March 2016 - Sarah-Jane Diamond
Depression is a global epidemic. It is the main driver behind suicide, which now claims more than a million lives per year worldwide. One in four Americans will suffer from clinical depression within their lifetimes, and the rate is increasing with every generation.
It robs people of sleep, energy, focus, memory, sex drive and their basic ability to experience the pleasures of life, says author of The Depression Cure Stephen Ildari. It can destroy people’s desire to love, work, play and even their will to live. If left unchecked it can cause permanent brain damage.
Depression lights up the pain circuitry of the brain to such an extent that many of Ildari’s psychiatric patients have called it torment, agony and torture. “Many begin to look to death as a welcome means of escape,” he said in a Ted Talks presentation.
But depression is not a natural disease. It is not an inevitable part of being human. Ildari argues, like many diseases, depression is a disease of civilization. It’s a disease caused by a high-stress, industrialized, modern lifestyle that is incompatible with our genetic evolution.
Depression is the result of a prolonged stress-response, Ildari said. The brain’s “runaway stress response” – as he calls it – is similar to the fight or flight response, which evolved to help our ancestors when they faced predators or other physical dangers. The runaway stress response required intense physical activity for a few seconds, a few minutes, or – in extreme cases – a few hours.
“The problem is for many people throughout the Western world, the stress response goes on for weeks, months and even years at a time, and when it does that, it’s incredibly toxic,” Ildari said.
Living under continually stressful conditions – as many modern humans do – is disruptive to neuro-chemicals like dopamine and seratonin, which can lead to sleep disturbance, brain damage, immune dysregulation and inflammation, Ildari says.
Civilization is the disease
Epidemiologists have now identified a long list of other stress-related diseases as “diseases of civilization” – diabetes, atherosclerosis, asthma, allergies, obesity and cancer. These diseases are rampant throughout the developed world, but virtually non-existent among modern-day aboriginal peoples.
In a study of 2000 Kaluli aborigines from Papua New Guinea, only one marginal case of clinical depression was found. Why? Because the Kaluli lifestyle is very similar to our hunter-gatherer ancestors’ lifestyle that lasted for nearly 2 million years before agriculture, Ildari said.
“99.9 percent of the human experience was lived in a hunter-gatherer context,” he added. “Most of the selection pressures that have sculpted and shaped our genomes are really well adapted for that environment and that lifestyle.”
In view of nearly 3 million years of hominid existence, since homo habilis first began use of stone tools, our genus has undergone rapid environmental change since the advent of agriculture about 12,000 years ago. And in the last 200 years, since the industrial revolution, our species has had to cope with what Ildari calls “radical environmental mutation.”
While our environment has radically mutated, our human genome is essentially the same as it was 200 years ago, Ildari says. “That’s only eight generations. It’s not enough time [for significant genetic adaptations].”
“There’s a profound mismatch between the genes we carry, the bodies and brains that they are building, and the world that we find ourselves in,” he said. “We were never designed for the sedentary, indoor, socially isolated, fast-food-laden, sleep-deprived frenzied pace of modern life.”
Though he’s not entirely opposed to medication, Ildari says we can throw all the drugs in the world at the depression epidemic, and it won’t make a dent.
Anti depressant use has gone up 300 percent in the last 20 years, but the rate of depression has continued to increase. One in nine Americans over age 12 is currently taking an antidepressant, and one in five have been on them at some point.
The answer, Ildari says, is a change in lifestyle. He says the results of his six step program have exceeded his wildest dreams:
2. Omega 3 Fatty Acids
4. Healthy Sleep
5. Anti-ruminative activity
6. Social connection
In his presentation, he emphasized the importance of exercise and social connection, as they are two of the hardest parts of the program for modern Americans.
Exercise is ‘not natural’
Ildari says the results of exercise on depression are so powerful that if they could be reduced into a pill, it would be the most expensive pill on earth. The problem is 60 percent of American adults get no regular physical activity. Ildari says it’s not their fault. Between long days at work and household and family responsibilities to attend to, who has the time or energy to hit the gym?
The dirty little secret about exercise, Ildari says, is “it is not natural.” We are designed to be physically active “in the service of adapted goals,” not to exercise on a hamster wheel.
Hunter gatherers get four or more hours of vigorous physical activity every day, but if you ask them they will tell you they don’t exercise, Ildari says. “They don’t work out. Working out would be crazy to them. They live.”
“When you put a lab rat on a treadmill … it will squat down on it’s haunches, and the treadmill starts to rub the fur and the skin right off it’s back side,” he said. “When you stare at a piece of exercise equipment, there is a part of your brain that’s screaming out ‘Don’t do it! You’re not going anywhere!’”
