Category Archives for Depression

Holistic Treatment for “Summertime Blues”

“Keep your eyes lifted high upon the sun–and you’ll see the best light in everyone.” – Tess Guinery

Summertime is full of outdoor activities, spending time with friends, cookouts, and more. Planning a weekend getaway or other summer events may be on your bucket list. While many find this season to be an exciting time of year, others may find themselves dreading the change of pace. Large crowds, extra socialization, and pressure to have that “summer body” may leave some feeling discouraged with unmet expectations of how things “should be.”

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is common in the fall and winter months, but may also present itself in summer months. Anxiety about events in large crowds, or depression over unmet expectations may result from increase in activity during the summer. Medication is often prescribed for depression and anxiety, yet natural, holistic treatment options are also available! holistic treatment

Focus on Your Diet

Low levels of serotonin can increase the chance of developing depression. While antidepressants may normalize serotonin levels, simple diet change can help to increase serotonin levels. Avoiding excess caffeine and sugar is essential. Eating foods with protein, healthy fats, fiber, and greens work to improve mood, energy, and overall wellness.

Soak up the SUN!

Spending 15-30 minutes in the sun each day is the best way to get vitamin D, helping to boost mood and immunity. Remind yourself that it is good for your health if you find yourself struggling to get motivated. Grab an all natural sunscreen, sunhat, and spend a little time outdoors each day. Doctors are even treating depressed patients with a light box, or good ol’ natural sunlight.

Get Moving

Taking time to stretch in the morning is a great way to start your day. Deep breathing while stretching has shown to reduce anxiety, anger, and depression. Exercise releases endorphines, also known as “feel-good chemicals” which act as a natural antidepressant.

If you are interested in support with holistic treatment options, Makin Wellness offers a natural, holistic approach incorporating individualized, customizable therapy, nutritional counseling, aromatherapy and other holistic treatment options. Contact us today for a free consultation and start your wellness journey today! holistic treatment

About Makin Wellness

Founded in 2017 , Makin Wellness is Pittsburgh’s premier therapy & coaching centers located in Downtown Pittsburgh and Downtown New Kensington. The company’s mission is to help people heal and become happy again.  Makin Wellness specializes in depression, anxiety, addiction, trauma, medical marijuana assited treatment and relationship counseling.

Daily Affirmations for Stress Management

“Being in a positive state of mind is more important than you might think, as the mind cannot be creative in a negative state. New ideas, thoughts and inspiration will only take place when the mind is positive.” – Joe Hinchliffe

Positive words of affirmation are often used in relationships. Friendships, intimate relationships, and parent-child relationships all need positive words of affirmation. Daily affirmations like, “I love you,” “I appreciate you,” “I believe in you,” and “I’m so thankful to have you” are all positive ways to strengthen relationships. Why is it easier to say those words to others, yet more of a challenge to affirm ourselves? daily affirmations

Often times, it is thought of as conceited when saying something positive about oneself. So, to avoid appearing like a braggart, one may use daily affirmations to promote positive thought processes. Simply stating things like “I am grateful for this day,” or “I am starting this day with an open mind, and looking for the good,” are examples of daily affirmations that can be used to crowd out negative thinking and promote positive mindset.

Writing out goals and then stating “I am….” followed with the things you would like to see happening in your life, can help bring them to fruition. For example, stating “I am going to study for my test and prepare in a timely manner,” can be used to promote efficiency and productivity.

New academic research shows positive affirmations lower stress levels in high-stress situations – with higher success rates in those who use positive affirmations versus those who don’t. Our thoughts create feelings, feelings create behaviors, and behaviors create thoughts. Positive thinking promotes more positive behaviors and outcomes.

