Welcome to Collide Health: Where mental health and nutrition collide! I am so excited to finally have an outlet where I can express my (sometimes over the top) enthusiasm for treating mental health with nutrition, fitness and wellness. I am honest, and straightforward about everything: from how the mental health filed works, to why so many people today are suffering with depression and anxiety.
Short stint about me: I have a masters degree in counseling psychology and am a graduate licensed therapist. I have a certificate in nutrition and fitness and am currently receiving a certificate in nutritional psychology. I LOVE nutrition and fitness. After completing 4 triathlons and doing a ton of research on nutrition, I have a lot to say! I have been working with mental illness and substance abuse in all ages (from kindergarten to those retired). I’ve worked in outpatient agencies and crisis clinics where I’ve seen how the mental health system is ran from the back end. And it’s FRUSTRATING to say the least.
Here’s what the usual set up is at mental health clinics around the country:
The client sees me (their therapist) once a week for about 45-50 minutes to work through their symptoms, any previous trauma and reflect on goals they have set the week prior. They meet with their psychiatrist (who prescribes the psychotropic medication) about once a month. It’s this huge cycle where they get tired of coming to therapy to talk and then build a tolerance to their medication and need to change it. They get sick, over and over again. They have depressive episodes but are better for a month or two then become sick again. I feel helpless and they feel hopeless. NOT a good combination. Bottom line: the system simply does not work for some people.
Now, I’ve mentioned nutritional psychology because that is what I will be specializing in and most people ask what that even means. It’s a newer field so it’s ever involving. Basically, nutritional psychology is a scientifically based understanding of how nutrients affect mood and behaviors- stress, inflammation, energy and sleep. Our current model does not consider nutrition to be a piece of the puzzle at all (don’t even get me started on how ridiculous this is). During intakes and evaluations at other mental health agencies you are asked a hundred questions about your past, your step-father’s mental health, if you have any bad dreams, who your best friend is and if you ever had an alcohol addiction . However, throughout the game of 20 questions not once are you asked about what you eat or if you exercise. It’s seen as irrelevant to treatment. Nutritional psychology looks at alternative treatment interventions to standard treatment of psychological disorders. And alternative is good!! (Trust me on this one).
I knew there had to be a different way to treat our stress today. That’s where nutritional psychology and holistic treatments come into play. On Danielle’s Collide I’ll shares tips and tricks on:
- How to eat to ELIMINATE mood swings, depression, anxiety, ADHD, bipolar and stress
- Recipes and sample meal plans will be included
- How to switch to “off” to stop intrusive thoughts, anxiety and stress
- How to make the most of your therapy sessions and navigating your ways through treatment
- Work out tips and tricks for beginners to those advanced
- Finally, you’ll watch me as I try all the crazy recommendations I read about (latest trail is on matcha green tea. Post soon to come on my thoughts!)
Mental health is something everyone needs to focus on in order to be successful. It’s not just for those who have a mental health diagnosis. Prevent a disorder by being proactive when you are feeling run down and work on improving your mental health daily. Mental health is not an isolated area because everything you do impacts it, thus this is where it is all COLLIDES.
If you are willing to think outside the box and try new things then keep reading! If you feel that you would do better with more one and one attention I do offer mental health coaching. In the future I will be opening my own private practice to offer group and individual counseling. But until that time comes I am available for phone, skype and e-mail coaching. If you live in the Annapolis area I would love to meet in person as well!