A Holistic Approach to PTSD and Depression for Veterans

So many veterans suffer from post traumatic stress disorder and depression. Conventional treatment does not seem to heal these diseases. Conventional treatment includes talk therapy and pharmaceutical drugs. We do not know all the side effects from long term use of these drugs. We do not really know how these drugs affect brain chemistry. The holistic approach uses natural products, foods and techniques to temper anxiety and depression.

Talk therapy tends to dwell on the trauma and the negative effects of the trauma. It often focuses on behavior issues that stem from the trauma. The holistic approach uses techniques to flush out and let go of the trauma and stored negative emotions related to the trauma.

It is time for treatment of PTSD and Depression in Veterans to include a holistic approach. A holistic approach can be integrated with conventional treatment.

A holistic approach focuses on the whole person -mind, body and spirit. It includes positive thinking and mindfulness techniques (mind), natural supplements, diet/nutrition and exercise (body) and meditation, yoga, Reiki, acupuncture, visualizations and spiritual prayer (spirit).

Mindfulness, combined with positive thinking techniques and inner work, train us to be in the moment with full attention and awareness. They relax us. The inner work includes daily heart centered meditation and prayer. Mindfulness teaches us to identify when our thoughts and emotions are negative or agitated and then move back to a place of calm and balance. They teach us to center ourselves in our hearts/body centers, to focus on our breath and the details of what we encounter in the moment through our senses and without ongoing negative thoughts.

Positive thinking techniques teach us to develop focused and controlled thoughts oriented toward work, errands and other positive activities. Theta (along with alpha, beta and delta) brain wave entrainment also helps us to relax the mind and body and enhance positive thoughts. Theta (along with alpha, beta and delta) brain wave entrainment exercises along with many meditation exercises can be found on YouTube.

Spiritual techniques include heart centered meditation, deep breathing exercises, yoga and heart centered prayer, Reiki and chakra cleansing and balancing exercises. These techniques help to calm and balance us, while raising our vibrations. Spiritual techniques also include emotional release, which ends the energetic grip of trauma.

Reiki, acupuncture and other forms of energy therapy also help cleanse and heal our energy bodies and free us from the energetic grip of trauma. Emotional release of the trauma has a therapeutic effect on our thoughts and emotions. Spiritual techniques include methods to raise our spirits/vibrations. This includes visualizations, deep breathing, music, color and essential oils.

Herbal supplements are effective to treat depression and anxiety when combined with mind-body-spirit techniques. For depression, these supplements include St. John’s Wort, Sam-e, 5 HTP, Kratom and Colloidal Gold among others. For anxiety, they include Chamomile, Valerian Root, Ashwaghanda, Kratom, Passion Flower, Kava, GABA, 5 HTP, Hops. Hawthorn, Theanine, Triptophan, Lavendar, Lemon Balm and Dark Chocolate/Cocoa, Magnesium, B Complex Vitamins and Kratom, DPLA, DHEA, Co Q 10/Ubiquinol, Fish Oil, Flaxseed Oil, Hemp Oil, Coconut Oil, Lion’s Mane Mushrooms and Medical Marijuana and CBD oil among others. For sleep, they include Valerian Root, Ashwaghanda, Holy Basil, Tryptophan, Melatonin, Inositol, Choline and 5 HTP. Holistic research also indicates the benefits of N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine (NAC), Lactium and L-Theanine along with amino acid supplements and medical marijuana and CBD oil for depression and anxiety.

For positive thinking, it is also important to incorporate positive affirmations into one’s daily routine (to change beliefs from negative to positive) and silently express gratitude each day for life and the blessings of life.

Diet is important. A whole food, plant based diet will help de-toxify your body and provide the nutrition it craves. This diet will also help improve brain chemistry. The foods in this diet include organic vegetables, fruit, whole grains, nuts and seeds. The brain is composed primarily of cholesterol. So, plant based fats are very important to consume to improve brain chemistry. These fats include avocado, nuts and seeds (especially walnuts, almonds, cashews an pumpkin seeds), peanuts, coconut and coconut oil. Omega 3, 6 and 9 is also essential for brain health. You can get these fatty acids from fish oil, flaxseed oil and hemp oil.

Also, on a daily basis, take good sized doses of vitamins a, b complex, c, d3, e, k1 and k2 along with Co-Q 10 or ubiquinol, turmeric or curcumin, fish oil and flaxseed oil supplements along with coconut oil.

Daily exercise is important along with getting outdoors and into nature often. Daily exercise includes cardio, light weights and stretching. It is also important to avoid conflict, drama and stress when you are healing and to drink mostly pure water.