Daily affirmations can help reduce stress, anxiety, and depression by rewiring negative thought patterns and replacing “I can’t” with “I can” – turning fears and doubts into confidence and certainty. Affirming what you want, instead of what you don’t want allows you to focus your energy on those things and move in the direction you would like your life to go. In turn, flooding your mind with positive thoughts and affirmations, leaves less room for negative thought patterns. daily affirmations

Makin Wellness offers holistic therapies to promote positive mindset. If you would like support with daily affirmations, contact us today for a free 15-minute consultation!

About Makin Wellness

Founded in 2017 , Makin Wellness is Pittsburgh’s premier therapy & coaching centers located in Downtown Pittsburgh and Downtown New Kensington. The company’s mission is to help people heal and become happy again.  Makin Wellness specializes in depression, anxiety, addiction, trauma, medical marijuana assited treatment and relationship counseling.

Though Field Therapy for Creativity and Mental Alertness

Thought Field Therapy (TFT) is a natural technique formulated by Robert Callahan. The therapy consists of tapping on certain pressure points (also known as meridian points) of the body, while affirmations are made. It is drug-free and has shown to have rapid results. thought field therapy

Gary Craig, a student of Robert Callahan’s, tweaked the technique and formed his own called “Emotional Freedom Technique” (EFT).

These techniques both help with phobias, anxieties, depression, addictions, and other mental related issues. In line with the principles at Makin Wellness, the basis of TFT and EFT is that our beliefs have a powerful impact on our behaviors. Thought field therapy (TFT) helps facilitate the belief that by accepting our current circumstances and being present in the moment, we are better equipped to focus on letting go of the old and building the new. Anyone can practice TFT in their own home or with a trained professional. Guidelines for practicing at home can be found in Roger Callahan’s book entitled, Tapping the Healer Within: Using Thought-Field Therapy. The best part is, this therapy can be done at no cost to you. thought field therapy

A positive outlook on life has shown to have many benefits. Being optimistic strengthens relationships, improves coping ability and protects your health. Research has shown people with an optimistic, positive outlook have lower levels of inflammation and heart disease risk. Thus, a positive outlook can have a profound effect on health.

Ultimately, we are individually responsible for maintaining healthy lifestyle practices. Quality sleep, regular daily exercise, and healthy eating habits are in our control. Meaningful connections and sense of purpose is also an essential part of wellness. Healthy lifestyle habits positively affect our mood and quality of life.

Though Field Therapy promotes positive thought patterns, increasing feelings of happiness, and overall wellness. Happy people are better able to solve problems, are more creative, and tend to have increased mental alertness. Optimists have even shown to live longer than pessimists! 

Negative thought patterns sap energy levels, and lower the brains ability to function properly. Recent research in neuroscience has shown that repetitive, focused mental activity can affect changes in brain structure, wiring, and capabilities. Therefore, with time and practice, you can train your mind and brain to think more positively. Positive mindset, better quality of life, and improved overall wellness could be right at your fingertips!

If you would like support with thought field therapy to promote positive mindset, call now to schedule a free consultation with a trained professional! thought field therapy

About Makin Wellness

Founded in 2017 , Makin Wellness is Pittsburgh’s premier therapy & coaching centers located in Downtown Pittsburgh and Downtown New Kensington. The company’s mission is to help people heal and become happy again.  Makin Wellness specializes in depression, anxiety, addiction, trauma, medical marijuana assited treatment and relationship counseling.

Herbal Remedies for Cognitive Function

Cognitive decline and neurocognitive disorders may be the result of aging, head injury, or other medical conditions. Alzheimer’s and dementia have been associated with high cholesterol, inflammation, hypertension, high body mass index, and diabetes.

Anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) have also been reported as risk factors of dementia and cognitive decline. The hippocampus (the memory center of the brain) can shrink from high blood pressure. And since higher blood pressure is linked to cognitive decline, taking measures to eat well and reduce stress is essential.

Poor nutrition, head injuries, and vitamin B12 deficiency may also cause memory and other cognitive issues. Foods such as grapes, blueberries, and beets support brain cell connection and function. Spinach, broccoli, and other cruceferous vegetables are beneficial for reducing inflammation and improved arterial function.

