Personal Blogs Blog Directory The Daily Brain Shelter: 2010

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Elimination Diet for The Mind&Body

As most of my readers know, over the past 5years, I have endured a long term migraine and vertigo disorder, which, to be honest, has reeked havoc on my state of mental well being. Nothing can be more depressing and anxiety provoking than being sick for 5years, and not knowing why. Recently, I've recovered. I'm going to share my story with all of you in an effort to help at least one reader. Here goes:

About a month ago, I was still really sick. I could not do much, but I still tried to do my best when people called upon me. I had not been a good friend to many of my closest friends, and was starting to push family members away. I was reaching my breaking point. Though I have learned many coping strategies thorough this time of hardship, and have become a pretty optimistic guy, it had all become much too much. Luckily, a friend of mine asked me to volunteer at an art show. I agreed. This is when my life started to change.

About halfway through my work day, I overheard this girl around my age talking about going through a six year illness with the exact same symptoms. She had three kids, and missed most of their early childhoods. She went to countless doctor's appointments, and was misdiagnosed a million times. This sounded all too familiar, so I just sat and listened. Finally she started talking about what cured her of all of her symptoms. Ready? A neurologist realized that her symptoms could be coming from a food intolerance. Sure enough, she was gluten intolerant. She has not had any symptoms for two years now, and is playing with her kids every day.

After hearing her story(and being misdiagnosed a million times as well), I started to look up food intolerance online. My white blood cell count was really high according to some blood work that just came back from the lab, so I already knew my body was fighting something. How does that make sense? When your body is allergic or intolerant to something, it treats that food, chemical, or environmental element as if it were a foreign invader, and causes a negative immune system response, as well as a host of other problems. I knew I had to at least give this some serious thought.

I came across something called The Elimination Diet. This is where you remove any all allergenic, or intolerant foods that might cause a negative response in the body. Within a day I was feeling much better(though not perfect), and now here I ma seven days later with no symptoms what so ever for four days now. At first I thought "Maybe it's just psychological". Now, after making a conscious effort to change my diet. I know that it is scientific.

This new way of eating has not only improved my health, but also improved my moods in ways that I can not describe. I am the healthiest and happiest that I have been in at least 10years(not just 5yrs). I have the same energy an enthusiasm I did when I was 18. This has truly changed my life. Will it work for you? I honestly can't say, but it just might be worth a try. For some it cures acne, stuffy noses, or rashes. For others, it cures migraines and mood disorders. If nothing else, it's a great diet for general health and weight loss. Google it for more info.

Well guys, I know this has been kind of a lengthy post, but I thank you for reading(as always). If this helps you or someone else you know(or has helped someone), please write me by posting in the comment section below. Take care everyone!!!

See you next time!!!

Monday, March 22, 2010


Do any of you out there want to know a little more about stress? Of course. Who doesn't? Stress affects each and every one of us. In this posting, you'll get a chance to read a short paper that I recently submitted in Psych118. Give me some feedback. I want to know what you think.


What is stress? That is the million dollar question. According to “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Psychology” Fourth Edition (pg213), stress is defined as : a general term that includes all of the physical, emotional, behavioral, and cognitive responses we make to a disruptive internal or external event”. Like many other conditions, stress appears in many forms. Some of those forms are positive, and some are negative. Positive stress is formally known as eustress, and negative stress is known as distress. This paper will discuss the different forms of stress, the effect that it has on the mind and body, and a few short coping techniques.

Before diving in head first, it would be wise to get a little more information on the two major types of stress: eustress and distress. One of the best ways of gaining understanding is by observing or in this case, by taking a closer look at a few examples. Here are a few examples of eustress: Going on a great vacation to Hawaii, winning the lottery, having a great conversation with a friend or family member. A few examples of distress would be: Losing a loved one, being diagnosed with a terminal illness, trying to steal Rosie O’Donnell’s last cupcake.

As evidently depicted, stress is everywhere. It simply cannot be avoided. It is just another part of life. What matters most is how people react to it. People react differently to stress. Therefore, their coping mechanisms will vary from person to person as well. While stress may be the issue at hand, coping is the desired outcome. How much stress we internalize ultimately affects more than just our minds. Stress affects us as an entire being. It affects us mentally and physically, which is why having proper coping techniques lined up is really so important.

One can clearly see now that there is very little division between the mind and the body. When the mind is under stress, so is the body. The longer the mind is under stress, the more damage takes place. This usually results in a compromised state of immunity or a CNS dysfunction of some sort. In many cases, this leads to a condition known as a Somatoform Disorder. A Somatoform Disorder(as defined by The Idiot’s Guide to Psychology Fourth Edition) is a mental disorder in which the person experiences symptoms of physical illness, but has no medical disease that could cause it(symptoms/complaints are usually headaches, dizziness, nausea, and heart palpitations).

There is a large body of research known as the study of Psychoneuroimmunology, which is the study of interactions between the brain, the body, the emotions and the immune system. This body of research proves that not only do our thoughts and our minds have a negative impact upon our bodies, but that the reverse is also true. Positive thought can dramatically upregulate the way that the body functions as well. If that isn’t convincing enough, read this: “Research confirms that mental stress puts us at risk for physical illness; it increasingly shows that emotional distress shuts down someof the body’s defenses, making us more vulnerable to disease.”(pg225)

So maybe stress has not caused illness quite yet, or maybe it has. Either way proper coping techniques are essential to learn before its too late. Before running through a list of strategies to help ease the burden, it is first of dire importance to be able to identify the signs of stress. Here they are:
- Feeling on edge, frustrated or easily annoyed
-Having trouble concentrating or making decisions
-Finding even simple things burdensome or difficult
-Eating more or less than usual
-Experiencing mood swings
-Feeling distracted
-Being irritable or impatient

If a person has come to the conclusion that he or she has three or more of the signs listed above, it might be a good time for counseling or self education. This would be an ideal time to learn coping techniques. Just like anything else, there are positive coping strategies and negative ones. Here are a few examples of both. A few negative ways of coping would be: sulking, avoidance behavior, drugs, alcohol, and overeating. A few examples of positive coping strategies would be: talking, finding solutions, positive thinking and reinforcement, as well as general insight and understanding into the underlying causes of one’s stress. If all else fails: seek professional help.

While stress will never be eliminated, if managed correctly, one can master his or her own environment. The understanding of stress, its causes and effects, as well as proper coping techniques will allow an individual to lead a much happier and more productive life. This can all basically be summed up by one anonymous quote: “Life is 10% circumstance, and 90% how one chooses to handle it.”

Well, that's it for this time guys. Hopefully, some of you got some useful information out of this post, and can use it to help yourselves or someone that you know or love. Take care everyone!

See you next time!!!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Physical Effects of Emotion(s)......

The mind is a weapon. Many of our thoughts manifest themselves as physical symptoms inside our bodies. While not all symptoms are related to the effects of human emotion, many are indeed interconnected. Oftentimes we search for answers inside a pill bottle or magical injection only to find little to no resolution or comfort. When this occurs, first seek medical/professional advice, then look inside yourself. My guess is that days, months, or even years of unsolved internal conflict has started to take its toll.

Throughout the course of my life I have experienced severe anxiety, depression, social discomfort, and even a legitimate long term physical illness. I have been prescribed countless pills, been injected numerous times, and have been examined endlessly. While many of these treatments have helped me cope with life on a very symptomatic level, I have neglected to turn inward to face my deepest self. I have neglected to dig deep enough to get to the root(s) of all of my discomfort. I have neglected to face the truth.

Facing the truth is something that I'm just now starting to do. Most of the symptoms of my long term illness are minimal, and those that remain are most likely caused by the same psychological burden that made me physically sick in the first place. Unsolved emotional trauma. I spent a lifetime ignoring, masking or burying everything that happened to me. I shrugged off every tear and heartache, every ounce of physical and emotional pain.....nothing could hurt me. I could only become stronger.......or so I thought. Then I broke. It took years(decades actually). Finally, I wound up in a bed. Five years later, I'm just starting to regain control of my life. I have a clean bill of health, and yet many of the same symptoms remain. Gee, I wonder why?

