Yes, You Are Lovable With Depression and Anxiety

If you worry that your anxiety or depression will limit your chances for relationships, you’re not alone. Many people are concerned that having a psychological condition—especially a chronic one—might make them unattractive to other people. How am I going to find friends or a partner when I’m dealing with depression or anxiety? Who’s going to want to sign up for this?The fear of rejection can make you think that your only option is to hide your condition – that if you tell the truth, people will leave. But, most people aren’t looking for perfection from you—they want honesty. Honesty is the foundation of relationships and true intimacy. And rather than your struggles being a deal breaker, the person likely will recognize them as a single aspect of who you are.

I’ve heard many of my patients describe their relief to find that dating partners were not put off when they acknowledged their condition. Partners who are familiar with anxiety and depression may understand the strength it takes to keep going. They might even live with these conditions themselves, given how common they are.

But what if they’re not accepting of you – what if, for them, it is a deal breaker? It’s true that not everyone will have a positive response to mental health conditions. But if this happens, or has happened to you already, remember that other people’s choices do not define you. If someone can’t see past your struggles, that says a lot more about who they are than it says about you. And just because that one particular person was not comfortable with your condition doesn’t mean that everyone will have the same response.

Still, when someone reacts negatively to you, it hurts. For many people, this kind of rejection can trigger automatic thoughts, like I’ll always be alone, that may feel true in the moment but are not based in reality. Watch out for related thoughts that might pop up in this area, such as:

  • Being anxious and depressed means I’m unlovable.
  • I don’t deserve to be happy.
  • Love is for other people; it won’t ever happen for me.
  • I’m too broken to ever be loved.
  • Nobody wants me around.
And perhaps the most disturbing thought of all: No one would miss me if I died. This belief is common among those thinking about ending their own lives, and is patently false. Don’t believe it—more people than you realize love and appreciate you, and would be devasted if you ended your life. The people who care about you need you, just as you are. (If you do have suicidal thoughts, please reach out for help: call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK or text 741741 to connect with a counselor at Crisis Text Line)As with any problematic thoughts, start by recognizing them as thoughts that may or may not be true. Then share them with someone who cares about you and knows you well. They’ll be able to point out where you’re being too hard on yourself. If you haven’t already, also seek out the support of a qualified professional—someone who can work with you not only on the symptoms you’re having but on any harsh self-judgments.

Going through anxiety or depression or any other psychological condition doesn’t make you unlovable—it makes you human. And we love the person who trusts us enough to show us their humanity. Chances are there are people right now who are more willing to love you than you even know. Why not let them?

Apologizing All the Time Could Be a Sign of Anxiety

The urge is often involuntary—and has little to do with actual remorse.


From a young age, people are taught that when they fuck up, they should apologize. But it’s one thing to express regret for being late to a party and another to apologize for what you decided to wear, or for eating too loudly, or for being in the way, or even for apologizing too much.

Apologies aren’t always helpful—and sometimes they can be excessive. This behavior may stem from anxiety or depression, although research on the topic is scarce. What we do know is that, for some, the urge to say “I’m sorry” for every little thing is involuntary and often has little to do with actual remorse.

“Depending on the purpose of the behavior and the context in which it is occurring, it could be conceptualized as a safety behavior, an overprotective behavior, or compensatory strategy,” says Martin Antony, director of the Anxiety Research and Treatment Lab at Ryerson University. “All of these are terms used to describe behaviors that are designed to protect an individual from aversive emotions or potential threat.”

Apologizing, an action that carries a lot of significance amongst humans, serves an important social function. It can show recognition and value for broken rules and, as the researchers at University of Florida put it, “minimize the negative repercussions of the incident and repair the actor’s damaged identity.”

But when anxiety gets in the way, apologizing can have the opposite effect. “I worry about always saying and doing the right thing,” says Kirsten Corley, a writer who classifies herself as a compulsive apologist. “When you suddenly reevaluate the situation and you realize ‘Oh, I could have said this differently, I could have done this differently,’ it triggers you to want to apologize, it triggers you to want to better the situation.”

In a blog post titled, “Anxiety Makes Me Want To Apologize For Absolutely Everything,” Corley listed the many things she sometimes says sorry about: “Thinking too much, talking too much, texting too much, trying entirely too hard, caring too much, showing it, coming on too strong, if I did. Apologize for the fact that I apologized.”

Over-apologizing can also be an indicator of more serious issues. Susan Heitler, a Denver-based clinical psychologist and author of Prescription Without Pills, says excessive apologizing can occur because of a hyperactive amygdala (the part of the brain that regulates emotions), or in unsafe relationships involving physical or verbal abuse.

“In that case, they may have learned the pattern as a way to stay safe,” Heitler says. “In an abusive relationship, if she’ll say, ‘Oh, I’m so sorry, I shouldn’t have done that,’ he feels scot-free and vindicated that what he wanted was right, so he’ll let go of it potentially. So it’s a safety maneuver.”

On the other hand, people with narcissistic personality disorder rarely, if ever, apologize, Heitler says. So there’s a balance to be found, and when done right, apologies can be extremely healthy. Bilateral, two-sided apologies—when both members of a couple recognize their role in conflict—can be signs of a highly functional relationship.

“It also predicts a relationship that will continue to be very strong and positive over time, because the couple has the ability to self-correct, learn and grow, and to heal breaches,” Heitler explains. While excessively apologizing may sometimes be a reflex, it’s not exactly a tic in the formal sense, “unless they are doing it as part of OCD [obsessive-compulsive disorder],” Antony explains.