Stress-reducing activities, adequate sleep, and exercise are all necessary in preventing cognitive decline. In today’s busy world, it can at times be difficult to find the time to get all the nutrients and exercise our bodies need. Simple herbal remedies and supplementation can be a helpful aid.

Best Brain Boosting Herbs and Supplements

Aromatherapy – a 2009 study was done with Alzheimer’s patients, consistently administering rosemary and lemon essential oils in the morning, and lavender and orange in the evening. The oils showed a positive effect on psychological and behavioral symptoms, as well as improved cognitive function. Rosemary oil has clinically shown to improve cognition and memory. Melissa oil has also been used in patients with Alzheimer’s and dementia to aid in anxiety and insomnia. cognitive function

Sage – Sage has been identified as one of several herbs that may aid Alzheimer’s patients. A study published in 2003 in Pharmacology, Biochemistry, and Behavior indicated sage to possess memory boosting properties. Sage can be added to chicken, soups, or taken in tea form.

Turmeric – Turmeric is known for its anti-inflammatory properties. Research suggests it may prevent break down of nerve cells in the brain boost overall brain function.

B Vitamins – In a study of elderly men and women, it was found that a B-complex supplement prevented decline in participants ability to plan, prioritize, and organize. Those taking B-complex with Omega-3 supplements had the best results. Taking a high potency supplement is best.

Ginkgo – Two recent medical journals confirmed extracts of Ginkgo biloba can improve cognitive function and memory in people with dementia.

MMJ and CBD oil – Medical marijuana and CBD oil have shown to be beneficial in patients with alzheimer’s and dementia, improving cognitive function, symptoms of aggression, improving sleep, and other physical and emotional benefits. cognitive function

Makin Wellness offers a holistic approach to wellness with holistic treatment options including stress relief techniques, aromatherapy, supplementation, and nutritional counseling. Contact us today for a free consultation!

About Makin Wellness

Founded in 2017 , Makin Wellness is Pittsburgh’s premier therapy & coaching centers located in Downtown Pittsburgh and Downtown New Kensington. The company’s mission is to help people heal and become happy again.  Makin Wellness specializes in depression, anxiety, addiction, trauma, medical marijuana assited treatment and relationship counseling.

Disclaimer:

Getting an evaluation at Makin Wellness does not guarantee you will have or be diagnosed with PTSD or Opioid Use Disorder . We are able to provide ongoing treatment in all of our offices and via telepsych.   For those struggling with Opiate Use Disorder, you may qualify if conventional therapeutic interventions are contraindicated or ineffective, or for which adjunctive therapy is indicated in combination with primary therapeutic interventions. We are not certifying physicians for medical marijuana in the State of PA.  We are able to evaluate, diagnose and provide treatment for mental health and addiction conditions.  If you fit criteria for PTSD or Opioid Use Disorder , you would still need to see a certifying physician after the evaluation in order to get your medical marijuana card. Cannabis is still considered illegal under federal law. Please refer to the Pennsylvania Department of Health  or contact us if you have any additional questions.

Gardening for the Mind

“To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.” – Audrey Hepburn

Spending time in nature is like a gift that keeps on giving. Whether in your own backyard, or visiting a local public garden, you’re sure to experience nature’s countless benefits to the mind and body. The healing power of nature has proven to aid in mental health, reducing symptoms of anxiety, depression, and PTSD.

The warmth of the sunlight, the fresh smell of plants and flowers, and a gentle breeze, all provide a sensory experience that brings us back in tune with our minds and bodies. We feel grounded and part of something larger than ourselves.

Gardening provides a unique therapeutic experience in its positive affect on the brain. The physical activity of gardening boosts neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin, helping reduce anxiety and depression. Spending time in green spaces has shown to be a healing aid in attention deficit disorders, grief, and even chronic illness. Nature offers a hope, giving new perspective through the anticipation of change and growth. gardening

Sunlight exposure stimulates serotonin, which is responsible for regulating mood, memory, and impulse control. Simply taking a walk outside may reduce levels of depression and fatigue, boost mood, and improve self-esteem.

