My wife, who is a master’s level professional counselor, just brought to my attention an interview in the current issue of The SUN magazine by Arnie Cooper of Christopher Lane, “Side Effects May Include – On What’s Wrong With Modern Psychiatry.” In the interview, Lane, an English professor specializing in Victorian literature and intellectual history, exposes the hard facts about how mental “diseases” are reportedly multiplying. Apparently new disorders are being added to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) every year.
In his tenacious endeavor to find answers as to why so many of his own students were on anti-anxiety and anti-depressant drugs, and as to the emergence in 1980 of dozens of new mental disorders in the third edition of the DSM — such “curious-sounding” diagnoses as “‘social phobia'” and “‘avoidance personality disorder'” — and especially as to “how and why those new disorders had been approved for inclusion [in the DSM] and whether they were really bona fide illnesses,” Lane found, to his dismay but not surprise, an active involvement of Pharmacia & Upjohn, the drug company who makes the anti-anxiety drug Xanax,“especially in the promotion of ‘panic disorder.'” He also found evidence of sloppy research and “dismissal of nonmedical approaches to psychiatric problems, and a degree of inventiveness with terms and symptoms that struck him as playing fast and loose with the facts.”
When asked “Are we getting sicker, or is something else at play?” Lane’s answer reminded me of the phenomenal growth in size of the Physicians Desk Reference (PDR) over the last 50 years I’ve been in practice. I used to be able to hold the book in one hand and turn the pages with the other. Now, I have to place it on a table or desk to even handle it. It grew in thickness from about two inches to six, and much of that growth is due to the increase in new drugs that treat the side effects of drugs, what are called “iatrogenic (doctor-caused) diseases.” Are we getting sicker or have we become a drug-addicted and drug-damaged society? Lane’s answer is worth excepting from the interview:
The way psychiatrists define mental illness has itself changed radically. The first two editions of the DSM focused on observable traits and behaviors in patients, which were often described as “reactions” to particular incidents or stressors. When the third edition came out in 1980, it defined virtually everything as a “disorder,” which connotes an innate, lifelong malfunctioning of the brain rather than a moment of psychological distress that might be due to a brief change in circumstance. This new method of defining mental disease has completely transformed the way mental-health professionals and the general public think about it.
When asked again if it is possible that we are in fact getting sicker, he responded with alarming words about how the industry is viewing our children:
I think it’s difficult to gauge that accurately. If you follow the APA’s line [American Psychiatric Association], then most definitely we’re seeing epidemic rates of social anxiety disorder and bipolar disorder, with the latter expanding by an eye-popping 4,000 percent. But how did that massive increase come about? It’s due almost entirely to the fact that the DSM-IV formalized bipolar as a mental disorder among children. Before that, bipolar disorder was understood to be exclusively an adult phenomenon. Psychiatrists like to revise everything backward, to rewrite the past in terms of their current terminology. Doing so makes their new terminology seem natural, even inevitable. There are more than a hundred more mental disorders in the DSM today than we had in 1968, including incredible new ones such as “sibling-relational problem” and even “partner-relational problem.” But I’m not convinced that the introduction of new illnesses means that more people are actually sicker.
Lane then goes on to say this about the quality of the APA’s trials in determining the criteria for mental illness:
I have extensively researched the APA archives and can attest that their judgments were often flimsy and their rationale for including new disorders questionable, based as they were on anecdotal evidence, ambiguous clinical research, and highly inconclusive trials. One of the consultants for the DSM-III, Theodore Millon, admitted to The New Yorker in 2005 that there was little systemic research; much of it, he said, was inconsistent and hodgepodge. He was an active participant on the DSM committee.
Lane’s research seeded and spurred the authoring of his book in 2007, Shyness: How Normal Behavior Became a Sickness, in which he shares his observations of the evolution of the understanding of mental disorders which gradually began to include normal reactions to one’s environment and upbringing. Such normal behavior began to be seen as “innate conditions of brain chemistry, resulting from problematic levels of neurotransmitters, especially serotonin.” Under the expanded guidelines of the DSM, anyone who is shy stands the risk of being diagnosed as mentally ill.
GOOD NEWS TO THE DRUG INDUSTRY
“The new disorders were obviously music to the ears of drug companies,” he says, “insofar as they massively increased the market for their products, which the media greeted with incredible enthusiasm.” Of course the media would be enthused. In 2000 alone GlaxoSmithKline spent $92 million on direct-to-consumer advertising on a single drug, Paxil, a drug that has so many side effects and such dubious results that the company seriously considered shelving it only to turn around and make a blockbuster out of it with an annual revenue surpassing $1 billion. As Lane points out, they have to create and sell the disease to the public before they sell the drug. The expectation is that we will self-diagnose and hurry to our local pharmacy to buy their new product.