Because this isn’t a neurologically engendered action, that means it’s possible for those afflicted with unrestrained guilt to amend this habit over time.

“If it was important for someone to reduce this behavior, the treatment would involve strategies for becoming more aware of the behavior, preventing the behavior, and providing people with other, more adaptive responses that they can use instead,” Antony says. “The treatment would likely occur as part of a broader treatment for whatever problem is leading to the excessive apologizing.”

It may also be helpful to consider the “spotlight effect,” the psychological sense that others are keeping close note of our failures. In reality, many people are too inwardly focused on themselves to notice or care much about the details you tend to overemphasize in your mind. Putting things in perspective can relax this reflex.

As Corley puts it, “If you’re caught in a moment where you really are being yourself and then anxiety kicks in and makes you question who you are, take a step back and say, ‘I don’t need to apologize for this.’”

‘Hangxiety’: why alcohol gives you a hangover and anxiety

A few drinks can relax you – but, says scientist David Nutt, that morning-after feeling is the booze playing tricks with your brain
Want to avoid ‘hangxiety? Then drink less
Want to avoid ‘hangxiety? Then drink less.

If you are looking forward to your first stiff drink after a dry January, be warned: it may feel bittersweet. You may feel you deserve an alcoholic beverage after toughing it out all month – but have you forgotten what it feels like to wake up haunted by worries about what you said or did the night before? These post-drinking feelings of guilt and stress have come to be known colloquially as “hangxiety”. But what causes them?

David Nutt, professor of neuropsychopharmacology at Imperial College, London, is the scientist who was fired in 2009 as the government’s chief drug adviser for saying alcohol is more dangerous than ecstasy and LSD. I tell him I have always assumed my morning-after mood was a result of my brain having shrivelled like a raisin through alcohol-induced dehydration. When Nutt explains the mechanics of how alcohol causes crippling anxiety, he paints an even more offputting picture.

Alcohol, he says, targets the Gaba (gamma-aminobutyric acid) receptor, which sends chemical messages through the brain and central nervous system to inhibit the activity of nerve cells. Put simply, it calms the brain, reducing excitement by making fewer neurons fire. “Alcohol stimulates Gaba, which is why you get relaxed and cheerful when you drink,” explains Nutt.

The first two drinks lull you into a blissful Gaba-induced state of chill. When you get to the third or fourth drink, another brain-slackening effect kicks in: you start blocking glutamate, the main excitatory transmitter in the brain. “More glutamate means more anxiety,” says Nutt. “Less glutamate means less anxiety.” This is why, he says, “when people get very drunk, they’re even less anxious than when they’re a bit drunk” – not only does alcohol reduce the chatter in your brain by stimulating Gaba, but it further reduces your anxiety by blocking glutamate. In your blissed-out state, you will probably feel that this is all good – but you will be wrong.

The body registers this new imbalance in brain chemicals and attempts to put things right. It is a little like when you eat a lot of sweets and your body goes into insulin-producing overdrive to get the blood sugar levels down to normal; as soon as the sweets have been digested, all that insulin causes your blood sugar to crash. When you are drunk, your body goes on a mission to bring Gaba levels down to normal and turn glutamate back up. When you stop drinking, therefore, you end up with unnaturally low Gaba function and a spike in glutamate – a situation that leads to anxiety, says Nutt. “It leads to seizures as well, which is why people have fits in withdrawal.”

It can take the brain a day or two to return to the status quo, which is why a hair of the dog is so enticing. “If you drank an awful lot for a long time,” says Nutt, “it might take weeks for the brain to readapt. In alcoholics, we’ve found changes in Gaba for years.”

To add to the misery, the anxiety usually kicks in while you are trying to sleep off the booze. “If you measure sleep when people are drunk, they go off to sleep fast. They go into a deeper sleep than normal, which is why they sometimes wet the bed or have night terrors. Then, after about four hours, the withdrawal kicks in – that’s when you wake up all shaky and jittery.”

Imbalances in Gaba and glutamate are not the only problem. Alcohol also causes a small rise in noradrenaline – known as the fight-or-flight hormone. “Noradrenaline suppresses stress when you first take it, and increases it in withdrawal,” says Nutt. “Severe anxiety can be considered a surge of noradrenaline in the brain.”

Another key cause of hangxiety is being unable to remember the mortifying things you are sure you must have said or done while inebriated – another result of your compromised glutamate levels. “You need glutamate to lay down memories,” says Nutt, “and once you’re on the sixth or seventh drink, the glutamate system is blocked, which is why you can’t remember things.”

If this isn’t ringing any bells, it may be because hangxiety does not affect us all equally, as revealed by a study published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences. Researchers quizzed healthy young people about their levels of anxiety before, during and the morning after drinking alcohol. According to one of the authors, Celia Morgan, professor of psychopharmacology at the University of Exeter: “The people who were more shy had much higher levels of anxiety [the following day] than the people who weren’t shy.” The team also found a correlation between having bad hangxiety and the chance of having an alcohol use disorder. “Maybe it’s playing a role in keeping problematic drinking going,” says Morgan.

One theory as to why very shy people might be more at risk of hangxiety and alcoholism is the possibility that alcohol’s seesaw effect on Gaba levels is more pronounced in them. Their baseline Gaba levels may be lower to start with, says Morgan. “It could also be a psychological effect – people who are more highly anxious are more prone to rumination, going over thoughts about the night before, so that’s another potential mechanism.”

However, the study’s findings have wider implications – after all, most drinkers lean on alcohol as social lubrication to some degree.

