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An Introduction To
Alternative Medicine
For Psychiatric Conditions:
to include a reading list that is helpful to overcome these conditions naturally, as well as a simple guide to find thousands of helpful web resources
by Allen Darman

Although depression, anxiety disorder, panic disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, ADHD, bipolar disorder, schizo-affective disorder, schizophrenia, etc. are currently considered "mental illnesses", many doctors and other knowledgeable persons realize that this very simplistic outlook is incorrect. Mental illnesses are always whole body illnesses; they are never just mental in nature.

Although the number of persons (and alternative doctors) that realize that mental illnesses are whole body illnesses is relatively small at present, this number of persons is growing, and is growing exponentially. It is inevitable that the entire concept of "mental illness" is going to become functionally obsolete. Sometime in the 21st century, none of the aforementioned illnesses will be considered mental illnesses at all, due to a growth in human understanding.

Just as the earth was once considered to be flat by the entire human race, and later was found to be round, "mental illness" is going to be recognized by the entire human race as not really being "just mental illness" at all. Thank god for the tremendous reduction in human suffering that this growth in human understanding will represent.

Depression, anxiety disorder, panic disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, ADHD, bipolar disorder, schizo-affective disorder, schizophrenia are all illnesses that quite obviously affect the brain. Indeed, this is why these illnesses are currently considered psychiatric in nature. However, some persons (to include a number of alternative doctors) currently realize that these "mental illnesses" also concern the thyroid gland, the adrenal gland, the pancreas (in regard to both its insulin production and digestive enzyme production functions), the liver, and every other organ and cell in the human body to some degree as well. These persons realize that mental illness is ALWAYS a whole body illness; it is NEVER just mental in nature.

Many persons seem intimidated in regard to even attempting to gain a useful understanding of their own body. They erroneously assume that their body is far too complex in which to do so. Often they assume that they would need to go to some sort of medical school and become a doctor in order to be able to treat severe mental illness in themselves. This is definitely not the case.

The truth is that it is not that difficult for someone to gain a practical understanding of their own body in order to recover their health, to include their "mental health". One only needs to read and reflect on a half a dozen to a dozen books to do so, and then implement what they have learned. Almost anybody that (1) has graduated high school with a "B" average, (2) is still mentally functional, (3) is willing to learn to understand a few dozen new words, and (4) is willing to put forth the effort necessary can learn enough about their own body such that they can recover from severe mental illness. One does not need to be a doctor to do so. They only need to be functional enough to able to read and retain some new information, and be able to apply this information effectively to themselves. This "new information" is not that much more than one would have to learn during a single semester in college.

"Mental illnesses" are commonly and correctly considered to be conditions of "chemical imbalance". Well, let us talk about the chemicals in the human body that are imbalanced in simple terms for a little while, so that we can understand the phrase "chemical imbalance" and the chemistry of the human body a little better.

"Understand the human cell, and you can understand the human body." This simple statement has profound implications in regard to correcting all mental illness.

It is important to realize that only three basic chemical classes affect ALL cellular function in every form of life, to include every single cell in a human being. These chemical classes are (1) essential nutrients, (2) allergens, and (3) toxins. (1) Does the cell have enough of all 50 or so essential nutrients to function properly?, (2) Is the cell overexposed to substances it is allergic to such that its performance is impaired?, and (3) Is the cell overexposed to toxins such that its performance is impaired? These three simple questions are quite germane to human health period, both physical and mental. Indeed, these three simple questions often represent the entirety of the matter. This is especially true when "psychiatric" conditions are concerned.

The chemical class of essential nutrients referred to above subdivides into only four sub-classes of essential nutrients. In order of amounts present in the human body once all of the water is taken out, these are, from largest to smallest amounts present, (1) amino acids, (2) fats, (3) minerals, and (4) vitamins. Water represents roughly 70% of the weight of an average human being. If one takes the water out of an average human being, the remainder by weight is roughly 70% amino acids, vs. only 20% by weight of fats, 5% by weight of minerals, and an even smaller percentage by weight of vitamins.

It may be worthy to note that some nutrients can be harmful when present in excessive amounts. Copper is one common problematic nutrient worthy of mention in this regard. Some persons have too much of the essential nutrient mineral copper. If so, this issue of too much copper can and should be resolved. However, most nutrient problems are not problems of excess such as this example with copper. In regard to mental illness, most nutrient problems are problems of deficiency.

Essential nutrients are responsible for the production of EVERY neurotransmitter, hormone, and enzyme in the human body. If you are low in any one of the 50 or so essential nutrients, you are most certainly impaired in regard to the production of any neurotransmitter, hormone, or enzyme these biochemicals are made of. This is irrefutable scientific and biological fact. Unfortunately, this is fact you regular doctor or psychiatrist ignores. It is also fact that is being ignored by almost all medical research worldwide, in favor of just dispensing drugs. Why? Power, prestige, and money are why. All of these are threatened by rather simple and understandable truths in regard to nutrients, allergens, and toxins (even by a person that may only have graduated high school).