The Science of Gardening

May gardening, or “horticultural therapy,” be a good option for mental health interventions? Grounding techniques are used as a way to detach from emotional pain by becoming more in tune with the senses. Doctors and therapists have noted how gardening promotes both a grounding and sensory experience, encouraging mindfulness, and helping to reduce stress by decreasing cortisol levels (the hormone released when under stress). gardening

Scientists proved the positive affects of gardening on our state of mind in a 2016 study, comparing gardeners to non-gardeners. Outcomes of those who had their own garden or helped in community gardens showed these results:

  • Less anxiety
  • Reduced depression
  • Increased quality of life
  • Improved sense of community

Another study showed positive effects of soil bacteria and the brain. Mice who were inoculated with soil bacteria had an increase in serotonin (the happy hormone). With the brain and gut being in constant communication, the state of our gut microbiome is largely related to the state of our mental health. In short, spending a little time in the dirt (with its beneficial bacteria), may positively impact our state of mind!

Gardening also provides a feeling satisfaction through cultivating and preparing our own food. This gives a rewarding sense of accomplishment and connection to the world around us.

Try visiting a local Pittsburgh garden, or start your own and experience the healing power of nature! Phipps Conservatory offers gardening classes and its partnered with Grow Pittsburgh, which offers gardening resources and workshops. In the words of William Shakespeare, “One touch of nature makes the whole world kin.” gardening

About Makin Wellness

Founded in 2017 , Makin Wellness is Pittsburgh’s premier therapy & coaching centers located in Downtown Pittsburgh and Downtown New Kensington. The company’s mission is to help people heal and become happy again.  Makin Wellness specializes in depression, anxiety, addiction, trauma, medical marijuana assited treatment and relationship counseling.

 

 

 

 

Spring Cleaning: Emotional and Mental Detox

Winter months have passed, with new life sprouting and feelings of renewed energy in this spring season. It’s the time for clearing out clutter and spring cleaning. Perhaps you’re planning on cleaning windows, clearing away cobwebs, or getting out in your garden. The feeling of a fresh clean home, with sunshine pouring through the windows may come to mind.  No doubt, a feeling of satisfaction follows after completing these chores…..even feeling therapeutic!

What about decluttering the mind?

After a long winter cooped up inside, spending some time outdoors can clear the mind, and renew the spirit. This may be difficult for some who have suffered seasonal depression, making transitioning to a new season a challenge as well. Mental and emotional detox, also called emotional pruning, may be necessary to allow for healing of the mind and body. emotional detox

Sun exposure in small doses promotes healing, helping the body make vitamin D, which is vital for functioning of blood cells, bones, and the immune system. Lack of sun and low levels of vitamin D pose risks of serious health conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease.

The sun also promotes a good nights rest, which is essential to mental and emotional well-being. Taking a short walk outside in the sun while breathing in fresh air, has an array of benefits. Scientists believe the sun’s rays may even shrink fat cells!

Spending time to self-evaluate and realign priorities is the perfect way to start fresh this season. Self-care and positive thinking supports overall wellness. Letting go of negative thought patterns and behaviors, and replacing them with more positive ones allows for personal growth and healing. Reflecting on where you are and where you would like to see yourself is also a positive step to move in the direction you would like to go. emotional detox

Emotional detoxing, sometimes referred to as emotional pruning, is much like pruning a tree or shrub. Pruning away negative patterns reduces risk of developing further physical and emotional complications, creating room for positive growth and healing. When pruning a shrub, or taking away the dead part, the plant can grow and thrive at its best.

Emotional wounds take time to resolve, and at times, enlisting in the help of a therapist is a necessary step toward healing. Being mindful, and embracing the present, is a helpful approach to letting go of past hurts – leaving more room for improvement. Other wellness activities like journaling or deep breathing can reset the mind, helping reduce stress.

