Depression Archives – Page 2 of 2 – A Healthy State of Mind

Micronutrients in Mental Health Series III Folic acid has been widely researched for the treatment of depression. In this post we will continue our Micronutrients in Mental Health Series, covering the 3rd nutrient implicated in depression and anemia with our discussion of folate. The name ‘folate’ is derived from the Latin ‘folium’ which means foliage, […]

May is National Physical Fitness and Sports month, and with the warmer days and more sun, it hopefully is easier for people to get motivated to move! Doctors have a tendency to overlook or understate the value of exercise in being busy to find the best treatment(s) for a patient’s ills, but the effects of […]

Antidepressant-induced hypomania or mania is defined as a short-term reaction to medication. This phenomenon, referred to as “switching”, occurs within 2 months of treatment initiation (if it occurs).1  Antidepressants can also cause long-term mood destabilization in bipolar treatment even in the absence of a short-term manic or bipolar switch.1,2  Properly diagnosing bipolar disorder is challenging […]

Circadian rhythm imbalances are at the root of Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D.), a number of sleep disorders, jet lag, some cases of Attention Deficit /Hyperactivity Disorder and Shift Work Disorder (a circadian rhythm sleep disorder). (For more on how to address S.A.D, see my blog post  entitled ‘How to keep the Winter Blues at Bay‘. ) […]

Blog – Holistic Medicine for Stress,Trauma & Chronic Illness – Portland,OR

Well the time for spreading holiday cheer has come! To keep the holidays spirited and healthy, I thought that I would share some tips and counsel about how to indulge healthily this season (limiting the ill effects of alcohol and exploring bitters, verjus, non alcoholic mocktails). And in case you overdo it, I discuss the […]

Micronutrients in Mental Health Series III Folic acid has been widely researched for the treatment of depression. In this post we will continue our Micronutrients in Mental Health Series, covering the 3rd nutrient implicated in depression and anemia with our discussion of folate. The name ‘folate’ is derived from the Latin ‘folium’ which means foliage, […]

May is National Physical Fitness and Sports month, and with the warmer days and more sun, it hopefully is easier for people to get motivated to move! Doctors have a tendency to overlook or understate the value of exercise in being busy to find the best treatment(s) for a patient’s ills, but the effects of […]

Antidepressant-induced hypomania or mania is defined as a short-term reaction to medication. This phenomenon, referred to as “switching”, occurs within 2 months of treatment initiation (if it occurs).1  Antidepressants can also cause long-term mood destabilization in bipolar treatment even in the absence of a short-term manic or bipolar switch.1,2  Properly diagnosing bipolar disorder is challenging […]

Signs of spring are starting to show – with bulbs pushing through the soil and buds on trees forming. With the first day of spring still a few weeks away, now is the time to plan for a spring cleanse. Cleansing has been performed for centuries, but is perhaps all the more important in our […]

Circadian rhythm imbalances are at the root of Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D.), a number of sleep disorders, jet lag, some cases of Attention Deficit /Hyperactivity Disorder and Shift Work Disorder (a circadian rhythm sleep disorder). (For more on how to address S.A.D, see my blog post  entitled ‘How to keep the Winter Blues at Bay‘. ) […]

Nutrition Archives – A Healthy State of Mind

I have studied nutrition for many years starting in my youth and then formally in my undergraduate degree and yet did not come across much about the potential deleterious effects of anti-nutrients such as phytic acid in grains, beans, nuts, seeds and some other plant foods. (An antinutrient is a component in food that limits […]

Diagnosis & Treatment Series II In the second post of the Diagnosis & Treatment blog series, I want to discuss beets. This vegetable is currently in season and possesses a host of health benefits, but is also very useful diagnostically (you can engage in some diagnosis yourself at home with the information that follows (ideally […]

Diagnosis & Treatment Series I Defining Reactions to Food Reactions to food are increasingly common and fall into a couple of categories: immune mediated (known as food allergies or food sensitivities) and non-immune mediated (often referred to as food intolerances). These non-immune mediated responses can include reactions to a variety of food compounds or additives […]

This post is to update my current and future patients and readers that I recently attended a five-day intensive continuing medical education course offered by The Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM), located in Federal Way, Washington. Applying Functional Medicine in Clinical Practice addresses one of the key issues in healthcare practice today – improving the […]