Are we going to continue allowing the drug industry to invent diseases and determine what behaviors and symptoms are to be included in the DSM as illnesses based on what new drugs they’ve developed that need a disease to treat and a shelf to fill in the drugstore?
“EMOTIONAL BLUNTING” A SIDE EFFECT
One of the side effects of all this massive consumption of antidepressants and antipsychotic drugs is described as “emotional blunting,” a widely noted and studied phenomenon where people on these drugs may show little if any strong emotion in the face of catastrophes and environmental crises, such as the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, or sensitive enough moral and ethical judgement that allowed space for risky bank practices and real estate speculation. Lane decries the lack of resistance on the part of Americans to Bush’s $4 trillion illegal and ill justified Iraq war, an economic setback that conservatives among us appear to have conveniently forgotten as they blame our present economic crisis on our Democratic President. Are we as a nation over-drugged to the point of emotional numbness where we can’t think clearly or feel compassion and consideration anymore?
IS THERE A RISK TO PUBLIC HEALTH? TO OUR CHILDREN?
Traces of Lithium are showing up in municipal drinking water, not to mention the homeopathic coding of our drinking water by the mere presence of these traces of antidepressants, antibiotics and other prescription drugs in the water. Mass medication is taking place without public awareness, much less outcry. There’s no public outcry either against the forced drugging of our children with amphetamines (Adderall and Ritalin – read my blog on this) instead of giving them a healthier alternative to sugar and caffeine laden soft drinks and refined carbohydrate snacks, although there is finally some movement in that direction by our school system.
Lane says that undergraduates are taking “neuroenhancers” . . . in large numbers . . . apparently not recognizing the difference between caffeine and what is essentially refined amphetamines. To the extent that real learning and deep efforts in creativity are being replaced by adjustments in brain chemistry — potentially involving tens of thousands of students across the country — I would consider that a risk to public health, to say nothing of a phenomenon that should raise concerns about academic integrity and cheating
A CHANGE IN PERCEPTION AND CONSCIOUSNESS NEEDED
I’ve cited this interview as an example in the healthcare industry of how the field of professional medical providers will gladly accommodate our demand for drugs to alleviate our pain, be it physical pain or mental anxiety and depression. That demand arises largely out of the way we perceive ourselves, our pain and mental anxiety, and the state of consciousness in which we form our perceptions, most of which are based on beliefs we’ve held since childhood.
An example that readily comes to mind is the automatic assumption, when pain arises, that something is wrong and a doctor is needed to tell us what’s wrong and give us something for the pain, preferable find and correct the cause of the pain so that we won’t need the pain killer — which is what I do as a holistic physician and people respond favorably to that kind of rationale.
NOTHING IS WRONG! EVERYTHING MATTERS!
My approach to pain and illness is that nothing is wrong but the symptoms do matter. The symptoms of pain and anxiety are important messages from the body that a change is needed in the way I’m living life. They matter, in other words, and we are not wise in our rush to turn off the symptoms with drugs, or high potency vitamins and herbs, for that matter, and thereby miss the message. For unless the message is properly perceived and duly heeded, the symptoms will return, only next time louder and more attention grabbing, for which the doctor will prescribe yet stronger medicine and/or more invasive procedures. So, while dealing with the pain for relief, let’s discover what the pain alarm is about so we can address the underlying cause.
A typical example of what I’m saying occurs in my practice on a regular basis. The patient presents with a chronic back pain for which various doctors, including chiropractors, were consulted and treatments rendered with no lasting results. Being a chiropractor, I naturally look for a structural problem, such as a hip or spinal vertebra out of alignment irritating a nerve root. But that’s already been done, so I listen more deeply and broaden my perception while tracing the symptoms back to uncover a deeper and perhaps more obscure and subtle cause. Invariably, upon muscle testing and a comprehensive investigation into the patient’s case history and life style habits, a bladder infection more often than not reveals itself. So we treat the bladder infection for a period of time with herbs and nutritional protocols and the chronic back pain goes away for good.
Another example is the chronic neck ache, the crick in the neck that just won’t go away, even with chiropractic adjustments. So we listen and look deeper for less obvious causes and invariably a lymphatic congestion reveals itself as the cause, resulting in lymph node swelling and tenderness in the neck So, we treat the lymphatics with herbs and homeopathic solutions and the crick in the neck, as well as the recurring or lingering headache, clear up. An adjustment wasn’t needed after all . . . nor muscle relaxers.
