Incase you missed our latest workshop I wanted to fill you in on some of the biggest takeaways from our Mental Health Matters Workshop. Mental health issues have quickly become one of the biggest health concerns in our country, and around the globe. Mental health disorders now top the list of most costly conditions in the in the United States, and depression is currently the 2nd leading cause of disability in the western world. Despite increases in diagnosis, treatment, and spending (201 Billion) rates of anxiety, depression, OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder), and PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) have sky rocketed to astounding new levels!
After completing the workshop this past week, I really wanted to summarize the 3 most important topics you needed to know regarding mental health.
- Is the Chemical Imbalance (Monoamine Theory) hypothesis True? It is typical to hear of people with depression having a chemical imbalance, low levels of serotonin, and other neurotransmitters and that chemical balance is the cause of depression. If chemical imbalance is the cause, treatment is then to correct the imbalance. Like any theory there can be limitations, and the Monoamine theory has plenty. First, if serotonin was the sole reason you are depressed, all drugs that raise serotonin should improve depression….they do not. If serotonin was the cause of depression, when we deplete it in a healthy person they should become depressed… they do not. If fact, one study researchers bread mice that were unable to produce serotonin, so you would expect these mice to be depressed… they were not. According to the New England Journal of medicine, studies at Oxford University, Harvard Medical, and many other journals, contemporary neuroscience have failed to confirm ANY serotonergic lesion in any mental disorder. So why are we still blaming so many mental health conditions on a “chemical imbalance?” I’m sure you have already figured it out who stands to benefit.
- Mental Health conditions often occur with other physical conditions: Our genes, our internal environment, and our external environment all play an important role in our health. When our immune system, and the mircobiome (basically our internal bacterial environment) get depleted, systemic changes occur in the human body. This means not just one area is affected, the human being is affected. Things like medications, poor diet, and the stress response from an overactive nervous system, all contribute to systemic inflammation in the body. Chronic inflammation overtime is linked to many chronic health conditions; including anxiety, depression, and various autoimmune conditions. There are multiple studies that actually show when people decrease inflammation, symptoms of depression improve. Studies with mice also show when mice are placed in a stressful situation over a long period of time their inflammatory markers increase, and also show signs of depression.
- Your nervous system plays a huge role in mental health conditions: 1000’s of years ago our biggest stressors were finding food, surviving the winter, locating clean water, and protecting ourselves and our children. There is no doubt that these things still can create stress, but stress we carry around on a daily basis is much different today. The biggest stress we experience in modern day is, money, job satisfaction, relationships, the comparison trap, thoughts of am I good enough, and do I look foolish. I’m not minimizing these stressors. In fact, internally, they are very real to you! When we experience this chronic negative stimulation it takes a toll on our body, mainly our nervous system. This phenomena is called a hyper sympathetic response. By reducing the hyper-sympathetic response chronic health conditions will have a much more favorable chance of improving.
So what’s a great way to decrease stress, lower inflammation, and decrease the sympathetic response?
Of course there are many resources, but one major way is Upper Cervical Chiropractic. Chiropractic has been shown to decrease pro-inflammatory cytokines in the body (lower inflammation). Upper Cervical Adjustment have a Parasympathetic affect on the body, meaning they allow people to destress, take their foot of the gas, and allows the body to get into a restful internal state. This state promotes repair and healing.
Chiropractic care has also been shown to change brain activity and brain function which will promote healthy neurological changes. Finally you should know that people under regular chiropractic care report 15% higher scores in their physical state, 17% higher scores in mental and emotional state, 20% in stress evaluation, and 17% in life enjoyment.
Not physically or emotionally where you want to be? Maybe we should talk. A consultation is always free.