In almost any person with any psychiatric diagnosis whatsoever, food allergens either directly cause or greatly contribute to their psychiatric symptoms. This allergic exposure relates to unknowingly ingesting common (and often multiple) food allergens, such as the gluten-laden grains of wheat, oats, barley, and rye, dairy products, corn, eggs, peanuts, chocolate, citrus, soy, the nightshade family, and other common allergic foods. Almost always eating common foods such as those in the aforementioned list is the biggest allergic exposure that someone should be concerned about. This is especially true if someone has any psychiatric diagnosis whatsoever.

Common foods cause severe psychiatric symptoms in millions of persons. This is a fact that conventional medicine ignores. It is also a fact that is commonly recognized in alternative medicine.

Many toxins can be generated in the GI tract. (The GI tract is the gastrointestinal tract. It is also commonly referred to as "the gut".). These gut toxins are the result of having (1) too much candida (a common yeast condition), (2) too many various other yeasts, molds and fungi, (3) too many "bad bacteria" that do not belong in the gut, (4) not enough "good bacteria" that should be present in the gut, (5) the presence of parasites, and/or (6) having too much undigested (and therefore fermenting) food. When present, these gut toxins always are absorbed into the body to some degree. Toxins present in the GI tract usually represent the biggest toxic exposure that one should be concerned about. This is especially true if someone has any psychiatric diagnosis whatsoever.

Gut toxins, and the issues that cause them, cause severe psychiatric symptoms in millions of persons. This is a fact that conventional medicine ignores. It is also a fact that is commonly recognized in alternative medicine.

In addition to their being problematic in and of themselves, hidden food allergens and gut toxins substantially impair all essential nutrient delivery into the body. In their presence, the gut acts to protect you. Our intestines either allow for greater absorption or restrict for lesser absorption depending on what is in them. To lessen absorption of problematic gut contents into the body, our intestines secrete mucous, become inflamed, or use other means in order to partially shut down the gut from an absorptive standpoint. This is the way nature designed the human gut, as well as the guts of many other species as well.

The human body needs to deal with toxic exposure to some degree every single day. It does so by a process called detoxification. All detoxification pathways in the human body are essential nutrient dependent. Some nutrients are more important than others in this regard. And when the body detoxifies (either excretes or "locks up") any toxic molecule, it uses, and uses up, essential nutrient molecules to do so. Therefore it only makes sense to fortify one's essential nutrient status, as doing so increases the body's ability to handle the daily measure of toxins it is most certainly exposed to. This concept applies, at least in part, to all allergic exposure as well.

In simplicity, some practitioners of alternative medicine are proposing to us, and have been proposing to us for a handful of years, that our "various brain problems" are simply (1) food allergic, (2) gut toxic, (3) dietary deficiency, and (4) nutrient malabsorptive problems in disguise. They are telling us that the brain is simply a "secondary target organ" to "primary gut events", just as are all of the other organs and glands in the body as well. According to these practitioners of alternative medicine if (1) we don't eat a nutritionally adequate and non-allergic diet, or (2) our GI tract (gut) is too toxic from candida or other biological issues that are listed in the copy above, or (3) our gut does not work quite right such that foods we eat are not being digested or absorbed properly... then sooner or later we are likely to become predisposed to chemical imbalance. Chemical imbalance equates to "mental illness".

In regard to nutrients, plain and simple logic underlies the fact that chemical imbalance equates to "mental illness". This is because essential nutrients are what all of our neurotransmitters, hormones, and enzymes are made out of. Therefore if we lack essential nutrients, we lack what these nutrients build in our brains and bodies as well. And therefore any problem relating to the (1) intake, (2) digestion, or (3) absorption of an adequate amount of essential nutrients is a causative factor in "mental illness". This simple logic seems patently obvious to many persons.

Unfortunately, the simple logic reflected in the above paragraph is totally ignored by modern drug pushing psychiatry as we know it. Did your psychiatrist ever tell you that every single neurotransmitter in your brain is made out of essential nutrients such as amino acids, minerals, or vitamins? Did they ever recommend these nutrients to you? Does your psychiatrist assume that you, as their patient, currently have all of the 50 or so scientifically known essential nutrients that your body and your brain need? Apparently, your psychiatrist assumes just that.

Sadly, your psychiatrist knows very little to nothing about the therapeutic use of nutrients. And sadly, your psychiatrist knows almost nothing about the various nutrient, malabsorptive, allergic, and toxic factors that cause almost all mental illness in the first place. All that your psychiatrist knows is how to dispense medication in an attempt to control your symptoms.

It is becoming clearer and cleared in the alternative medical arena that (1) broadly increasing one's essential nutrient status (with some exceptions in some cases, but always paying attention to the key detoxification nutrients), (2) minimizing one's exposure to allergens, (3) minimizing one's exposure to toxins, while (4) broadly addressing the common malabsortive factors that impair nutrient delivery of (a) chronically ingesting food allergens, (b) intestinal dysbiosis, (c) a probable lack of digestive enzymes, (d) a possible lack of adequate stomach acid, (e) underhydration, and (f) a lack of enough exercise