Mental Health

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Under the UK Mental Health Act 1983 – Code of Practice:

A mental disorder is defined as “any disorder or disability of the mind”.

Clinically recognised conditions which could fall within the Act’s definition of mental disorder include:

  • Affective disorders, such as depression and bipolar disorder

  • Schizophrenia and delusional disorders

  • Neurotic, stress-related and somatoform disorders, such as anxiety, phobic disorders, obsessive compulsive disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder and hypochondriacal disorders

  • Organic mental disorders such as dementia and delirium (however caused)

  • Personality and behavioural changes caused by brain injury or damage (however acquired)

  • Personality disorders

  • Mental and behavioural disorders caused by psychoactive substance use

  • Eating disorders, non-organic sleep disorders and non-organic sexual disorders

  • Learning disabilities

  • Autistic spectrum disorders (including Asperger’s syndrome)

  • Behavioural and emotional disorders of children and adolescents

​(Note: this list is not exhaustive)

The fact that someone has a mental disorder is never sufficient grounds for any compulsory measure to be taken under the Act. Compulsory measures are permitted only where specific criteria about the potential consequences of a person’s mental disorder are met.

There are many forms of mental disorder which are unlikely ever to call for compulsory measures.

Care must always be taken to avoid diagnosing, or failing to diagnose, mental disorder on the basis of preconceptions about people or failure to appreciate cultural and social differences. What may be indicative of mental disorder in one person, given their background and individual circumstances, may be nothing of the sort in another person.

Difference should not be confused with disorder. No-one may be considered to be mentally disordered solely because of their political, religious or cultural beliefs, values or opinions, unless there are proper clinical grounds to believe that they are the symptoms or manifestations of a disability or disorder of the mind.

Conclusion of Research on Black Seed Oil and Psychiatric Illness

N. sativa (black seed oil) is known to possess a wide variety of medicinal properties and has been used as a natural remedy for many diseases since ancient times. In the present article neuropsychiatric effects are reviewed separately for the first time. In many animal experiments and in a few clinical trials it was found to be effective in the control of pain, fever, epilepsy, Parkinsonism, anxiety, depression, toxoplasmosis, malaria and also in improving memory, mood and feelings of good health. Further basic and clinical investigations are needed to confirm these observations. Isolation of the active principles and preparation of more remedies from their derivatives are, perhaps, the future targets for the development of new drugs for neurological and psychiatric diseases.

Anxiety

 

Most doctors treat anxiety and panic attacks with benzodiazepine tranquillizers or tricyclic antidepressants. These drugs can induce a number of side-effects. In addition, the tranquilizers carry a high potential for addiction, and withdrawal can be emotionally and physically unpleasant. Antidepressants can sometimes cause the individual taking them to go from depression to manic excitement. This can make day-to-day functioning so difficult that anxiety actually becomes worse.

Mineral and trace element deficiencies or imbalances correlated with anxiety:

  • Potassium

  • Magnesium

  • Phosphorus

  • Selenium

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Basic recommendations for Anxiety:

  • Aromatherapy using lavender essential oil. Lavender is a mild sedative that calms anxiety aggravated by caffeine consumption.

  • Reduce blood lactate production (lactate is the final product in the breakdown of blood sugar). Take 800 to 1,200 mg of calcium and magnesium supplement daily. Also take a B-complex supplement daily.

  • For insomnia that may accompany anxiety, take 500mg of the amino acid L-tyrosine 3 times daily on an empty stomach. L-tyrosine, the calming substance in warm milk, makes falling asleep easier without causing drowsiness the next day. You should not use L-tyrosine if you are taking a monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitor drug for depression.

  • Avoid caffeine. Drinking coffee in the morning can lead to stress all day. As simple an act as avoiding coffee for one week can sometimes bring about a significant relief of symptoms.

  • Avoid sugar. Reducing your intake of sugar along with reducing caffeine consumption, can lower blood lactate production in the body.

  • Get more exercise. Both moderate and vigorous exercise are effective at reducing anxiety, but for the calming effect of vigorous exercise to take effect, it requires an after-work out period of rest. The idea of exercise is to help induce relaxation.

If changes in diet and exercise do not help, consider talking to a therapist or mental health professional.

Panic attacks may be caused by a deficiency of alpha-linolenic acid, an essential omega-3 fatty acid found in high concentrations in flaxseed oil. In one study, three out of four people with a history of agoraphobia (fear of going outdoors) improved after two to three months of taking 2 to 3 teaspoons of flaxseed oil daily.