Tips for Emotional Detox

  • Let go of negativity – Reliving past traumas or continually thinking over negative scenarios can be harmful to the mind and body, preventing positive growth. Talk to someone you trust and practice letting go of past hurts, by focusing on positive solutions.
  • Embrace positive relationships – Spend time with those who make you feel loved and encouraged. Negativity can bring your energy down, making it difficult to move in a positive direction.
  • Effectively manage time – Effective time management is essential to stress reduction, so that you may live a higher quality of life, and maintain more positive relationships. Carve out time to sit and have a healthy meal, grab coffee with a friend, or take a moment in your day to do something you enjoy. We make the most of our time when we’re not overly stressed.
  • Practice positive self-talk – Be mindful of how you are speaking to yourself. The way we speak to ourselves affects interactions with those around us. Carefully consider the messages you are saying to yourself – this will reflect in your relationships with others.
  • Create a wellness routine – Choose activities you enjoy doing to positively impact your mental health and wellness. Cooking a nice meal, spending time in nature, or getting together with a friend are all positive ways to support wellness, helping to reduce and weed out negativity.

Makin Wellness is happy in supporting you on your wellness journey. Please contact us if you would like support in setting wellness goals with a holistic approach in promoting harmony between the mind and body. Mindful eating habits, spending time in nature, and aromatherapy are a few of the ways we help our clients support their overall wellness. Spring into wellness by calling now free 15-minute consultation and begin your wellness journey today!

About Makin Wellness

Founded in 2017 , Makin Wellness is Pittsburgh’s premier therapy & coaching centers located in Downtown Pittsburgh and Downtown New Kensington. The company’s mission is to help people heal and become happy again.  Makin Wellness specializes in depression, anxiety, addiction, trauma, medical marijuana assited treatment and relationship counseling.

Laura Stewart anxiety stress therapy makin wellness

Laura Stewart, B.A., CHN

Social Anxiety: Causes, Affects, & Tools to Cope

We all deal with degrees of social discomfort at times. Fear of judgment and feelings of self consciousness are felt by many in social situations. Giving a presentation or meeting new people may cause us to have sweaty palms and the common “butterflies in the stomach”.

Social anxiety disorder however, presents a stress that is more than shyness, possibly causing one to avoid social contact entirely. It can be experienced in various ways, such a as fear of being judged, feeling embarrassed or humiliated, or fear of offending someone.  Symptoms include stomach trouble, rapid heartbeat, muscle tension, and dizziness to name a few.

What are the Causes? 

Genetics are likely part of it. For example, if a close family member has social anxiety or social phobia, you are more likely to experience it as well.

An over active amygdala may also play a part, as this is the part of the brain controlling fear response.  History of bullying, teasing, or abuse can be linked to social anxiety.

What Affect does it have on Your Life? 

Avoiding social situations affects personal relationships, preventing one from fully living and enjoying their life. It may lead to depression, low self-esteem, negative thought patterns, and poor social skills.

What are some Tools to Cope?

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can provide positive changes to thought processes and patterns of behavior. A trained professional can help one work through social anxiety in practical ways. Support with building self-esteem and positive self image are some of the benefits of therapy.

Aromatherapy is another tool to reduce social anxiety. Essential oils can be used to provide feelings of confidence and promote a calming effect. Vanilla, lavender, and orange have shown to soothe nervousness and stress. Using pure, therapeutic grade oils will provide the best results.

Exercise and diet are also essential to promoting harmony between the mind and body, helping reduce anxiety by boosting endorphins and releasing toxins.

Makin Wellness is happy in providing support to anyone dealing with social anxiety or social phobia. Our trained professionals will provide holistic options and therapies to promote healing for the mind and body. Contact us today for a free 15 minute consultation!