Often a stiff neck is simply a physiological response to emotional stress, the body asking for deeper issues to be dealt with and resolved. Here is where true counseling is needed. I offer BioEnergetic Synchronization Technique (BEST) as a non-invasive treatment for emotional and mental stress issues. Basically it’s a way of desensitizing emotional “buttons” that are being pushed by triggers in one’s environment and social setting.
We will continue with this theme next blog post with a consideration of some alternative approaches to depression and mental illness, as well as a look at how we can go about changing our perception and consciousness around health issues in general. Until then, consider a drug-free life style.
In my last post we considered the process of bone remodeling. We saw how old bone is literally nibbled away by osteoclasts preparing the way for osteoblasts to come behind and lay down a collagen matrix for new bone with a fresh supply of calcium. We also saw how estrogen regulates this process by helping osteoclasts die (apoptosis) as they complete their jobs of resorption, thereby maintaining the ratio between these two bone workhorse cells. We looked at the roles Vitamin D and the Parathyroid hormones play in stimulating osteoclast activity and the release of calcium and phosphorus from the bones into the blood, and how they facilitate calcium resorption in the kidneys.
So, there’s a whole lot of activity in the bone remodeling process going on daily in your body completing a cycle in 100-day, yet taking seven years to completely rebuild every bone in your skeletal system. Basically, we have a new frame and muscular system every seven years, which is quite amazing! I’ve now been through nine bodies and starting on my tenth one.
We also looked at how osteopenia and osteoporosis occur when the net rate of bone resorption exceeds the rate of bone formation, resulting in a decrease in bone mass, and the role that estrogen and testosterone deficiencies play in this degenerative process. Then we reviewed the medical approach to this condition with drug intervention. Fosamax (alendronate) is the drug of choice. However, its mechanism of action is deceiving, to say the least, and debilitating at worst, often causing brittle bones that fracture and jaw bone necrosis in the long run. Hormone replacement therapy is also popular, but not without some risks.
A MORE NATURAL APPROACH
This brings us to the subject of this article: Supporting Bone Remodeling. As we saw is a previous article, bones are made up of a lot more than just calcium. They’re made of vitamins, minerals, trace minerals and protein. Taking calcium tablets alone, then, is not enough to feed your bones, especially if you’re taking calcium carbonate, the cheapest and most useless form of calcium on the market.
By the way, there’s plenty of calcium in the blood stream just from the process of bone resorption, if you stop to think about it. The key is to get it out of the blood and into the tissues and bones. We’ll talk about that shortly. What isn’t used up as muscle fuel is recycled back into the bones. What cannot be used at all is thrown out through the hair and nails giving them their white color. As we age the hair turns white with calcium as bone resorption is accelerated faster than the calcium can be used, as well as other reason related to mineral ratios and balance. I talk about this ratio in an earlier blog post. But I’ll cover the subject again in a future article.
Borrowing from a previous post to refresh our memories and to show that bone building is not all about calcium . . .
Minerals present in bone are: calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, manganese, silica, iron, zinc, selenium, baron, sulphur, chromium, and dozens of others. In order for bones to absorb the minerals Vitamin D must be present. Collagen is also part of the bone and provides a matrix for bone formation.
MY RECOMMENDATION FOR BONE REMODELING SUPPORT:
1.) First, stop the leaks. Then start getting calcium into the bones. I use Biost by Standard Process Labs (SPL). Biost is a bone protomorphogen (nucleic protein molecule of bone cells). It supplies the enzyme phosphatase which the body needs in order to metabolize the raw materials that compose bony tissue. Phosphatase also transports calcium from the blood into the bones.
Note: For men with enlarged prostates, (prostate hypertrophy), I use Prost-X because it contains phosphatase which also gets calcium into the prostate gland as well as the bones. The prostate will enlarge if it lacks calcium.
2.) Feed your bones. And what better to feed them with than raw bone meal . . . not dead and cooked commercial grade bone meal which is calcium carbonate (good for your lily bulbs but not for your bones). Raw bone meal has all the ingredients for bone remodeling. I use Calcifood Wafers (SPL) when I want immediate support of raw material in severe cases of osteoporosis. Note: Dentists have used Calcifood and Biost for loose teeth with fine results because they rebuild the bone around the teeth.
3.) A simple and daily supply of nutrient-rich whole foods that have the vitamins and minerals needed to build bones, especially dark green leafy vegetables like fresh raw spinach. This would include vegetables organically grown in mineral-rich soil. You can tell that if they’re sweet. It also includes at least 15 – 20 minutes of sunshine on the skin daily for Vitamin D, along with plenty of essential poly-unsaturated fatty acids (EFA’s) in the skin to give the sunshine something with which to make Vitamin D and carry calcium into the tissues. For those who don’t get enough sunshine, you can supplement with Cataplex D (SPL).
To supplement I use SPL’s multiple wholefood formulations of Catalyn, Organic Bound Minerals, Trace Minerals B12, and SUPER-EFF, a converted form of essential polyunsaturated fatty acids essential to the transportation of calcium from the blood into the tissues.
Note: EFA’s need to be converted in the liver to arachidonic acid to be of benefit. A person with a degenerative disease has a bad liver or else he wouldn’t have a degenerative disease. So he can’t convert EFA’s to arachidonic acid. SUPER-EFF fills the need here.
For severe degenerative conditions in all tissues, including nerve degeneration in multiple sclerosis, muscle degeneration in muscular dystrophy, and bone degeneration in rheumatoid arthritis, even in cancer, SUPER-EFF is a converted form of polyunsaturated fatty acids and therefore readily useful in rebuilding these tissues.
4.) Support for the four major endocrine players in female and male hormonal chemistry. They are the pituitary gland, the thyroid and parathyroid glands, the adrenal glands, and, last but not least, the gonadal glands (ovaries and testes). I use Symplex F and Symplex M by SP with superb results.
5.) Probably of utmost importance these days is support for the stress-response system’s central regulator, the hypothalamus. I use Hypothalmex (SPL) for support. More about this below.
6.) Support the Thyroid and Parathyroid glands with iodine from organic minerals and Cal-Ma-Plus (SPL) which has parathyroid desiccate to enhance the absorption of calcium. (Note: Soy products slow down the thyroid.)
7.) If you’re over 45 years of age, you would be wise to supplement with Betaine Hydrochloride tablets (SP). We seem to produce less of it as we age. Hydrochloric acid, besides being necessary for digestion of proteins in the stomach, is essential in the assimilation and absorption of calcium, which needs a more acidic condition in the colon for proper absorption. Betaine Hydrochloride provides that pH factor for calcium. If you’re having “acid indigestion” take 2 Zypan (SPL) with meals and take care of those “heart burns” after meals while getting your Betaine Hydrochloride at the same time.
8.) Herbal support for remodeling ageing bones, particularly in mature women. I use Bone Complex by Medi-Herb (SPL subsidiary).
9.) Weight bearing exercise to stimulate bone cell growth and calcium absorption into the bones. Exercise at least 4 days each week.
Watch this short video clip:
THE IMPORTANCE OF THE HYPOTHALAMUS AND ADRENALS IN STRESS MANAGEMENT
Situated beneath the brain, the hypothalamus regulates the homeostatic relationship between you and your environment, starting with the most immediate environment, your physical body with its myriad organic functions and complex chemistry that changes with every emotional upset, mental stress and physical activity. This critical connection between your central nervous system and your hormonal glands is crucial to homeostasis, and I am deeply concerned that this singular link between environmental stress and our ability to adapt is being overlooked in our healthcare.
Thanks to our ability to “talk” with the body through kinesiology (muscle testing), the functional health of the hypothalamus can be easily monitored. Interestingly enough (I notice these things), since the bombing of the World Trade Center and the subsequent activation of our Homeland Security Alert system, I have noticed an increase in the incidence of hypothalamus issues in my practice. There’s good reason for this. It’s a consequence of chronic stress.
Fear of terrorist attacks has been hanging over our heads for ten years and we’ve become frozen in a chronic fight or flight stress response. In chronic stress, the hypothalamus becomes frustrated confused and the adrenal glands exhausted. Basically, we have a stress factor that won’t go away. The hypothalamus tells the adrenal glands to pump adrenaline into the blood stream so we can fight the threat and eliminate it or else run away from it. When we can’t personally do either, the system becomes frustrated and the glands overworked to the point of exhaustion. Our blood stream becomes saturated with cortisol, the stress hormone, throwing our hormonal system out of balance. When hormone chemistry becomes imbalanced, nothing is going to function normally in the body because every cell of every organ and tissue in the body depends on adrenalin. Malnutrition and severe vitamin and mineral deficiencies themselves can trigger and maintain a stress response.
What to do?
Well, there is something we can do. First we can put a filter on our perception of the world through the eyes of the media. Next find your centering in love and be at Home in your skin. Home is safe. No one can touch you there. Even if your body got blown up you would remain safe at Home. Home is within you, not around you. That’s your house.
Finally, increase your production of oxytocin, the feel-good “hormone of love,” produced in the hypothalamus with hugging, laughter and other pleasurable experiences such as listening to beautiful music and toning the vowel sound “AH,” touching and being touched by another, giving and receiving a massage, spinal adjustments and manipulation of the joints by a chiropractor or osteopath, erotic play and sexual orgasm, breast feeding if you’ve just delivered a newborn – which itself produces oxytocin and makes childbirth a pleasurable, even orgasmic, experience. Oxytocin turns off the flight or fight stress response to calm you down. Oxytocin spray is also available, but read about its side effects online first. It appears to increase one’s trust in people, but not everyone, just those in your clan. ” Psychologists trying to specify its role have now concluded it is the agent of ethnocentrism.” Too much of anything good seems to always have a dark side. Less is more in most cases.
CONSULT FOR DOSAGES AND HEALTH COACHING
One size doesn’t fit all when it comes to nutritional supplementation, so I highly recommend professional guidance. I am available by phone or email for a modest coaching fee. My cell phone is (337) 802-5510 and my email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Call or email me. I’ll even supply you with supplements tailored to fit your needs – and if you are a subscriber you’ll enjoy a 10% discount on supplements. Let’s get your bones back to health and keep them dense and strong.
You’ve heard of the “fight, flight or freeze syndrome,” haven’t you? That system is turned on by stress, or by reaction to stressors which makes you distressed. Well, the calm, connect and coordinate system is what turns it off, restoring you to a state of calm wherein you can sink back into your skin and reconnect with your body as well as your environment instead of fleeing from them. It also gets the cells of your body functioning as a well-coordinated whole once again rather than galvanized, or frozen, in an isolated state of self-defense. This syndrome is turned on by a rarely talked about and scarcely understood hormone: Oxytocin.
Produced in the hypothalamus–a part of the brain that coordinates pituitary hormone production with the central nervous system and with what’s occurring around you–and stored in the posterior pituitary where it is released as a hormone to circulate through the body, oxytocin functions by altering or modulating the activities in other major body systems. It can have very long-lasting effects as these major systems work in a feedback loop and stimulate more oxytocin production. New discoveries are showing oxytocin is produced in many different places, including the heart and blood vessel walls, ovaries, and testes.
The hormone, Vasopressin–which stimulates the stress syndrome–is also produced in the hypothalamus and is stored and released by the posterior pituitary gland. Also known as an anti-diuretic hormone (ADH), it functions to maintain the body’s fluid volume and balance. In addition, vasopressin acts to increase aggression, hyper-vigilance, and other fight or flight type reactions. Our understanding of oxytocin and the calm and connection system is in its infancy. Almost all study has been directed to the fight or flight or distress handling system. Most textbooks still state that oxytocin’s only functions are to simulate uterine contraction and facilitate lactation in females (along with prolactin).
In oxytocin producing cells the electric impulses do not occur one by one, but in a cluster. When the cells are powerfully stimulated, as in breast-feeding, (or other oxytocin stimulating behavior) the electrical activity becomes coordinated and the cells act in concert. This is part of the reason large amounts of oxytocin can be released in nursing women. Estrogen can activate the oxytocin system and prolong its effects. Therefore, at certain times oxytocin affects females more potently than males. Testosterone can activate vasopressin and sustain its effects. Therefore, at certain times, vasopressin affects males more potently than females. Neurons that contain serotonin stimulate the release of oxytocin. This may be part of the mechanism of action of SSRI drugs that affect mood and anxiety levels. (Dopamine and noradrenalin also stimulate oxytocin release.) As you can see by the following list, there are many ways we can foster the calm, connect and coordinate system.
So, next time you find yourself stressed out over something, start producing oxytocin!
What stimulates Oxytocin release?
Giving thanks, being thankful and grateful, coming into the present moment with unconditional acceptance of things the way they are as being perfect; feelings of security, sensation and pleasure; touch, stroking, rhythmic touch; friendship, closeness, bonding experiences; sexual behavior, sex and intimacy, childbirth (uterine contractions), nursing and sucking (thumb-sucking); thoughts, memories, feelings of all the above; and probably such things as . . .
Some types of massage, chiropractic spinal adjustments, acupuncture, and other body-mind-spirit based techniques; energy work, attunement healing (Reiki); laughter and random happiness, deep sleep (delta), deep rhythmic breathing, Yoga, tai chi, and other related practices; rocking, singing, meditation, certain types of music, dance, art, literature, poetry; giving and receiving unconditional love; interaction with animals; a job or activity well done, especially if it benefits many; play and other positive and meaningful experiences.
Isn’t it wonderful how our bodies look after us and respond to our every wish and intention! The body never makes a mistake. Everything it does is perfect. We have every reason to trust it.