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Mental Health Counseling | Mental Health Treatment
If you are one of the millions of Americans who are taking psychotropic drugs for mental illness, you have probably learned to live with the multiple side-effects of your medication.
Like all pharmaceuticals for whatever ails you, these drugs will never heal you.
Though they do help many people maintain functional lives, by and large, many people are not helped by them, or are only helped minimally. Some people are even made worse by psychotropic’s, and sometimes their side effects cannot be reduced even after they go off the drug. This is particularly true of valium and other benzodiazepines. There is even a drug for schizophrenia that causes a Parkinson's-like disease called Tardive Dyskenesia that may never go away even after the drug is discontinued.
In my opinion, psychotropic's are poweful brain-altering drugs that should never be used unless there is no other alternative.
Because most pharmaceuticals (with the exception of antibiotics, which can also damage the body) don’t heal people, those who take them to relieve whatever symptoms they’ve got tend to become chronic drug users who are unable to “kick their habit“. As I’ve been in the same boat with the migraine medication I’ve taken for years, sometimes this can’t be helped. But on the other hand, sometimes there are less toxic solutions that doctors simply don’t know about, or, worse yet, aren’t allowed to tell you about because they lie outside the "standard of care" set by the Center for Disease Control. In the case of mental illness, I strongly believe this to be true.
There are many reasons why people become mentally ill. After reading through this website, I hope you are discovering what they are. Not only is eating a healthy, nutritious diet important, but discovering what foods one is sensitive to can make all the difference in the world. It is a leaky gut that causes food sensitivity. Because of the overuse of antibiotics, birth control pills, over-the-counter and parmaceutical drugs, and our sugar-laden diet, we disturb the balance of bacteria in our gut. Our entire digestive tract is covered with bacteria from mouth to anus. When out of balance, these bacteria help us digest our food. Once the gut lining thins, undigested food particles leak into the blood stream become toxic. When these toxins reach the brain every form of mental illness occurs for the brain is being poisoned. Autism, ADD, ADHD, learning disorders, bipolar disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, anxiety and depression can all be caused by leaky gut syndrome. To find out how and why, see my blog post on Gut and Psychology Syndrome at SeekingEnlightenment.net.
Grains, in particular, may need to be avoided by some people before their mental illness will disappear. There is ample evidence that avoiding wheat can heal some people with schizophrenia if they are sensitive to it. In addition, you must also cleanse the body of toxic substances like heavy metals, chemical pollutants, and candida. There are even pharmaceutical drugs that cause anxiety and depression. Once you remove all toxic substances from your body and nourish it with a nutrient dense diet, many of your mental, emotional, and physical symptoms may simply disappear.
However, there are also mental and emotional reasons why people become ill, which cannot be discounted.
Many people in our world are either severely or moderately abused and/or neglected in childhood. To a child, neglect is just another type of abuse. This abuse can come in a variety of forms: mental, emotional, spiritual, and/or physical. Regardless of the form it takes, the abuse had a physical impact upon your brain and body chemistry. In addition, some children are more sensitive to abuse than others. For an overly sensitive child, even slight abuse over a prolonged period can cause the same aberration in brain functioning and body chemistry as someone who was more seriously abused.
Abuse can come from a variety of sources:
- Parents, including step-parents.
- Extended family members including siblings, grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles.
- It can come from neighborhood children, some of whom may have been bullies.
- Adult friends of the family.
- Complete strangers (the least likely).
The most common sources of abuse are either extended family members or step-parents. Strangers make up the smallest percent.
After all my years as a psychotherapist, I can honestly say that I do not know how some people survived their childhood. There are people on our planet who were so unbelievably abused as children by the people who were supposed to love them that it is a wonder that they function at all. Working with them has given me insight into why some people become so dysfunctional.
If you were abused even slightly you will have additional healing work to do, for you must overcome not only the negative beliefs that such abuse fosters, you will also have to overcome some of the biological limitations that it caused. However, by doing the detoxification and rejuvenation work I recommend, and perhaps also supporting your neurotransmitters with amino acids and other nutrients, the mental and emotional work need not be as daunting as you think. In fact, change can be just around the corner when you take a mulitdimensional approach which includes working with a good psychotherapist or other spiritual healer to assist you.
This is called multidimensional healing.
It blends physical cleansing and rejuvenation with emotional release and mental detoxification. When we mentally detoxify ourselves we change the story we tell ourselves about life. The goal is to make a negative story into a positive one. The only way it is possible to do this is to turn adversity into growth, lemons into lemonade. Good can come out of the most negative experience if you use it as on opportunity to evolve. Since mental, emotional, and spiritual growth doesn’t happen by accident, one must actively engage in the process of transformation for it to unfold. This is why it is good to enlist the aid of others in the process. Because it is impossible for us to think new thoughts without having positive input from others, we will always need the help of wiser people to set ourselves free.
