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Health Through Awareness
December 2015 Newsletter

As a lead in to our upcoming December webinar, this newsletter will focus on anxiety and depression and their ramifications and far reaching effects. I know what you're thinking; probably not a very festive topic, but an important one, especially around the holidays which can be very challenging for a lot of people.

Nonetheless, I thought that I would provide some startling and thought provoking information about how the lack of proper nutrition can affect mental health.  This, in turn, according to many experts has a downward spiraling effect on many people's lives.  There is a great body of research that suggests that poor nutrition leads to poor digestive health which in turn leads to poor overall health and consequently poor mental health.  This altered, often untreated, mental state, which is frequently misunderstood and highly stigmatized, has been shown to lead to substance abuse by way of self medication, institutionalization and in many cases, criminal behavior.  

Is it plausible, then, to think that something so seemingly simple, (although certainly not easy) as cleaning up one's diet ( which is detailed below), consuming nutrient dense real organic food and getting one's gut ecology working properly could be a part of the solution to the overwhelming mental health, substance abuse, and criminal behavior problems that plague the world today?


A heartfelt wish to everyone for a very happy and healthy holiday season,

 Here are some startling statistics:

1 in 4 adults, approximately 61.5 million Americans, experience mental illness in a given year.  National Institute of Mental Health, March 5, 2013
* Approximately 20% of youths ages 13 to 18 experience severe mental disorders in a given year.  National Institute of Mental Health, March 5, 2013
* About 9.2 million adults have co-occurring mental health and addiction disorders.  2010 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, from the substance and Mental Health Services Administration
Approximately 26% of homeless adults staying in shelters live with serious mental illness and an estimated 46% live with severe mental illness and/or substance use disorders.  2010 Annual Homeless Assessment report to Congress
* Approximately 20% of state prisoners and 21% of local jail prisoners have "a recent history" of a mental health condition.  Bureau of Justice Special Statistics Report 2006
* Serious mental illness costs America 193.2 billion dollars in lost earnings per year.  American Journal of Psychiatry 2008
* A three-year study has found illegal drugs and alcohol helped lead to the imprisonment of 4 out of 5 inmates in the nation's prisons and jails.  But while 840,000 Federal and State prisoners needed drug treatment in 1996, fewer than 150,00 received any care before being released.  National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University
* 80% of criminal offenders abuse drugs and/or alcohol.
* Nearly 50% of jail and prison inmates are clinically addicted.
* Approximately 60% of individuals arrested for most types of crimes test positive for illegal drugs at arrest. NAMI * The National Alliance on Mental Illness * 

The above statistics came from the following:

Holistic Mental Health

Holistic mental health may indeed include your basic talk therapy, but it also looks beyond that and connects with other alternative mental health therapies like diet, nutrition, and changes in lifestyle to achieve optimal psychological functioning.  It emphasizes the interconnectedness of the body, mind, and spirit and utilizes methods outside the realm of conventional psychotherapy.
Unlike traditional psychiatry, instead of medicating the brain with toxic drugs, it attempts to find the underlying cause of the psychological symptom that is exhibited. 
Main stream medicine or psychology has a very limited understanding and knowledge about the role of brain chemistry on mental health and the impact of diet, nutrition, and chemicals in the environment on the brain.
Holistic mental health addresses psychological problems from the biochemical angle. Although both mainstream psychology and alternative therapies understand that neurotransmitters are at the root of all mental health conditions, mainstream psychology attempts to fix these problems with medication while alternative practitioners attempt to treat the problems with diet, nutritional supplements, and changes in lifestyle.
In the biochemical approach there is no such thing as "mental illness" in and of itself.  Any so called "Mental Illness" can be linked to something physiological as the root cause. Mental disorders, conditions, illnesses, etc. are the result of biochemical disorders with symptoms that exhibit in the psychological arena.
What appears to be a psychological symptom is really triggered by something in body chemistry or environmental sources such as pesticides, foods, or other chemicals.
The Impact of Diet, Nutrition, and Environmental Toxins on your Mental Health
The three most important elements in holistic mental health are diet, nutrition, and environmental toxins.
There are many disorders which we label as mental disorders that can actually be a misdiagnosis of something that is physiological and caused by something in the diet or something that is lacking in the diet.  Phenomenon such as depression, addiction, hyperactivity and learning disorders, anxiety, alcoholism, schizophrenia, and even behavioral problems such as crime and violence or conduct disorder and antisocial personality respond very well to dietary changes and nutritional supplements. 
One of the first indications of nutritional deficiency is a psychological disturbance.  The brain is a very delicate, sensitive organ and controls our mood, thoughts, perceptions, emotions and behavior. It has a protective barrier called the blood/brain barrier that selectively transports nutrients and other substances that are needed for brain function.
The production of proper neurotransmitters is highly dependent on this uptake from the blood, so if the nutrients are inadequate then imbalances of the neurochemicals of the brain can occur and result in disturbances of thought, mood, emotion, perceptions or behavior.
Inadequate supply of nutrition from our diets is falsely believed to be rare in industrialized societies.  Nutrient deficiencies in our society are practically epidemic.  Up to 50% of our population may fail to ingest even the recommended daily allowance for various vitamins and minerals.  One of the reasons this is occurring is because it is estimated that about 75% of the Western diet consists of processed foods and, on the average, each person consumes 8-10 lbs of food additives each year.  Processed food with additives and GMO foods are stripped of their nutritional value and therefore are extremely lacking in the proper nutrients needed for our minds and bodies to function properly.

The brain is dependent on adequate supplies of nutrients in order to function properly; when it doesn't receive these nutrients then the deficiency is exhibited in a variety of negative symptoms in thought, mood, emotion, perception, and behavior.

Mental health is deeply affected by the following factors:

     * Neurotransmitters
     * Pesticides & herbicides
     * Food allergies & sensitivities
     * Nutritional deficiencies
     * Candida overgrowth
     * Hormone imbalances
     * Environmental toxins
     * Hypoglycemia - low blood sugar
     * Food additives & preservatives
     * Hypothyroidism - low thyroid
     * Sugar
     * Adrenal Fatigue

Many people have found that eliminating dairy and wheat products from their diet can greatly reduce symptoms associated with schizophrenia, hyperactivity, and autism.  Others have amazing results in relieving ADHD or hyperactivity, depression, autism, anxiety by following a Candida Diet, ADHD diet, or paleolithic diet and balancing neurotransmitters.  Many have found relief from these same afflictions with supplementation of a variety of vitamins and minerals like B-complex, amino acids, fatty acids, and magnesium.

Other alternative mental health methods may include cleaning up toxins from the environment, pinpointing food allergies and sensitivities that may exist, getting enough sunlight and sleep and identifying any possible metabolic disorders such as hypoglycemia or malfunctioning in organs like the thyroid and adrenals.


eurotransmitters are essential chemical messengers used by neurons in the brain to send and receive electro-chemical signals within the brain and facilitate communication with all the other organ systems in the body.  These powerful neurochemicals are responsible for regulating practically all functions in life, such as cognition, physical and mental performance, sleep cycle, weight, pain perception and response, and our emotional states. 

Your spiritual health is also greatly affected by your neurotransmitters, as it can be very difficult to achieve inner peace and find meaning and purpose in life when neurotransmitters like dopamine, serotonin, endorphins, and GABA are not sufficient or are disrupted or norepinephrine is in excess. 
Research tells us that deficiencies, imbalances, disruption or malfunctioning of neurotransmitters is extremely common in our society and is at the root of many common health conditions, because when neurotransmitters are not functioning properly then the mind and body do not communicate effectively.  When communication malfunctions, then organ systems don't function as they should.  This results in a variety of undesirable symptoms both physically and psychologically.  Recent research suggests that approximately eight out of ten people suffer from some form of neurotransmitter imbalance. 
Please note:  Manipulating neurotransmitters, whether by natural means or pharmaceutical drugs is very serious and should be done under the guidance and care of a knowledgeable health care provider with a high level of expertise in neurotransmitter therapy. 

All of the above was authored by Cynthia Perkins, M.Ed., holistic health coach/counselor, sobriety coach, and adult sex educator. Cynthia holds a Bachelor's degree in psychology, a Master's degree in counseling, a Certificate of Completion in functional medicine, and has researched the role of diet, nutrition, and environmental toxins on our physical and mental health for more than two decades. 
To visit Cynthia's Website click below
Cynthia Perkins' Website

Dr. Mercola   
Dr. Mercola interviewed journalist and Pulitzer Prize nominee Robert Whitaker who discussed how the widespread use of psychiatric drugs has contributed to the increase in mental illness.

Tens of millions of Americans have been made crazy - due to their use of or withdrawal from psychiatric drugs.  That's the conclusion of Whitaker's two books.

In his first book, Mad in America: Bad Science, Bad Medicine, and the Enduring Mistreatment of the Mentally Ill, Whitaker explained the history of the treatment of those with severe mental illness, and the 600 percent increase in the disabilities of psychiatric drug-takers.

His latest book, Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America, documents the powerful forces behind psychopharmacology, and follows the money behind those forces.

Dr. Gary Kohls, reviewing these books in the "Online Journal", notes:
"Psychiatric drugs, whose developers, marketers and salespersons are all in the employ of the giant drug companies, are far more dangerous than the drug and psychiatric industries are willing to admit: These drugs, it turns out, are fully capable of disabling - often permanently - body, brain and spirit."

Nutrition Also Plays an Important Part

Depression Breakthrough: A Proven Solution "Better Than Drugs   
A Solution with Positive Side Effects"
Dr. Mercola states, "As Whitaker and I discuss in the interview, nutrition is another key player in evidence-based alternatives to drugs.  It's already known that many additives, preservatives, and food colorants can cause behavioral changes, and sugar definitely can as well."
One of the most recent and highly plausible theories that explain sugar's impact on your mood and mental health is the connection between sugar and chronic inflammation.

Other studies have also found significant links between high-sugar diets and mental health problems such as depression and schizophrenia, even though they were not focused on the presence of inflammation per se.  For example, a 2004 study published in the British Journal of Psychiatry found that a higher dietary intake of refined sugar and dairy products predicted a worse 2-year outcome of schizophrenia.

As explained by Dr. Russell Blaylock, high sugar content and starchy carbohydrates lead to excessive insulin release, which can lead to falling blood sugar levels, or hypoglycemia. Hypoglycemia, in turn, causes your brain to secrete glutamate in levels that can cause agitation, depression, anger, anxiety, panic attacks, and an increase in suicide risk.  The dietary answer for treating depression is to severely limit sugars, especially fructose, as well as grains. 

The secret to improving your mood and brain health is in your gut, as unhealthy gut flora 

can impact your mental health, potentially leading to issues like anxiety, depression, autism and more. A recent proof-of-concept study found that women who regularly ate yogurt containing

beneficial bacteria had altered brain function compared to those who did not consume 

probiotics. Just as you have neurons in your brain, you also have neurons in your gut -- 

including neurons that produce neurotransmitters like serotonin, which is also found in your 

brain and is linked to mood. Limiting sugar, eating traditionally fermented foods, and taking a

probiotic  supplement are among the best ways to optimize your gut flora and subsequently 

support your brain health and normalize your mood.


To read the full article go to: 
  Here are some other very interesting resources and opinions 
Bill Wilson, co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous, was apparently hypoglycemic and became increasingly interested in the relationship between hypoglycemia and alcohol.  In 1968, Bill W. pleaded with physicians in a 48-page booklet to adopt the hypoglycemia diet and vitamins, especially B3, in the treatment of alcoholism.

The Irrationality of AA 

For more information about the role of hypoglycemia, mental health and addiction see:
The Hypoglycemia Association, Inc.  You can also look at the work of
Joseph D. Campbell, PhD., John Tintera, M.D., A. Hoffer, M.D.   
Joan Mathews-Larson began her work over 30 years ago following the loss of her son.  He took his own life shortly after completing a top rated, 12-step treatment program.  Joan's loss fueled a passionate search for more effective solutions to treat addictions and mental health disorders.  Convinced that alcoholism is not the result of emotional triggers, willpower weaknesses, or character flaws (the features most traditional programs dwell on), Joan turned to scientific research.  There she found the answers she had searched for, based on scores of studies that clearly establish a genetic and nutritional connection to alcoholism and addiction.  Her books have led the field into new ways of understanding chemical addictions and mental health problems.  
Depression Free, Naturally, 7 Weeks to Eliminating Anxiety, Despair, Fatigue and Anger from Your Life, Seven Weeks To Sobriety
by Joan Mathews Larson, Ph.D.  
Julia Ross: We are in a bad mood epidemic.  Depression and anxiety have tripled in the last ten years.  The Mood Cure explains why and provides the good news that we can feel better emotionally, without the use of caffeine, alcohol, tobacco or anti-depressants and the even better news that we can begin to see the results in just one day.  The Mood Cure is a comprehensive natural approach that jump starts your program with brain-fueling amino acids combined with a high protein, healthy fat, veggie rich diet and other nutritional strategies.  Beginning with the 4-party questionnaire to identify your mood type,
The Mood Cure
will help you to:

*Recover from addiction
*Find alternatives to anti -depressants
*Lift the dark cloud of depression
*Blast the Blahs
*Cool anxiety and stress
*Comfort over sensitive feelings
*Let go of emotional eating

 The Mood Cure and The Diet Cure, both by Julia Ross
Hyla Cass, M.D. - Reclaim Your Brain 
Brain Chemistry is the vital link between your mind and body.  In order to Reclaim Your Brain it is important to understand your brain chemistry, the mind-body connection, and the relationship between mental health and physical well being.  Depression, anxiety, panic obsessions, and addictions are too often considered to be a matter of "Mind over Matter."  Most mainstream medical doctors overlook the fact that mood, behavior, and mental performance all depend on your balance of neurotransmitters, the chemical messengers of the brain.  

Natural Highs, Feel Good All The Time, Nutrition and Mind-Body Techniques, 8 Weeks to Vibrant Health: A Woman's Take Charge Program  by Hyla Cass, M.D.    
Dr. John Bergman has over 300 educational YouTube videos and covers every health topic from A to Z.  He explains ways to get to the root cause of and not just treat but overcome Anxiety, Depression, and Addiction.
Disillusioned by the modern symptom based mechanistic health care system, Dr. John Bergman began a quest to find a vitalistic based healthcare model to regain his health.  He became an instructor at Cleveland Chiropractic College in Los Angeles specializing in human anatomy, physiology, biomechanics and multiple Chiropractic techniques.  Dr. Bergman developed his own techniques and has an extensive knowledge of human anatomy and human physiology that few can match.  Dr. Bergman's unique approach and many successes can be achieved even with the most challenging cases.

Dr. John Bergman
The Honorable Patrick J. Kennedy
is a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives and the nation's leading political voice on mental illness, addiction, and other brain diseases. During his 16-year career representing Rhode Island in Congress, he fought a national battle to end medical and societal discrimination against these illnesses, highlighted by his lead sponsorship of the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 -- and his brave openness about his own health challenges.
The son of Senator Edward "Ted" Kennedy, he decided to leave Congress not long after his father's death to devote his career to advocacy for brain diseases and to create a new, healthier life and start a family. He has since founded the Kennedy Forum, which unites the community of mental health, and co-founded One Mind for Research, a global leader in open science collaboration in brain research. Kennedy is also the co-author of "A Common Struggle," which outlines a bold plan for the future of mental health in America.

"Twinkie defense" Wikipedia definition: is a derisive label for an improbable legal defense.  It is not a recognized legal defense in jurisprudence, but a catchall term coined by reporters during their coverage of the trial of defendant Dan White for the murders of San Francisco city supervisor Harvey Milk and mayor George Moscone.  White's defense was that he suffered diminished capacity as a result of his depression.  His change in diet from healthy food to Twinkies and other sugary food was said to be a symptom of depression. Contrary to common belief, White's attorneys did not argue that the Twinkies were the cause of White's actions, but that their consumption was symptomatic of his underlying depression.  White was convicted of voluntary manslaughter.

Weston A. Price, DDS in a quote from his pivotal book Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, stated, "Nutritional education is the only foundation for individual, national, and world peace and must be fostered by state and national organizations."   
Nutrition and Physical Degeneration,
A Comparison of Primitive and Modern Diets and Their Effects,
by Weston A. Price, DDS

A new series: -You'll learn about food lifestyles and habits that promote your best physical health, mental clarity, emotional wellness, expanded consciousness and sustainability of the planet.  Experts will bring you their best tips so you can live your healthiest, happiest, most harmonious life.  
Happy Day Song

For an uplifting treat listen to Kim's new song "Happy Day"
Kim Yarson singer/songwriter is in our artists corner again with a new single.  Kim is a self-taught singer/songwriter who has been writing and honing her craft for 20 years.  It all started with a trip to Nashville in 1994 and has led her all the way to the present with her third album release "Joy" which was recorded by top musicians in Nashville at the "515 Studios" and with Bobby Holland as producer from "South Street Studios."  With her priorities on straight, raising her two young sons, Kim is going to do all she can from her home in NJ to get out her message of love, compassion, joy and bralessness out to a broader audience.  Her repertoire of songs may be written about depression, dealing with aging parents, loss and death, but they are written in a positive and uplifting way.  Kim is fearless and lives life full on, inspiring and bringing Joy to everyone she encounters. 

Please join us on Wednesday, December 16, 2015 at 7pm
for our monthly webinar

Meg Deak, MCAT, LPC, is a licensed professional counselor, educator and workshop leader, who has explored pathways to emotional well-being as well as the holistic impact of vibration, energy, sound, and music for over thirty years.  Much of her practice centers on working with motivated teens and adults wanting to become more calm, focused, productive, and happy.

Fear, worry, sadness, guilt, and anger all contribute to what seems to be an epidemic of anxiety and depression. Unbelievably, 1 in 10 Americans take antidepressants and anxiety affects 40 million people - that's 18% of the population.  Others turn to drugs and alcohol to self medicate their unsettling feelings.

There are many natural techniques and remedies that a person suffering from anxiety and depression can utilize. Meg will explain how the brain reacts to stress, trauma, and negative thoughts, and will offer practical solutions to assist in dealing with these issues.

Click here to register!

Click here to see an archive of all past webinars


Regarding our November Webinar, unfortunately we were experiencing technical difficulties on the scheduled date.  We were able to record the speaker, Joel Auerbach, at a later time and his presentation and PowerPoint are now available at the link below.  I encourage everyone to watch it, as Joel presented valuable information as to the nature of nicotine addiction and smoking cessation.  Whether you or a loved one wants to break the cigarette habit once and for all, this is a must see.

      Many thanks to Joel for his time and expertise. 

Disclaimer:  These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The information in this newsletter is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. The contents of this newsletter are based upon the opinions and research of Liesha Getson and Health Through Awareness, unless otherwise noted. Individual articles are based upon the opinions of the respective author, who retains copyright as marked. The information in this newsletter is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information from the research and experience of Liesha Getson and Health Through Awareness. You are encouraged to make your own health care decisions based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified health care professional.
If you or someone you love is
 suffering from depression and anxiety, we at
Health through Awareness can help.  Whether it is sitting down and
 talking about proper diet and lifestyle modifications or getting
you to experts that do neurotransmitter testing and/or
other specialized testing give us a call. 
Don't suffer in silence.

Liesha Getson, BCTT, HHC
TDI/Health through Awareness
100 Brick Road, Suite 206
Marlton, NJ 08053

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