Phillip J. Watt of The Mind Unleashed writes:
There’s no doubt an increasing amount of anxiety and depression in our modern world. This is partly because the standard combination of pharmaceutical drugs and mainstream psychology struggles to work. Fortunately, there are other ways though.
Before I get into how, let’s discuss why the drugs and psychs aren’t doing what they say they will. To use a pharmacological example, the anti-depressant drugs that the corporate-based, medical-industrial complex prescribes for society are designed to increase the levels of serotonin in the body. Yet as discussed in this Huffington Post article, that entire theory might be invalid:
Andrews surveyed 50 years’ worth of research supporting the serotonin theory of depression, which suggests that the disease is caused by low levels of the “happiness” neurotransmitter, serotonin.
But Andrews argues that depression may actually be caused by elevated levels of serotonin. And this fundamental misunderstanding may be responsible for inappropriate treatment.
Even if increasing serotonin was the right approach, it’s only a temporary support mechanism whilst psycho-social and physiological measures are put into place to actually resolve the problem permanently. In other words, these drugs don’t cure anything. What will cure it is holistically addressing the issues in our neurological, digestive, environmental and philosophical realms. This in turn can emancipate us from our depression, anxiety and an array of other mental and emotional ills.
For example, anxiety and depression appear to be linked to poor gut health. This is definitely not the only reason why people feel stressed and sad, yet it is basic instinct to recognize that a toxic diet which causes a toxic digestive system certainly makes it more challenging to feel good.
As stated in this article:
Micro-organisms in our gut secrete a profound number of chemicals, and researchers like Lyte have found that among those chemicals are the same substances used by our neurons to communicate and regulate mood, like dopamine, serotonin and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). These, in turn, appear to play a function in intestinal disorders, which coincide with high levels of major depression and anxiety.
And as explained in this article:
Depression is often found alongside gastrointestinal inflammations and autoimmune diseases as well as with cardiovascular diseases, neurodegenerative diseases, type 2-diabetes and also cancer, in which chronic low-grade inflammation is a significant contributing factor. Thus researchers suggested “depression may be a neuropsychiatric manifestation of a chronic inflammatory syndrome.”
The addictive and health-deteriorating substance called sugar has also been linked to depressive psychological states. It’s no wonder either when it has been scientifically shown to light up the same regions of the brain as cocaine and heroin. As expressed in the same article:
It’s become increasingly clear that one route by which sugar is so detrimental to your mental health is because sugar consumption triggers a cascade of chemical reactions in your body that promote chronic inflammation. Further, excess sugar and fructose will distort the ratio of good to bad bacteria in your gut, which also plays an integral role in your mental health. Sugar does this by serving as a fertilizer/fuel for pathogenic bacteria, yeast and fungi that negatively inhibit the beneficial bacteria in your gut.
On a positive side-note, this article indicates how to make our digestive system healthier:
A new study from England found that supplements that boost “good” bacteria in the gut (called “prebiotics”) may alter the way people process emotional information, suggesting that changes in gut bacteria may have anti-anxiety effects.
In terms of our environmental stimuli, our external circumstances are highly influential when it comes to our sense of well-being and the way we behave. When discussed in the context of addiction, the old idea that ‘drugs cause addiction’ dissolves and the new approach becomes ‘challenging environments amplify addictive behavior’. One such study with rats reinforces this idea here:
The experiment is simple. Put a rat in a cage, alone, with two water bottles. One is just water. The other is water laced with heroin or cocaine. Almost every time you run this experiment, the rat will become obsessed with the drugged water, and keep coming back for more and more, until it kills itself.
But in the 1970s, a professor of Psychology in Vancouver called Bruce Alexander noticed something odd about this experiment. The rat is put in the cage all alone. It has nothing to do but take the drugs. What would happen, he wondered, if we tried this differently? So Professor Alexander built Rat Park. It is a lush cage where the rats would have colored balls and the best rat-food and tunnels to scamper down and plenty of friends: everything a rat about town could want. What, Alexander wanted to know, will happen then?
Read more HERE.