The bad news is that there seems to be little you can do to avoid hangxiety other than to drink less, and perhaps take painkillers – they will at least ease your headache. “Theoretically, ibuprofen would be better than paracetamol,” says Nutt, “because it’s more anti-inflammatory – but we don’t know how much of the hangover is caused by inflammation. It’s something we’re working on, trying to measure that.”

Morgan suggests trying to break the cycle. “Before drinking in a social situation you feel anxious in, try fast-forwarding to the next day when you’ll have much higher anxiety levels. If you can’t ride that out without drinking, the worry is that you will get stuck in this cycle of problematic drinking where your hangxiety is building and building over time. Drinking might fix social anxiety in the short term, but in the long term it might have pretty detrimental consequences.” Exposure therapy is a common treatment for phobias, where you sit with your fear in order to help you overcome it. “By drinking alcohol, people aren’t giving themselves a chance to do that,” says Morgan.

But there might be hope for the future. Nutt is involved in a project to develop a drink that takes the good bits of alcohol and discards the damaging or detrimental effects. “Alcosynth”, as it is currently called, drowns your sorrows in the same way as alcohol, but without knocking the Gaba and glutamate out of kilter. “We’re in the second stage of fundraising to take it through to a product,” he says. “The industry knows [alcohol] is a toxic substance. If it was discovered today, it would be illegal as a foodstuff.”

Until Alcosynth reaches the market, Nutt says his “strong” message is: “Never treat hangxiety with a hair of the dog. When people start drinking in the mornings to get over their hangxiety, then they’re in the cycle of dependence. It’s a very slippery slope.”

Panic Attacks and Anxiety Linked to Low Vitamin B and Iron Levels

If you suffer from anxiety or develop occasional panic attacks marked by bouts of hyperventilation, you could merely be experiencing the side effects of an underlying nutrient deficiency that is easily correctable. This definitely appears to have been the case with 21 people who participated in a recent study based out of Japan, which identified a lack of both vitamin B6 and iron among participants who experienced panic or hyperventilation attacks.

The relatively small study evaluated nutrient levels among a group of participants with varying degrees of anxiety and frequencies of panic and hyperventilation attacks, some of which resulted in emergency room visits. A control group was also evaluated, and its participants’ nutrient levels compared to those of the primary group.

Upon evaluation, researchers noted that both vitamin B6 and iron were lacking in the subjects with anxiety and hyperventilation issues, while those in the healthy group had adequate levels of these important nutrients. B vitamins and iron are particularly important for the synthesis of tryptophan into serotonin, a neurotransmitter that regulates not only mood and mental stability, but also sleep and cardiovascular function.

“These results suggest that low serum concentrations of vitamin B6 and iron are involved in PA (panic attacks) and HVA (hyperventilation),” wrote the authors in their study conclusion. “Further studies are needed to clarify the mechanisms involved in such differences.”

You can read the full study, which was published in the Japanese journal Acta Medica Okayama, here:

Supplementing with whole food-based vitamins may promote better mental health

Though this particular study did not identify a link between general deficiencies of other B vitamins like B2 and B12 and high frequency or intensity of panic attacks, all B vitamins are important for healthy brain and bodily function. A deficiency in any B vitamins, in other words, can lead to mental health problems, which is why it is important to keep your levels in check.

“Chronic stress, poor diet, and certain medical conditions can deplete the body’s stores of vital nutrients,” explains one source about the important of B vitamins. “Many of those who suffer from agoraphobia (fear of crowded spaces or enclosed public places) are deficient in certain B complex vitamins, and this may be the case for other anxiety-related conditions as well. Symptoms of vitamin B deficiency may include anxiety, restlessness, fatigue, irritability, and emotional instability.”

If you are looking to supplement with B vitamins, be sure to purchase only whole food-based varieties like those produced by companies like MegaFood and Garden of Life. Whole food-based supplements of any kind are not only better absorbed by the body than their synthetic counterparts, but they are also healthier than standard, run of the mill vitamins and better capable of providing optimal therapeutic benefit.

“Vitamins are made up of several different components – enzymes, co-enzymes, and co-factors – that must work together to produce their intended biologic effects,” explains Dr. Ben Kim. “The majority of vitamins that are sold in pharmacies, grocery stores, and vitamin shops are synthetic vitamins, which are only isolated portions of the vitamins that occur naturally in food.”


8 Reasons You’re Waking Up Mid-Sleep, and How to Fix Them

Talk about a rude awakening.
woman laying in bed at night on her cell phone

One minute you’re snoozing peacefully, the next you’re wide awake in the dead of night. Sound familiar? Unless you’re blessed enough to conk out like the most determined of logs, you may have experienced this form of sleeplessness before. Waking up during the night isn’t uncommon—a study of 8,937 people in Sleep Medicine estimates that about a third of American adults wake up in the night at least three times a week, and over 40 percent of that group might have trouble falling asleep again (this is sometimes referred to as sleep maintenance insomnia).

So, what’s causing you to wake up in the middle of the night, and how can you stop it from happening? Here are eight common reasons, plus what you can do to get a good night’s rest.

1. Your room is too hot, cold, noisy, or bright.

Your arousal threshold—meaning how easy it is for something to wake you up—varies depending on what sleep stage you’re in, Rita Aouad, M.D., a sleep medicine physician at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, tells SELF.