Micronutrients in Mental Health Series II Vitamin B12 is nutrient is critical in proper mental functioning and overall health.  If intake or absorption of vitamin B12 is insufficient, a wide array of psychiatric (anxiety, depression, psychosis to name a few), cognitive (memory loss and confusion) and gastrointestinal (constipation and low stomach acid) can result. Vegetarians and […]

Micronutrients in Mental Health Series I The role of optimal nutrition in depression, and a number of other mental health conditions, is often overlooked, but plays a critical role in health and well-being. Iron deficiency, even without being diagnosed with anemia, can lead to low energy, fatigue and depression.  Many of my patients who have […]

Happy New Year! I hope that it is a healthy and prosperous one. In thinking of what health information would help your New Year start off on the right foot, I thought of health habits that while simple, can make a big difference in overall health. One of the most important health habits to adopt in […]

The critical role of diet in mental health In naturopathic school, I tired of hearing, no matter what the health complaint, ‘Treat the Gut’! At first it was a little hard to swallow that one’s gastrointestinal (GI) tract could affect so much.  I must say that this is now much easier to swallow now after […]

Have you ever gone to your doctor feeling that something was off, but testing revealed that ‘nothing’ was wrong? At least nothing according to conventional medical diagnosis of disease and interpretation of laboratory (lab) test results? In naturopathic and functional medicine, however, we are taught to order lab testing (along with an in-depth physical exam […]

Have often have you heard, if you eat a balanced diet, you will obtain all of the nutrients that you need? But what is a balanced diet? And in an age where our food quality is often poorer than that of our ancestors due to loss of nutrients with shipping and storage, modern agricultural practices […]

Depression Archives – A Healthy State of Mind

In this article I want to help you to get to know your heart. Knowing more about your heart (specifically your heart rate variability) can improve your awareness of how stressors impact your mind and body. To evaluate the health of your heart and nervous system, you just need a heart rate variability monitor (typically […]

Chocolate can nurture and nourishes. It is derived from the cacao tree (Theobroma cacoa). The word Theobroma means ‘food of the gods’. Americans consume, on average, 11 pounds of chocolate per person per year and we are ranked as the 5th major consumer of chocolate worldwide. Research on the health benefits of chocolate shows it […]

Micronutrients in Mental Health Series II Vitamin B12 is nutrient is critical in proper mental functioning and overall health.  If intake or absorption of vitamin B12 is insufficient, a wide array of psychiatric (anxiety, depression, psychosis to name a few), cognitive (memory loss and confusion) and gastrointestinal (constipation and low stomach acid) can result. Vegetarians and […]

Micronutrients in Mental Health Series I The role of optimal nutrition in depression, and a number of other mental health conditions, is often overlooked, but plays a critical role in health and well-being. Iron deficiency, even without being diagnosed with anemia, can lead to low energy, fatigue and depression.  Many of my patients who have […]

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Data Brief, (in which they report that the rate of antidepressant use among all ages) reports a nearly 400% increase in medicine for depression since 1988-1994. Some salient features of this report are: Females are more likely to be on antidepressant pills than males Greater than 60% of Americans […]

Sleep is something so many take for granted and yet sleep problems or insomnia affects a large proportion of the population, 22.1% by recent estimates .  Untreated insomnia can lead to psychiatric disorders such as anxiety and depression and insomnia commonly occurs in those with psychiatric disorders. Treating the underlying psychiatric disorder will generally improve […]

Recent evidence suggests that the status of our gastrointestinal (gut) flora may affect mood and behavior. This evidence, derived from a study conducted by Bravo et al. and published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, suggests that bacteria in the gut can communicate with the brain and vice-versa via the vagus nerve1. […]

Well it is hard to not notice the collective stir around love & relationship in February and it prompted me to reflect on the power of relationship to heal. This power is undoubtedly important in any healing dynamic (doctor-patient relationship), but as Dr. Heron so aptly states, perhaps even more so when one suffers from […]

The holidays are a time of increased stress for many and as year-end tasks pile up, it can make it challenging to get the support and perspective one needs to re-prioritize. As stress can be cumulative, and is also hard to objectify, I think that introducing a scale to assess the burden of stress in […]

Seasonal changes are known to affect those suffering from a number of psychiatric complaints. Seasonal affective disorder (S.A.D.) is the most common diagnosis for those suffering from seasonal changes. S.A.D. affects about 6% of the U.S. population. A milder form of S.A.D., known as the Winter Blues or Subsyndromal S.A.D.,  affects approximately 14 % of […]

