I’ve heard it time and again from my patients. All they had to do was mention they were feeling a little stressed out, anxious, or depressed — and voila! Their psychiatrist forked over a prescription for Prozac, Lexapro, Seroquel, or some other antidepressant.
It’s a sad state of affairs, but many psychiatrists have become pill pushers instead of real therapists over the last few decades. And antidepressants have become so common, many people think of them as “no big deal.”
But make no mistake here — these are some heavy-duty psychotropic drugs that can have serious, life-altering side effects.
Thankfully, it looks like some savvy psychiatrists are finally realizing drugs shouldn’t be considered the first line of treatment. And that there are better, safer ways to promote mood and mental health…
This new revelation was introduced in a statement released recently by The International Society for Nutritional Psychiatry Research (ISNPR), and published in the journal World Psychiatry. And it really sets forth a whole new protocol for psychiatrists to use when evaluating patients. Namely, it calls for them to acknowledge the relationship between nutrition and mental health when considering a treatment plan.
The report finally acknowledges that there is solid epidemiologic, scientific, and clinical evidence to show that diet plays a significant role in a person’s risk of depression (and other mental health disorders), as well as helping to treat these issues.
This particular statement was so bold you really need to read it verbatim:
“We can’t continue to ignore this. We need to institutionalize changes through education, in schools and early childhood settings, through restricting marketing, possibly through taxation, and doing everything we can to denormalize these foods and make them harder to consume. I wouldn’t even call them foods, I’d call them food products.” (Sound like someone you know? See? I’m NOT the only one who thinks this way!)
In fact, this report goes so far as to say that dietary changes are an affordable and effective way to improve mental health and mood disorders.
Yes, these are things you’ve been hearing me say for years. But it’s certainly a message our entire Prozac Nation needs to hear.
The ISNPR report also recognized that these “food products” are so pervasive and heavily marketed, they’ve become highly addictive.
And because junk foods are so ubiquitous and so addictive, it has actually been a major factor in the huge upswing of mental health, neurodegenerative, and neurodevelopment disorders surfacing among the general population these days.
You only need to look at overwhelming rise in the number of children and teens with autism, aggression, hyperactivity, depression, and anxiety to notice this impact.
But adults aren’t immune to mental and behavioral issues either. They run the same risks as kids when they eat too much heavily processed food.
Bottom line — eating processed, chemical-laden junk foods, and washing them down with sugary drinks is the greatest cause of overall mortality across the globe. And it’s becoming increasingly recognized as a driving force behind mental disorders too.
I also love the fact that it is getting harder and harder for the conventional medical world to ignore how the gut microbiome impacts the brain, mood, and behavior. My book Boost Your Health with Bacteria addressed this very issue years before it was fashionable, and I am sure glad others are stepping up.
Indeed, we’ve known for years that a number of nutrients have been proven to promote mental health, such as omega-3 fatty acids, B vitamins, choline, iron, zinc, magnesium, S-adenosyl methionine, vitamin D, and amino acids.
And I am thrilled that some mainstream psychiatrists are finally getting on board too. The fact is, no one needs dangerous drugs to feel their best — physically or mentally.