This article is for information purposes only. It is not intended to be used to diagnose or treat disease. It is not intended to be medical advice. For medical advice and to diagnose and treat disease, consult a licensed medical doctor.

How Henry Ford’s Invention Inadvertently Caused the Depression

In early 20th century America the vast majority of people living in rural areas eked out a living in agriculture. Farms were small, often sharecropped. The planting and harvesting was labor intensive and horses provided the only source of energy for mechanized tilling. The vagaries of weather and drought have always made farming difficult. Crops were mainly grown for consumption by the farmer’s family, with any extra produce bartered for needed goods.

We are all aware of the history of Henry Ford and his invention of the production line to mass-produce Model-T’s. Ford did not invent the automobile, he simply invented a method to produce cars in mass volumes and make them available for virtually anyone wishing to purchase a horse-less carriage. He also revolutionized the agriculture business with totally unforeseen consequences.

The Ford Motor Company was always seeking new avenues of distribution and business opportunities. Ford had grown up in then-rural Michigan and was immersed in the farm world of the age. In the 1920’s Ford introduced the first mass-produced farm tractor, the Fordson. The machine sold for under $400 and revolutionized farming. It quickly became cheaper and less costly to own and maintain a Fordson tractor than a horse.

Farmers quickly gravitated to the Fordson tractor. Crop yield per acre expanded exponentially. Farmers produced so much crop yield per acre that by the middle of the 1920’s we were growing far more food than the country could consume. Prices plummeted. The need for day laborers declined precipitously and rural unemployment exploded.

The collapse of crop prices, unemployment, and the Great Plains drought were significant contributors to the start of the Great Depression. The Fordson was an amazing improvement in the productivity and ability of farmers to lead more comfortable lifestyles. However, the “Law of Unintended Consequences” reared its ugly head in this instance. The creative disruption caused by this product was thrust on a market that could not adjust efficiently or quickly to its significance.

We have a seemingly similar situation occurring today. We constantly read headlines about the dying manufacturing sector in the United States. Politicians love to visit deserted factories and decry the decline of manufacturing in a wide range of formerly profitable industries. And yet, manufacturing in America is setting records for volumes produced, shipped and invoiced. How can this dichotomy exist?

As with the Fordson tractors 1920’s introduction to farmers, today’s manufacturing has evolved dramatically and created disruptive technologies. Robots, software, customized computer models, computer assisted design and modern communications mean that we produce ever more sophisticated products, in greater volumes, and at lower prices, while needing fewer workers per unit of production. The workers that are needed today require better education, and skills than the production line workers of yore.

When I was growing up in an industrial area of America in the 1960’s many of my contemporaries went to work with their fathers at the local mill or factory. These were overwhelmingly union jobs. Each of my buddies at that time thought they would be employed for life like their fathers had been. It has worked out that none are where they started, not one.

The displacement is as painful today as it was on the farm of the 1920’s. However, the benefits to society accruing from modern manufacturing technologies and systems, just like the advances in farming owing to mechanization, cannot be denied. Only the Luddites of the 19th century and there modern adherents believe life is not more comfortable today and more people have more access to more goods and services at lower prices that at any time in history.

Change is hard and often inconvenient. We live during an age of massive change unlike any time in history. The understanding of and acceptance of modern realities insure that most people will benefit from advances in technology. Those that do not want to change and accept the new order of things will be left behind.

Henry Ford did not sell the Fordson tractor to instigate the Great Depression. The product was a small, inadvertent contributing factor. The inability of markets of that day to allocate resources and find markets for the massive increases in crops harvested was a systemic failure. Today, we manufacture products that are consumed quickly and create the thirst for more inventions and technologically advances. We are all better off as a result.

Depression in Teenagers – Now What Can We Do?

