Nutrition and mental health are both topics I am not only passionate about, but I almost always discuss with clients because of the relationship and effects they have with and on one another. Assessing both are crucial for establishing optimal wellbeing, but personally, I never discuss nutritional treatments of mental states. I am not a medical doctor or a nutritionist. My role with clients is to collaborate with them on options they feel may work for them. All "treatments" are left to the discretion of the client in the professional coach/client partnership.
When visiting nutritional and supplemental options for anxiety and depression in particular, I always provide clients with information that has a legitimate foundation and a solid reputation. Even in these areas of research, you will find conflicting information. It can be frustrating for the client.
Every one is unique in both body chemistry and make-up as well as in mental and emotional health. There is not a "one-size-fits-all" natural treatment or supplementation out there. However, I strongly believe in deciding what is right for yourself, doing your own research outside of medicine, and even trying something on your own - with professional guidance and caution. There are just as many risks included in treating yourself with nutrition and supplements as there are benefits. It is scary sometimes to venture into the woods of self-diagnosis, self-care, and self-treatment.
From my personal experience and perspective, I can report things I have tried on myself and I know to work for me. For instance, I knew something was causing jittery anxiety, more than the norm. I cut out caffeine and morning anxiety subsided. I know I get brain fog if I don't eat by 11:00am (not a morning eater, but a morning liquid in-taker). I space out colorful foods early on until an appetite arrives, then I eat a larger meal. When I feel a dip in my mood ( several days in a row), I discovered that flax seed oil (Omegas) is the ticket for me. That stuff is nasty. I have learned over time that too much sugar hurts my stomach. I'm talking 5 or more Oreos. If I decide to eat 5 Oreos, I know I'll be in pain. Finally, as for those weeks that I feel BLAH! (who doesn't), I really assess what I've eaten all week. I can almost always see a connection between my mood, spirits, and physical condition and what and how I've eaten or not eaten. Alcohol makes me fatigued for days. Inadequate protein makes me feel heavy. Lacking healthy fats makes me feel depressed. And, Theanine helps me sleep better! All trial and error discoveries.
In terms of anxiety, over 70% of your bodily functioning is engaged when in an anxiety episode. Depression? There are many options for increasing serotonin production in the brain. There is an abundance of research on what outside of psychotropic medications can help relieve symptoms of both anxiety and depression. [Do not stop taking meds or add anything without consulting your doctor.] Integrative doctors and functional medicine doctors can help as well. And, you can investigate on your own.
The information available for nutritional and supplemental options for mental health and overall wellbeing is overwhelming at times, but we have the power to help heal ourselves. Initiating that process and developing an interest in helping yourself feel better is all that it takes.
So, here's to doing your research and to self- healing.