Sunday, November 30, 2014

ADD, Depression, Anxiety, and other Brain Issues...there are natural ways to heal.

Brain challenges seem to be a modern day epidemic. 

There are too many people struggling with brain challenges like ADD, depression, anxiety, OCD, bi-polar, you name it. It's sad! The good news is, there are natural ways to heal brain issues. I'm no doctor, and of course I'm not diagnosing, but years ago I struggled with depression off an on. I can throw out a few suggestions of what worked for me. Thank goodness, now I'm a happy camper! 

Here is a letter I wrote to a friend whose daughter has been struggling with depression, and the medication hasn't helped much. (I've omitted names to protect privacy.)

Dear (Friend), 

I don't know if you're open or interested in this, but in case you are, I want to share a few ideas that might be helpful for your daughter. As our family has prayed for her to heal,  the thought has come to me to mention these ideas to you. I know she has tried medications, but there are so many other things that can be even more effective for healing depression, as they get to the root cause of it, rather than putting a band-aid on it like medication tends to do. Years ago I struggled with depression off and on, and for me several things have made a huge difference: 

1) Balancing blood sugar. 

My family is somewhat sugar sensitive. We still have treats sometimes, but we’ve learned to be careful about when and how often. If we ate a typical American breakfast of waffles with syrup and orange juice, we would all be grumpy, stressed, and depressed for maybe the rest of the day. So we’ve learned to include protein and fiber in all our meals, and to emphasize raw fruits and veggies. When our blood sugar is balanced our mood is more stable and we’re nicer to each other. Our family rule about sugar is never on an empty stomach, and never in the morning. It makes for a much happier family. A good book to understand this is Potatoes Not Prozac: A Natural Seven Step Program to: Balance your sugar sensitivity and come alive, lose weight, heal depression, and stop cravings.

2) Food sensitivities. 

As you know, I was eating gluten-free and dairy-free for a few years. Thank goodness I have been able to include those foods back into my diet, but I know someone who still needs to be very careful to avoid them. If he eats those foods his brain really struggles with depression, anxiety, OCD and ADD. I’m amazed at how many more people are having issues with these basic foods like gluten and dairy than ever before. Maybe it’s because there have been several generations of eating processed foods, artificial flavors and colors and preservatives, a lot of sugars, and genetically modified foods. The way most people eat today isn’t the way God created our bodies to digest food, so it makes sense that over time that can damage people's digestive systems. Anyway, that is something that made a huge difference in healing depression for me. 

With or without food sensitivities, candida yeast overgrowth is a common problem today that is often related to depression and other symptoms. Sugars and processed foods feed candida. Antibiotics kill the gut's good bacteria (like the kind in yogurt, kefir, probiotics, or raw fermented veggies) but they don't kill candida so candida is free to grow too much. My friend owns a company dedicated to helping people overcome this problem that is more common than people realize. It's called My Feel Good Foods.  And her product is called Yeast Beaters. 

3) Balancing hormones.  

Fourteen years ago I was really struggling with depression. Although I didn’t like the idea of medication I felt desperate and was ready to try that. My friend suggested I see a natural practitioner first, who has helped a lot of women with hormone imbalance issues. I went to him and he said that’s what he has become known for , even though it’s not his only focus by any means. He works with herbs, homeopathics, nutrition, and other natural remedies. He gave me one herb and one homeopathic and said that in about two weeks I should start to climb out of the dark hole I was in. One morning I woke up and I was shocked to notice that I had just thought a positive thought! I did the math and it was almost the 2-week mark. And I did indeed climb out of it and became my happy self again. 

Dave, the man I saw who owns Dave’s Health and Nutrition in SLC, showed me a list of symptoms for women’s hormone imbalance. I told him virtually every woman I know has at least some of those symptoms! (Things like PMS, foggy brain, forgetfulness, sugar craving, mood swings, irritability, cramping, etc.) He said it’s because our modern-day diet and environment create an imbalance of too much estrogen, so most women are indeed estrogen dominant. All these years later I still take Vitex, the herb he gave me, on a pretty regular basis. If I run out and go too long without taking it, I start to feel myself slipping into feeling blue, and I get another bottle and bring my hormones and mood back into balance. I call it happiness in a bottle for seven bucks! A pretty amazing deal. 

4) Energy work. 

I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of energy work, but I’ve found it to be very beneficial in helping me and family members release negative energy, emotions, false beliefs, or other baggage that we don’t need to carry around. I believe that all healing ultimately comes from the Savior’s Atonement, and the more I’ve done energy work the better I am able to access the power of the Atonement in my life. Christ has already suffered and died for our sins and baggage. He wants us to cast our burdens on Him and be freed of those things. I don’t feel like I really understood how to do that before I learned some simple tools of energy work that help me access the power of the Atonement. If you’re interested, I can suggest some great LDS women who are energy practitioners. One of them is in a nearby town, and she got into the whole field because of a daughter who couldn’t find any healing from depression in the medical realm, so she started looking into other options. I also have a book she wrote if you want to borrow it. 