No doubt you have seen the recent news headlines about a federal panel that recommended to the FDA that anti-depressant medications carry the strongest possible warning label for use in children and teenagers. This recommendation to the FDA shook the medical community, especially those who work with depressed young people. The biggest problem from the treatment community’s point of view was not the recommendation for the warning label, but the way that the media portrayed the panel’s recommendation. The panel reported that 2% to 4% of children and teens who were given anti-depressants for the treatment of depression became suicidal, that is they had suicidal thoughts, or made suicidal attempts of one kind or another. None of the 4,000 children and teens studied committed suicide. What the media did not report well is the fact that 15% of children and teens with depression who receive no treatment will commit suicide. These 15% will not just think about it, but will actually kill themselves. So what are we to do? If the media had their way it seems that no teens with depression would receive anti-depressants. As a result the suicide rate for those who could be using the medication would rise from nearly zero percent to about fifteen percent. But at least we wouldn’t have to be concerned about evil medications. Look, I understand that there actually are young people, even adults, who have become suicidal only after beginning treatment with an anti-depressant. Some have in fact gone on to take their own lives. This is absolutely tragic. But so is the fact that untreated depression is potentially a fatal disease. Fifteen out of one hundred young people with depression take their own lives. They should be allowed to receive a treatment that will lower the suicide rate dramatically, and without any stigma attached to it by the media. Recently we had a patient brought to our counseling center named John (not his real name). John was rebellious, angry, withdrawn, and in trouble often, and yet he was diagnosed and treated for depression. When we think of someone who is depressed, we usually picture a sad, tearful, lonesome person. But teenagers with depression don’t look like adults with depression. Current studies show that there are about as many teenagers who are depressed as there are adults that are depressed. However, depression is exhibited far differently by teenagers than by adults. Teenagers do not commonly display gloom, self-depreciation, or talk about feeling hopeless like adults do. Teenagers with Major Depression are described in diagnostic manuals as often becoming negative and antisocial. Feelings of wanting to leave home, or of not being understoodand approved of increase. The teen often changes, and becomes more restless, grouchy, or aggressive. A reluctance to cooperate in family ventures, and withdrawal from social activities, with retreat to one’s room are frequent. School difficulties are likely as concentration is affected. Sometimes there is inattention to personal appearance and increased emotionality. Often there is an increased sensitivity to rejection in love relationships as well. Teenage boys will often become aggressive, agitated, and get into trouble at home, at school, or with the law. Teenage girls will sometimes become preoccupied with themes of death or dying, and become decreasing concerned about how they look. Suicidal thoughts are common. Some studies suggest that 500,000 teens attempt suicide each year, and 5000 are successful. Increased use of alcohol or other drugs is common, along with other forms of “self-destructive behaviors.” Poor self-esteem is common with teenagers, but especially with those who are depressed. Parents are often confused and frustrated when their teens begin to act like this. Sometimes parents become stern disciplinarians, or even put the teen down, which only serves to increase feelings of guilt and depression. Other times, parents feel helpless, and stand by waiting for adulthood to arrive. Of course neither course is the right one to take. If you know of a teen whose behaviors have changed to look like what has been described above, let the parents know that there is help available, and encourage the family to seek help from a professional. With proper diagnosis and treatment a depressed teen, or adult, can be greatly helped. If someone close to you is suffering from depression, first please understand that depression is a very emotionally painful condition. For some people with depression it turns into a “terminal illness” due to suicide. Please take the situation seriously. 1) Get a medical evaluation. Symptoms of depression can be the result of a wide assortment of illnesses, including thyroid problems, viral infections, and other factors. 2) Deprex is an amino acid and homeopathic medicine for the treatment of depression that we have seen work well with our patients. It may be worth trying as long as the situation is “stable” and there is no suicidal thinking on the part of the depressed person. 3) Medications such as Prozac can be very helpful for more difficult cases. Consult your doctor. These medications are often prescribed by Family Practice Doctors, but in most cases ought to be monitored by Psychiatrists. 4) Increase intake of Protein somewhat. Use a protein powder supplement, just like a weight lifter. 5) Exercise daily. Just get out and walk for about 15 minutes. 6) Seek out counseling from someone who is good at treating depression. This can do a world of good for you. However, always use great wisdom and common sense when choosing a therapist. Some are good, and some are not, so choose wisely.

Tasks to Practice to Escape Depression

Recouping from dejection is a long and troublesome excursion. Sadly, half of individuals who have one noteworthy scene of depression will relapse, and the probability goes up in the event that you’ve had more than one encounter with the similar situation. Your depressive habits can change continuously, remaining contingent upon the seriousness of your manifestations and family history.

The uplifting news is that there are a few stages that may help you keep away from dejection backslide. While remaining occupied isn’t an issue, doing excessively, too early could be. Feeling overpowered makes stress, and stress is a hazard figure for melancholy, ultimately causing you to leave out on most of your productive habits, tasks, etc. Below are a few of the tasks that need to be practiced on a regular basis to avoid disturbance of the mind.

Exercise:

Exercise appears to be an antidepressant in its own way and has the power to treat you like an antidote would. The exertion of the body, on a physical note, allows your mind to divert itself from the other experiences that you practice on a day to day basis. Furthermore, it also withdraws you from the routine stresses while making way for productivity and new ideas. It is a meditative practice which prevents the mind from staying vigilant onto the points that depress you.

Reading:

A positive attitude has to be developed by performing certain tasks or activities with the help of treatments and books. The best kind of treatment or help you can get is through the power of reading.

Open up your mind to a diverse number of scenarios and escape the reality for a while by indulging yourself in some of the most philosophical books that you can get your hands on. It will help you develop an upbeat mindset.