 

Anxiety: Types, Treatments, and Tools to Cope

“In any given moment, we have two options: To step forward into growth, or to step back into safety. Growth must be chosen again and again; fear must be overcome again and again.” – Abraham Maslow

We all experience times when we feel stressed, worried, anxious, or nervous. We worry about family responsibilities, finances, health, work, and other obligations. As we discussed in our previous post, there are a variety of holistic options for anxiety relief. However, we must first identify the source of our anxieties and its severity in order to take steps in correcting it. Recognizing the root cause is the first step toward positive change and healthier ways of managing stress and anxiety.

Types of Anxiety

The most common types of anxiety are generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), social anxiety, specific phobias, and panic disorder. Anxiety is also present in other conditions like obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Symptoms of more than one type of anxiety are commonly experienced. It’s vital to seek support as early as possible before anxiety begins to take over your life. Talking to a trained professional can provide resources and tools to cope.

Anxiety overload may show itself in the form of irritability, anger, inability to concentrate, stomach problems, panic attacks, muscle tension, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, dry mouth, and sleep disturbances.

Start by asking yourself these questions:

  • Is anxiety and worry affecting my quality of life?
  • Is the dread and fear I’m experiencing robbing me of joyful moments?
  • Am I feeling stuck with the belief that drugs are my only option, or that I have no other option than to live this way?

Everyone has a tipping point with various triggers that bring about anxiety. Taking inventory of ourselves and having self-awareness gives better opportunity to manage stress and anxiety. Be mindful of your day to day habits. Keeping a log or journal at times you’re feeling worried or anxious can help sort out your thoughts, allowing you to take more control over the situation. Understanding the trigger, or root cause of your anxiety will better equip you in being able to manage it.

Remaining in a perpetual state of anxiety is detrimental to physical and emotional wellness. Finding a professional trained in holistic treatment methods can provide safe, effective options for managing anxiety.

Treatments and Tools to Cope

Whether you suffer from a mild anxiety or more chronic form, you may be inclined to think the only option is anxiety medication. Prescribed medication may be necessary for a period of time for some people. However, clinical studies have shown various herbal remedies and botanicals to significantly decrease anxiety. Lavender oil is even being used to calm patients in hospice care.

According to a study published in Phytotherapy Research, Echinacea extract showed significant relief of anxiety in only three days. While this isn’t considered a cure all, it may provide natural relief, without the side effects of prescription drugs. And, it is always recommended to talk with your doctor when making any changes to your wellness routine.

See our previous post for more natural, holistic options for coping with anxiety. Exercise, eating well, and getting plenty of rest are essential tools to managing anxiety and overall wellness. If you are interested in more natural treatment for stress or anxiety, contact us today for a free 15-minute consultation!

About Makin Wellness

Founded in 2017 , Makin Wellness is Pittsburgh’s premier therapy & coaching centers located in Downtown Pittsburgh and Downtown New Kensington. The company’s mission is to help people heal and become happy again.  Makin Wellness specializes in depression, anxiety, addiction, trauma, medical marijuana assited treatment and relationship counseling. 

Natural Remedies to Beat the “Winter Blues”

Winter is the time of year we love to keep cozy, spend time with family and friends, and eat lots of good food. For some though, it can be a time of increased sadness. Comfort food is more often consumed along with decreased physical activity, which can lead to low mood and energy, increasing the risk of depression. Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D) affects more than half a million Americans each year and is a recognized form of clinical depression, commonly referred to as the “winter blues” or “winter depression.” Stressful life events, family history, or other emotional issues may contribute to S.A.D. Women are more commonly reported to have S.A.D. However, it may occur with anyone, regardless of age or gender. winter blues

Symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder

Recognizing the symptoms is the first step in seeking the proper treatment. Symptoms can vary from person to person and range from mild to severe, usually occurring between the months of September and April. People generally experience more severe symptoms between the months of December and February.

