Updated: Nov 5
The purpose of this post is not to replace sound mental health advice for threatening or life-threatening problems. But I would be remiss in my work if I were to omit the things I have learned and practiced over the years, which have helped many young people survive and safely navigate the maze that is life, allowing them to not only be happy but healthy as well.
On the other side of the coin, I have also been exposed to way too many youths who are self abusive, self harming, suicidal and who eventually end up in the system with little hope; all have spent years in the mental health system to no avail and I would argue are even worse off than they began and often on the worst meds imaginable. Contrary to popular opinion, mental health has not come so far over the years. The truth is, it is failing too many; more than ever before and sadly, with new laws, it has taken self empowerment and crushed it into oblivion, leaving a terrible mess in its wake.
This post is not about serious, pre-existing mental disturbances but time has shown that quite often we can make sense of a situation, allowing the sufferer to avoid the worst through sheer neglect and mismanagement. Hearing a young person say that while their life is a mess, and the resulting side effects have all but destroyed their lives, they know they must be on this treatment for acceptance is heartbreaking, and often unnecessary.
I don't expect to gain many friends in the field once they have read this. The fact remains; way too many people are being treated as mental health cases when they began with nothing more than a basic nutritional, chemical, enzyme or hormone imbalance, or have suffered reactions to medications which all carry the side effects of anxiety, depression and various mental issues. Both personally and professionally I've experienced a very substantial exposure to this phenomenon. And I have witnessed very real and valid results from proper management.
There is a lot more to the situation than just giving a pill or having occasional counselling, but this is the abysmal way such a case is handled professionally. Psychiatric care is amongst the most egotistical and untouchable field in health care. I have been present when patients have had shock treatment. I've been present when suicide attempts almost claimed a life. I've had to be present after suicide and in dealing with the catastrophic repercussions of a senseless death and its impact on the bereaved family and loved ones. And I've witnessed destruction of any hope of a future for too many promising young people.
How can it be that so many now suffer depression and anxiety bad enough to destroy lives, when we currently have supposedly the best quality of life in history? When we have access to everything; when help is just a call away and so freely available, why is depression so widespread? Official stats say 1 in 5 children will have depression or anxiety. How can that be?
Take away trauma, abuse and family history, and you will still have a high incidence. Why? How can society be so out of whack that it's become so commonplace? More importantly, what alternatives are there? Are there even safe and effective answers?
Believe me, there ARE answers. These answers explain why two individuals can respond to trauma and suffering totally differently. It will explain why one, who has had a perfect life, zero trauma or stress, can still succumb to depression, while another who has witness atrocities and the slaughter of all their loved ones, does not.
This week once again, I was reminded of just how far backward mental health has gone. Professionally and personally I have seen people neglected and manhandled of no benefit to them. And your trusted doctor has no say, now that the mental health industry answers only to itself; and so does any doctor who decides to be manipulated by them. There is only a certain range of assistance a doctor can give now, thanks to the most recent ruling.
At the top of that pile, we have forgotten that something like anxiety or depression have many causes and types. It's simply not good enough to lump them all in together and throw anti depressants, beta blockers or other side-effect-laden poisons and a bit of counselling at a sufferer, and think it is going to work.
Or what of a parent who has not just lost a child which is traumatic enough but that child has been abused or is missing? How is that suffering the same as a parent who is struggling to cope with a ratbag teenager? Or what about a case of rape - yet the girl is doing better than someone who is upset that they were told they are not beautiful. Offence and even depression comes in all shapes and sizes - and sadly, humans are a selfish lot, aren't we? None of us can see past our own suffering; ours is the worst, because at the time, it feels like that.
I've seen the worst of these things, and the least traumatic both handled at polar opposites. Okay, so there are coping mechanisms that some have better than others, but what about the indescribable sadness that has no cause? How is it that the mental health system sees fit to throw the same drugs at both these ends? What about hormone imbalance? What about chemical imbalance? An antidepressant just wont magically rebalance what has been put off balance.
Sadness is sadness and there are arguably many types of anxiety and depression. I've seen patients told they will no longer be welcome as patients of a certain clinic because they refuse to take anti depressants. I have seen doctors tell the patients they are depressed, while the patient is beginning to envision being trapped in a psyche ward "But I'm not depressed. I don't cry, I don't feel sad. I'm just tired." And millions of identical cases are taking antidepressants with a crumbling tower of side effects placing an even bigger burden on the health system.
