Anxiety, Depression and Stress and What to Do About It

Published on March 15, 2019

The Earth is in the midst of crises — social, environmental, economic and spiritual and people are suffering for it big time. Depression is a widespread global problem, with over 300 million people dealing with this severe mood disorder with many more suffering from anxiety, and just about everyone on the planet is suffering from increasing stress. Anxiety disorders affect about 40 million American adults with research suggesting that nearly 30% of American adults will qualify for an anxiety disorder diagnosis at some point in their lives.

It’s normal for us to feel anxious, stressed, disappointed or disheartened, especially when we experience low points in our lives. However, these “blues” usually go away when happy circumstances occur. But what happens when happy circumstances do not return, when conditions in life steadily deteriorate, when there is little or no hope for a better life or when doctors poison us with antidepressants that make matters worse?

A majority of people  live in a state of stress without feeling it directly, its why hypertension is invisible. We do not understand or experience the dangers that stress threatens until we have cardiac arrest. However, when we start getting anxious, our heart starts beating irregularly, and when our depression starts to crush us we find ourselves boxed in as our life goes down in flames.

Gun Violence, immigration, sexual harassment, are just some of the things stressing America’s youngest adults. Exposure to adverse childhood experiences leads to problems later in life. Kathyrn Lenz, of the Institute for Behavioral Medicine Research at Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center, says that, "These childhood traumas, such as living in an abusive home or being neglected, can contribute to a wide array of problems down the road, including drug and alcohol addiction, depression and anxiety and even cardiovascular disease."

James Howard Kunstler, writing about the despair of American life said, “Is it any wonder that Americans require more antidepressant medication than people in other lands? Or, that failing to find treatment, they self-medicate with alcohol, opiates, sugary snacks, and anything else that takes them out of the soul-crushing reality of their surroundings.” Life as we now know it is tearing people’s health to shreds. Thus it comes as no surprise to see life expectancy falling and sperm and fertility rates nosediving. It is kind of depressing, after all facing the end of the human race because of an inability to have children. Sperm drop count could make us humans extinct.

Toxicity is a Problem for our Minds and Bodies

To make matters worse we are poisoning the human race with vast amounts of chemicals, heavy metals and radiation and the promise is for this is to get a whole lot worse. There are too many companies (think Monsanto/Bayer), doctors, dentists, nurses, medical scientists, governments and farmers who  take it as a given right to expose us to poison. Not enough to kill us outright, at least, but it is like being cut with many small knives cutting our cellular environments to pieces.

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Chemical hell, nuclear radiation and heavy metals combine to gang rape humanity all for a good reason of course. Doctors and psychiatrists both insist on adding to the chemical burden with toxic pharmaceuticals refusing to contemplate detoxification as a main treatment option. And the upward trend in the use of nuclear radiation for diagnosis and treatment is a tragedy beyond comparison

Bad and Confusing Information Causes Anxiety

The list of depressing wrongs in modern life are almost unlimited. One that remains under the radar is that the mainstream media, which is also making people sick. For instance, the mass media is deliberately fanning the flames of Trump panic. “Trump Anxiety Disorder” is described as a specific type of anxiety in which symptoms “were specific to the election of Trump and the resultant unpredictable sociopolitical climate,” that has resulted. And now on top of it all we have digital censorship so there is no fairness or freedom left in the information marketplace.

C-PTSD Equals Super Stress and Depression

People often do not take their stress levels seriously and few understand that the stress can end their life with cancer. How many of us know that the most common cause of PTSD in women is sexual trauma. A person’s vulnerability to develop PSTD is linked to that individual’s history of victimization. Reports estimate that 15%-38% of women experience childhood sexual abuse, 13% to 20% experience adult rape and at least 20% experience battering.

Complex post-traumatic stress disorder (C-PTSD) is a psychological injury that results from protracted exposure to prolonged social and/or interpersonal trauma with lack or loss of control, dis-empowerment, and in the context of either captivity or entrapment; the lack of a viable escape route for the victim. C-PTSD is distinct from, but similar to, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

C-PTSD was first described in 1992 by Judith Herman in her book Trauma & Recovery. Forms of trauma associated with C-PTSD include sexual abuse (especially child sexual abuse), physical abuse, emotional abuse, domestic violence or torture — all repeated traumas in which there is an actual or perceived inability for the victim to escape. Now there is no escape from the ugly forces moving through our civilization.

Diagnosing Stress

The American Journal of Public Health reported that numerous chronic diseases, including heart disease, depression and Alzheimer’s, are associated with high-stress levels. Today it is easy to diagnose stress thus anxiety, which go hand in hand. We can put a number on it when we measure heart rate variability (HRV). The tighter the heart beat, meaning the more similar each beat is to the next one the more stressed out we are. The heart was designed to be flexible changing its rhythm from beat to beat. When our HRV flatlines we head to the hospital. 

Low vagal tone is associated with poor emotional and attention regulation, inflammation and depression. Low vagal tone is even used as a measurement for a person’s sensitivity to stress. A healthy vagal tone is associated with the opposite, with positive emotions and psychological balance. Low vagus nerve tone is associated with low HRV, fast and shallow breathing and sympathetic activation, which depressed the parasympathetic nervous system.

Besides breathing, there are a host of different ways to give your vagus nerve a much-needed workout. Singing and music, laughter, intermittent fasting, cold water, using HRV feedback, yoga, meditation and of course exercise will help  fight anxiety and stress on a neuro-biological level.

Treating Anxiety and Depression

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Modern medicine is a terrible choice if one has anxiety or depression. Psychiatrists have become little more than drug pushers and now they are beginning to prescribe intense recreational drugs used  in bars thanks to a recent approval by the FDA. Clinical psychologists also are getting in on the pharmaceutical drug boom to treat mental, emotional and spiritual disorders.

The best  approaches to anxiety and stress is offered by Nature. Magnesium supplementation yields relief because it is the mineral with the most positive effect on the nervous system. When one is stressed there is nothing better that sex and orgasm; taking part in the pleasure principle does wonders for human physiology.

One of the best solutions is Yoga and intentional slow abdominal breathing. Getting control of the breath in stressful situations brings relief. The vagus nerve has everything to do with breathing—no wonder connecting with the breath is a foundational principle in both yoga and meditation.

The wondrous benefits of infrared therapy should not be missed by stressed out, anxious depressed patients. Laying on a hot Biomat, during the day or night while sleeping provides and oasis for  anxious stressed out and cold people. Getting plenty of sun exposure especially in nature is also more than helpful as is taking vitamin D when you do not get enough sun. Eating right and fasting occasionally also strongly reflect to our emotional and mental outlooks. It is good to know that magnesium optimizes vitamin D status.

We can even use creativity to combat stress, anxiety and depression. Creative activities have a positive effect on our minds and emotions. Love and appreciation also help no matter what else is going on! Getting in touch with our vulnerabilities and heart felt feelings is also wonderful for what ails us.

Conclusion

Dr. Aparna Iyer, M.D. says, “Despite our best intentions, many of us are likely engaging in habits that can actually hurt our mental health and cause us to be anxious and depressed. Once these habits are established, many people will continue them simply because they are part of a familiar routine or because they might not be aware of how detrimental they can be to their mood, energy levels, and nervous system. And while most of us are aware of the classic habits—like sleeping too little or drinking excessive amounts of alcohol—that can hurt our mental health, studies are increasingly showing that there are a plethora of habits and  thought patterns that play a part.”

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Dr. Mark Sircus AC., OMD, DM (P)

Director International Medical Veritas Association
Doctor of Oriental and Pastoral Medicine

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