Archives for Nutrition


Can Kefir, An Ancient Sour Drink, Improve Your Mood?

We've blogged about the brain-gut, the microbiome, and the importance of healthy diet to brain health, which includes mental health for a while. And the effects of gut-bacteria when it comes to anxiety  and autism are by now, not surprising.

In the past several months, we've begun to brew kefir, something C.R. did a long time ago back in her yogurt and sourdough days. We're already pretty committed to including traditional-fermented veggies like saurkraut, kimchi, and other pickles in our diet; soaking and sprouting grains; and making sourdough breads. But kefir is in a league all by itself.

Kefir is a fermented drink like beer, wine, and kombucha, but I admit,
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Should Docs Give Psychiatric Meds To Babies?

The news is startling. The New York Times reports:

Almost 20,000 prescriptions for risperidone (commonly known as Risperdal), quetiapine (Seroquel) and other antipsychotic medications were written in 2014 for children 2 and younger, a 50 percent jump from 13,000 just one year before, according to the prescription data company IMS Health. Prescriptions for the antidepressant fluoxetine (Prozac) rose 23 percent in one year, to about 83,000.

Through adolescence, our brains and bodies change in ways science has only just begun to understand. But infants' brains and nervous systems change so rapidly that development can be measured not in years or months, but in weeks. How can we know with any certainty that anti-psychotic medications aren't negatively altering infants' and children's development in dramatic ways?

We can't.

So, why are some doctors prescribing anti-psychotic medications to babies?
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Just as some medical doctors aren’t in tune with the importance of recommending psychotherapeutic evaluations, some psychotherapists aren’t aware of the importance of recommending medical evaluations.

Sadly, I would say this is often the case. Illnesses that should be treated medically can sometimes masquerade as emotional problems.

For example, a condition such as mitral- valve prolapse (a common disorder where the valve between the heart's heart’s left upper chamber and the left lower chamber doesn't doesn’t close properly) can cause symptoms of anxiety, including heart palpitations.
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Therapists: Could A Medical Condition Be The Cause Of Your Client’s Mental Illness?

A well-trained and dedicated medical doctor will consider whether or not there is an emotional component possibly triggering a physical issue, such as stress in the case of fatigue. But often, those in the mental health field, especially psychotherapists, might not evaluate and rule out medical or other issues in the case of a client presenting with a mental illness.

In training sessions with interns and therapists-in-training, I emphasize the importance of doing a comprehensive evaluation before diagnosing—and doing therapy with—a client. I explain that when it comes to a mental health evaluation it is as vital for therapists to determine which factors are contributing to or causing mental illness, whether that mental illness is mild or more severe.

Yet many therapists jump right into talk therapy at the first or second visit; not everyone in private practice examines medical records or asks their clients to get blood-work done.
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Stress, Depression, & The Bacteria In Your Gut

We've blogged about the Brain-Gut and it's relation to the Austism spectrum disorders; now the "microbiome", a term coined by an American molecular biologist, which means "the ecological community of commensal, symbiotic, and pathogenic microorganisms that literally share our body space" is the trending way to describe the relational system that may have an impact on virtually every facet of our mental and physical being.

In this fascinating video, Professor John F. Cryan's of University College Cork...
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Vegans, Vitamin B12 & Depression, Top 10 Controversial Posts

C.R. writes: As someone who used to be vegetarian and even vegan for many years in my past, I remember being leery of people telling me my diet might be lacking certain nutrients. I'd point to studies which showed how healthy a balanced and well-thought out vegetarian diet was.

Was my diet balanced and well-thought out? Only occasionally.

This week we got a comment on a post (
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The Incredible Brain-Gut Link & Your Diet

By now, we all know that our digestive tracts are packed with beneficial and not-so-beneficial bacteria that form part of our inner habitat.

What you may not know is that these bacteria act on and influence a range of seemingly strictly-mental functions.

The latest: A new study, reported here on PsychCentral, shows that the bacteria in our guts actually influence which foods we choose to eat. These bacteria outnumber our own cells as much as...
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Emotional Instability: Help For Borderline Traits

We're continuing our discussion about borderline personality traits with author Debbie Corso of DBT Path. I

In these posts, Debbie will give us insight into self-sabotaging behaviors as well as practical skills that can help us move forward.

Today we're discussing the trait of emotional instability.

This is one of the primary symptoms I suffered from and quite common.

Being extremely emotionally sensitive, and not having tools to manage the intense effect which even minor events can have on our emotions, results in emotional instability. This may include mood swings, impulsiveness, and often, an inability to follow through on things such as goals, school, and work.

People with this trait feel like they're at the mercy of their emotions.
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Vitamin “S” Prevents Depression

A God In Therapy Post...

Wouldn't it be wonderful if you could pop a vitamin and stave off depression? Research shows that supplements ranging from fish oil to Vitamin B12 may be helpful to depression, but what ultimately emerges from such studies is the fact that there isn't one magic bullet.

A more holistic approach, using a combination of therapies in a personalized treatment plan for each individual, is what we recommend. Talk therapy using one or more methods, diet and nutrition, exercise, group therapy, and medication are all options.

But no matter the treatment approaches used, we always recommend one particular, yet underused, modality be included:
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