If you can’t go out gathering your own nuts and berries or hunting your own meat, Ildari recommends brisk walking with a friend. Walking for 30 minutes, three times a week, has better effects on depression than Zoloft, he said.
Another huge factor in modern depression is the lack of social connection in our modern nuclear-family bubbles. “Face-time with our loved ones puts the breaks on our stress response,” Ildari says.
The problem is we’ve replaced face-time with screen-time. “Our hunter gatherer ancestors spent all day every day in the company of their loved ones.”
Unfortunately illness, including mental illness, triggers people to isolate themselves, which only makes depression worse.
“Resist the urge to withdraw,” Ildari says, “because when you’re ill, your body tells you to shut down and pull away. When you have the flu, that’s adaptive. When you have depression, it’s the worst thing in the world you could do.”
Rewilding and Tribal Living
What Ildari didn’t mention in his Ted Talk is how difficult his cure is for most modern humans to attain. Sure, we’d all like more fresh air, sunlight, exercise, a better diet, better sleep, less monotonous work, and more interaction with loved ones, but who has time for all that?
I’m stuck here staring at my screen typing about it in an effort to make a living for myself, and many of you don’t even have time to read this article because you have 50+ hours-a-week jobs of your own. Meanwhile, immediate-return hunter-gatherers work an average of 17 hours a week. In this world, we certainly can’t just quit our jobs to be less stressed, when the financial stress would create more stress.
In my opinion, the answer lies in baby steps. Baby steps away from dependence on civilization, and toward nature, earth skills, and self-sustaining communal living.
Its about remembering to come back to your heart, your true nature and loving where you are.
Getting back to your roots, following an ancestral diet, listening to your body, going with the flow of our natural cycles with nature, trusting your gut knowing are the keys to set you free.
You are not broken, there is nothing to fix, there is only a return to the present moment of loving what is.
Interested in getting to the root cause of your disease, suffering, anxiety and depression?
Article credits: returntonow.net
What you don’t know about depression
On my own journey through life and mis diagnosis of bipolar disorder. functional autism, it makes my heart expand to know that finally the truth about depression, anxiety and chronic stress can no longer be muted by big pharma. When you ask questions and trust the inmate wisdom of your body mind, you can heal your body naturally using nature’s medicine chest and the ancient wisdom of our ancestors to write your own prescription for a healthy, fulfilled life on purpose. Over the past 15 years, I have had the honour of assisting women all over the world to heal themselves from the inside out, from their cells to their soul using simple strategies like eating clean, getting enough restorative sleep, rewiring their nervous system by getting to the root cause of their current health, relationship and money issues through my Mindfulness Change and early childhood experiences with unpredictable stressors i.e. epigenetic and then using an integrative healing approach unique to each individual to reboot their brain and support their body systems naturally and effectively so they thrive!
Who am I to show you how? Well, I have created the True nature Systems based on healing my own body mind, years of study, certification and clients results . When doctors told me I would be on SSRI’s for the rest of my life if I wanted to stay alive and functioning, I chose to look at alternative medicine and nutrition as my pathway from pain to purpose. In 6 months, I tapered off the medication, cleared my brain fog and anxiety through the D.R.E.S.S code (diet, rest, exercise, sleep and supplementation) and regained “a mind of my own.”
It was not always easy or comfortable, there were times when I just wanted to curl in a ball and go to sleep forever, but my vision to heal myself and help other women was bigger than my fear.
I know I did not go through all of this to keep it to myself – this work matters and there has never been a better time to trust your YES!
Knowledge is power and I am on a mission to “teach a wo/man to fish and feed him/her for life”.
If you’re diagnosed with depression, then chances are you can relate to any of the following: persistent distress, malaise, anxiety, inner agitation, fatigue, low libido, poor memory, irritability, insomnia, sense of hopelessness, and feeling overwhelmed and trapped but emotionally flat. You might wake up most mornings unmotivated and uninspired, and you drag yourself around all day waiting for it to end (or waiting for a drink). Maybe you feel a sense of dread or panic without knowing why. You can’t silence the negative thoughts, which puts you on edge. Sometimes it seems like you could let loose an endless stream of tears, or perhaps you can’t remember the last time you cared enough about something to cry. All of these descriptions are symptoms that typically fall under a diagnosis of clinical depression. And if you were to seek help through conventional medicine, even if you don’t consider yourself “depressed,” you’d likely be handed a prescription for an antidepressant, joining the more than 30 million users in America. You might already be part of this community and feel like your fate is now sealed.
It doesn’t have to be.
