We are in the middle of a serious mental health epidemic (I feel like a broken record when I repeat that statement). More and more people are suffering from anxiety, depression, and other mental illnesses that ever before. We have medication and talk therapy, but how many people are actually receiving relief from their symptoms and actually getting better?
This recent podcast episode with Dr. Josh Friedman tackles why we are stalled in our current mental health care treatments, and he proposes ways to get unstuck.
Dr. Josh Friedman earned his doctorate in Psychology from New York University and did post-doctoral training in Psychoanalysis from the Training and Research Institute for Self Psychology (TRISP) in New York City. After working in the field for a few years, he realized that something was missing from traditional mental health treatment. Curiosity and a chance meeting led him to discover the world of Nutritional Psychology, which teaches that many psychological issues are caused or made worse by underlying biochemical/nutritional deficiencies. Dr. Josh started Alternative Mental Health Solution to help people find and fix the ROOT cause of their mental health struggles.
Download this episode here or find wherever you get podcasts.
April is Stress Awareness Month, and wow, what a year for stress, right? After devoting several presentations and podcast episodes to the importance of stress management, I’ve learned that the topic never gets old…because as much as we can manage it, stress never goes away.
Your body experiences stress on a physiological level. Every thought you think is a chemical messenger to your body, so when you are in “fight or flight” mode in your brain, the rest of your body listens and acts accordingly. Digestion may shut down, reproductive function can be altered, your blood sugar response may be affected, and your blood pressure will send signals as well.
Learning to manage stress matters, and it’s not something we are taught growing up. In fact, we often get the opposite messaging. Culture tells us to push through, work harder, and there aren’t enough hours. We’re led to believe that poor sleep, afternoon fatigue, and relying on caffeine for energy is normal. It may be common, but it should never be normal.
I say this all the time, but if we don’t learn to manage stress, our stress WILL manage us. It will show up in our bodies and cause all kinds of health problems. Stress creates inflammation, and inflammation creates chronic disease.
This is why I’ve created a list of my favorite stress-supporting products. If we can decrease our response to stress, we can decrease the effect stress has on our bodies.
To be clear, I often get to to try out lots of cool new products, whether it’s for social media promotion or podcast sponsors or podcast guests’ companies or suggestions. I’ve sorted through what I’ve been trying lately, and what follows are my favorites. Do you have to try them all, like me? Of course not! There is no one size fits all to health, and our bodies will all respond to products differently. I believe many supplements should be rotated seasonally, and sometimes it will even depend on the time of month – or even what phase of your menstrual cycle you’re in.
Are there alternatives to medication for mental illness? Is there a way to avoid all the long-term side effects? What other tools can we utilize to help balance our neurotransmitters naturally?
In this interview with Dr. Josh Friedman, we take a deep dive into neurotransmitters and how to optimize them for mental wellness, via food as well as amino acid supplementation.
Dr. Friedman has a doctorate in Psychology from New York University and did post-doctoral training in Psychoanalysis from the Training and Research Institute for Self Psychology (TRISP) in New York City. He also is certified as a Holistic Health Counselor from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York and earned a Diploma of Comprehensive Nutrition (Dip.CN) from Huntington College of Health Sciences.
Download this episode wherever you get podcasts!
Key Topics include:
– The importance of digesting protein to create the right neurotransmitters
– The struggle with treatment-resistant depression
– Why B12 is essential for mental health
– How enzymes aid in digesting protein in order to benefit our mental health
– Amino acid suggestions for low serotonin, low dopamine, and low endorphins
“People don’t make the connection between how they eat and how they feel emotionally through the brain. They don’t realize there is a connection to food and the brain and emotional well-being.”
Dr. Uma Naidoo is a board certified psychiatrist, professional chef, and nutrition specialist. She is the director of Nutritional and Lifestyle Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital and also on faculty at Harvard Medical School.
In this fascinating episode, we discuss her exciting new book, This Is Your Brain On Food, which I highly recommend. Listen to the entire episode and subscribe wherever you get podcasts or listen here.
Key topics of our conversation include:
Dr. Naidoo’s journey as a psychiatrist and professional chef
How what we eat affects our brain
The origin of the gut/brain connection
The rise of mental health concerns
Food to avoid for mental well-being
Orthorexia and food obsession
How to add more diversity in your diet
The impact of caffeine and alcohol on mental health
So much more!
Learn more about Dr. Naidoo here. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter at @drumanaidoo
Find her book on Amazon or your favorite bookstore. This book is so helpful and needs to be part of your mental health library!
The field of psychiatry is changing as new discoveries about the brain are made. There are many pioneers using evidence-based medicine to seek out different treatments beyond traditional methods and prescription medication. While meds are definitely helpful for some and are one helpful tool in the toolbox, according to Dr. Ranjbar, “we are asking them to do what they were not made to do.”
Dr. Noshene Ranjbar is Harvard trained and board certified in General Psychiatry, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and Integrative Medicine. She serves as medical director of the Integrative Psychiatry Clinic at Banner – University of Arizona Medical Center in Tucson.
In this episode we discuss the changes in mental health approaches in the last 20 years, how integrative psychiatry is different, nervous system dysfunction, common underlying issues that impact mental wellness, as well as Dr Ranjbar’s work with refugee and American Indian communities.
Ali Miller is a registered dietitian, integrative functional medicine practitioner, and author of Naturally Nourished, The Anti-Anxiety Diet, and The Anti-Anxiety Diet Cookbook.
In this episode we discuss the concept of food as mood, how neurotransmitters play a role in gut health, and how your stress response affects your overall health – from mental wellness to reproductive function to immune health.
She explains the 6 approaches she takes to restoring our bodies to their rightful state, how to biohack our bodies and create metabolic flexibility – and simple tools to reducing panic and anxiety during times of stress.
Key topics covered in this episode:
Blood sugar regulation is key to balancing mood.
The imbalance of our stress response in the HPA axis and how “the body has to feel safe to do well.”
Reduce inflammation, reset the microbiome, repair the gut lining, restore micronutrients, rebound the adrenal glands, and rebalance neurotransmitters.
What excessive screen time does for our dopamine.
How 90% of serotonin is produced in the gut and why probiotics can be nature’s Prozac.
Breath is the most powerful way to harness the HPA axis and how to use mantras.
How she uses a strategic ketogenic approach with her clients and the reasons it has been beneficial for so many of them.
To download and listen to the full episode, click here. For the link to iTunes, click here.