When you sleep, your body cycles through different sleep stages: 1, 2, 3, 4, and rapid-eye movement (REM). (Some schools of thought lump together stages 3 and 4.) The first stage of sleep is the lightest, Dr. Aouad explains. That’s when you’re most likely to startle awake because a door slams, a passing car’s headlights shine into your window, or because of some other environmental factor like your room being too hot or cold.

Ideally, your room should be dark, comfortably cool, and quiet when you sleep. This might not all be under your control, but do what you can, like using earplugs and an eye mask to block out errant noise and light, or buying a fan if your room is stifling.

2. You have anxiety.

Anxiety can absolutely wake you up at night,” Nesochi Okeke-Igbokwe, M.D., a physician in New York, tells SELF. In fact, trouble sleeping is one of the most common symptoms of an anxiety disorder, according to the Mayo Clinic. That’s because you can experience anxiety-induced issues that are severe enough to rouse you, like a galloping heartbeat or nightmares.

“Additionally, there are people who may experience what are called nocturnal panic attacks, meaning they may have transient episodes of intense panic that wake them up from their slumber,” Dr. Okeke-Igbokwe says.

If your anxiety regularly wakes you up, Dr. Okeke-Igbokwe recommends mentioning it to your doctor, who should be able to help you get a handle on any underlying anxiety or panic disorder at play. Doing so may involve cognitive behavioral therapy, anti-anxiety medication, or a combination of the two. “Meditation and deep-breathing exercises can also sometimes alleviate symptoms in some people,” Dr. Okeke-Igbokwe says.

3. Your full bladder can’t wait until the morning.

Nocturia—a condition that’s generally viewed as getting up to pee at least once during the night, though some experts say that’s not often enough to qualify—appears to be fairly common. A study in the International Neurourology Journal found that out of the 856 people surveyed, around 23 percent of women and 29 percent of men experienced nocturia.

Causes of nocturia include drinking too much fluid before bedtime, urinary tract infections, and an overactive bladder, per the Cleveland Clinic. Untreated type 1 or type 2 diabetes may also be a factor; having too much sugar in your bloodstream forces your body to extract fluid from your tissues, making you thirsty and possibly prompting you to drink and pee more, according to the Mayo Clinic.

If cutting back on your evening fluid intake doesn’t reduce your number of nightly bathroom trips, consult a doctor for other possible explanations.

4. You had a couple of alcoholic drinks.

Sure, alcohol can make it easy to drift off—even when you’re, say, on a friend’s couch instead of tucked into your bed—but it also has a tendency to cause fitful sleep. This is because alcohol can play around with your sleep stages in various ways. For instance, it seems as though alcohol is associated with more stage 1 sleep than usual in the second half of the night. Remember, stage 1 sleep is the period in which you’re most likely to wake up due to environmental factors. So if you’re looking for quality, sleep-through-the-night rest, it’s worth taking a look at how much alcohol you’re consuming.

Everyone metabolizes alcohol differently depending on factors like genetics, diet, and body size. However, Alexea Gaffney Adams, M.D., a board-certified internist at Stony Brook Medicine, recommends that people stop drinking at least three hours before going to bed to give their bodies time to process the alcohol. Since drinking often happens at night, we realize that can be an optimistic time cushion. Based on your personal factors and how much you drank, you might not need that much. But having some kind of buffer—and drinking plenty of water so you’re more likely to booze in moderation—may prevent alcohol from interfering with your sleep.

Also, Dr. Gaffney Adams notes that drinking alcohol too soon before bed will make you need to pee, increasing the likelihood you’ll wake up in the night to use the bathroom. Double whammy, that one.

5. You’ve got sleep apnea.

If you find yourself jolting awake and feeling like you need to catch your breath, sleep apnea might be the culprit. This disorder slows and/or stops your breathing while you are asleep.

If you have obstructive sleep apnea, the muscles in your throat relax too much, which narrows your airway, causing your oxygen levels to drop, the Mayo Clinic explains. If you have central sleep apnea, your brain doesn’t send the right signals to the muscles controlling your breathing, again causing this potentially harmful drop in oxygen. Complex sleep apnea features characteristics of both conditions.

To diagnose sleep apnea, your doctor may have you do an overnight sleep study that monitors your breathing, according to the Mayo Clinic. The most common treatment for sleep apnea is a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine, which is basically a mask you wear during sleep to help keep your airways open, but your doctor can help you explore the alternatives if necessary.

6. You have an overactive thyroid gland.

“This gland controls the function of several other organs,” Dr. Gaffney Adams tells SELF. When it’s overactive (also called hyperthyroidism), it creates too much of the hormone thyroxine, which can have ripple effects on many different systems in your body, according to the Mayo Clinic. Common symptoms of an overactive thyroid include trouble sleeping, an increased heart rate, sweating (including at night), anxiety, tremors, and more.

Your primary care physician or an endocrinologist (a doctor specializing in hormones) can test your blood to evaluate your hormone levels. If you do have an overactive thyroid, your doctor can walk you through the potential ways of treating it, including medications to slow your thyroid’s hormone production and beta blockers to reduce symptoms like a wild heartbeat.

7. You ate right before bedtime, or you didn’t eat recently enough before you went to sleep.

“Eating too heavy of a meal too close to bedtime can make it difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep,” Dr. Aouad says. One potential reason behind this is acid reflux, which is when your stomach acid moves up into your throat and causes painful nighttime heartburn. And if you eat food right before bed that makes you gassy, the resulting abdominal pain could drag you out of dreamland, too.

