If there is one question to ask yourself when you are working through some small or profound emotional turmoil in your life, it would be: are your tears organic? In other words, are they the natural reaction of your emotions being fully expressed or is something else going on? I don’t believe that all sadness is a form of mental illness. Of course, I’m not saying there is no such thing as mental illness. I am simply putting out there that not all sadness is something you need to go to your health care provider for. When it is a form of mental illness however, proper treatments such as psycho-therapeutic drugs, “talking therapy”, “sound-therapy” and the like are sometimes nothing short of life-saving. There are many forms of therapy that can be beneficial to one’s healing journey, generally doctors and therapists tend to use combined forms and certainly with conditions like bipolar disorder or schizophrenia, this is true.
But the “normal” sadness of life is not in that category. The cultural trend to avoid sadness, hiding it behind our fake smiles and media addictions, has led to an epidemic of casual anti-depressant use. All a person needs to do these days is simply mention to a health care provider that times have been rough and within less time than it takes to make an appointment, you have a prescription in your hand for some chemical that you haven’t the vaguest clue what will actually do to you, let alone what it will do when you try and come off of it. When it comes to anything at all involving our bodies, we have come so far, so why then do we still cling to the notion that “the doctor knows best”. As more chemicals are put out in the market to “fix” what ails us, we need to start asking the question, “What is this and should I really be taking it?” Personal suffering is not always a medical issue and should not always be treated as such.
In my own life, I can attest to the fact that most sadness comes from experiences in life that challenge the soul (mind, will and emotions). There is generally a form of personal transformation that takes place from having weathered the storm. As one person awakens, the power of their presence has the potential to ignite the spark of awakening in others. With that, the light of consciousness grows stronger; we never know what can contribute to another’s awakening. To say that not every person that has experienced a dark time in their lives has a mental illness in no way stigmatizes people with mental illness. Lack of knowledge, understanding and compassion do that. I certainly don’t judge anyone for taking medication but at the same time I believe that we’re an over-medicated society, either through actual prescriptions or simply self-medicating through poor diet, drinking water, recreational drug use and the like.
It has been overlooked that sometimes we authentically feel sad and this is part of the human condition. When there is true underlying suffering, we should look at our diet as it may be the dire cause that affects our day to day lives.
An acidic diet could lead our bodies into physical illness and increase our chance at being depressed and people who eat mainly alkalizing foods such as vegetables, low sugar fruits and oily fish are less likely to get depression by an average of 25%.
If you eat a whole food diet or a diet high in the foods that have a high alkaline mineral content (fresh green veggies, salad greens, nuts, seeds, low-sugar fruits, oily fish etc) and avoid those that have a highly acidic effect (sugar, sweets, refined foods, saturated fats, meats, dairy, chocolate, pizza, fizzy drinks etc.) then you will live a long and healthy life.
Many of the nutrients that the human brain relies upon for its growth, healing and healthy functioning have been stripped from the food supply by modern food processing and factory farming. As a result, we as a nation are overfed and undernourished. We’re also being poisoned. Preservatives, pesticides and plastic packaging have introduced a slew of new chemicals into our systems, which pose additional threats to our brain functions.
There is emerging research in the fields of neuroscience and nutrition which shows that people who eat a diet of modern processed foods have increased levels of depression, anxiety, mood swings, hyperactivity, and a wide variety of other mental and emotional problems. An example of a study found that adolescents with low-quality junk food diets are 79 percent more likely to suffer from depression. Another found that diets high in trans fats found in processed foods raised the risk of depression by 42 percent among adults over the course of approximately six years. A large study of women’s diets by the Harvard School of Public health concluded that those whose diets contained the greatest number of healthy omega-3 fats (and the lowest levels of unhealthy omega-6s) were significantly less likely to suffer from depression.
Many insecticides and pesticides are neurotoxins, and although some claim the science isn’t settled about their health risks. Organic food usually costs a little more, so it’s smart to start by switching to organic leafy greens, apples, celery, peaches and other produce that normally rank highest in contaminants. CSA farmers and Farmers markets have extended further reach for the movement. Shop at your local farmers market, get to know the people who grow your food, ask questions it will give you better understanding of what you are eating.
The goal is not to become a food snob, but to make that vital connection between your fork and your feelings and choose foods that support your emotional well-being and enhance your sense of vitality.
Lastly a great jump into reality is feeding yourself by growing your own produce. For some people this option seems like a lot of work, but when it comes down to it a little bit of effort reaps great results. Planting a seed and seeing it grow into a fully developed plant gives a deep sense of satisfaction. As you get to know the whole process you begin to value what the Earth has in store for us naturally as we organically grow.