The healthful prescription

There is a hypothesis by a guy named Khantzian who viewed addiction as a form of self-medication. It’s called the self-medication hypothesis (funny that…). He suggested that certain drugs were used to alleviate particular emotional states: heroin, for example helps to alleviate anger and trauma (Khantzian, 1999) whilst alcohol may be turned to by individuals to unwittingly medicate depression (Suh, Ruffins, Robins, Albanese & Khantzian, 2008).

In order to combat mental illness of any kind we need, if you will, a ‘healthful’ prescription. A form of self-medication that doesn’t have any negative side effects. What’s more, the more you do it, the better it gets. The details of this may vary from person to person, but the framework is the same:

Routine - having set moments in the day that anchor you to the here and now.

Self reflection - this could be journalling, meditation, walking out in nature. Time to get in touch with the inner you.

Movement - endorphin release aplenty - our bodies were created to move so move they must!

Community - this is why I am a fan of 12 step programmes which are centred around fellowship. Their first word in the steps is ‘We’. The world is so much better when ‘we’ are involved and move out of the isolation of ‘I’.

A good breakfast - Without it cortisol levels go akimbo and blood sugar cannot be regulated. Poor blood sugar regulation leads to energy slumps, exhaustion and cravings. Even more, we need to supply our body with the building blocks for the helpful hormones like serotonin that can improve our mood. Diet can have an unbelievable affect on our mental health.

Sleep - trauma can often have a negative effect on sleep. There are many small changes in your sleep hygiene which can improve the number of ZZZs you get each night. REM sleep is vital for cell repair and mental wellness.

If you are interested in creating your own ‘healthful prescription’ please get in touch.

Jacky PowerComment