Over the past twenty-five years, ever since the FDA approval of Prozac-type medications, we’ve been taught that drugs can improve the symptoms of or even cure mental illness, particularly depression and anxiety disorders. Today they are among the most prescribed, best-selling drugs. This has led to one of the most silent and underestimated tragedies in the history of modern health care.
As a practicing psychiatrist with a degree in cognitive neuroscience from MIT, an MD from Weill Cornell Medical College, and clinical training from NYU School of Medicine, I care deeply for women struggling with their well-being. I’m compelled to share what I’ve learned about the corruption of modern psychiatry and its sordid history while investigating holistic methods that focus on nutrition, meditation, and physical activity—what some practitioners are calling lifestyle medicine because the approach involves changes in everyday lifestyle habits, rather than the use of pharmaceuticals. While such drug-free methods are rooted in supportive science, they are virtually unknown in this age of the quick fix.
Let’s get a few facts straight from the get-go. I’m not a conspiracy theorist. I’m not even that politically minded, but I do like to think for myself. I’m a natural skeptic and pragmatist. These days, there are a couple of issues in my line of work that are making my blood boil, and I’m working to connect the dots between them to help establish a framework for a truth in science “sniff-test.” For one, symptoms of mental illness are not entirely a psychological problem, nor are they purely a neurochemical issue (and, as we’ll see shortly, not a single study has proven that depression is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain). Depression is merely a symptom, a sign that something is off balance or ill in the body that needs to be remedied.
And two, depression is a grossly misdiagnosed and mistreated condition today, especially among women—one in seven of whom is being medicated (one in four of reproductive age). Although I was trained to think that antidepressants are to the depressed (and to the anxious, panicked, OCD, IBS, PTSD, bulimic, anorexic, and so on) what eyeglasses are to the poor-sighted, I no longer buy into this rhetoric.
We owe most of our mental illnesses—including their kissing cousins such as chronic worry, fogginess, and crankiness—to lifestyle factors and undiagnosed physiological conditions that develop in places far from the brain, such as the gut and thyroid. That’s right: you might owe your gloominess and unremitting unease to an imbalance that is only indirectly related to your brain’s internal chemistry. Indeed, what you eat for breakfast (think whole wheat toast, fresh OJ, milk, and multigrain cereal) and how you deal with that high cholesterol and afternoon headache (think Lipitor and Tylenol) could have everything to do with the causes and symptoms of your depression. And if you think a chemical pill can save, cure, or “correct” you, you’re dead wrong. That is about as misguided as taking aspirin for a nail stuck in your foot.
I do not deny that I have developed a bit of an acrimonious relationship with much of conventional medicine over the past several years. After having witnessed the devastation this paradigm has wrought upon the lives of hundreds of my patients, I’m convinced that the pharmaceutical industry and its bedfellows, concealed behind official titles such as certain medical societies and associations, have created an illusion of science where none exists, in the service of profit over professional responsibility. I can myth bust just about everything you think you know about the role of drugs in the treatment of depression and anxiety. It’s time to turn the lights on in this dark room. Let’s open up this conversation and embrace a perspective on depression that radically challenges mainstream assumptions and theories.
The time has come for you to have a mind of your own.
Adapted from A Mind of Your Own by Kelly Brogan, MD
Kelly Brogan, MD, is a Manhattan-based holistic women’s health psychiatrist, author of the book, A Mind of Your Own, and co-editor of the landmark textbook, Integrative Therapies for Depression. She completed her psychiatric training and fellowship at NYU Medical Center after graduating from Cornell University Medical College, and has a B.S. from MIT in Systems Neuroscience. She is board certified in psychiatry, psychosomatic medicine, and integrative holistic medicine, and is specialized in a root-cause resolution approach to psychiatric syndromes and symptoms. She is a mother of two.
How to stop worrying and start living happy is a choice!
Last week I spoke about how you can stop capping your happiness and CHOOSE to have happiness as a CHOICE.
I know what it feels like to not live in to my YES and It breaks my heart to see incredible, powerful women let fear stop them from achieving the health, happiness and success
they know is possible by capping their happiness and making themselves wrong.
It’s a touchy subject that has had me squirming more than once when I have reached out looking for the “right” person to support me
in getting out of my own way when I am stuck in the yes but, and other mean self talk.
Maybe I’ll piss you off so much you will hit unsubscribe and never want to speak to me again, that is okay, I won’t stop loving you where you are.
I am not going anywhere. I am willing to give up having you in my tribe ( for now) if it will help you get into action in your Diamond zone of genius and high shine.
I speak to women every day that have so much to offer in their unique zone of genius and then something happens – they stop trusting and start thinking about all the reasons and justifications WHY they can not instead of asking How can I……..???