General Diet Guidelines:

  • Avoid sugar

  • Avoid refined foods

  • Include high fibre foods

  • Avoid caffeine

  • Drink alfalfa tea for remineralisation

  • Relaxation exercises

Herbal teas and tinctures to alleviate anxiety:

  • Chamomile. German chamomile tea bag, prepared with 1 cup water. Take one cup 3 times daily. Relieves allergy and inflammation that aggravates anxiety.

  • Fennel tea. Take 1 cup before or after meals. Relieves anxiety related to gastrointestinal upset and reduces flatulence.

  • Ginseng-Panax ginseng tincture. Take as directed on the label. Helps prevent anxiety during drug withdrawal.

  • Kava. Take 60-120mg daily. Do not exceed 120mg. Relieves muscle tension and stops pain.

  • Passionflower. Tea bag, prepared with 1 cup water. Take one cup 3 times daily. A calming agent that causes less drowsiness than prescribed drugs.

  • Linden flower tea or Linden tincture, 1-3 tsp (4-12ml) with water 3 times daily. Reduces the risk of migraine attacks during periods of anxiety.

Avoid green tea (unless decaffeinated)

Herbs to alleviate anxiety include:

California poppy extract. Treats anxiety without inducing drowsiness.

  • Ginger plus ginkgo. Ginger tablets. Take 3000mg twice daily with food. Ginkgo tablets take 240mg once daily. Reduces anxiety by increasing flow of oxygen and nutrients to the brain.

  • Valerian tablets. Take 50mg 3 times daily. Relieves panic attacks at night.

  • Ashwagandha Root, 300mg.

  • Valerian root, 300-500mg, half to 1 hour before bedtime. In the morning, 300mg.

  • NOTE: sometimes Valerian is combined with Passionflower or St. John’s Wort in European herbal products used to treat anxiety.

  • Supplements to alleviate anxiety include:

  • Vitamin B-complex. A high-potency Vitamin B6 50mg supplement, in combination with Calcium 500mg and Magnesium 400mg, taken on a daily basis.

  • Magnesium

  • Zinc

  • 2-3 bananas daily for potassium

 

Bipolar

Aripiprazole is usually prescribed for managing conditions such as bipolar disorder or schizophrenia.

Read up about Aripiprazole here: Antipsychotics A-Z: Aripiprazole

And here: Aripiprazole: Abilify

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Mineral and trace element deficiencies or imbalances correlated to bipolar disorder:

  • Iron

  • Iodine

  • Potassium

  • Magnesium

  • Molybdenum

  • Vanadium​

Depression

 

A severely depressed individual should be under supervision and will need some form of treatment; they cannot just “snap out of it”.

Depression often occurs with memory loss and irritability, especially in the elderly.

The diagnosis of depression includes the presence, for at least two weeks, of at least four of the following signs and symptoms:

  • Poor appetite or significant weight loss

  • Either lack of sleep or abnormally long periods of sleep

  • Mental agitation or slowing of mental functioning

  • Loss of interest in usual activities, including sex drive

  • Loss of energy and fatigue

  • Low self-esteem and feelings of worthlessness or self-reproach

  • Complaints or evidence of decreased ability to concentrate or think clearly

  • Recurrent thoughts of death or talk of suicide or actual suicide attempts.

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Mineral & trace element deficiencies or imbalances correlated to depression:

  • Chromium

  • Copper

  • Iron

  • Iodine

  • Potassium

  • Magnesium

  • Selenium

  • Vanadium

  • Zinc

Some other causes of depression:

  • Food allergies and certain drugs have been linked to depression

  • Insufficient complex carbohydrates may cause serotonin depletion, leading to depression

  • Hypoglycaemia and thyroid disorders are often causes of depression

  • Heredity

  • Hormonal imbalances

Melatonin, a helpful brain hormone, is released by bright light and sunlight. Avoid dark rooms.

