It isn’t hard to believe that the pandemic has caused mental health to decline overall as we have all experienced so many unprecedented changes in our lives such as decreased time socializing, income loss and difficulty meeting financial obligations. According to a Statistics Canada survey on Covid-19 and mental health, there has been an increase in anxiety and depression in one in five Canadians above the age of 18 in the year of 2020.
Last week we looked at how psychotherapy can help those suffering with anxiety and depression through cognitive behavioural therapy, practicing self care, and mindfulness as well as attainable goal setting. This week we will be looking at this same topic from a naturopathic perspective. Although psychotherapy is very beneficial to someone who is experiencing these symptoms of anxiety or depression, looking at these symptoms from a biological side with a naturopathic doctor can help determine the root cause of anxiety and depression.
We spoke to Dr Steyr, who gave his insight into how naturopaths can help someone suffering with anxiety and depression:
“I’m not going to only think about psychology, but I will look at inflammation levels, food intolerance, brain chemistry, and hormones such as testosterone levels, progesterone, cortisol, and adrenal functions. As a naturopath I will consider how the chemistry fits into the whole picture and look at how the body can affect the mind. Additionally, I will look at what lifestyle pieces are maybe not working, look at factors such as diet and exercise, and sleep habits. I will not just look at how to calm the mind down (such as meditation), but also look at ways to promote joy and well being. We are not only trying to stop the negative, but add the positive and move forward rather than just reflect on the past. Naturopathic support with anxiety or depression is individualized in terms of what’s working in a person’s life or what’s missing. As a naturopath I am not going to unpack history, which is very important but is the role for a psychotherapist. Working with a Naturopath is best done alongside the psychotherapy or as a second step, with the focus on moving forward.”