What I Eat Matters??
An area of mental health which in my opinion, is largely ignored or not sufficiently recognized is the connection between mental wellbeing, diet and nutrition. I'm not exactly sure why there is this disconnect, but it's definitely there. We are not trained in any experience I've ever had to help clients with making sure they are adequately taking are of their body. It's a western idea (an outdated western idea) to believe that the mind and body are separate.
I mean honestly, how could they be!!?? The brain is IN the body and impacts our awareness, consciousness and perception of reality. But with that being said, the impact of what we put into our bodies is often ignored. Basic issues of drug use, alcohol, sleep, water intake, exercise, and balanced nutrition are critical for mental health and wellbeing. Going deeper than this, nutrition issues we can have such as gluten sensitivity, too much sugar intake, a diet based in junk food...are not sufficiently addressed in mental health and wellness but all have a major impact on wellbeing.
This needs to change.
We are doing a disservice to the profession and our clients but not looking at the mind body connection or rather ignoring it. This is not to say anyone should be pretending to be a nutritionist. I'm not saying this at all. Rather, it's just that basic food concerns and diet should not be ignored in mental health. There can absolutely be biological concerns that impact our mental health. We now know that celiac disease and severe gluten sensitivity alone can potentially cause brain fog, difficulty concentrating, insomnia, anxiety and depression. Hypothyroidism can cause depression and exhaustion. Hyperthyroidism can cause anxiety and insomnia, etc.
The point is, ignoring any underlying biological concerns is not helping anyone. The mind and body are connected. The fact that this even needs to be stated is ridiculous. The brain is an organ in the body, and the functioning of our mind comes from our brain. It's the same as when the heart or lungs have issues, they are organs in the body. To best help others and to best understand mental health...look at the whole picture. It's not just about talking to address issues of mental health, it's about everything.
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