Writing:

Apart from getting a tailored treatment for your specific case of depression, you need to lookout for other tips to get going on the path to happiness. Even if you cannot find the reasons to be happy, you need to uncover the facts that are liable of bringing a smile on your face. In short, you need the eyes to see the silver lining on a cloudy day.

The symptoms can be alleviated with the help of a sleek Black Lamy Fountain Pen and a notebook. Keeping a journal and updating incidents on a daily basis not only marks the struggle of your journey, but also makes you aware of the obstacles that you have overcome.

Since depression is linked to a great deal of other diseases, like heart problems, blood pressure, etc., you need to associate or introduce you to the art of writing to seek new ways of hope for yourself. Until and unless you don’t find your own way out of your depressed world, you will not be able to accomplish anything in life.

However, while you are on the verge of deciding the appropriate treatment for yourself, you need to address the problem by holding a great pen in hand. Simply search for the best pens online and choose the pen of your choice!

The Anxiety and Depression Epidemic and the Spending Disconnect

We keep pouring money into our personal electronic devices like there’s no tomorrow, always wanting more, always wanting the very latest-and schools are no different. In fact, $3.8 billion is spent on classroom technology every year-but 27% of it doesn’t meet any learning goals!

Translation: $1 billion of your ed tech tax dollars are wasted annually.

At the same time, in the name of funding issues, only three states provide kids with at least one school counselor-formerly known as guidance counselors-for every 250 students, as recommended. Equally troubling, just three others have at least one school psychologist for every 750 students, so says federal data.

Put them together and what have you got? Rising rates of anxiety and depression in our young people with not much of a safety net at the ready for them.

Moreover…

  • In a 2019 Pew Research Poll, 70% of surveyed teens agreed that stress, anxiety, and depression are a major problem among their peers.
  • A 2017 American Psychological Association’s Stress in America survey found that 60% of parents worry about social media’s influence on their child’s physical and mental health.
  • A recent NBC News/Survey Monkey poll found that almost 33% of 1,300 parents of 5- to 17-year-olds blamed social media for their children’s mental and emotional health problems.
  • From 2009 to 2017, the CDC says that depression rates for those 14 to 17 rose by more than 60%.
  • According to the National Institute of Mental Health, an estimated 32% of adolescents suffer from an anxiety disorder, with 12% of our 12- to 17-year-olds reporting one major depressive episode in the last year.
  • Between 2005 and 2017, the proportion of teens, 12 to 17, reporting major depressive symptoms rose from 8.7% to 13.2%, according to data from the National Survey of Drug Use and Health.

About such facts and arguing that teens turn to their smartphones as their “preferred social outlet,” San Diego State University psychologist Jean Twenge says, “It suggests that something is seriously wrong in the lives of young people and that whatever went wrong seemed to happen around 2012 or 2013.”

And that’s about the time when, as Twenge notes, smartphones became commonplace and “social media moved from being optional to mandatory among youngsters… What you get is a fundamental shift in how teens spend their leisure time. They are spending less time sleeping, less time with their friends face-to-face… It is not something that happened to their parents… “

University of Southern California Vice Provost for Campus Wellness & Crisis Intervention Varun San adds this: “At the root of it is a sense of disconnection. These are students who are so connected online. These are students that may have 1,000 friends online but struggle to make friends in real life.”

Also of note:

  1. Of the 1,800 19- to 21-year-olds questioned, the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine found that the top 25% of social media users are at greater risk of experiencing depression than the bottom 25%.
  2. The University College London found that teens who use social media more than 5 hours a day showed a 50% increase in depressive symptoms among girls and a 35% jump among boys compared to the 1- to 3-hour users.
  3. According to a UK Millennium Cohort study, 43% of girls said they spend 3 hours or more on social media, as did 21.9% of boys-and 26% of those girls and 21% of those boys had higher depressive scores than those spending less than 3 hours.

And now this just in: An analysis by the National Institutes of Health, the University of Albany, and NYU’s Langone Medical Center found that babies as young as 12 months experience nearly one hour of screen time every day, and 3-year-olds put in more than 150 minutes.

In other words, take heed and set limits, following the American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines that recommend NO screens for babies/toddlers under 18 months, with a gradual add-on between 18 to 24 months, and no more than one hour per day for the 2 to 5 set.

And then tell your kids…

  1. No more than 2 hours a day on any device-other than computer-related homework.
  2. No devices at the dinner table or during quiet homework/study time except for online assignments
  3. No device use one hour before bedtime-too stimulating, plus the blue light wreaks havoc on sleep.
  4. No going to bed with their smartphone in hand. If used as a wake-up alarm, buy an alarm clock instead.

Oh, yes, and follow your own good advice for your own good…