Neglect. Neglecting anything will come back to bite us. Neglecting our health, our loved ones, and even our emotions. Eventually, we must read the chapters we have written, for they have become the novels of our lives. My repressed emotions had created such a toxic internal whirlwind that my internal neurological environment completely destabilized. Upon the onset of this destabilization, I started experiencing vertigo attacks and migraines several times a day until the symptoms became a 24hr constant in my life. I lost control of speech, motor function, digestive control, respiratory function, and my emotional environment took a dive bomb due south.

I am not sharing this story with you as a fear tactic. I am just hoping to give one lucky person a wake up call before they experience a nightmare of equal proportions. While most of you will never face any physical symptoms this extreme due to emotional trauma, you are still not immune to its effects. Just look up Stress Related Illness or Psychoneuroimmunology(just for a few select examples. Maybe you're tired of unexplained colds, infections, heartburn, etc. If your doctor has ruled everything else out, examine your life......past and present.

Thank you all for taking the time to read this post. I hope that it helps at least one person who stumbles across it over the course of time. May your life be filled with joy, health, and happiness. Take care everyone!

See you next time!!!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Unhealthy Ways Of Relating

We as humans are continually trying to find our place in this world. We often search somewhat desperately for sources of fulfillment and gratification, such as: money, promotion, status, love, sex, friendship, etc. While searching and seeking fulfillment and gratification can both be positive endeavors, doing so in a desperate manner tends to lead us down roads that we wish we would have never traveled. Desperation(in my opinion), is one of the number one reasons, why we as people are displaying(and experiencing) unhealthy ways of relating.

So what are some examples of unhealthy ways of relating? Well.....there's plenty. Here's a few based on either personal experiences or stories told to me by others(whose names will never be revealed). Let's just say that there is a 30-something year old woman who has been overweight her entire life. Men have treated her very poorly for no good reason at all. She has received no attention from the opposite sex, and has gone through her adolescent years with very few friends to speak of. Eventually, her self worth becomes very poor and distorted, and she starts accepting men into her life that are abusive, lazy, unfaithful....or even a combination of all of the above. Since she has never really had any attention before, she clings to these guys because she thinks that this is the best that she can do, and at least someone finally will be with her. THE TRUTH: This poor woman is selling herself short. She can do much better and doesn't even know it. Her self esteem is low and her self worth is damaged, and now, she has entered a cycle of unhealthy ways of relating.

Here's another example: There is a young man who is now in his early 20's. He was never popular in school, his family never supported him, and he's walked through most of his life alone. One day neighbor of his from many years back passes through town and offers to take him out for the night. He accepts. His old neighbor used to be just as poor as he was, but now he's driving a nice car with 20inch rims and killer sound system. He pulls up with the bass pumping and three girls in the back. The young man jumps in. Finally, by the end of the night, the old neighbor tells his friend that he wants to cut him in on the money, the cars and the women. Once again, the poor young man accepts. He says he doesn't care what he has to do.....he's in. The neighbor chops up two lines of pure grade A coke, and business begins with a bang. Soon, the quiet young man is living life in the fast lane, fighting, staying up for 4 days at a time in a motel room full of dirty hookers, and using his nose as a Hoover vacuum. But hey, he's finally popular. He finally has "friends", girls, and money. He finally has everything he ever wanted....or at least so he thinks. THE TRUTH: Not one person that he is partying with or selling to is really his friend. As soon as the coke will the people. The few real friends that he used to have, have all hit the highway due to his new lifestyle. All of the new "friends" will soon rob him, rat on him, stab him and leave him alone to rot. This is just one more (extreme) example of unhealthy ways of relating.

Unhealthy ways of relating don't have to be as extreme as the two examples I depicted. They can be as simple as: "I'm depressed, so I'll find someone else who is depressed....and we'll talk about depression(constantly)" or Staying in a relationship where you fight just for the make up sex. No matter what the example may be.....unhealthy relating is unhealthy relating. Plain and simple. If you can avoid it. If you can't, find out why, and seek help or advice. Life can always get better. Take care everyone!!!!!

See you next time!