Symptoms typically include:

  • Negative thoughts and feelings of sadness
  • Irritability
  • Poor appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Increased food cravings
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Social isolation
  • Sleep disturbances

 

Scientists believe vitamin D deficiency due to lack of sunlight may be one of the causes of S.A.D. This is because of vitamin D deficiency preventing a part of the brain, known as the hypothalamus, from working properly. In turn, the disruption in the function of the hypothalamus leads to an imbalance in circadian rhythms. When circadian rhythms are out of balance, melatonin and serotonin levels can be affected.

People with S.A.D have been noted as having higher levels of melatonin, causing sleep disturbances and fatigue. Serotonin (the happy hormone) levels may decrease due to this lack of sleep, causing mood disturbances. So, what are some ways we can combat this? Consider the following natural remedies.

Natural Remedies to Beat the “Winter Blues” (or S.A.D) winter blues

  • Exercise Regularly – Exercise increases the brains feel-good chemicals, reducing feelings of depression. Studies have shown walking just 20-30 minutes can boost your mood and energy!
  • Get some Vitamin D – Taking a vitamin D supplement can help boost mood and immunity. A doctor or nutritionist can recommend a proper dose.
  • Sleep – Rest is vital to emotional health. Avoid excess sugar and caffeine to promote restful sleep. Try going to bed at the same time each night and waking up at the same time each morning.
  • Get Outside –Take advantage when the sun does decide to peek through during winter months. Bundle up and ask a friend to go on a short walk or hike. It can do wonders for your mood overall wellness!
  • Talk It Out – Discussing your feelings with a trained counselor can help you overcome feelings of sadness. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is recommended to promote positive thinking and behaviors. It can help you approach situations differently, turning your BLUE thoughts into TRUE thoughts.
  • Practice Self-Care – Spend time doing something you enjoy. Treat yourself to a massage. Finding ways to relax and be more mindful reduces stress, helping boost mood.
  • Healthy Eating – Comfort foods are easy to reach for when feeling sad. Sweets and excess carbs may produce good feelings short-term. Unfortunately, this can turn into a downward spiral, causing low mood and an imbalance in hormone levels. Leafy greens, protein, and healthy carbohydrates can help boost mood and energy, reducing symptoms of depression. Talking with a nutritionist can help guide you through a meal plan to fit with your personal lifestyle.

If you’re interested in further support with mood, diet, and lifestyle changes, Makin Wellness offers a holistic, integrative approach to therapy and nutritional counseling. Encompassing mind, body, and spirit, we give consideration to the whole person. Contact us today for a free 15-minute consultation ! winter blues

About Makin Wellness

Founded in 2017, Makin Wellness is Pittsburgh’s premier therapy & coaching centers located in Downtown Pittsburgh and Downtown New Kensington. The company’s mission is to help people heal and become happy again.  Makin Wellness specializes in depression, anxiety, addiction, trauma, medical marijuana assited treatment and relationship counseling.  M

Laura Stewart, BA, CHN Makin Wellness

Laura Stewart, BA, CHN Makin Wellness

Bipolar Disorder – Causes & Alternative Treatments

Mental illness is becoming more and more common among all ages. According to the World Health Organization, over 450 million suffer from mental illness worldwide. Suicide rates have increased by 60% in the last 45 years, with 90% having a diagnosable mental disorder. Anxiety disorders, depression and mood disorders like bipolar disorder have similarities, yet require different treatments. A person with depression often has some type of anxiety, while a person with anxiety often shows some symptoms of depression.

Brain health plays an integral part in all types of mental disorders. Bipolar disorder in particular, is unique in comparison to anxiety and depression. Manic episodes of bipolar may include high energy, reduced need for sleep, and loss of touch with reality. Depressive episodes of bipolar may include low energy, decreased motivation, and loss of interest in daily activities. Treatment typically is lifelong, involving a combination of medication and psychotherapy. Lets look further at the causes and complexities of this disorder. bipolar disorder

Causes

Most researchers agree there are physical and environmental factors that contribute to bipolar disorder. While a person may have been born with a predisposition, for many a stressful life event or upbringing triggers the illness. Studies show a low or high level of a particular neurotransmitter such as serotonin, norepinephrine or dopamine is involved in mood disorders – affecting the overall balance of how these chemicals work together. Stress levels also play a role with increasing stress causing cortisol levels to rise. In turn, these high cortisol levels alter brain function and communication.