5) I recently discovered a nutritional supplement called Q96 Empower Plus. 

Someone I know has used this supplement to heal bi-polar. She is now happy and stable with no medication. My friend’s son was failing out of school because of ADD issues and depression, even suicidal, and now is doing great in a rigorous high school program, off of all his medication. He only takes Q96 Empower Plus now. I just found out that someone I know takes an advanced version of this product, Empower Plus Advanced and takes an even higher dose, and it has healed her depression and anxiety. 

Here is a documentary about this product and how it was developed by an LDS father of ten children. His wife had already committed suicide from mental illness, and two of his teens were starting to show signs of it, and I believe it was a miracle how this was developed. 

Whether or not you want to investigate that nutrition product, it's good to keep in mind that nutrition does play a huge part in brain health. If a deficiency in a micronutrient can create brain issues like bi-polar, depression, or ADHD, then it makes sense to clean up the diet and intake high quality foods, and possibly supplements that ensure a thorough range of nutrients. Several years ago I started having a smoothie for breakfast every day made with Raw Meal powder, frozen fruit, and water. It is the healthiest food I eat all day. It is full of sprouted, raw, enzyme-activated, and nutrient-rich foods that I feel like this daily food is part of what has helped my body become healthier and healthier. Many people find that having a large green smoothie every day brings healing to a multitude of health issues. 

There is a BIT practitioner here in South Ogden at Rocky Mountain Health and Wellness Center. Here is a link to some testimonials of people who have healed brain issues like ADD, dyslexia, memory loss, and depression. 

This doctor had his own brain issues after being a successful professional, and became an expert starting with his personal experiences and searching. One analogy I really like from this book is that often brain issues are caused by more than one thing, so just like a person who has stepped on ten tacks won’t get pain relief from pulling out only one tack, we also need to be thorough in our approach if there are multiple causes with a brain issue. For example, if someone has a build up of mercury in their brain cells from childhood immunizations, has a delayed food reaction to dairy products by feeling depressed and foggy brained the couple days after eating it, has sugar sensitivity, and a hormone imbalance, then the person will find true relief only when all four of those issues are addressed. Removing one tack from a foot is good, but it won't take all the pain away until all the tacks are out. So it's good to do what you can to determine all the causes so each cause can be healed, therefore having a full recovery and a happy, successful life. 

Another great brain doctor is Dr. Daniel Amen. He is famous for his cool brain scans and his distinction of six types of ADD.

If depression or other mental struggles has been an issue for you, I have compassion for you. There is hope!  Of course my list isn't complete. These are just the things that have made the difference for me, but each person is unique. Make it a matter of prayer and let the Lord guide your path of healing. 

Feel free to leave a comment below about what has helped you. 


The Perkins Gang said...

Great article with tons of good info, I wish something I had found this years ago when we were just struggling with my son's Ring of Fire ADHD (Love Dr Amen's book and other works on these subjects) Not all Dr's even cared to mention the different aspects of diet and we had to find all these things out along the way, like his intolerance for Red Dye 40. Q96 has been an incredible blessing to our family, too, he is med-free and healthier than ever, along with the rest of us!

Anonymous said...

I struggle with anxiety, depression, and candida. I know I am sugar sensitive and am looking forward to reading Potatoes Not Prozac as you recommended.
I looked up Vitex on Amazon and saw that there are several different brands. Is there one that you recommend?
Thank you for all of this great information. This is very encouraging. I cannot tolerate SSRIs and have tried several different alternative treatments with little long-term success.
Your blog is a gift. Thank you!

Becky Edwards said...


I'm sorry that you're suffering with these issues! I hope you can find the help you seek. I use the brand Nature's Way for Vitex, but there are likely other good brands as well.
If you're looking for a good treatment for candida, here is one I have used successfully and recommend:
I am now doing life coaching and have helped others with depression and anxiety with simple, powerful tools. If you'd like information on that, please let me know at

Sherrie said...

Hi Becky,
I really enjoyed your post. I have suffered from depression, anxiety, fibromyalgia and migraines for the past 15-18 years. I have been on several different medications over the years and have seen several different doctors to no avail. Over the past year I have been really concentrating on clean eating, food elimination and exercise but I'm not seeing much improvement. I have been looking for an alternative doctor/nutritionist--someone who can help me with these issues as well as hormone imbalances, etc. I've done some research on vitamins and supplements, cleanses, detoxes, but there are so many and they are so expensive I feel I need more guidance for my particular problems. I do take probiotics, enzymes and even Q96 but haven't seen a significant change in my health. I live in Sandy and I am wondering if can give me more information on Dave and/or anyone else that help me with the various "tacks" I need to remove.
I would certainly appreciate any help and direction you can give me.
Thank you,