Written By Sheila M. Cooperman LMHC, Licensed Psychotherapist and creator of Wellotonin
Mood -Mental Health -Inhale… Exhale, Take a Breath???
Mood disorders, mood symptoms and mental health, let’s start there again. 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, listen to everyone 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 extreme caution and definitely do your research. Case in point, St John Wort that came into popularity many years ago, left just as fast,when it became evident it interfered with many medications. When it comes to Ginseng, it can have an effect on your blood pressure, so that needs to be taken into consideration.
That and for the majority it did not help them at all. But, it had a good run in I believe the year 2012. Don’t hold me to that. Then there are homeopathic products, which most don’t recognize are actually poisons that been severely diluted. and are supposedly safe for use. Again, one needs to research this more carefully, and not be haphazard. I know personally after being given Arsenicum for my chronic stomach condition, I suffered arsenic poisoning and paralysis.
Although, I am more sensitive than most, still caution and concern needs to be implemented.
Is Marijuana helpful for Mood?
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 there is one common denominator – they were all smoking weed! The Reason: Marijuana causes the the decline of the serotonin caused by the marijuana, which creates the onset or just exacerbated their problems.
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 can 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. Your insomnia will go away too.
Above all, please recognize, there is an organic 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. Some people had horrible childhoods, and their serotonin began falling years ago. Most of their lives they have been walking around with their feet in a trench. For most of their lives, they have not been feeling too well. Others, it may have been more recent, maybe after a divorce, or losing a job, or a failing business. All these events slowly bring down your serotonin levels, and if there is nothing to bring it back up, the outcome will be mental health issues.
Sit down and review your life events, and when you began feeling badly. This includes all the events, from the good, bad and the ugly. It will be easy to see, just how and when your your serotonin has been going up and down.
Please understand, once it falls too low, these mental health symptoms are triggered. If you don’t raise it soon, your symptoms will exacerbate faster and you are now 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.