by Joan Mathews-Larson
I know that you are searching for answers to symptoms you've lived with all your life. Many of you have gone to therapy hoping to talk these unstable moods away ... and you now have great insights into your behavior ... but the unwanted feelings are still there. You may doubt there is any way to banish these goblins. Yet coexisting with them is sapping the joy out of your life.
I expect you will feel skeptical when I assure you that you can liberate yourself from this state, once and for all, and you will finally be able to free yourself from these unstable moods that have shadowed your life.
My promise is based on twenty-five years of this work: helping others to overcome seemingly emotional problems that had previously gone unsolved. The principles in Depression Free Naturally have been tested and fine tuned at the Health Recovery Center since 1981. Our clients have been extremely successful, as you will be. By using the same biochemical tools, you will affect the same positive results.
The research upon which each link is based is solid. I say that, having applied these studies to thousands of real people with real symptoms that cluster, and act as red flags to get our attention, and with real lab work that confirms once and for all what has gone wrong. Predictably, their anxiety or depression or paranoia or muddled moods or mind racing or sullen states have gradually faded away as their brains recover a more optimal chemical balance.
These unstable feelings were not really psychological in origin they are the chemistry of their physical BRAINS. Extraordinarily large numbers of well-done studies by researchers worldwide are telling us what happens to thoughts, feelings, and behavior when key brain chemicals are unavailable or too plentiful. These scientists have been further able to show how a specific program of biochemical repair can finally restore stable "emotional" health ... and that is the essence of the program developed at Health Recovery Center.
We will seek out the clues your symptoms reveal, and we will fix what's broken! However, unlike therapy, this 21st century program will concentrate entirely on physical repair. You will be learning a lot about the important natural chemicals that are absolutely necessary in the proper amounts to create our well-being and even our sanity. The difference in how you feel will be the strongest argument I can make!
I have been involved in this approach since 1980 when I opened the Health Recovery Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Originally we were licensed to treat alcoholism and drug addictions. Because these destroy or block so many of our brains' important chemicals, our clients were usually suffering from depression and anxiety when we first met. They seemed "emotionally" unstable, but therapy didn't turn them around. Looking back to our early days, I still shake my head when I remember the many "discussions" with my traditionally trained counseling staff who invariably felt most of those clients had an attitude problem or just deliberately chose their negative behaviors. I had worked in traditional programs for six years before opening Health Recovery Center, so I was aware of what was considered "state of the art" treatment in this field. I knew that four out of five treated alcoholics were expected to relapse within their first year out of treatment, and one of four of the deaths of these troubled alcoholics would be suicide, also usually occurring within the first year after treatment.
My impetus to create a new treatment model came from a need to test my theory that treatment failure was so high because no one had addressed the physical damage that alcohol did to the brain; damage that showed itself as unstable emotions.
That theory proved to be a winner! My not so profound concept that an out of balance brain results in flawed thinking and behavior has proved itself repeatedly throughout the years. We have consistently sustained a recovery rate of 75% or higher despite a growing trend of attracting some of the neediest clients in the United States. Many of them have come as a result of reading my first book Seven Weeks To Sobriety.
Over our twenty-five years in existence, we gradually have begun to treat non-addicted clients who share some of the same unstable emotional traits. Their lab results look amazingly similar to those whose damage was self inflicted. Yet these people have never been addicted to alcohol or drugs. Their imbalances may be the result of genetic glitches or severe nutritional deficiencies or other biochemical mistakes.
The huge body of research from which they benefited, also applies to any of you whose biochemical brain balance is causing you emotional discomfort. Whatever the cause, your brain may be unable to maintain a state of optimal balance. If so, it is telling you this in the only way your brain can express: EMOTIONALLY. It is telling you with UNSTABLE EMOTIONS. So that is the common denominator. Some of you may have gotten a bad shake genetically, and others may have been severely depleted by life's ongoing stresses. Some of you may have unwittingly caused your own malnourishment from continually dieting or living on junk food.
