minerals and proteins than usual. Stress is nutritionally demanding. After a while, depending what your previous reserves were, you may deplete your nutrients and then your body can't support your mind well: it will be more difficult to concentrate, to make a sound judgement, it will be harder to sleep and to see a purpose and joy in life. Also, it may spill over into other areas: you may develop digestive issues, hormonal problems, you may be sick often and so on.
So it is the chicken and egg situation: high stress leads to nutrient and metabolic imbalance and vice versa. For example, some people may develop mental problems after many years on junk food diet, without any major traumatic event to trigger it. Simply because their brain does not get the right nutrients it needs.
Of course, you may ask: "Why just me? How could nutrients possibly help me? I eat the same food as everybody else around me!" We all react differently to different things and it often takes a long time before we notice any changes. Also, our bodies and minds have a limited capacity and sometimes the strain we put on them is too much and too long. Everything is interconnected and all individual influences add up.
So, in a nutshell, apart from traumatic events or prolonged stress, the other factors can be:
Common causes of biochemical imbalances in the brain are:
1. Copper overload combined with Zinc deficiency
2. Excessive methylation or folate deficiency
3. Insufficient methylation - the opposite to the previous condition
4. Excess of pyrroles or other forms of oxidative stress
5. Deficiency of essential fatty acids
To complicate things even further, these can be combined with heavy metal toxicities, lack of vitamin D, unstable blood sugar, thyroid or adrenal stress, or a poor nutrient absorption caused by imbalanced gut bacteria or low digestive function. Any of these factors can disrupt function of our brain in various ways.
Holistic practitioner needs to work like a detective to make a proper diagnosis. Often, blood, urine or saliva tests are necessary for confirmation.
Some people may say: "It's all in your head!" or "Change your attitude, stay positive and you will feel better!" You know that it often does not work that way.
If the brain can't function properly because of inflammation or deficiencies no amount of psychotherapy can help.
The healthy brain function has to be restored first before entering the stage of recuperation and emotional healing.
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