Just last week I spoke with a woman who had had enough of the old self sabotage, the pain, the stress and overwhelm showing up in different versions of the old stories. She was ready to take a leap into the unknown, unravel, get to the root and change it! She wanted private mentoring with me. We spoke about what it was coming her to not get to root of her pain. She was so ready, so excited to rewrite her story and reset her nervous system. As she tapped into her pain she received that the very things she had experienced as sickness and childhood trauma was her purpose and potential> She acknowledged it was time to share her story, that her heart was telling her to say yes and make the leap into my FACET private mentorship program, and she said YES to that knowing, that she was done playing small and scared……
The next day she backed out, stating that she said yes, “in a moment of weakness.”
“I just did not think it through, I don’t know what came over me.” she said
and she stepped away from her YES and back into a place where she knew how to cap her happiness
and settle for less.
When is listening to your higher self EVER a moment of weakness?
Do you want to know what weakness actually is? It’s when you won’t listen to your heart and only listen to your head, which will tell you any kind of lie it needs to in order to keep you right where you are. It cautions you to be careful, weigh your options, list the pros and cons, and don’t do anything that will cause you stress.
Well, guess what?
Accessing your true nature DOES causes stress. It stretches you and makes you feel uncomfortable, because you’re doing something you’ve never done before! Your comfort zone is called the comfort zone for a reason: because you’re comfortable there!
Your Diamond zone of genius, not excellence, GENIUS does not lie in your comfort zone.
If you want to go where the magic happens, you must leap where it tells you to leap before you know how it’s all going to work out. You don’t get trust first and THEN do the scary thing; you gain trust AS YOU DO THE SCARY THING.
“To get what you’ve never had,
you must do things that you’ve never done.”
“Thinking things through” will close the door on more opportunities and miracles than you can even imagine.
Being your OWN magic and medicine, requires that you follow the body nudges ( it feels intense, painful even – to get your full attention) where your heart whispers and encourages you and let your head work out the logistics along the way. Start trusting yourself that you’ll be have the time and money to invest in your dreams, because I promise it will require an investment of both to create miracles. At the least the kind of miracles you want to make.
It will take mindful change to rewire your nervous system and reboot your brain from all the old beliefs holding you prisoner in the confines of a crazy mind so it no longer runs your life and makes you sick with stress and overwhelm.
It’s not that hard once you get the hang of it. But you’ve got to stop thinking things through, or you’ll think yourself right into rut after rut after rut.
You will keep capping your happiness and make you self sick, tired and depressed!!
It does not have to be this way!
Let me support you in following your body minds innate wisdom, your gut instinct because when you get to the root of your pain, stuck sensation trapped in your tissues you can create a solid foundation of safety for yourself and turn your pain into purpose driven living NOT dying!!
Listen to todays magical tool to balance your “split mind”
and get you out of thinking and into trusting even when you are afraid. Follow that with exhilarated aliveness rather than fear and reclaim your meaningful life.
Please don’t cap your happiness, you are far to incredible to not be #unstoppable.
Do you have a personal way that you stop self sabotage and move towards your true nature?
Share it please #unlimited
Appreciating your Diamond genius
Book your complimentary CLARITY to health and happiness breakthrough session now if you have had enough of living from the same old story expecting a different result
Its your birthright to live free in your True Divine Nature and thrive!
How to reset your Nervous system in 60 seconds
In todays’ post I want to introduce you to the ACE score and show you how you can use it to rescue your abandoned childs part and integrate the core woundings, really get to the root cause of your
trauma so that you can transform anxiety and depression and heal your body mind naturally and live your healthy, fulfilled life. Read on and learn how to reset your nervous system in 60 seconds.
Are you dealing with acute or chronic illness?
Do you have trouble sleeping well, or feel stressed, moody and on edge?
Do you find yourself unable to get better, despite visiting different doctors and trying different food, exercise, prescription and supplement routines?
In my work with root cause resolution, I want to know where in your early childhood experiences these
early life stressors epigenetically have reset the gluticocorticoid receptors, resulting in a lowered threshold required for a stress response. So, early life stress causes chronic release of stress hormones and inflammatory cytokines. Genes that shut off the stress response are silenced.
The body is flooded with inflammation at the slightest provocation, and researchers have confirmed that crucial set of breaks are off, and the body is marinading in inflammatory chemicals.
A study by Dr Joan Kaufman and colleagues also looked at epigenetic differences in children with ACEs and found gene expression changes across the entire genome, including genes implicated in cardiovascular diseases, obesity, and cancer.
We live in a world of constant stressors and they are not going to go away. So getting to the root cause of yours health challenges now could literally save your life later on in life.
