Nutritional Psychiatry

I’m reading about a contingent of staunch psychiatrists who practice whole or integrative psychiatry focused on nutrition as a factor in healing. One doctor’s patient had no luck with her anxiety until he gave her B12 shots and the anxiety stopped.

My own experience is long and winding. I had to figure out on my own how to eat and what kind of exercise to do. From 1990 to 1993 I met with an MD who had a private practice focusing on health and nutrition. She still practices on Staten Island.

I lost 20 pounds then and mostly kept it off until my early forties. Right now I still weigh what I did when I was 29 and I’m 50. I credit seeing Dr. K as the catalyst for losing the weight. I kept a food diary. She encouraged me to exercise. All those years I would do step aerobics or the treadmill or aerobics at the time I was trying to lose weight.

This was my own sideways step-in to nutrition over the years. I read a lot of books on food and nutrition and calorie and fat counters and RDA vitamin counter type books. No psychiatrist ever examined what I ate or whether I exercised. And I’ve been in recovery 28 years now.

You can click on my Reviews blog header to read about what I think are the Top 5 Nutrition Books. I recommend starting a dialogue with your pdoc about health and nutrition and fitness. Get it rolling because it’s imperative to integrate a whole life approach to treating mental illness.

I’ll end here by touting my own experience with Omega-3 fish oil gel caps. I’ve taken them from 2003. As soon as I started taking them my Seasonal Affective Disorder stopped and didn’t return. I also take cinnamon tablets to regulate blood sugar.

As always: talk with your doctors before you start any vitamin or medicine or new “treatment.”

I can vouch for how eating good food and breaking a sweat makes a person feel good.

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Author: Chris Bruni

Christina Bruni is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir Left of the Dial. She owns a resume writing and career help business. She contributed a chapter "Recovery is Within Reach" to Benessere Psicologico: Contemporary Thought on Italian American Mental Health. As well as an author and activist, Bruni is an artist and a fitness buff.

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