The Prechter Bipolar Research Program at the University of Michigan performed a study which found more people with bipolar disorder have a history of childhood trauma than those without the disorder. These traumas were associated with changes in self-control and attention. Childhood traumas such as emotional abuse or neglect has shown to affect mood, impulse control, cognitive function, and feelings of self-worth – all of which are associated with bipolar disorder. bipolar disorder

The study showed higher levels of saturated fats had an association between certain levels of fat molecules in the blood and mood. Patients taking an antipsychotic also showed less diversity of microbes in the gastrointestinal tract. Bad microbes in the gut can create gut inflammation, which may cause depression and other brain ailments and imbalances. It has been noted that those who have daily mood swings have food allergies or hypoglycemia. With brain health being so dependent on gut health, it is essential to provide the body with proper nutrients to provide greater harmony between mind and body. Lets look further at some alternative treatments to support mental health and overall brain health. bipolar disorder

Alternative Treatments

Dr. Drew Ramsey, author of “50 Shades of Kale,” says omega 3’s, vitamin D, B vitamins, zinc, iron, and magnesium all play a vital role in brain health. Ramsey notes that kale provides 134% of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C, 684% of vitamin K, 206% of vitamin A, and more. It is of utmost importance to eat nutrient rich foods to help support a healthy gut such as, cruciferous vegetables, bananas, beans, artichokes, blueberries, polenta, kimchee, saurkraut and tempeh. Slow digesting foods that are high in fiber such as beans, oats, brown rice, and other fruits and vegetables are all supportive to brain health. Folic acid, B12, and glutathione has shown to be deficient in manic depressive patients. Diet changes, supplementation, and alternative treatments can be used in conjunction with other therapies. Bipolar disorder can be successfully managed through a strong support system, psychotherapy, and lifestyle changes. It is always best to discuss any treatments with your health care provider. Consider some practical ways to support mental health.

Tips to Support Mental Health

  • Take care of your body – Eat nutrient dense meals, avoid excess alcohol, drink plenty of water, exercise, and get enough sleep.
  • Spend time with others who support you – People who have strong family or social connections are generally happier and healthier.
  • Learn coping skills – Take a walk in nature, journal, and practice self-care by spending time doing something you enjoy.
  • Quiet your mind – Mindfulness and relaxation techniques helps improve your state of mind and promotes a positive outlook on life.
  • Acupuncture – Symptoms of mood swings can be alleviated with acupuncture by helping to balance the energetic qi (chee) within various body systems and minimize the frequency and intensity of mood swings. Medical Wellness Associates offers acupuncture and other homeopathic therapies for a variety of conditions, helping to support balance between mind and body.
  • Aromatherapy – Essential oils promote balance between mind and body. Oils like lavender, bergamot, frankincense, jasmine, and many others can be used to uplift mood. Contact Makin Wellness for a custom blend to support mental and emotional wellness!

If you or someone you know is struggling with anxiety, depression, or other mood disturbances, contact Makin Wellness today for a free 15 minute consultation! Our services include a holistic approach of cognitive behavioral therapy, nutritional counseling, and life coaching.

About Makin Wellness

Founded in 2017 , Makin Wellness is Pittsburgh’s premier therapy & coaching centers located in Downtown Pittsburgh and Downtown New Kensington. The company’s mission is to help people heal and become happy again.  Makin Wellness specializes in depression, anxiety, addiction, trauma, medical marijuana assited treatment and relationship counseling. bipolar disorder

Laura Stewart, BA Makin Wellness

Laura Stewart, BA Makin Wellness

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