On the flip side, going too long without eating before you sleep can also cause this type of insomnia, Dr. Aouad says. There’s the simple fact that your growling, crampy stomach can wake you up. Hunger could also mess with your blood sugar while you sleep, especially if you have diabetes. Going too long without eating can provoke hypoglycemia, which is when your blood sugar drops too low. This can lead to restless sleep, per the Cleveland Clinic, along with issues like weakness or shaking, dizziness, and confusion. Although hypoglycemia can happen to anyone, it’s much more likely in people with diabetes. If you have the condition, work with your doctor on a plan for keeping your blood sugar stable, including during sleep.

8. You have restless legs syndrome.

Restless legs syndrome, or RLS, may make your lower extremities feel like they are throbbing, itching, aching, pulling, or crawling, among other sensations, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). If you have RLS, you’ll also feel an uncontrollable urge to move your legs. These symptoms are most common during the evening and night and become more intense during periods of inactivity, like…you guessed it, sleep.

Experts aren’t totally sure what causes RLS, but it seems as though there’s a hereditary factor in the mix, according to the NINDS. Researchers are also investigating how issues with dopamine, a neurotransmitter your muscles need to work correctly, may cause RLS. Sometimes there are other underlying issues bringing about RLS as well, such as iron deficiency.

After diagnosing you with RLS via questions and lab exams, your doctor may prescribe medications to increase your dopamine levels or other drugs, such as muscle relaxants. They may also be able to counsel you on home remedies to soothe your muscles, like warm baths.

To sum it up, there are a bunch of possible reasons you are waking up at night. Some are pretty easy to change on your own, others not so much.

If you think all you need to do to fix this is tweak a habit, like falling asleep with the TV on or chugging a liter of water before bed, start there. If you’ve done everything you can think of and still don’t see a change, it’s worth mentioning your nighttime wakeups to an expert who can help you stay put after you drift off.


TRUE CAUSES of the top 6 preventable diseases – plus remedies


Image: TRUE CAUSES of the top 6 preventable diseases – plus remedies

Do you realize that all of the preventable diseases that U.S. medical doctors can’t seem to cure are ones they now refer to as genetic, meaning you inherited them? But that’s next to impossible, since those same diseases barely existed in America just five generations ago. It all started with chemical medicine made in laboratories, then came processed, canned food, then fluoridated water, then vaccines, and now GMOs. It’s all one big formula that feeds the chronic sick care system of disease and disorder. What most people fail to realize is that most of it is NOT inherited, but rather preventable and even reversible. Consider this:

The American allopathic system of medicine relies on two major platforms in order to remain in business. Part one: Never cure anything, but only address and manage symptoms of disease and disorder with lab-made concoctions and surgery. Part two: Tell all patients that any serious disease or disorder they have is genetic and has been inherited from their parents’ or grandparents’ genes, so the “victim” (allopathic patient for life) won’t ever figure out that they can prevent (and often reverse) these diseases and disorders with nutritional remedies.

Want to prevent (and cure) conventional food diseases? Limit your “junk science” intake and focus on nutrients. Here are the top six preventable diseases with information on how to remedy them, naturally.

#1. Cancer

Hardly any type of cancer is inherited or contagious. Almost all types of cancer are caused by chemical consumption, and conversely can be prevented and even reversed by ending chemical consumption. Cancer is not actually a disease. It’s called that to scare Americans into going to medical doctors for prescriptions, surgery, chemotherapy and radiation treatments. This is big business. Doctors and surgeons get paid hundreds of thousands of dollars yearly, whether you get better or whether you suffer more and die at their hands. More people die each year from chemotherapy than from cancer, by the way.

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Cancer is a disorder of the cells that feeds off chemicals in food, including artificial food colorings, artificial sweeteners, bleach (think of all white foods), fluoride (tap water), nitrates, and chemicals in cooking oils. You can reverse cancer by alkalizing the body with organic produce, properly filtered water, and a daily handful of the right supplements.

Look into garlic, licorice root, cool cayenne, oil of oregano, aloe, vitamin C, vitamin D, medicinal mushrooms, hemp seed oil, blackcurrant seed oil, and even CBD oils. The answer will then be “in your hands.”

#2. Heart Disease and Strokes

Most cases of heart disease and strokes are caused by blood becoming clogged, preventing blood from flowing properly, thus limiting the right amount of oxygen from reaching the rest of your body, including your brain. Top causes of these totally preventable and curable “diseases” are canola oil (yes, even organic), animal fat from meat and dairy products, vegetable shortening, and America’s beloved margarine.

Switch to a mainly plant-based diet immediately and engage in moderate exercise and watch those problems dissipate within months, if not weeks.

#3. Dementia

The main causes of dementia are foods that coagulate and heavy metal toxins, including aluminum and mercury. Refer to the “food stuff” covered in #2 above. Toxic amounts of aluminum are commonly found in antacids, vaccines, deodorants, antiperspirants, and tap water. Mercury is found in shockingly high amounts in multi-dose flu vaccines that are recommended by the CDC for 6-month young infants and pregnant women, even though the CDC lied and said mercury was “removed from all childhood vaccines” nearly two decades ago.

Medical doctors never warn their patients about vaccines causing dementia because vaccines are the “holy grail” of the Western chronic sick care “management” Ponzi scheme. Eat clean (organic, non-processed foods) and look into evidence-based “brain foods” and nutrients like coconut oil, avocados, kale, dark chocolate, berries, vitamin B12, and omega 3s.

#4. Anxiety and Depression

Make no mistake, most anxiety and depression are caused by consuming dangerous chemicals found in common, conventional foods today, including aspartame, MSG (monosodium glutamate), and pesticides. Pesticide is the “mother” name for all chemicals engineered into food (GMOs) and all chemical insecticides and herbicides sprayed onto crops and produce, including Roundup.