Worse still that a traumatic event like rape or some other unspeakable shock and trauma that has a beginning and an end is the prolonged daily stressors of every day living in a modern, fast paced world. When we don’t take stock and practice radical self care, when we ignore our tension instead of addressing it, our bodies experience a buildup of cortisol, the flight-or-fight hormone. Over time, an abundance of cortisol can have disastrous consequences. Brain fog, lowered immunity, heart problems, elevated blood sugar, eating issues, diabetes, and hormonal and sleep disturbances are just a few common ramifications of persistent stress.The good news is, there are simple daily rituals you can use that don’t cost anything and that you can use straight away.What if you could use some simple practices when you feel your fight/flight/freeze response kicking in to move through your triggers without causing damage to your body or brain?We can rebuild our resilience, health, and peace of mind through the 5 keys to transform chronic stress, anxiety and depression naturally. When you learn how to heal your body, manage your stress response and DRESS ( diet, rest, exercise. sleep and supplementation) for success you will reclaim your meaningful, healthy life!Today, I want to invite you to listen to part 1 of a 2 part masterclass on “Abandonment and healing your childhood wounds that are holding you back from living in your fullest expression of health, wealth and happiness.You can listen in here:What is the Ace test?
Your homework for today is to:
- Take your ace score here at http://www.acestudy.org/
- Take the enneagram quiz here at http://www.janspiller.com
- Practice mindfulness by using the following 5 steps to Stress Less living below
- Use the Peace process which I guide a client through here:
Mindfulness peels away layers of rushing, negative self-talk, and anxiety. It encourages us to honor ourselves as living, breathing, deserving humans. Mindfulness softens life’s challenges and makes us aware of the larger picture, in a kind and gentle way, by valuing and tuning in to the present moment.
Time is not a renewable resource, and it can’t be saved for later, either. The only moments we can treasure and appreciate, truly, are the ones we are living through right now. That alone is reason enough to be mindful—but we can also gain a physical health benefit: Mindfulness diminishes harmful cortisol build-up.
We have a lot to gain by learning to practice mindfulness.
- Name your feeling.
When you notice stress, take one minute (or hopefully more) to quietly discern what you’re feeling and where you perceive sensation in your body. Go ahead and actually name it out loud, such as, “I’m feeling anger, and my pulse is pounding” or “Fear is giving me a knot in my stomach.” In a hurry? Then walk while you think, but do it slowly so you can focus.
- Observe the situation—without self-judgment.
That’s really what you’re doing by naming your feelings. You’ve taken a step back to observe, completely without judgment, the way a camera lens would do. This allows you to detach from the drama itself and just consider how it affects you. What do you see?
By the way, if you feel resistance to naming the emotion, or if your thoughts are racing, or you just want to hurry through or dismiss the feelings, that’s normal. This kind of focused attention isn’t our usual status quo. Focusing on yourself takes practice!
- Just breathe.
Take 3 to 5 deep, measured breaths. You can even close your eyes. This focused, purposeful deep breathing is the opposite of the shallow, rapid breathing that accompanies stress. The dramatic shift from that anxious pant to a slow, refreshing breath resets, calms, and informs your system immediately. When I’m tense, I feel a difference every time after I slow my breathing. It’s like magic.
- Make friends with what you’re feeling.
Rather than engaging in the default habit of self-criticism or judgment—for example, “Why should I be angry about that? I’m so stupid”— cultivate a new awareness and curiosity about the emotion or reaction. Pay close attention to what’s really in front of you, not an automatic interpretation of it. Usually, our versions of present events come from our past and prevent us from truly seeing what’s happening in reality. Question whether your story is really true—or does it just seem that way?
- Finally, make room for self-acceptance.
Have some compassion for your imperfectly perfect humanness. The overachievers among us tend to think “I’m never good enough” thoughts. Others of us may judge ourselves undeserving or feel selfish for shining a light on ourselves. Meet those doubts with softness, kindness, and an understanding that you are a loving, valuable presence in the world.
Let this 5-step technique become your best new rituality. It takes practice, but with time, you can achieve an effective stress reversal in 30 seconds!
Perhaps along the way you’ll also find yourself becoming more aware and appreciative of the world around you.
Right here and now is what we have in front of us, and it’s a friendly, important place that we don’t want to miss. Looking at what we’re presented with more closely, even in its difficult moments, just might be the answer.
I choose health, peace, and freedom over stress, worry, and mindless activity. How about you?
Want to learn more about how I can support you in healing your core woundings and childhood trauma through my practice of integrated functional medicine and the mindfulness process of changing your story?
Book your complimentary CLARITY to healing breakthrough session here: