Written By Sheila M. Cooperman LMHC, Licensed Psychotherapist and creator of Wellotonin
Mood -Mental Health -Inhale… Exhale, Take a Breath?
Mood and mental health, let’s start there. Often, people who are experiencing mental health symptoms and/or mood disorders, turn to self-medicating with supplements and other mood enhancers.
There is nothing wrong with supplements, but you can’t expect to take them all. This is routinely the case with a lot of people who want to use natural supplements for their mood. They don’t do their research, and begin buying and consuming all types of products that do the same thing. It is also important to make this strong distinction between vitamins/ minerals, herbs and homeopathic products. They are not the same, and not even close to being the same.
Our foods contain vitamins, minerals, and some fatty acids and often supplements are taken to boost these quantities. Vitamin D – case in point is in our foods, but for many reasons, we just may not be getting enough. When it comes to Vitamin D, it is hugely important on a cellular level.
Vitamin A is in carrots, spinach, green and yellow fruits and vegetables, apricots and even liver, and again this Vitamin is quintessential for people suffering with eye and sight issues, and therefore, they need to make sure they have enough.
Vitamin B one finds in so many foods, but some people do not like vegetables, and therefore they need to use supplements.
Next you have those that want to use herbs, but fail to recognize these can at times be contra-indicated by some medications. Some people are also allergic to herbs, and therefore, they when using herbs, should take some caution and do your research.
Homeopathic products, routinely consist of ingredients that are toxic, but they so dilute, that they are safe for use. Again, one needs to research this more carefully, and not be haphazard. I know personally after being given arsenicum for a stomach condition, I suffered arsenic poisoning and paralysis.
Although, I am more sensitive than most, still caution and concern needs to be implemented.
Last but not least, there is this idea that marijuana is helpful with mood disorders. I disagree, and feel just like alcohol at the time of use, your mood may feel better, calmer, mellow, but 36-48 hours later, it will have a detrimental effect on your serotonin level. In the long run, you can begin to feel even worse. In my practice, I see adolescents presenting severe mental health issues, and yes, they were smoking weed! Reason: the decline of the serotonin caused by the marijuana.
So, the issue of relaxation for your mood, deep breathing, meditation, exercise begins to surface.
These all can be a temporary mental vacation, but not a true resolution. Meditation is effective, if you know how to push all the thoughts out of your head, and train your brain to be quiet. A good, soothing deep massage or Yoga is always a nice release. Exercise for some may release those endorphins, that lead to potential serotonin lift. Unfortunately, for some it is just a sweaty, tiring event.
Again, these concepts are not going to change much in the brain chemistry. To me, this suggestion is like taking a car with a bad engine for a “car wash.” Seriously, where do they come up with these ideas. The reality is mental health issues and mood disorders are based on the levels of serotonin in the brain. Case in point, when I speak to someone that is not sleeping, immediately I ask them what else is going on. 100% of the time they are also experience other mental health symptoms.
This is evident, since Melatonin is a derivative of serotonin, and no serotonin, no Melatonin and no sleep. Be realistic with yourself, and others and stop “washing cars” that need repair. Just stop.
Above all, please recognize, there is a reason that you are feeling this way. Sit down and write down the last time you were feeling happy, the date even if you have to go all the way back to when you were 10.
Then all your life events that have occurred since, the good, bad and the ugly. Start to see, just how your serotonin has been going up and down.
Now, it has fallen too low, and if you don’t raise it soon, your symptoms will exacerbate and you are on a crash course.
It is just that simple.
Wellotonin has the means to naturally raise your serotonin and be that “air bag”.
It is a game changer.