Let’s Talk —About Mental Health
Two years ago, Bell Canada announced an initiative to support mental health. This year, their “Let’s Talk” campaign is designed to get people talking about mental illness and help reduce the stigma surrounding it.
So, in response to the “Let’s Talk” campaign, here’s what we want to talk about:
First, it’s important to understand that mental illnesses such as depression, ADHD, obsessive compulsive disorder, schizophrenia, dementia, and the huge range of other mental health problems are, in fact, biological illnesses—not the result of being merely lazy or crazy or weak-willed. Mental illness has its roots in a person’s biology, and people with mental illness truly are ill. They deserve our respect and care, not ridicule or threats.
Second, we want to talk about mainstream medicine’s failure to address the nutritional needs of the brain when mental illness strikes. Time and again, the mainstream medical system recommends cognitive behavioural therapy, drugs, exercise, hospitalization, and even electric shock therapy, but the system gives very little consideration to the brain’s huge nutritional needs—even though this organ is energy intensive and highly sensitive.
Ignoring the brain’s nutritional needs happened again at least once this week: On his daily talk show, Anderson Cooper interviewed a young woman struggling with obsessive compulsive disorder. A therapist who specializes in this debilitating illness explained that the patient’s brain is not working properly and is telling the patient to do things that she doesn’t want to do (completing various rituals over and over again until the patient becomes exhausted and debilitated). The therapist went on to explain that this patient’s brain was genetically pre-disposed to the illness; genetics were the loaded gun and life circumstances pulled the trigger. The therapist advised that intensive cognitive behavioural therapy is needed. However, not a word was spoken about supporting the brain with proper nutrition.