|Prevention and Wellness
The best way to treat a mental illness is not to get one in the first place. Research has categorically shown that the majority of people who are genetically predisposed to mental illness usually show symptoms after first being worn down by other causes. Stress, stress of another illness, effects of a poor diet, or environmental toxins and stressor all can trigger mental illnesses.
We have learned that just treating the symptoms of mental illness, with drugs only, is no longer appropriate and no longer adequate. Research of people's lived experience prove that treating the whole person is more effective in achieving wellness. This means exercise, education, diet, stress management and spiritual belief systems all come into play when treating a person with a mental illness.
Everyone can benefit from exercise, learning about our bodies, eating healthier, learning how to de-stress, and finding inner peace. There is no arguing with that. What we are promoting are lifestyle changes, including peer support, as part of your treatment for mental illness. It works better than medication alone.
What you should be totally aware of is recovery is about personal accountability. No one can "make" you well. Just swallowing pills doesn't make you well. It takes personal responsibility to participate in the things that build health.
Doctors don't put unhealthy food in your mouth and don't go home with you to see if you're doing what they suggest. Recovery from any illness requires that the person invest in their own wellness. You have to decide to eat healthy; you have to decide to exercise; Even in Twelve step programs it is you who decides to ask your higher power for help. Your decisions are directly linked to your wellness. Doctors and your peers can encourage you and give you good information but ultimately you are the one responsible for using the information and getting yourself well.
Yes! People with mental illness find it hard to motivate themselves. So communicate your difficulties to your peers and healthcare practitioners and they wiil offer encouragement towards your goals. Listen to how your friends overcame similar problems and try, try again. You are worth it and deserve the best quality of life possible.
WE ADVOCATE THAT DOCTORS AND PSYCHIATRISTS
RE-CHAMPION WELLNESS PRINCIPLES.
In the spirit of education, Naturopathy is a medical practice that looks first at underlying causes of illness and tries to find healing. Many find it helpful in addition to conventional medicine.
DON"T STOP TAKING MEDICATIONS WITHOUT FIRST TALKING ABOUT IT WITH YOUR DOCTOR. WE ARE NOT SAYING DON"T TAKE MEDICATIONS
WE ARE SAYING WELLNESS EDUCATION IN ADDITION TO MEDICATION WORKS BETTER AT HELPING YOU RECOVER!
Sometimes the side effects of medication interfere with our ability to participate in our recover. Low motivation and feeling tried all the time, are classic side effects. Discuss with your doctor your desire to take an appropriate level of medication and that you feel strongly about your recovery process.
Mental Health Advocacy Inc. advocates for health services that help people get well not just endless services.
- Marc Jacques - Executive Director
READ ARTICLE ABOUT MEDICATIONS
ST JOHN'S WORT
St. John's wort's medicinal uses were first recorded in ancient Greece. It contains many chemical compounds. Some are believed to be the active ingredients that produce the herb's effects, including hypericin and hyperforin. How these compounds actually work is not yet fully understood, but several theories have been suggested. Preliminary studies suggest that St. John's wort might work by preventing nerve cells in the brain from reabsorbing the chemical messenger serotonin, or by reducing levels of a protein involved in the body's immune system functioning.
St. John's wort has been used over the centuries for mental conditions, nerve pain, and a wide variety of other health conditions. Today, St. John's wort is used for anxiety, mild to moderate depression, and sleep disorders. Throughout Europe, and particularly in Germany, St. John's wort is widely prescribed for depression. In the United States it is much less popular and is not widely endorsed as a legitimate treatment for depression.
So is St. John's wort effective for treating depression? In the case of mild to moderate depression the answer is YES. Understand that the active compounds in St. John Wort as with any supplement are drugs; hypericin and hyperforin. Always treat supplements with respect and consult with your doctor before taking especially if you are already on prescribed medication. Many people find supplements as a helpful adjunct to medication and sometimes in place of medication. Consult with your doctor.
One review that analyzed 23 randomized clinical trials concluded that St. John’s wort was more effective than a placebo, or inactive substance, for the treatment of mild to moderate depression and was found to be as effective as standard antidepressants. A more recent review of controlled, double-blinded studies reached a similar conclusion.
In 2004, a German group analyzed 30 studies that looked at St. John’s wort for mild to moderate depression and found that the herb compared well to newer antidepressants. In the studies looking at mild depression, patients taking St. John’s wort sometimes had better results than with standard treatment.
St. John's wort versus Prozac
In a double-blind study conducted at seven German medical clinics, physicians treated 240 patients with mild to moderate depression for six weeks. A total of 126 patients received a standardized extract of St. John's wort (250 mg twice daily) and 114 received 20 mg/day fluoxetine (Prozac). Scores on the Hamilton Depression Scale (a standard clinical measure of depression) at the beginning of the study ranged from 16 to 24. By the end of the study, scores decreased to 11.54 in the St. John's wort group and 12.2 in the Prozac group. Further analysis by the researchers found that St. John's wort was slightly more effective than Prozac, and that about one-third more patients responded to the herb than to the drug. The main difference, though, was the lack of side effects: 34 people (29.8 percent) taking Prozac reported side effects, including gastrointestinal problems, vomiting, dizziness, and erectile dysfunction, while only six (4.7 percent) of the patients taking St. John's wort reported side effects, and those were limited to only GI distress.
