IMPORTANT: For severe disorders and mental health issues, traditional medications combined with regular psychiatric visits (or even hospitalization) may be the best choice! Never, ever stop taking your medications without the supervision of your mental health professional.
The basic biochemistry of trauma:
Trauma creates chaos for the central nervous system. If we suffer long-term, repetitive trauma, our biochemistry is usually compromised, which creates biochemical imbalances. When people, places, or objects remind you of the initial trauma (whether consciously or unconsciously), your body is sent into an emergency state, causing a “fight, flight, or freeze” reaction that results in a flood of numerous emotions and sensations. The adrenal glands play a huge role in this biochemical process. Our adrenals are responsible for the adrenaline surge that occurs when we are “triggered” by a situation that stimulates the memories and emotions linked with trauma. The result is the experience of intense distress, which wreaks havoc on our entire nervous system, and depletes our supply of neurotransmitters. Experiencing prolonged stress or repetitive trauma almost guarantees that your system is suffering and crying out for replenishment.
What is a neurotransmitter?
A neurotransmitter is a chemical that facilitates communication between neurons (nerve cells) in the brain and body which connects our entire system in a complex network that controls specific functions throughout the body.
Neurotransmitters are required for proper brain and body health. If we didn’t have them, our nervous systems would shut down and we would lose all capacity to think, feel, act or function in any meaningful way.
When we endure chronic stress of any kind, our nervous system is compromised and neurotransmitters become depleted and imbalanced. These disruptions can lead to various physical, emotional, and mental disorders.
* For more detailed information about neurotransmitter function, please visit NeuroScience and click on “Institute of Education.”
Neurotransmitter depletion and imbalance can lead to issues such as:
• Mood swings
• Overreaction; Less resilience to stress
• Obsessive compulsive disorder
• Developmental disorders
• ADD, ADHD
• Parkinson’s Disease
• Irritability, Agitation, or Panic attacks
• Aggressive outbursts
• Difficulty concentrating or focusing/Foggy thinking
• Insomnia/Sleep disturbances
• Headaches, Migraines
• Fatigue/Lack of energy/ Lack of motivation
• Chronic fatigue
• Weight issues, Food cravings
• Difficulty relating to others
• Difficulty sustaining hope for the future
How does the body obtain neurotransmitters?
Neurotransmitters are manufactured from amino-acids (building blocks of protein) in the body. Numerous amino acids are obtained from our diet; others are made within the body but require the proper nutrients and conditions to do so. Some amino acids make neurotransmitters, some support neurotransmitter function, and others act as neurotransmitters themselves.
Chronic stress is the primary contributor to neurotransmitter imbalances. However, chronic stress combined with a poor diet is lethal to our health and well being. Many dietary factors, such as balanced protein intake, sufficient levels of omega-3 fatty acids, and eating low glycemic index foods are an integral part of maintaining proper neurotransmitter function. Not to mention feeling good!
Possible issues with traditional medications:
• Side effects
• Without the proper medication for you, symptoms can re-occur, especially over time
• They do not “feed”/add nutrients to the brain, they simply re-shuffle or recycle the existing resources in the body
• If your diet is lacking in proper nutrients, the drugs have little with which to work
How can I get my neurotransmitters tested?
You can visit NeuroScience and click on “find a physician.”
A natural alternative to traditional medications.
I am a huge proponent of natural brain support. Many people are on medications when their brains just need the proper “food.” My naturopathic doctor has seen amazing results with even severe chemical imbalances using amino acid nutrient blends. Specific formulas geared toward a person’s unique brain chemistry are used to balance the nervous system and replenish neurotransmitters. One of the reasons this therapy is so effective is that supplements are tailored to what’s happening in your brain. This is not a one-size fits all. Your brain chemistry and hormone levels are tested over a 24-hour period using saliva and urine. Once you receive your results, you begin a supplement program that actually feeds your brain with the proper nutrients, allowing the body to manufacture and balance neurotransmitters, which can restore health to your entire system.
I began supplementing my diet with NeuroScience “brain food” about 8 months into EMDR therapy. I want you to know that I have never felt so balanced in my life! My emotions have stabilized, my brain no longer obsesses, I sleep soundly most every night, and I feel happier than ever before. For me, the combination of EMDR therapy and brain food was, and continues to be, perfect.