In the end the result is the same: IT FEELS AS IF YOU ARE OPERATING ON ONE CYLINDER! If, through good news or bad, you really don't feel any better, that is a major clue to search out solutions in the physical realm.
Together, we will accomplish our search for what is out of sync by completing pre-screens of symptoms, followed by confirming lab work, and finally by using well-tested repair formulas that are appropriate for you. You have every reason to expect the same high rate of success that we have seen with clients at our center.
Rest assured that Depression Free, Naturally's research is well tested here at Health Recovery Center. We have applied the knowledge you will find in each chapter, to a growing stream of non-addicted clients who come to us for help with a specific area of emotional instability. We have come to know that when their lab tests reveal the same biochemical problems we must use the same solutions. Then success is predictable!
I sometimes think of the irony of having benefited so much from the findings of so many brilliant researchers, and yet at the time I desperately needed such knowledge I had none of it. This was years ago when the events of my life took a sharp turn and led me on a search that changed my life forever.
My husband had died at a young age from a heart attack. Suddenly I was struggling to support three children. With all the chaos I was slow to recognize that my teenager Rob, was becoming hooked on alcohol and drugs. When I finally sought help for him. I assumed the "experts" knew what they were doing. I was wrong! A very depressed sixteen year old spent one month in a hospital setting reviewing all of the mistakes of his young life. It was devastating to him. Shortly after returning home he took his life. In retrospect, I see the terrible harm counselors do by dwelling on negative life events day after day. By continually filtering perceived failures and weaknesses through a depressed brain, feelings of hopelessness and despair easily result. The awful reality that Rob was unable to get the help he needed, had a profound effect on me. It led me through an enormous body of research confirming how alcohol and even prescribed drugs, and/or stress and/or poor nutrition and/or poor absorption alters or destroys so many of the natural substances our brains need in order to create and regulate our emotions. As a result, our brains alter physically, but these changes are expressed emotionally.
Too late I began to understand the chemical relationship between Rob's heavy alcohol use and his corresponding depression. The idea that counselors could "talk" his brain into repair began to seem idiotic. Of course, no amount of brilliant advice can change your brain's molecular balance one iota!
Eventually I concluded that many of our "psychological" symptoms might really be the effects of a malfunctioning brain. But this understanding gave rise to more questions. Why not try to fix what's broken? Can we intervene to prevent similar tragedies? Can we undo the damage? After doing graduate work in human nutrition I was eager to add a dimension of physical repair to a treatment that has always been entirely psychological. This was 1980.
I am sad to say that in twenty years, the field of addictions have made zero progress in recovery rates because they still cling to the belief that talk therapy will turn around damaged chemistry. This same belief system operates in many psychologists and psychiatrists today. It is a seriously flawed, unscientific belief. I tell you this based on years of watching spectacular emotional turnarounds through biochemical restoration. This book is written as a how-to-approach to show you exactly what we do at the center and how you may apply all of these principles to your own personal needs.
With these tools you will be able to make changes that measurably improve your quality of life. Briefly let's take an overall look at how this program will work for your. Here are the important highlights:
1) We'll do extensive symptom screening because these are our clues to your underlying biochemical glitches.
2) I'll encourage you to pursue doing the lab work that these "clues" suggest. Lab tests will confirm or cancel our/your suspicions, once and for all.
3) I'll explain the way we repair these biochemical imbalances at the center. I'll present the solid research supporting the good sense of restoring your brain's proper levels of much needed natural chemicals, or reducing your abnormally high levels of certain natural body chemicals. You will get instructions on specific formulas to correct your biochemical mistakes and to reverse your symptoms.
4) You will come to appreciate the huge role that diet plays in maintaining emotional stability. There is a RIGHT diet for you and I'll help you discover exactly what it is.
To boost your confidence in this approach let me remind you that what has gone on at Health Recovery Center thru all these years is the actual application, in a clinical setting, of the work of many diligent researchers worldwide. We have been the "bridge" that takes their research off dusty shelves and actually directs much of their breakthrough information to LIVE people who will benefit. The risk factor has always been low as we use only substances that belong in our bodies. We do not use drugs.