Nearly all medical doctors and psychiatrists blame all anxiety and depression on genes so they can continue to medicate their patients for life. Easy money. Look into Mucuna Pruriens (raise dopamine levels naturally), St. John’s Wort, and dark organic chocolate.

#5. Chronic Inflammation

Got that constant ringing in your ears? Got achy joints? Got excess mucus and chronic congestion? Got arthritis? Got irritable bowels? You’re suffering from chronic inflammation. Get off all that conventional gluten and switch to an organic, plant-based diet immediately. Make sure you drink lots of properly filtered water (or spring water).

#6. Obesity

Another disorder that M.D.s love to say is genetic is obesity. Visit a naturopathic physician instead of those allopathic quacks who never studied a lick of nutrition in medical school. No amount of surgery or chemicals could ever cure your junk food disorder. Switch to an organic, plant-based diet and exercise for 20 minutes a day.

Accumulating evidence suggests curcumin and turmeric can treat psychiatric disorders

Living with a psychiatric disorder can be devastating for both sufferers and their loved ones. Unfortunately, many of the solutions offered by modern medicine do more harm than good while offering little in the way of relief. Thankfully, researchers have discovered that a compound in the popular Indian spice turmeric has the potential to effectively treat psychiatric disorders like bipolar disorder and depression.

You may have heard the fanfare about turmeric’s anti-inflammatory properties, which it gets from a compound within the spice known as curcumin. It has long been used in traditional Chinese medicine and has been gaining popularity in Western medicine in recent years. This polyphenol is being revered for its protective, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, and is being used to help fight cancer and stop the cognitive decline of neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s. Non-toxic and affordable, it’s showing a lot of promise in helping deal with many of the health problems facing people today.

Image: Accumulating evidence suggests curcumin and turmeric can treat psychiatric disorders

The same anti-inflammatory qualities that make it so good at addressing issues like arthritis can also extend to mood disorders. Not only does it reduce levels of tumor necrosis factor alpha and inflammatory interleukin-1 beta, but it also reduces salivary cortisol concentrations while raising the levels of plasma brain-derived neurotrophic factor.

A study carried out by researchers at Australia’s Murdoch University found that curcumin extracts reduced people’s anxiety and depression scores. They noted that it was particularly effective at alleviating anxiety. Moreover, even low doses of the spice extract were effective in addressing depression. In addition, the researchers found it worked quite well on those with atypical depression, which is a marker of bipolar depression.

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Growing evidence of curcumin’s usefulness in addressing psychiatric disorders

Curcumin has been found in other studies to be just as effective as one of the most popular SSRI antidepressants on the market, Prozac, making it an excellent option for those who wish to avoid the negative side effects of this psychiatric medication. It works by raising levels of dopamine and serotonin, two vital neurotransmitters related to depression. In addition, because depression is believed to be caused by chronic inflammation, it makes sense that curcumin’s ability to reduce inflammation could alleviate depression.

Interestingly, studies have also found that when curcumin is taken either alone or with saffron, it reduces the symptoms of anxiety and depression in those suffering from major depressive disorder. When taken alongside the herb fenugreek, meanwhile, it can reduce fatigue, stress and anxiety in those with extreme occupational stress. Curcumin supplementation has also been shown to significantly improve compulsiveness and memory loss in those with obsessive-compulsive disorder.

It’s also worth noting that curcumin can be taken alongside antidepressants safely; studies have even shown taking the two together can enhance their effectiveness. However, it’s important to keep in mind that antidepressants carry a lot of risks, so it’s worth exploring whether curcumin alone could be enough to alleviate an individual’s depression.

The idea of curcumin helping with mood is supported by a study that was published in the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry earlier this year. In that study, researchers found that participants who took curcumin supplements noted mood improvements, and they plan to explore this connection in a study of patients with depression. The researchers expressed optimism that curcumin could be a safe way to provide people with cognitive benefits; they also discovered the spice can improve memory.

Now, researchers are looking for ways to increase curcumin’s bioavailability so that people can enjoy the benefits of this all-star natural treatment. In the meantime, be sure to add black pepper to your dishes when cooking with turmeric or look for curcumin supplements that contain piperine, a black pepper extract, as this boosts its bioavailability.

Arthritis Tied to Higher Risk for Anxiety, Depression

More than one fifth (22%) of adults with arthritis have anxiety, and 12% report depression, a national survey shows. Overall, 10.3 million adults with arthritis reported symptoms of anxiety, depression, or both.

Symptoms of anxiety and depression were much more likely among younger adults, patients with chronic pain or other chronic comorbidities, and those who could not work or who had disabilities.

“The high prevalence of symptoms of anxiety and depression among adults with arthritis warrants awareness, screening, and subsequent treatment of these conditions. Health care providers can refer patients to mental health professionals and self-management education programs, and encourage physical activity to reduce anxiety and depression symptoms and improve quality of life,” the authors write.

Dana Guglielmo, MPH, from the Division of Population Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education, Tennessee, and colleagues report their findings in an article published online October 4 in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

The researchers analyzed data from 93,442 participants who completed the 2015-2017 National Health Interview Survey to estimate the national prevalence of clinically relevant symptoms of anxiety and depression among adults aged 18 years and older with arthritis.

Approximately half of the participants (n = 46,742) were randomly chosen to complete the Adult Functioning and Disability supplement during the study. Patients were considered to have arthritis if they responded “yes” to the question, “Have you ever been told by a doctor or other healthcare professional that you have arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, lupus, or fibromyalgia?”

