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Mental Health Professionals THINK Nutrition Is YOUR Responsibility

t2013 Mental Health Humor - Mental Health Professionals THINK Nutrition Is YOUR Responsibility  Chato Stewart
Psychiatrist: 800 Pounds! What are you thinking…You should diet soon or something!
Caption: Till then take 50,000 of these peanut shapeded pills a day.

Nutrition |nu·tri·tion| n(y)oˈtriSHən noun: the process of providing or obtaining the food necessary for health and growth.*

Responsibility |re·spon·si·bil·i·ty| riˌspänsəˈbilətē noun: the state or fact of having a duty to deal with something or of having control over someone.*
In Richard Zwolinski very well researched and thought-provoking post Why A New Study About Diet And Mental Health Is Important  he said something that struck me sideways; but honestly true:

Mental health professionals do not have to be experts in nutrition or exercise or other therapies. But we do have to know when to refer our clients to experts in other fields for evaluation and/or treatment. We must take the whole person into account.” 

Thinking about this from the receiving side of services I am a bit worried.  While I do not expect all mental health professionals to be nutrition experts, I would think, no I would hope that professionals had a good handle on nutrition.  Especially if they are prescribing me medications that are known for huge weight gain.  I know Richard “encourages therapy patients to stay emotionally, physically, and spiritually healthy” and he understands the balance between the mind and body and not wasting time.  SEE: Therapy Revolution: Find Help, Get Better, and Move On Without Wasting Time or Money

In the end, our nutrition is our own responsibility even though when I am depressed or in the grasp of a mood swing the last thing I’m thinking about is my nutrition.  In fact, the food I’m eating is most likely feeding and fueling the mood or depression.   When I go to my behavioral health care provider, the first things they do is take my vitals, my weight, plus oxygen, blood pressure then type a few things and ask a few more questions. Then I have 15 minutes with my manager who takes up most of the time brow beating me about my weight-gain and I need to lose weight.  I even had one doctor pressure me into getting information for by-pass surgery.  Then I’m maybe given a prescription for selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), ricyclics, tetracyclics, or monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) all with side-effect some weight gain or triggering an insatiable appetite.

What I think needs to be done, is the mixing of mental health and nutrition taking the “whole person into account” as Richard Zwolinski says.  I’m sure that is available for many with good to moderate insurance, but I’m talking about focusing on us “financially poor” and clinically diagnosed consumers that, like me really have a hard time eating right or lack the knowledge to know how to make a nutritious meal …Three Hotdogs with chili cheese and 1/2 Pizza with 2  fries and 4 sodas and box of Nabisco’s Nutter Butters…may not make the list of nutritious meal. Not long ago, that would have been what I ate when I was depressed.

The study seems to look at if diets affects mental function and cognitive health. I say, I think so, but I DO KNOW FOR CERTAIN, that once diagnosed your mental health and treatment will affect your weight.  Knowing that going into a treatment plan and focusing on nutrition may be what will help speed up your recovery.

Having no knowledge of your nutritional needs for recovery is irresponsible.  We cannot always rely on our health professionals to have a look at the “whole person.Especially since many professionals come for the old school thinking of treat the symptom and move on to the next issues.

*Google Define search {Nutrition and Responsibility}


Mental Health Professionals THINK Nutrition Is YOUR Responsibility

Chato Stewart

Chato Stewart has a mission, to draw and use humor as a positive tool to live, to cope with the debilitating effects symptoms of mental illness. Chato Stewart is a Mental Health Hero and Advocate. Recovery Peer Specialist board-certified in Florida. Chato is the artist behind the cartoons series Mental Health Humor, Over-Medicated, and The Family Stew - seen here in his blog posts. The cartoons are drawn from his personal experience of living with bipolar disorder (and other labels). [email protected]

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APA Reference
Stewart, C. (2013). Mental Health Professionals THINK Nutrition Is YOUR Responsibility. Psych Central. Retrieved on February 22, 2020, from


Last updated: 8 Sep 2013
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