I remember going to a school disco at lunchtime in school, I paid my dinner money and stood in the dark in the room where we usually had the assembly or the school play. I was too scared to do anything else because I was full of anxiety in case my mum and dad found out that this was how I spent that day’s dinner money.
I had anxiety a lot as a child, I played the oboe really well for my music teacher and in my bedroom until I was put into the school band on a trial, then I was so stricken with anxiety that I missed my cue every time and was told nicely I wasn’t good enough. I probably was as long as they didn’t have to depend on me being on time or on show, I just had too much fear at that point to focus.
Any public performance would have me stopped like a frightened animal in the headlight, I hated speaking out, and still do in any format. I stopped myself doing a lot of things due to having such high anxiety at times, such as finding my freedom and driving my car, instead I used to look at it out of the window for days, going out of the house would be contemplated for weeks to the point where friends would have to come and take me out, one suggested I get another dog so that I had to go out, they were right, it worked a treat, it’s a win win and it all seems such a long time ago but I thought it was just me.
It’s not that I don’t suffer anymore, I just have life experience under my belt, like most people it’s often forced onto you, which has left me feeling more comfortable with doing things. When I started radio, it took the station 8 months to convince me to do a show. Then one day when my friend came in as she always did at the end of the show she said what’s the smell in the room, that was the smell of adrenaline I told her! The fear was still there, except I had mastered the art of keeping it under wraps and using tools to help me get through so I could do the job I needed to do.
40% of mental health issues worldwide are due to depression and anxiety, so I wasn’t on my own, anxiety is found to be more common in young women than in other age groups. Evidence shows that most mental health issues tend to start in childhood or adolescence, the average age for anxiety disorders start at 11years old.
13% of people will develop a phobia type of anxiety in their lifetime. In the Psychiatric Morbidity Survey, it shows that there were 8.2m cases of anxiety disorder in 2013, and this number is slowly rising.
John Hopkins health alerts show that general worriers can spend up to 55 minutes a day worrying, in comparison to generalised anxiety disorder sufferers who can spend up to 300 minutes each day. Interestingly women suffer more than men, women between the ages of 16 and 24 are 3 times more likely to experience anxiety issues than men of the same age and they also have higher rates of self-harming.
1 in 5 adults has considered taking their life at some point in their lifetime!
Mental health issues are found to be one of the leading causes of disease burden worldwide.
When we are anxious it tends to then have a knock-on effect in the body having the potential to cause other health issues. These can include gastrointestinal issues, stomach issues, heart issues and respiratory issues and it’s often these that people tend to come to see me about in particular the gastrointestinal issues. When I ask about the stress they are experiencing there is more often than not a link to something happening in their life that is causing the physical health issue. It’s hard to treat a physical health issue completely if you can’t get to the bottom of the mental health issue, which also needs addressing, otherwise you keep going around in circles often feeling chicken and egg.
What can help?
- Stop smoking, mental health issues are more prevalent in smokers interestingly.
- Get out and socialise, those who spend a lot of time on their own tended to have higher levels of mental health issues.
- Keeping your blood sugar balanced across the day, eating regularly will help to reduce the stress that your body feels when it’s blood sugar drops.
- Stay hydrated.
- Get your gut bacteria tested and consider taking probiotics. Changes in gut bacteria play a role in neuropsychiatric conditions, and the gut-brain axis is being established as more than a theory. Trials show that certain strains of probiotic bacteria can alter mood.
- Sleep deprivation can cause anxiety, so making sure you go to bed early and getting enough sleep is important. If you are a worrier it is even more important to focus on reviewing your sleeping patterns.
- Lavender Essential Oil in a diffuser is calming and will aid sleep as well as help to reduce anxiety.
- Wild Orange Essential Oil with Lemon Essential Oil, citrus oils are found to be helpful with mood changes, and they are shown to be uplifting, in fact doTerra have 2 blends one called Motivate, and another called Cheer, they are in the Essential Oil blend bottles or are blended to be applied directly in the Touch range.
- DoTerra Balance is another fantastic blend to consider using in a diffuser or your Epsom Salts.
- A supplement with calcium and magnesium can be very helpful.
- Iron deficiency can be a factor so have your iron checked.
- A good B Complex (I like to start with Cytoplan but The Natural Dispensary have a number of B complexes from a variety of blends)
- Zinc for some people can have a calming effect so this should be considered.
- Selenium can help to elevate mood and decrease anxiety.
- If you are eating a large amount of sugar this can be creating chromium deficiency and this can then cause symptoms of anxiety.
- Chamomile tea or used in a bath can be helpful for calming the body. Don’t use every day.
- Eating foods rich in minerals such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium are important. Such as broccoli, bananas. avocado’s, asparagus, apricots, raw nuts, and seeds.
- Regular exercise can be an amazing way of helping anxiety and depression and is shown in a lot of research to help mood disorders.
- Keep caffeine out of the diet.
- Heart Math can be a great tool to use to help reduce anxiety levels and teach yourself to control them.
- Meditation can be hugely helpful for helping to put things in perspective.
This is not a prescription, everyone is individual and I suggest you get help with your supplements to ensure that you don’t imbalance yourself when using minerals.
To buy doTerra either get in touch via email so that I can talk you through it, or go to this link https://www.mydoterra.com/deborahwalkernaturopath/#/