S.A.D. States: Stress, Anxiety and Depression
Apr 29, 2019 10:44AM
● By Dr. Don Joergens
Revelations in the Reasons and Solutions
Imagine a world where a person diagnosed with anxiety, depression or perhaps both, was subjected to a surgery that involved hammering a 10-inch long ice pick through the bones above the eyes? This wasn’t found through artifacts revealed at an archeological dig. This was 20th century medicine. The procedure, called a lobotomy, was created by a renowned physician, who was awarded a Nobel prize for the procedure. By 1952, about 50,000 lobotomies had been performed in the United States before sanity arrived to save future victims.
In today’s world, modern medicine views mental unhealth as a brain chemistry problem where prescribing other chemicals (drugs) is the solution. While modern psychiatry expands the view to include cognition, behavior and mind, the model is incomplete and unwhole. This is not an attack on how we care for mental health as a society. We simply have what we have because of current perceptions within modern medicine. However, this understanding is long overdue for a major shift.
Practitioners today are beginning to question what they have been taught about mental health. Conventional thinking sees the cause of depression, anxiety and mental unhealth in general as an imbalance of neurotransmitters and/or chemicals within the brain and prescribes drugs to counter the imbalance. During acute phases in severe cases this may be the correct course but exit strategies from prescription medications rarely exist in pharmacological psychiatry, and cause-based solutions aren’t commonly considered. Psychotherapy is a more potent and transformational solution as it includes patient and therapist engaging in the exploration of Self on many levels of awareness.
Both pharmaceuticals and psychotherapies have helped move the field of mental health forward, yet both are still missing this essential perspective—that the brain is the vehicle or instrument of the mind. Although the mind is much greater than the brain, it is the brain as a physical instrument, made of grey and white matter, which creates the Self within every moment. This basic understanding allows us to open the door to comprehending that the organic, material complexity of the brain gives rise to who and what we are. As our brain changes, we change. And if it goes too far, we can lose the strength and stability of our mind, of our best Self.
Over time, the brain has evolved into almost two distinct and separate hemispheres. It is here, in the differences between associated areas of the divided brain, that disorders such as anxiety and depression are born. The imbalance of neurotransmitters is not the cause but the effect. It is the imbalance in the strength of function between weaker and stronger areas across the two-sided brain. It is here where we more fully understand the states of depression and anxiety as expressions from the physically disempowered brain. It is also here where we begin to appreciate stress and stressors for what they are—particular types of psychophysical weights. Stress loads in general and specific stressors will pressure the depressed or anxiety imbalanced brain where it cannot support the weight of a given mental burden. The brain fatigues and collapses. The capacity to perform instantly becomes less. This new perspective also reveals a brain in dynamic balance equals a human being living a normal, if not superior, life.
This shift forward allows us to evaluate the brain in a far more effective way. By changing and transforming the disconnected brain areas through uniquely specific sensory stimulation and very subtle movements of body, a human being can be made whole. The best part is that it adds to the existing paradigm, delivering a more powerful brain for psychotherapy to engage and exit strategy doors for pharmaceutical psychiatry to open.
Dr. Donald Joergens, D.C., founder of Functional Brain Training, has been an innovative thinker for over 25 years. His proprietary developments and patent using the discoveries of cutting-edge functional neuroscience reflect his powerful belief and vision in the inclusion of functional brain-based methods to potentiate the lives of all people.