The release of the DSM-5 | A Healthy State of Mind

Posted by Mary R. Fry, N.D. on Monday, May 27, 2013

This tome of psychiatry has evolved to become a more complex categorization of mental illness than ever before. The scope and perspectives of individual practitioners, including many naturopathic physicians, psychiatric mental health practitioners, psychiatrists, psychologists and other mental health care providers, remain much broader and more inclusive in their approach than the new Diagnostic & Statistical Manual  of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) reflects. Many of these providers are more inclined to view mental illness and distress as a spectrum and a part of  normal human evolution and growth (grief, depression and anxiety in response to stressful life circumstances, etc.). I myself will keep thinking of it this way and working to facilitate healing on mental, physical and emotional levels in line with the biopsychosocial model that skilled mental health care providers employ when working to help those suffering from mental illness.

If you would like to read more on the DSM-5 and its history, articles and commentary abound. The Economist has a recently published column that is a good overview and a fairly balanced commentary of the changes: http://www.economist.com/news/science-and-technology/21578024-american-psychiatric-associations-latest-diagnostic-manual-remains-flawed

If you would like to be notified of when a new blog entry is posted and/or would like to receive the clinic’s quarterly newsletter, be sure to sign up! Next month the Micronutrients in Mental Health Series will launch…

Categories: Psychiatry, Psychology Tags: DSM-5

Liver and the Mind- Spring Tonification for Body & Mind | A Healthy State of Mind

Posted by Mary R. Fry, N.D. on Monday, May 27, 2013

Spring is the time to tonify and care for the liver. In Chinese Medicine, the spring is the season of the liver and gallbladder. It is a time to eat simple, light and fresh fare to give our liver and our spirits a chance to renew themselves after the heavier, richer foods of winter. Young, tender leaves, sweet starchy vegetables such as beets and carrots, sprouted vegetables and grains, herbs such as basil, dill & rosemary and a wide variety of vegetables (watercress, mustard greens, artichokes, black radish, cabbage and onions to name some of the best) are good to consume at this time of year.

The liver is a veritable metabolic powerhouse- the principal organ responsible for detoxification of medications, drugs & environmental toxins, but also a major regulator of blood sugar, cholesterol and triglyceride levels, a key player in male and female hormonal regulation, a regulator of  nutrient storage and also an activator of some nutrients (playing a part in the activation of vitamin D). The liver also regulates tendon and musculoskeletal health. On a more energetic level, the liver is seen as the seat of emotion in Chinese medicine. If the liver is congested or stagnant (as so often happens in modern times), not only do metabolic processes suffer, but a number of mental and emotional manifestations can arise: anger, frustration, irritability, resentment, explosiveness, impulsiveness, depression, moodiness and challenges in making and carrying out plans and discerning the correct course of action. Unresolved emotions can also contribute to sub-optimal liver function. Physically, liver function can be impaired by excess consumption of fat, chemicals, intoxicants (alcohol and others) and poor quality, heavily processed foods. An erratic and insufficient sleep schedule and eating late at night can stress the liver.

To improve liver function, limiting one’s chemical burden and improving the clearance of toxins through the liver is advised. Diet is an easy and helpful way to influence liver health for the better. The bitter and sour flavors in the diet help to reduce liver excesses and to improve liver function. Examples of bitter foods include chicory and dandelion greens, radicchio, quinoa, citrus peel, asparagus, romaine leaves and other vegetables. Examples of sour foods include citrus fruits, vinegar, sauerkraut, sour plum, rose hips and pickles. In addition to diet, a number of stronger and more customized naturopathic and homeopathic therapies can be used to optimize liver function, including topical use of castor oil over the liver and abdomen, herbal medicine (lipotropic and other herbs), organotherapies, and a variety of dietary and cleansing regimens.  If you feel that the last year or your current health conditions have taken a toll on your liver, be sure to give it some extra care this spring!

If you would like to be notified of when a new blog entry is posted and/or would like to receive the clinic’s quarterly newsletter, be sure to sign up! Next month the Micronutrients in Mental Health Series will launch…

Categories: Depression, Digestion & Gastrointestinal Health Tags: Alcohol, Cholesterol, detoxification, drugs, emotions, Hormonal imbalances, Irritability, medications, Mood, vegetables