Don’t visit Dr. Dunce!!! Mental Health Disorders Are Metabolic Disorders
Mental health disorders at the most rudimentary cellular level are metabolic disorders. For more than a few centuries since the dark ages, clear distinctions existed with regard to wellness. Medicine, psychology, and care of the soul (religion/spirituality) were considered separate entities, walled off from one another. If a person felt ill they went to the doctor or curandero. Feeling depressed or anxious, they headed to a psychologist. Matters of the soul were relegated to the church or similar entity. Basically, the body was treated separately from the head and spirit, despite their clear connections and relationships with one another.
Due to these segregated (or siloed) professional entities, illnesses such as diabetes or metabolic disorder (MD) etc., were treated as a “medical” problem. Mood disorders, such as depression or anxiety were treated as a “psychological” or “hysterical” condition. Integrated or holistic approaches to wellness were relatively rare and the further we’ve moved away from holistic approaches; the more we’ve suffered as a race.
there is hope for integrated holistic care
Fortunately, with organizations like the American Board for Lifestyle Medicine and a handful of others, we are emerging from most of these old “feudal” constraints. Current studies from the mitochondria on up strongly suggest irrefutable bidirectional links between metabolic disorders and depression, as well as other mental health conditions. What this suggests, is that any condition in one part of us, can and will affect all areas of our wellbeing, long before we’re aware that anything’s wrong. Integrated or holistic approaches to wellness honor connections between mind, body, and psyche.
Symptoms common to both metabolic and depressive disorders include:
- Unhealthy diets favoring energy dense foods.
- Reduced physical activity and sedentary lifestyle.
- Impaired sleep and/or circadian cycles (affect mood and weight).
- Recurrent psychological stress.
Ethical care is integrated care. Caring for the whole person, meeting them with compassion and encouragement and when appropriate, referring out, or including all modality of care necessary for success.
Happy Monday as Always!
Heather Hamilton PhD.