Peachy the Magazine Fall 2019 - Page 75

HEALTH + WELLNESS disease, and medicine was the only solution. While there are certainly those who need medication, there is growing evidence that these condi- tions are more the effect of our modern lifestyle being incompatible with our genes. Our lifestyle has been hijacked, and our bodies and brains are rebel- ling. Our diets are filled with pro- cessed and inflammatory foods; our bodies lack exercise and sunlight and are exposed to thousands of chemicals and stressors daily. These triggers lay the groundwork for inflammation, nutritional deficiencies, gut inflam- mation, microbiome disruption, hor- monal changes, and the activation of other stress factors in our bodies—all potentially leading to mental illness. While evidence has linked these disruptions to the development of mental disorders, we have been “brainwashed” to believe medication is the answer. Despite heavy mar- keting, six decades of research have revealed these medications may not be any better than a placebo and may leave individuals worse off after they stop taking them. We need to look deeper into addressing the root causes to avoid starting medications in the first place. Medication-Induced Mental Disease There are over 200 commonly pre- scribed pharmaceutical drugs which list depression and anxiety as side effects, yet few doctors counsel patients on these risks. Beta-blockers, anti-anxiety medications, allergy medications, cholesterol-lowering drugs, over-the-counter acid reducers, steroids, and even anti-depressants have been shown to increase the risk of depression and suicide in users. Nutritional Deficiencies Nearly two-fifths of our population suffers from a severe B12 deficiency, which is also found in 27% of depressed patients. Microbiome disruption, poor digestion, an inflammatory diet, and medications have all been linked to the deficiency. B12 appears to be a power- ful antidepressant. There is also a link between declining consumption of omega-3 fatty acids from fish and other sources and an increasing trend in the incidence of major depression. Omega-3 fatty acids have antidepressant effects in humans. Daily consumption has been associated with mood elevation in depressed patients. FALL 2019 73