Vegetable juices helpful in alleviating depression:

  • Alfalfa

  • All dark leafy greens

  • Broccoli

  • Cabbage

  • Carrots

  • Dandelion greens

  • Green pepper

  • Kale

  • Parsley

  • Spinach

Fruit juices helpful in alleviating depression:

  • Apples

  • Blueberries

  • Cranberries

  • Lemons

  • Papaya

  • Peaches

  • Pineapple

Herbs useful in alleviating depression:

  • Aloe vera

  • Flaxseed oil

  • Garlic

  • Kelp

  • Siberian ginseng

  • Slippery elm

  • Spirulina

  • St. John’s wort

Foods to avoid:

  • Baker’s and brewer’s yeast

  • Caffeine

  • Cheese

  • Chocolate

  • Dairy products

  • Fried foods

  • Junk foods

  • Meat tenderizers

  • Soy sauce

  • Sugar-and all forms of simple carbohydrates

  • Yeast extracts

Supplements to alleviate anxiety:

  • Clinical studies show that B-vitamins aid in alleviating all forms of depression.

  • Mild to moderate depression can be addressed with herbal remedies. For example, St. John’s wort extract, 300 to 350mg of a standardized extract 3 times per day. Expect results within 2 to 4 weeks.

  • Studies indicate that St. John’s wort may be effective for seasonal affective disorder, a type of depression that affects some people during the winter months. The dosage used in the studies is the same as St. John’s wort for mild to moderate depression.

  • Older adults with “resistant” depression may benefit from taking Ginkgo Biloba extract, 120 to 240mg daily in two to three divided doses.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

 
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Some researchers categorize people with OCD into different subgroups based on their recurring compulsions:

  • Washers: usually fear contamination, germs and becoming dirty or sick

  • Hoarders: find it very hard to discard of things, throw things out and pass on unnecessary items

  • Doubters: strongly fear being wrong, rejected, blamed or ridiculed by others

  • Checkers: fear being harmed from perceived dangers, such as from fires, robbers, animals, etc.

  • Counters: tend to fixate on numbers and need to count things over and over again

  • Arrangers: fixate on order, patterns, symmetry and balance

Supplements helpful in alleviating OCD:

Re anxiety and OCD, there has been a small double-blind randomized trial that found 600mg of Milk Thistle Extract to be as good as 30mg of Fluoxetine after 8 weeks. See Comparison of Silybum Marianum with Fluoxetine in the Treatment of OCD

Visit Natural Treatment Plan for OCD for full article on OCD.

Useful Links:

Natural Treatment Plan for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Ashwagandha Shown to Help Patients with OCD

Ashwagandha: A Natural Treatment for OCD

OCD Information

Schizophrenia

 

Excerpt from a 2014 Guardian article regarding antipsychotic drugs

For many, the side-effects of antipsychotics are worse than the symptoms they’re meant to treat. No wonder some people with schizophrenia refuse to take them. Imagine that, after feeling unwell for a while, you visit your GP: “Ah,” says the doctor, decisively, “what you need is medication X. It’s often pretty effective, though there can be side-effects. You may gain weight, or feel drowsy, and you may develop tremors reminiscent of Parkinson’s disease.” Warily, you glance at the prescription on the doctor’s desk, but she hasn’t finished. “Some patients find that sex becomes a problem. Diabetes and heart problems are a risk. And in the long term the drug may actually shrink your brain…”

This scenario may sound far-fetched, but it is precisely what faces people diagnosed with schizophrenia. Since the 1950s, the illness has generally been treated using antipsychotic drugs – which, as with so many medications, were discovered by chance. A French surgeon investigating treatments for surgical shock found that one of the drugs he tried – the antihistamine chlorpromazine – produced powerful psychological effects. This prompted the psychiatrist Pierre Deniker to give the drug to some of his most troubled patients. Their symptoms improved dramatically, and a major breakthrough in the treatment of psychosis seemed to have arrived.

Many other antipsychotic drugs have followed in chlorpromazine’s wake, and today these medications comprise 10% of total NHS psychiatric prescriptions. They are costly items; the NHS spends more on these medications than it does for any other psychiatric drug, including antidepressants.

Visit At Last, A Promising Alternative for full article re OCD.

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Mineral and trace element deficiencies or imbalances correlated with schizophrenia

  • Copper

  • Iron

  • Iodine

  • Magnesium

  • Selenium

How To Use Diet as a Treatment for Schizophrenia

Antipsychotics That Cause Suicidal Thoughts

Breakthrough: Some Cases of Schizophrenia & Bipolar Caused by Autoimmune Disease

Aripiprazole is usually prescribed for managing conditions such as bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. Read up about Aripiprazole here: Antipsychotics A-Z: Aripiprazole