The survey supplement included questions about anxiety and depression symptoms. Respondents were classified as having these symptoms if their symptoms occurred daily or weekly and if the intensity of their symptoms was “a lot” or “in between a little and a lot” the last time they occurred.

“These definitions identified adults whose symptoms would likely meet Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V) diagnostic criteria and also would be clinically managed, which are referred to in this report as ‘clinically relevant,’ although these definitions are not clinical diagnoses,” the researchers explain.

Age-standardized prevalences of anxiety and depression symptoms were 22.5% (95% confidence interval [CI], 20.8 – 24.3) and 12.1% (95% CI, 10.8 – 13.4), respectively, among those with arthritis, compared with 10.7% (95% CI, 10.2 – 11.2) and 4.7% (95% CI, 4.4 – 5.0) among those without arthritis.

Symptoms were more likely among women than men; among respondents who were unemployed, unable to work, or disabled compared with adults who were employed; and among those who identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or “other” than among participants who identified as heterosexual.

In addition, higher symptom prevalences were seen among adults who reported chronic pain and arthritis-attributable activity limitations and increased with the number of chronic comorbidities, increasing psychological distress, and worsening self-rated health. Symptom prevalences were also higher among those who currently smoked cigarettes compared with those who had never smoked.

By contrast, symptoms were less likely among those with higher educational and income-to-poverty ratios. Symptom prevalences were lower among those who reported engaging in aerobic physical activity compared with inactive adults.

Patients with arthritis who had anxiety symptoms (44.3%; 95% CI, 40.4 – 48.3) were less likely to take medications than those with symptoms of depression (57.7%; 95% CI, 52.4 – 62.9). Just over one third (34.3%; 95% CI, 30.3 – 38.1) of patients with anxiety symptoms and 42.8% (95% CI, 37.7 – 48.1) of those with depression symptoms reported speaking with a mental health professional during the past 12 months.

Previously published research has shown an association between arthritis and poorer adherence to treatment for depression, and a survey from 2000-2001 found that almost 1 in 5 patients with arthritis and major depression said they had considered suicide during the past year.

Among patients with both arthritis and chronic pain, 31.2% reported symptoms of anxiety, and 18.7% reported symptoms of depression. The authors point to a possible link between chronic pain and anxiety or depression, which may make physical and mental health management more difficult for patients with arthritis.

Clinic-based rheumatic disease studies found that both anxiety and depression were associated with poorer response to treatment and decreased quality of life, yet only half of patients with a mental health condition receive treatment, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. “[T]he current analysis suggests that treatment prevalence among adults with arthritis might be similar or lower, especially for anxiety,” the authors write.

Multifaceted Approach Needed

“Successful treatment approaches to address anxiety and depression among adults with arthritis are multifaceted and include screenings, referrals to mental health professionals, and evidence-based strategies such as regular physical activity and participation in self-management education to improve mental health,” the authors explain.

Noting that mental health conditions and arthritis have been previously identified as two of the three greatest causes of work disability among adults aged 18 to 64 years, the authors say, “concerted efforts to improve arthritis and mental health outcomes could help reduce work disability.”

The prevalence of anxiety and depression among adults with arthritis highlights an unmet need that clinicians can address, they continue. Patients with chronic pain conditions such as arthritis should receive integrated care, including screening for mental health problems and education on self-management.

In addition, clinicians can refer patients with arthritis to evidence-based programs such as the Chronic Disease Self-Management Program, which has demonstrated ongoing reductions in depression, fatigue, and pain, as well as increases in aerobic activity and improved self-efficacy and self-rated health.

Physical activity “can be as effective as medication or therapy for anxiety and depression,” the authors write, and even patients who get less than the recommended amount of physically active can still derive physical and mental health benefits.

Technology and social media are feeding addictive behaviors and mental illness in society

Image: Technology and social media are feeding addictive behaviors and mental illness in society

Smart phones and tablets have become a cancerous growth in our lives – never leaving us, feeding off our essence, and sucking away our attention, life, and energy. Social media is like an aggressive form of brain cancer, attaching to our mind, addicting us to cheap dopamine rushes, replacing human interaction with a digital façade of living. Stealing away our time, technology has become a disease that infiltrates our mental and social health, leaving us depressed, anxious, worried, envious, arrogant, and socially isolated.

What we type and text to others causes over-thinking, rumination, and misunderstanding. The way we respond with type and text can be misinterpreted, leading to social strain in relationships. Digital communication lacks the natural flow of body language, eye contact, touch, voice inflection, tone, and real-life rapport. Accustomed to digital communication, people lose their ability to have adult conversations. This hurts everyone’s ability to work together, discuss ideas, solve problems, and overcome multi-faceted challenges.

Popular social media platforms prey on human weaknesses

On Facebook, the pursuit of likes and comments can become an addicting sensation. When the attention fails to come in, the Facebook user may feel unheard or undesirable. When the user sees their friends getting more likes, they may perceive other people having a better life than they do, leading to depressed feelings. (Related: Former Facebook exec: “Social media is ripping society apart.“)

On Twitter, communication is limited to short bursts. These bursts encourage people to engage in divisive language that is used in inflammatory ways and is easily misunderstood. Twitter is used to build a “following” which becomes a high-school-esque popularity contest that easily inflates egos and gives a platform to the most annoying ones in the bunch.

