Do you remember the first time you saw an X-ray of yourself? What a marvel to see inside your body! And wasn’t it a relief when the dentist, after looking at a film of your mouth, was able to pinpoint a particular bicuspid as the source of your pain? We are fortunate to live in an age when medical technology – with its CT scans, MRIs and blood tests – provides an accurate picture of the inner workings of our bodies. Yet as incredible as these tools are, they can only examine the physical form. What about the mind and our soul? Even psychiatrists, who are experts in mental disorders, treat patients based on subjective oral communication; they “see” only what the patient gives them access to, and through the lens of their own medical training.
This is why so many people seek out psychics and intuitive healers – they sense information invisible to the naked eye and ear, and beyond the reach of medical science. As an intuitive person, I can often “hear” what a person’s problem is after getting a mere glimpse into his/her mind and soul. This has helped me to successfully treat numerous ailments from food allergies to hormonal imbalances.
Historically it has been extremely rare for doctors (at least those practicing Western medicine) to give credence to such practitioners, but there are an increasing number of MDs who not only acknowledge the effectiveness of intuitives’ gifts but are joining their ranks. One such person is psychiatrist Shakuntala Modi, M.D., who stated in her book Remarkable Healings that many mental disorders originate from the soul. Modi utilizes medical hypnosis to access the source of depression and guides the patient to release their issue.
One of the nice things about being a chiropractor is that I don’t deal with life and death situations. I often think of ER docs, who face such cases day in and day out, and wonder how they do it. Sometimes I even find myself watching medical reality shows on TV, just to remind myself how lucky I am. That said, I have treated people whose wellbeing – and their lives – is at risk, including sixty patients suffering from various degrees of depression. They responded well to my natural approach, and as the years go on I seem to attract more challenging cases. Just recently, three teenage girls came to my office, all within one week, stating that they were very depressed and their antidepressant medication was not working. One girl, a tenth-grader, was so down she wanted to commit suicide. I felt it may beyond my capacity to help, but her parents pleaded with me to do what I could. I repeated my concerns about being able to turn it around but promised I would try and see what happened.
After checking for the usual hormonal imbalance and nutritional deficiencies, I went through my protocol for depression. I found that the suicidal girl had underlying emotional issues of hopelessness and grief; I also realized that school was an important aggravating factor – she hated it down to her core. I then treated her emotional issues, and though it took longer than with the typical depressed patient, she did in fact respond. It was an incredible to see this beautiful, artistic and sensitive female begin to smile again. I also persuaded the parents to split her time between homeschooling (meaning she took a few courses online) and her high school.
Within a month, the other two girls responded as well, showing no signs of despondency. Now, I am not ready to say that my approach is foolproof, or that these patients are completely out of the woods. They will need follow-up to ensure long-term positive results, but I was ecstatic to have been able to improve, possibly even save, their lives.
This issue hits very close to home for me, as a cousin of mine committed suicide sixteen years ago. I knew he suffered from a bipolar disorder, but treating it was way beyond my skill level at that time. Today I feel secure in my ability to help depressed individuals, even those with bipolar conditions.
Some suicide facts
• More than 800,000 people worldwide commit suicide each year — more than 39,000 in the United States alone.
• The effects of suicide on the loved ones of the deceased can be devastating; in fact, suicide survivors experience their own painful, often conflicting emotions, including guilt, anger at themselves and the person who suicided, and depression.
• Firearms are the most common means by which people take their lives. Other common methods include overdosing on medication, asphyxiation and hanging.
• There are gender, age, ethnic, and geographical risk factors for suicide, as well as those based on family history, life stresses, and medical and mental health status.
In children and teens, bullying, and being bullied seem to be linked with suicide.
Even healthcare providers are not immune to depression and suicide. According to Reuters, physician burnout and suicide has exploded, with hospitals, physicians groups, and insurers all feeling the effects of the overburdened American healthcare system. Reuters says experts “define burnout as a syndrome marked by emotional exhaustion, cynicism and decreased effectiveness,” and reports that “many burned out doctors cut back their hours to cope, and a disturbing number commit suicide.”
A few thoughts about depression.
Given the alarming statistics above, it is no surprise that more thirty million people (including one in seven women) take antidepressants for their chronic, unyielding distress, irritability or emotional stress. Millions more are tempted to try these drugs, hoping to get relief from the exhausting inner agitation they just can’t shake on their own.
Antidepressants never cure the problem; they simply mask or control the symptoms by delivering more serotonin – a chemical associated with mood – to the brain. Most of our serotonin is naturally located in the gut, and while depressed people are not necessarily deficient in serotonin, the added amount can offer relief. It is a manipulation of our biochemistry. Antidepressants are also addictive, and those who stop taking them often experience nausea, hand tremors and… depression!
A study conducted by Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found that most people who take antidepressants never meet the medical criteria for a bona fide diagnosis of major depression; many are given antidepressants for things like OCD, panic disorder, social phobia and anxiety. This may in part be explained by the fact that most antidepressants are prescribed not by psychiatrists, but primary care doctors. Interestingly, science has also shown that antidepressants are largely a placebo, a topic about which Dr. Jeffrey Dach, among others, has been passionate about informing people.
On the other hand, some people seem to do better with taking medication, and I’m in favor for whatever works. The bottom line is when treating depression we must include nutrition, alternative healthcare providers, and psychologists. Dr. William Walsh has documented his successful treatment of three thousand patients (including blood and urine tests) using specific nutrients. Dr. Walsh is currently teaching other doctors his nutritional regime, which seems to indicate that the medical community is starting to move in the right direction.
Other organizations are also taking a more creative approach when it comes to mental illness. According to the I Will Listen campaign, 1 in 4 adults suffer from a mental disorder. Mental illness appears to be behind all the mass shootings we have witnessed with increasing regularity over the past several years. While some seem resigned to accepting this as the new normal, I believe more strongly than ever that depression is treatable and suicide is preventable. To ensure a healthier society, we need to openly discuss mental issues and erase the stigma; we also need to start thinking outside the pharmaceutical box when it comes to treating it.