When we become mentally ill with depression or anxiety, it may be because we have told ourselves a negative story for a very long time, perhaps since early childhood. Throughout the formative years as our neural pathways are taking shape, the structure of our brain is literally forming itself around our story. In short, our biography becomes our biology. Once our story was woven into the fabric of our brain, it began to replay itself over and over again in endless tape loops that become repetitive and the cause of all our problems.
This is because the nature of the brain is to produce thought, just as the nature of the heart is to pump blood.
If you don't believe me, just sit quietly for a few minutes and stop thinking. Though a yogi may be able to master the technique after years of trying, most of us find this nearly impossible to do. Unfortunately, the thoughts that the brain automatically regurgitates whether we want it to or not are the stories we’ve programmed into it since childhood. Though we can’t stop the brain from regurgitating thought, we can direct our thought. By telling ourselves a new, more evolved story about our lives over and over again, eventually the brain will reform itself to accommodate what we want it to regurgitate. Once it does, the new story will become automatic.
Because of the nature of the brain, change requires work and effort. I’ve heard many people say that it only takes 21 days to break a mental habit. In my experience, this is completely untrue. That is because our mental habits are supported by a framework of beliefs that are built directly into the structure of the brain itself, via the brain chemistry that went awry during the "formative" years. Many of these beliefs are unconscious to us. It is challenging to change beliefs you don’t know you have. Unless you work with a good therapist or spiritual healer who can help you uncover them, discovering what those beliefs are can consume decades.
In the beginning change often seems impossible, but as you persevere, using your personal power to change the way you think, in time you will lay down new neural pathways as you heal your chemistry, which will allow your brain to automatically regurgitate a much more enlightened story. And why would you want to do that? For LOVE, of course, for you are worth it. And how are you going to do it? By using your PERSONAL POWER of choice and decision. There is no other way.
Any victim of brain trauma will tell you that there is no pill that can heal the brain, only continuous, concerted effort.
However, you can support the brain by detoxifying it of heavy metals, choosing to eliminate toxic addictive substances and foods, and giving the brain the super nutrition it needs to heal. You also must support your brain by surrounding yourself with people who support you in creating the changes you want to make. By working with a psychotherapist, spiritual healer, or a special friend who can feed you nourishing thoughts, in time, you will develop the inner strength to feed them to yourself.
As you evolve your brain in this way invisible physical changes will begin to occur. In time, you will remember your old, negative story, but will hardly believe that you used to think that way. Your personal power, ruled by love, will then engineer an entirely different reality. When that happens, you will be free of the past and it will trouble you no more. You will then be free to live your life unencumbered by limitation and all the pain that goes along with a life of struggle.
Before you can change an old story, many people need to express their feelings about the childhood events that were so traumatizing to them. Because expressing the pain brings up the memories which retraumatizes us all over again, many people don’t want to do this. They would rather use a chemical substance to keep the memories away. Many use drugs and alcohol for this purpose, but psychotropic’s are an alternative that serve the same purpose for some. Until we express our true feelings about what happened, and change our mind about it, one may find themselves stuck in a past that replays itself over and over again in each new experience they have despite the mind altering substances they take, for they haven't done anything to change the way they look at life.
When you are stuck in a negative tape loop of pain it is often imperative to find a healer to help you express your pain so that you can shift gears.
In our culture, healers come in many forms. Some come by the name of psychotherapist, others by the name of a spiritual healer, priest, or minister. Some people will be helped by teachers, and others simply by friends and mentors who choose to take you under their wing. I, myself, received a lot of healing from inspirational books, audio tapes and CD’s. I also attended a lot of self-help workshops. I could not have fully healed without the help of my spiritual teacher, Lazaris, who gave me a different way of looking at the world and my favorite book A Course In Miracles. All of these avenues were sources of inspiration to me. Each helped me change my thinking so that my brain could finally heal itself. Once it did, I was no longer troubled by the life-long depression and anxiety that had been my constant companion since the age of 13.
Psychotherapists, ministers, and other spiritual healers tend to be very compassionate people, but like everything else in life, there is no one size fits all. A psychotherapist that is great for one person may be terrible for another. A lot depends on personality, style, and belief system. If you do not feel a rapport with your therapist or healer, it will not hurt his/her feelings if you decide to see someone else. Therefore, feel free to shop around until you find the fit that is right for you. In addition, after working with a therapist or other healer for awhile, it is possible to outgrow them. If that is the case, it is time for you to take a break and then come back to therapy at a latter date with someone else. This is how healing is supposed to be. It is a continuously evolving process that unfolds slowly over time. Those who go after their healing by consciously engaging in the process and not just depending on some "expert" to give them a pill, are far more likely to get the results they desire.
Therapy is not linear. Healing is like peeling the layers of an onion. We slowly and carefully peel back one layer at a time. It proceeds in a spiral. As we walk the rounds, we evolve. In time, we revisit old wounds at a higher level of consciousness to heal at deeper and deeper levels, bringing to bear our additional maturity. By talking things out with someone else who is knowledgeable and wise, we learn how to process and handle our past and eventually let it go so that it no longer troubles us.