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Instagram and Snapchat have become more popular as well, making users anxious to show off their lives online 24-7. This infatuation with documenting every moment is an anxious, self-absorbed way to live and it does the person no good, because these technology gimmicks interrupt the actual moment and disturb the flow of real life. Do we really think that everyone cares about every picture, every meal, and everything that we do? As the digital world continues to bloat up with information, pictures, and voices, all of it loses its value and sacredness. Over time, no one genuinely cares. The louder a person gets on social media, the more annoying they are perceived.

Technology addiction destroys sleep, leads teenagers to other addictive substances

As parents pacify their children with screens, the children are exposed to constant light stimulation which excites brain chemicals. The colorful games and videos over-stimulate the child’s mind, making them addicted to the sensation. Consequentially the child becomes more restless and behavioral distress increases over the long term.

Technology has made our lives more selfish, isolated, and interrupted. Social media has preyed on our weaknesses, trapping us in its mesmerizing facade of happiness. According to SurvivoPedia, teenagers who spend more than five hours a day on their devices are at a 72 percent higher risk for suicide risk factors. In order to alleviate the mental health issues associated with social media, teenagers may turn to other addictive substances to take the edge off.

Additionally, these devices interfere with healthy sleep patterns — which are essential for proper brain development. The onslaught of blue light and electromagnetic frequency interferes with healthy melatonin levels in the brain. The things that we post online can keep us up at night as well. The addiction to check the phone for responses and likes can keep a person up, too. All this brain excitement and depression throws off the body’s circadian rhythm, leading to poor sleep and mental fatigue during the daytime.

Check out more on mental health at Mind.News.

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Gut Health and Anxiety Go Hand in Hand—Here’s What an MD Wants You to Know

Thanks to a growing movement that has revolutionized the way people discuss and understand mental illness, it’s no secret that a large portion of the population struggles with issues like depression and anxiety. In fact, one in five adults deals with mental health conditions—and, intriguingly, it’s believed this may be linked to gut health.

“The gut is the epicenter of our health, and its functioning affects most, if not all, other aspects in the body,” explains Frank Lipman, MD, author of How to Be Well and founder of Be Well. A greater understanding of both mental illness and microbiome interactions has lead scientists to study the relationship between the two systems, and there’s mounting evidence that supports a link between gut health and anxiety. With this continually growing and evolving information, you may soon be on your way to treating mental illness with proper nutrition. Ahead, Lipman explains how gut health and anxiety may be linked and what foods you should eat to take advantage of this connection.

Gut Health and Anxiety

“More and more, we are seeing the direct correlation between gut health and mood,” says Lipman. This is because the gut produces neurotransmitters and hormones that can affect a person’s mood. “If these bugs are compromised in any way, the production of these neurotransmitters and hormones will also be compromised and will affect how we function and how we feel,” he says.

There are multiple scientific studies that back up these statements. A 2016 study conducted by Emily Deans, MD, at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital at Harvard Medical School looked into the role of microbiota in mental health. According to the study, the modern microbiome is drastically different than that of human ancestors due to diet, antibiotic exposure, and differences in the environment. All of this may contribute to changes in brain health.

In 2015, researchers tested theories about gut health and mood on people. They gave healthy participants without mood disorders a four-week probiotic food supplement. Compared to those who received a placebo, participants who took the probiotic had a significantly reduced reactivity to sad moods. Researchers concluded that these results were evidence that probiotics could reduce negative thoughts associated with sad mood.

Additionally, a 2017 study performed on mice concluded that the microbiome is necessary for balancing gene regulators in the brain known as miRNAs. Its findings were based on observations of mice living in germ-free environments that ended up with unusual amounts of anxiety. After researchers reintroduced gut bacteria to the mice, the gene regulators normalized, proving that probiotics could be necessary for maintaining mental health.

Maintaining a Healthy Gut

So how do you keep your gut health in check? “Generally speaking, a diet filled with a variety of real, whole foods is ideal for supporting gut function,” says Lipman. That means green, leafy vegetables, healthy fats, and quality protein like well-sourced animal proteins, wild-caught fish, beans, and lentils.

“Sadly, the Standard America Diet is the epitome of foods that should be avoided for gut health, brain health, energy, and everything in between,” Lipman explains. In order to keep your gut in top condition, you’ll want to avoid processed and packaged foods that contain preservatives, coloring, and sweeteners. Lipman also advises steering clear of sugar, gluten, nonorganic soy, factory-farmed meats and dairy, processed vegetable oils, and even some gluten-free grains.

Gut Health Red Flags

The most common signs of gut problems present as digestive issues,” shares Lipman. If you think you may have an imbalance in your gut that could be impacting your mental health, look out for symptoms like bloating, gas, constipation, loose stool, digestive discomfort, and heartburn. There are also less obvious symptoms like skin irritations, joint pain, foggy thinking, imbalanced mood, and fatigue. “If someone is feeling like that they are not functioning optimally and that they should be feeling better, they probably could be, and the gut is often a great place to start,” Lipman says.


Although diet can be extremely helpful for some, it is not the answer for everyone,” Lipman says. When a change in diet just isn’t enough, there are supplements that can be used to improve the balance of bacteria in your gut. “Probiotics can also be extremely beneficial, as they constantly inoculate our gut with the beneficial bacteria that support proper gut function.”

While there’s not yet evidence that proves a healthy diet can cure all mental health issues or that food alone is an effective form of treatment for anxiety or depression, focusing on nurturing your gut health isn’t a bad place to start. Turn to natural, whole foods packed with powerful nutrients to keep your gut healthy so your mind can heal, too.

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