What to do when you, or someone you know, just don't feel right in their own body
In lieu of recent celebrity deaths Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade, this post comes with a heavy heart. Unfortunately we won't know what was really going on in their minds as they chose a path like many others before them, famous or not famous, yet the impact to those close to them is still the same. Hurt, frustration, confusion, wished we could have done more, wondered what we could have done, feeling helpless, etc. and many more feelings can arise during these times. Is there someone to blame? Or something? Or rather what was that final breaking point?
Mental health is still health. My life was changed by a psychologist, and a few pivots in a short period of time later, I discovered Naturopathic medicine- the education with the knowledge to learn all conventional & natural (more ways to help people), and spend at least a half hour to an hour with patients depending on the visit. I learned that mental health is more than Beck Depression Inventory scores and PHQ-9 Depression scores (though they are useful), yet it's reading between the lines, observing, knowing someone's story- which anyone can do. While supplements and/or drugs may have their place for treatment (though certain pharmaceuticals have been linked to increases in suicide), I've found over and over again it's more than just one modality. There's a nutritional and lifestyle component too, and most importantly, is the person equipped with the resources to handle the throes of daily life, and if not, do they have people in their life they can confide in, and trust? We know depression and anxiety increase our risk for heart disease, can throw off our hormones, etc. yet it's not enough to say 'Don't be depressed or you'll get heart disease'- which is kind of depressing in and of itself.
Time Magazine wrote an article referencing the two stars and their glamorous lifestyles, and that they couldn't bear to live their lives any longer. An article done in USA Today took a different angle to say that there are many factors that go in to suicide, such as disconnect, overwhelm, and that the media can shift focus to open up the conversation with people like Drew Barrymore, Elton John, and Halle Berry attempted and survived suicide. Perhaps then we can expand the conversation to bring in all factors including what could be going on physically such as imbalanced hormones, blood sugar issues, thyroid concerns, low vitamin D, elevated inflammatory markers found on bloodwork like CRP, ferritin, and ESR, methylation issues like elevated homocysteine and MCV (found on red blood cell labs) over 95, poor sleep, and nutritional deficiencies (e.g. even removing certain major food intolerances like gluten and dairy).
Whenever you, or someone you know, doesn't feel quite right, they're not getting the answers they like, they don't understand why something has to be, it's totally ok to keep digging and get the answers that make you happy. Maybe there's much internal milieu that even without a blatant answer, they've found a team of professionals for support who can lay out a plan that gives hope. Here's how you can go about that:
- Find people to talk to, be that person for someone else, or thank someone - Really go through and find out who's on your team- do they jive with your beliefs, can you tell them anything? Do your doctors talk to one and other? Are you satisfied with the care you receive? Expand outwards to those who may be taking care of your finances, kids, house, etc. Tell those people in your lives that you're there for them too, or if you know who they are, say thank you! Those small gestures whether it's a thinking of you card, or reaching out to say if someone's changed your life, or just to say hi.
- Don't feel like talking? - Check out 7cups.com, a site where you can vent to a person of your choosing, and remain anonymous. It's certainly not to be used in place of warranting regular therapy, but they know that too, as sometimes it's nice to talk to more than a wall. Also, write things down- best done in script. When we write in script it translates a way in our brain that makes us further understand and comprehend our own concerns, and discover new views.
- Get regular bloodwork & checkups - We carry emotions in our cells, yet, there's also a physical side to health, and all the physical & emotional factor one right into the other. Sometimes mood changes can be due to organic reasons that once addressed, we may feel a lot better.
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline - Whether you, or you know anyone, who is contemplating suicide, there is a 24/7 lifeline support where you can call at 1-800-273-8255, or can chat with them in live time.
Mental health encompasses a broad discussion of topics that could be contributing factors, and unfortunately like many concerns in current times, there isn't an easy answer or explanation to why it's present. However, everyone is walking around with something regardless of how they are perceived, and you're not alone in whatever your concerns. The same basic instinctual feelings like fear, nervousness, anxiety, etc. are still activated regardless of situation, and we all have those. If you're just not feeling your best, or have any thoughts/concerns, I would like to encourage you to book a call with me so we can come up with a plan that does feel good.