Therapists and spiritual healers are unique people in that they are used to dealing with human tragedy. They never blame people for their weaknesses. They never judge. They know that people are doing the best they can with the consciousness they’ve got, and most are ready, willing, and able to extend a helping hand to those in need. If, for whatever reason, you are ashamed of your past, a therapist or spiritual healer will help you resolve your feelings about it so that you can be renewed. It is impossible to heal without talking about your pain. Therefore, if you are in emotional pain, in addition to all the physical things you can do to improve the functioning of your brain, I believe that talking to a therapist or spiritual healer is imperative.
Your neurotransmitters are the chemical messengers that help your thoughts leap across the neural synapses. Without adequate neurotransmitters, you will feel less than your best, for lack of them are often times responsible for mood disorders. Both genetics and abuse can be responsible for decreases in neurotransmitters. By taking specific amino acids along with additional nutrients, some doctors believe that you can rebuild your neurotransmitters without ever taking a single drug. Dr. William Hitt is one of these people. He has a clinic in Tijuana, Mexico where he gives people amino acids in the form of an IV drip. After several sessions people claim to better. This method works amazingly well for addictions as well as mood disorders. You can see his videos at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dPf5LilNtCQ. If you do amino acid therapy along with psychotherapy and a nutrient dense diet and heavy metal cleansing, etc., your chances for a successful resolution to your mood/memory/thought/behavior disorder can eventually be alleviated.
There are also some great books on the market that discuss amino acid therapy and how to do it. Many can be purchased at Amazon.com.
Amino acid therapy works well for alcoholism, and all kinds of drug abuse, including addiction to methamphetamines, pain pills, antidepressants, stimulants, heroine, marijuana, ecstasy, LSD, PCP, and cocaine. It does not work as well for tobacco addiction and benzodiazepines. Most drugs and alcohol create their high by over-stimulating specific neurotransmitters in the brain (usually dopamine). In time, the neurotransmitter that is overstimulated gets depleted. In fact, many drug and alcohol users are low in the neurotransmitter their drug of choice stimulates, which is why they are so attracted to using it. For them, it is a form of self-medication, but since street drugs are not controlled substances they can become forms of self-anihilation. If you are self-medicating with street drugs, it is far better to take a controlled substance prescribed by a doctor than one of unknown origin. Dr. Hitt claims to have an 80% success rate in curing alcohol and drug addiction five years after treatment. However he says that one does need to continue psychotherapy or an anonymous program to change the repetitive behaviors caused by limited thoughts for the greatest success.
Besides abuse and genetic weakness, neurotransmitters can also be destroyed by numerous heavy metals and other toxins that land in the brain or gut, which is another place neurotransmitters are created. When the drug is withdrawn, the body naturally craves the neurotransmitter stimulation it has lost long after the chemical substance one is addicted to has left the body. That is because we need all our neurotransmitters acting in synergy to feel normal. Although it can take years for the brain to fully repair itself, by undergoing neurotransmitter replacement therapy, you can speed up the process and begin to feel normal again in a relatively short period of time. Psychotropic drug use is not neurotransmitter replacement therapy. It is simply just another form of symptom suppression. Sometimes a necessary and helpful form, but not, in my opinion, a healing modality that should replace multidimensional healing.
Other illnesses amino acid therapy is known to have a positive effect on are attention deficit disorder with or without hyperactivity, anxiety and panic attacks, Alzheimer’s disease, depression, suicidal ideation (which is generally caused by depression and hopelessness), fibromyalgia, insomnia, migraine headaches, Parkinson’s disease, trichotillomania, and obsessive/compulsive disorder. It can also be used to counteract the effects of age related memory loss.
Amino acid therapy is all natural and side-effect free.
It helps to heal the body naturally by giving the body the nutrients it needs to heal itself. If you have any of the above disorders, it is important to seek help in replacing your neurotransmitters naturally. If you do it concurrently with a nutrient dense diet, and a heavy metal detox the results can be spectacular. However, to create optimal change, either short term or long, in-depth therapy will help cement the new mental and emotional changes you want to make deep inside your brain so that the thoughts and feelings that led to your problems in the first place will no longer trouble you.
http://www.neuroassist.com/ is a great website written by Dr. Marty Heinz that will tell you a lot more about using amino acid therapy to treat not only mental illness, but many other diseases that are caused by a malfunctioning nervous system due to inadequate neurotransmitters.
The Eniva products I sell on my satelite website are excellent supplements for making sure that you are getting all the vitamins and minerals you need for excellent health. However, they do not contain amino acids, which can be attained from a variety of websites. For more information on food for the brain http://www.foodforthebrain.org/content.asp?id_Content=1837 is an excellent website.
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