While some people will need pharmaceuticals to numb the pain as they say, or block the acute symptoms, thoughts and images, many will not. Most people on anti depressants, and unhappily suffering the associated side effects that they are told they will have to live with, will tell you that drug does not take away the emotional pain. It doesn't remove the visions and fear. It may help you sleep and therefore not experience the horrors that clash around in the mind, but no pill has yet been invented, regardless of how movies make us want to believe, that can change your thought processes or remove the suffering. And no amount of heavy handed fancy wording (baffle them with science...) will change that.
Way too many youths enter the mental health system too young and stay there. Many kids don't. The increase in teen suicide linked to prescription drugs is alarmingly high, yet all that is being done is 'studies' that do nothing. This phenomenon has been known for decades yet it is getting worse every year.
On top of rebalancing the delicate chemical nature of our bodies, what if there were coping mechanisms that allowed a depressed person to adjust as needed? How does one cope with physical and emotion pain? Once the initial shock of a trauma is over, the world goes on. But those left behind don't; they are often stuck. And the world soon tires of that struggling person's inability to move on. So the entire pattern of their life changes by default and they move through life hurting and often relying on drugs of any sort just to cope.
Part of my work ethic is that I have to find answers, alternatives, to any current treatment regime that falls short. Okay, we've all heard doctors say there is no proof to this or that. The truth is, billions of people not only survive/d without modern medicine, but continue to do so, very well. Does that mean in the west, we are all physically much worse off than in poorer nations? We will hear the comments about unfortunate suffering that needs western medicine; that's true to a degree, but in comparison to what we westerners burden the system with, it's hardly noticeable. Well, it would be if we weren't cleverly reminded by industry-paid media...
It may be okay for some experts to just make do and pretend the downfalls don't happen. I can't do that. I need to find effective answers; ones that cause as little damage and are even more effective than the other options. And surprise-surprise; I've been told by Australia's illustrious TGA (our equivalent of the FDA) that as my methods don't have the ability to cause harm, they cannot be registered. Therefore only those treatments with a propensity to cause harm along with the supposed cure are considered worthy of registering. And it's actually gauged on the range from injury to death! Okay, but the catch-22 of that little game is that if your treatments are not registered, they are then considered ineffective. If you stand your ground and demand registration, you are then prevented from making any claims about healing. That is why many natural health products have very misleading and confusing advice on their labels; don't shoot the messenger...
Meanwhile a drug which has arguably less effect than the alternative can throw all the claims around that it likes because it also has the propensity to injure or even kill. No wonder that many doctors and nurses are moving to alternatives now. It's just a shame that they are outlawed as rogue professionals for making an ethical decision.
This is why many of us go out on a limb and even though our success rate has to be close to 100%, we are still considered not real medicine. That wont stop the truth from getting out if you know where to look. But what if you don't? Many of my patients have no idea and by the time they get to me, they have been so damaged that I have little hope of helping them. Worse still, because the machinations of modern health care work in such a way that no part of our work is funded, while the opposite can be said for modern medicine.
From study and pharmaceutical studies, to heavily subsidised drugs (try buying them full price), to surgery to the sinking burden that is public health care, what most of the public experiences as free health care, tax dollars to the tune of billions a year in most nations is propping up the legal right for you to have no choice but to use modern medicine.
"For the first time in 50 years I was healthy and happy, but I just can't afford your services any more." Even if those discounted services send me broke, that poor old guy had no choice. Despite his best efforts to stay health and mentally positive, the system failed him, too. Like millions of similar cases.
There are too many children, teens, women, men, new parents, artists, professionals, church leaders, displaced people, students and normal looking, highly functioning people affected. Too many. And it's too often swept under the carpet.
This incredible tool for coping landed on my desk by chance. I am glad it did because I see varying levels of depression around me every day; here in Australia, the lucky country! If your body is balanced and your life experiences have resulted in depression, don't you owe it to yourself to try and gently heal? Please take the time to have a look at the various natural methods that people are safely and effectively using around the world - see which could help you:
Topical hormone balancing cream for males and females
Attention and focus homeopathics
There is so much in this world that causes stress and in turn, illness - both psychological and physical. Addressing it wholistically - as in do electromagnetics affect you? Lights? Traffic? Food? Different times of the day? Chemicals? How about avoiding triggers if you can? What music do you listen to? Who do you surrounding yourself with other people who do not affect you negatively? What about Australian Bush Flower Essence dedicated complexes?
Adjust your lifestyle. Don't ignore it.
FYI the known side effects of beta blockers and other anti depressants include - but are not limited to -
Drowsiness or fatigue
Cold hands and feet
Dry mouth, skin, or eyes
Diarrhea or constipation
Shortness of breath
Wheezing or trouble breathing
Swelling of the hands or feet
Memory loss or confusion
Back or joint pain
Toxic epidermal necrolysis
Serious allergic reactions
Steven Johnson Syndrome
Kind of ironic?