Mental Health: A New Perspective

In today’s world of news channels and smart phones providing constant information, it is almost impossible not to be inundated with every little detail of each event.  The ones that receive the most coverage are generally the negative stories, as it seems like one heinous act is committed in an attempt to top its seemingly un-topable predecessor.

With the in-depth coverage, the analyzation of the criminal’s profile becomes a focus.  More specifically and recently, their mental health (and medications) are called in question.  Are all of these people inherently evil or is there something going on with their hard-wiring that makes them see the world the way they do, and ultimately do the things they do?

Along the same lines we have conditions that have traditionally been labeled and treated as psychological problems.  ADD, OCD, addictions, depression, anxiety and a bad temper are conditions that we as society have a hard time understanding.  Often the individual is looked at as weaker, and those on the outside sometimes question the actual legitimacy of the concept of mental illness as a whole.

All of this falls under the category of mental health.  And as stated, traditionally this has fallen into the realm of relying on psychological and/or psychiatric treatment.  However, there is mounting evidence pointing toward physiological deficiencies in the individual’s brain as the potential reason for these issues.  This is promising as research has also shown that you can improve brain function.  This reinforces the theory of changing your brain to change your life.

The basis of this theory has been supported by the use of SPECT (single photon emission computed tomography) which allows us to view blood flow and the distribution of activity levels throughout the brain.  The pioneers of this technology utilized it to view functional images of people who had problems with dementia, depression, schizophrenia, drug use and head injuries, and compare them with the images of normal brains.

What they found was various locations of deficient brain activity could be correlated with certain mental conditions or personality flaws.  Even more exciting is that therapies exist to target specific deficient regions, and have been implemented with success throughout the country.  This provides additional understanding and more importantly, hope.

Thanks to the documented results of these imaging studies, patients and their families are able to actually see the underlying brain problem that is essentially driving the emotional and behavioral symptoms.  Rather than blame themselves for having a weak character or mental illness, patients are able to better understand the origin of their issues and receive more targeted, effective treatment.

The following is an excerpt from the book: “Change Your Brain, Change Your Life,” a New York Times Bestseller written by Dr. Daniel G. Amen:

“Your brain is the hardware of your soul.  It is the hardware of your very essence as a human being.  You cannot be who you really want to be unless your brain works right.  How your brain works determines how happy you are, how effective you feel, and how well you interact with others.  Your brain patterns help you (or hurt you) with your marriage, parenting skills, work, and religious beliefs, along with your experiences of pleasure and pain.  If you are anxious, depressed, obsessive-compulsive, prone to anger, or easily distracted, you probably believe these problems are “all in your head.”  In other words, that you believe your problem is purely psychological.  However, research that I and others have done shows that the problems are related to the physiology of the brain – and the good news is that we have proof that you can change that physiology.”

This is truly powerful stuff.  What this means to all of us on a practical level is that there is hope.  We all don’t have access to the SPECT technology of imaging, but what this research has shown us is that depressed areas of the brain correlated with certain conditions or traits, can have their level of activation increased by way of targeted therapies.

Bridging this to my area of practice, the utilization of functional neurology provides the practitioner with the tools to do just what we described above.  By performing a series of non-invasive tests and observations on a patient, the potential area of brain imbalance can be identified.  In and out of office therapies can then be intentionally directed at that area in attempt to boost the function of the brain and thus the overall capabilities of the individual’s life.

If you have any of the above described conditions or are simply interested in looking into unlocking your full potential, please do not hesitate to contact my office (contact information provided to the upper right), as I’d love to work with you.  If you’re not in my area, look for a chiropractor who utilizes functional neurology and go check it out for yourself.

The research and evidence is mounting.  Help and hope does exist.  The ball is in your court to take the first step.

Advertisements

3 responses to “Mental Health: A New Perspective

  1. Great post Dr Clarke! I’m beginning to hear more of this type of medical treatment from many different outlets and it’s very encouraging to hear it. Having been diagnosed with ADD, whether there’s real meaning to that diagnosis or not, it’s nice to know that there exists a growing body of professionals like you who are offering proven scientific methods for treating the issues without prescribing dangerous medication. Thanks for the info.

  2. very interesting….and more importantly, the message of HOPE!

  3. Pingback: A Functional Approach: Connecting the Dots | Clarke Chiropractic and Wellness

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s