So then if this is the case why isn't St. John's wort being pushed in the United States? The simple answer is there's no money in it. Herbs cannot be patented by a single drug company so there is no real profit potential for the pharmaceutical industry. In addition in the Unites States most physicians are not educated about herbal medicine. Here the emphasis is on drug therapy.
So how much St. John’s wort does one take? First of all St. John's wort should not be taken with other antidepressant medications. Wait three weeks after stopping other meds before starting on St. John's wort. The generally accepted dosage is 300 mg, to be taken 3 times a day of standardized extract containing at least .125 Hypericin. One should allow 4 to 6 weeks for full benefits to be realized.
The most common side effect reported with St. John's wort was increased sensitivity to sunlight.
For more information on Saint John's wort please visit the American Cancer Society's site for alternative treatments.
FOR THOSE OF US who have sleep problems and don't like the idea taking perscription medication. In a recent British study volunteers who sipped one ounce of a tart cherry juice concentrate twice a day spent, on average, 39 more minutes snoozing a day than those given a placebo drink. The magic ingredient? Melatonin: Tart Cherry Juice is loaded with this sleep-inducing hormone. Natural melatonin is a great alternative to perscription Ambien or Lunesta and helps many fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. Find the Concentrate at natural food stores as suppermarket juice drinks won't work and have too much sugar.
Raleigh Naturopathic Clinic LLC
Jennifer Ito, ND
1235 Onslow Road
Phone: 919 854 2735
Indigo Life Center @ The Body Center
Nancy Stepfen Long
115 North Lord Ashley Road
Raleigh NC -
Phone: 919 559 0464
Dr. Dwayne Haus, ND, Rev, CNHP, CHE
8362 Six Forks Road Suite 204
Raleigh, NC 27615
Phone: (814) 933-8399 or (919) 616-1082
Web Site: www.dwaynehaus.com
The Wellness Alliance
Susan R. Delaney
Carrboro, NC 27510
Phone: (919) 932-6262 Fax: (919) 932-7947
Bridges To Health
S. Wyler Hecht
3001 Academy Rd. #200
Durham, NC 27707
Phone: (919) 403-6600 Fax: (919) 489-8585
The New Life Center
Gil Alvarado, MD, LAc
230 Lansbury Road
Durham NC & Chapel Hill NC -
Phone 919 490 4930
Dr. Maurice H. Werness, ND
8020 Creedmoore Rd
Benson, NC 27504
Phone: (919) 894-5787
Family Care Health & Wellness Center
Stephen Leighton, MD
Phone: 336 723-9002
Mark Eisen, MD
Chapel Hill NC
Phone: 919 967 9452
Naturopathic Health Clinic of NC
John (Keoni) Teta, ND
Phone 336 724-4452
Taking a daily fish oil capsule can stave off mental illness in those at highest risk, trial findings suggest.
A three-month course of the supplement appeared to be as effective as drugs, cutting the rate of psychotic illness like schizophrenia by a quarter. The researchers believe it is the omega-3 in fish oil - already hailed for promoting healthy hearts - that has beneficial effects in the brain. A "natural" remedy would be welcomed, Archives of General Psychiatry says. "The finding that treatment with a natural substance may prevent, or at least delay, the onset of psychotic disorder gives hope that there may be alternatives to antipsychotic drugs," the study authors said.
Antipsychotic drugs are potent and can have serious side effects, which puts some people off taking them. Fish oil supplements, on the other hand, are generally well tolerated and easy to take, say the scientists. The international team from Austria, Australia and Switzerland tested the treatment in 81 people deemed to be at particularly high risk of developing psychosis.
Their high risk was down to a strong family history of schizophrenia, or similar disorders, or them already showing mild symptoms of these conditions themselves. For the test, half of the individuals took fish oil supplements (1.2 grams of omega-3 fatty acids) for 12 weeks, while the other half took only a dummy pill. Neither group knew which treatment they were receiving. Dr Paul Amminger and his team followed the groups for a year to see how many, if any, went on to develop illness. Two in the fish oil group developed a psychotic disorder compared to 11 in the placebo group.
Based on the results, the investigators estimate that one high-risk adult could be protected from developing psychosis for every four treated over a year.
They believe the omega-3 fatty acids found in the supplements may alter brain signalling in the brain with beneficial effects.
Alison Cobb, of the mental health charity Mind, said: "If young people can be treated successfully with fish oils, this is hugely preferable to treating them with antipsychotics, which come with a range of problems from weight gain to sexual dysfunction, whereas omega-3s are actually beneficial to their general state of health.
"These are promising results and more research is needed to show if omega-3s could be an alternative to antipsychotics in the long term."