As I've said, we have focused for 25 years on rebuilding emotional stability in our clients and we have continually been blessed with access to new research as well as the ability to test it with our clients. Early on we were rewarded by seeing some dramatic changes. After two years we knew we were on to something because our follow-ups continually showed high success rates. We have always done follow-ups and from time to time we have collected data to document our results. (Currently, we are preparing a third study for journal publication.) Our scientific research project was the basis of my Ph.D. dissertation. The results were published in the International Journal of Biosocial and Medical Research in 1987.
Briefly here are some highlights from that paper:
Symptoms Reported by HRC Clients
The above table underscores dramatic changes that come from biochemical restoration in just six weeks! The same principles of physical repair that produced the above success for one hundred alcoholics, apply to all of us.
Think about the alcoholic with the above "array" of symptoms ... is it any wonder alcohol looks appealing to cover up this misery? Consider that another variation of the same theme happens when non-addicted persons go to their psychiatrists complaining of anxiety, irritability, depression, exhaustion, insomnia or fearfulness now they get prescription drugs to cover up their symptoms.
The bottom line is the same. Our bodies (including our brains) aren't designed to function well on toxic foreign substances. These drugs may be stopgaps, masking over your misery on a temporary basis. But many have long-term side effects and, just like street drugs, become less able to deliver unless the dosage continues to increase. None of you want to become life long customers of psychiatry if there are other viable options. Believe me, you are about to discover the mother lode of options!
For twenty-five years Health Recovery Center has gradually expanded our testing and the natural substances that have proven themselves valuable. We have had the opportunity to observe what works and what doesn't. Over time, many non-addicted persons have also come for help, and we have learned that the same biochemical principles govern the functioning of all human brains. We see the lab work of non-addicted persons identifying familiar conditions that we have treated for years in alcoholics. We've found that many of you who appear to have life under control are simply great actors. Underneath, you live with inner tension, anxiety, or panic states, feeling of hopelessness or paranoia, racing thoughts, ongoing anger, or bone-weary fatigue; and no one has offered you relief unless it is to mask over it with drugs. Underneath, the same biochemical mistakes prevail. In fact, sometimes we unearth biochemical "glitches" that also affect a child, parent, or other family member because of the genetic factor, and the good news is it's FIXABLE.
An old doctor said "You can't diagnose it until you think of it."
For almost two decades, our clinic has been thinking of many biochemical reasons for emotional instability that others do not consider. Now I can help you identify your own clues that point to chemistry, not personality as the culprit causing your emotional woes. It's a pretty safe bet that you have never embraced this concept in your search for answers. You are in for a pleasant surprise ... Your chemistry is about to tell you all you need to know to recover.
At Health Recovery Center we spend many weeks with our clients watching on a daily basis, the results of this kind of repair. In Depression Free, Naturally I want to give you all that we have learned that can be useful to you. I know each of you has a different agenda and certain chapters have more meaning for you. I suggest that you begin by first reading straight through the book so you will not miss any valuable information. Then go back to the beginning and use the book as a manual or study guide. Take all the tests, learn the signs that points to your body's chemistry needing repair, concentrate on making the appropriate dietary changes. Become familiar with what lab work is right for you and why. Step by step, develop a lifelong regimen of nutrients that will bring you the stability you seek ... natural chemicals that you've always needed, but never knew you did!
The greatest reward of this kind of healing is that you will understand why you feel good and you will have the power to stay that way if you continue to take careful care of yourself. You are about to take on a brand new lease on life. Expect many exciting changes as you take charge of your future health and happiness. One last word ... I have saved the best for the LAST section of the book. There you will find answers that will change you in ways you never thought possible!
Today we have reached the brink of understanding aging, how to slow it down, and even how to REVERSE it. The most exciting and important replacement chemicals that do all this are the anti-aging HORMONES. Left to ourselves all our hormone levels gradually decline to almost zilch, as we grow old and finally die. We are biologically programmed to peak early, procreate, then fade out and die. But by replacing these magical hormones, we can rejuvenate ourselves. We can grow younger at any age. Here are some direct results of hormone replacement: