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Depression and Anxiety is not just in your head

Posted on 28 October 2018
Depression and Anxiety is not just in your head
A young 15 year girl whom we will call Yvonne comes to see me with her Mum at the clinic about 6 months ago. Her Mum was desperate for some support for her. My patient was complaining of anxiety, poor school attendance, doing poorly with her grades and having some sleep and social issues.The girl was also complaining of tiredness, interrupted sleep, feeling agitated and at times feeling overwhelmed and a little depressed. She had already seen the school counsellor but didn't feel there was any trigger for her emotions, things were OK at home and school, and there was no bullying, cyber or other issues that were causing any alarm.

So this is a fairly common scenario these days, with nearly 1/5 teenage girls suffering from anxiety and as many as one in three girls suffering from low self esteem. So is this simply a normal part of being a teenager or is there more that can be done to try to support Yvonne's mental, physical and emotional well-being.

On further questioning we found out that Yvonne was eating pretty badly, she was skipping breakfast and at school was living on soft drink and take away foods, like meat pies, hot dogs and hot chips after school. She was getting colds all the time and finding them hard to shake, her skin was breaking out with pimples, her tummy felt bloated at times and she felt like she was always in a bad mood.

So by incorporating a holistic model of care we did some simple measurements of nutrients for Yvonne and found that her zinc, b6, magnesium and vitamin D and even iron were all on the lower side of normal.

Acknowledging this and giving the right supportive doses of supplementation, Yvonne's mood, energy and vitally all started to pick up, and with some additional supportive counselling and encouragement, Yvonne's diet was improved and even her periods pain improved.

Looking at the whole picture: means taking the extra time to understand the underlying biochemistry and inter-relationships between the environment, the person, their diet and the internal and external stressors that occur during these sensitive times like the teens.Seeing Yvonne a few weeks ago, she mentioned she hadn't had a cold all winter!

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Tags:Children's HealthHealth and Well Being

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