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Watch 2022 online sermons » John Bradshaw » John Bradshaw - Depression and Mental Health

John Bradshaw - Depression and Mental Health


John Bradshaw - Depression and Mental Health
John Bradshaw - Depression and Mental Health
TOPICS: Take Charge of Your Health, Health, Depression

Welcome to Take Charge of Your Health, brought to you by It Is Written. There's a major health care concern that often simply doesn't get talked about. It's one that many people don't want to discuss because in so many cases they don't want anyone to know that they're affected. But tonight we're going to dive right in. Thanks for being part of Take Charge of Your Health.

This is Take Charge of Your Health. I'm John Bradshaw. If you've not done so, be sure you head to our website, takecharge.life. That's takecharge.life. You'll find previous programs, fabulous resources. If you'd like us to pray for you, you can let us know there. And you can become part of an online Take Charge action group. Find out more at takecharge.life. Thanks so much for joining me. Millions of people around the world suffer from depression. The battle against depression can be very difficult. But tonight you'll learn that there are things that you can do to fend off depression and take control of your mental health. You're going to hear from experts who will give you hope. And you'll meet people who have successfully combated depression and have got their life back. Depression is real, but there is a way forward. Dr. Steve Lee from Loma Linda University Health will help us to get a grip on exercise, while author and dietitian Dr. Fay Kazzi will give us even more tools to get us on the road to better nutrition. There has never been a better time to be well and to enjoy an abundant life. Your health is precious. And we've learned, as the world has wrestled with a major health event, that looking after your health is really important.

John Bradshaw: I'm pleased to welcome to Take Charge of Your Health Dr. Daniel Binus, who is the director of Beautiful Minds Medical in Auburn, California. Dr. Binus, thanks for joining me.

Dr. Daniel Binus: Thanks for having me.

John Bradshaw: And with us is Dr. Neil Nedley. He is the director of the depression and anxiety recovery program, which is based in Weimar, California. Dr. Neil Nedley, thanks for being here.

Dr. Neil Nedley: Great being with you, John.

John Bradshaw: Well, gentlemen, let's speak about mental health. It's something you both know an awful lot about. Dr. Binus, let me start with you. When it comes to mental health, what are some of the challenges people are facing, the most common mental health challenges that we're being faced with today?

Dr. Daniel Binus: Well, anxiety and depression are, are by far the most common things that we see, and when you look at the mental health of, of America, uh, we find that about 1 in 4, 1 in 5 people are struggling with, some sort of mental illness.

John Bradshaw: How did we get here? We're more advanced, we're more enlightened, we know more than we've ever known as a society before, in terms of book knowledge and study and so on, and yet, mental health is probably more challenged than ever before. How'd we get to this place? It seems like we shouldn't be here, but we are.

Dr. Daniel Binus: What was fascinating to me is, like you said, we actually have so much research, so much better understanding of what causes these conditions and actually things that we can do to help them. Why is the mental health of America getting worse? And as I studied into the, the cause of that, it, it led me back to realize that the rates of mental health problems have steadily increased since around World War II, and a big, aspect of that, uh, is really what we, we see as a cultural shift. Basically, what's happened in, in, the western society is that we have, shifted into a consumerist mindset, meaning that people have gotten a lot more focused on external things, finding pleasure in material goods, instead of more intrinsic meaning in life, like relationships and, affiliation and community and this sort of thing. And so, really what it's done is it's led us to a culture of instant gratification. It's led us to a culture of, of loneliness and isolation and a culture where people are trying to find happiness in things other than relationships, which is proving to be a huge problem for America's mental health.

John Bradshaw: Dr. Nedley, we're also at a place where it seems like people are more medicated than ever before. There's lots of medication available to treat mental health challenges. Yet, it seems that those treatments are only so successful. Now, I know you're not going to speak against medication, uh, across the board. You're a physician, and you've dealt with medication many times. So talk to me about the role of medication, how successful it can be and how unsuccessful it can be.

Dr. Neil Nedley: Yeah, well, medications, as you mentioned, John, actually do have their limitations. Uh, they're not cure-alls. In fact, less than 20 percent of people taking medicines actually no longer qualify for their mental illness. So, more than 80 percent, uh, it might be helping some. Yeah, and in fact, the statistics show not 80 percent are helped, it's more like 60 to 70 percent, the pharmaceutical companies will state, will be helped a little bit or somewhat with them, but they also have their limitations because of side effects. They actually, the most commonly used drugs are the serotonin re-uptake inhibitors, and what they're doing is actually plugging the vacuum cleaners in the nerve that releases serotonin, so it allows more serotonin in the synapse, but it does not allow us to make more serotonin, nor does it actually pick up more serotonin receptors. Those are things that would be win-win situations, but it turns out that requires nutrition and lifestyle measures, which often are superior to taking medicines. Now, of course, as a physician, as you mentioned, I will use medicines, but normally in a short-term fashion while we deal with the underlying issues so that the person hopefully can get off the medicine within a few months or maybe even less than a year. Uh, and that is a preferred approach. But what happens with these medicines is, as a result of plugging the vacuum cleaners, they have a tendency to actually cause the very problem they're designed to treat after you're on them a year or so. And so you need higher dosage, you need more medicines, you become more of a psychiatric cripple, and it's simply because we're medicating the disease instead of going for the underlying factors of why the serotonin was low to begin with or why the dopamine is low to begin with and what we can do to correct that problem.

John Bradshaw: When we talk about mental health, there, there's, there's quite the scale. Somebody who's dealing with, and, please, I'm not intending to minimize this, but someone who's dealing with low-level anxiety is certainly in a different place than somebody who has some absolutely and utterly disabling, very difficult, mental health condition. Could you talk to me a moment about the differences between some mental health challenges and others? I, I, I don't want to leave the impression that we're putting everybody in the same basket here, and, ignoring some real difficult challenges.

Dr. Daniel Binus: So, some people, have more severe conditions, and we would, include under those, generally speaking, the psychotic disorders and the more severe bipolar disorders, as well as the more severe, depressive disorders. And the interesting thing is that even with the most, severe disorders, they're not 100 percent, genetic. So what we can see is for the more severe conditions, generally speaking, there is a stronger genetic component, but it's still not all genes, and so there are things that can be done to modify those conditions, regardless of, of their severity. Another aspect, that's really important, to keep in mind is the, length that somebody has actually dealt with a mental health disorder, and the longer it goes on, the more malfunction will, will occur in, the disorder. So someone might start with a relatively mild anxiety disorder, but if that's not addressed and taken care of properly, that can actually end up in a severe depression and maybe even developing a psychosis or maybe a severe anxiety with panic attacks and, and, and this sort of thing. And, as Dr. Nedley already mentioned, it's, important to understand that if we're just medicating symptoms instead of addressing those underlying root causes, the disease process continues and over time actually worsens. And, trust me, I'm not against medication, I use them every day in my office, but we need to do it very judiciously and in the context of trying to point people to what are those root issues that can really be addressed so that you can get better and stay better.

John Bradshaw: If I've got a bad back, I'd probably want to tell people about it. If I was in the hospital to have my appendix removed, I don't mind telling you all about it and what I went through. But if I have a mental health challenge, it tends to be...very, very different approach. There's still, there's still a stigma in society, and sometimes that's just self-imposed. Perhaps this is what prevents some people from reaching out for help. So, I want to ask you, as a professional, if somebody feels or, or believes they've got some kind of mental health challenge, wherever it is on the spectrum, what do you suggest they do about it? We want people to be able to take charge of their mental health. Part of doing that is being proactive when there are warning signs. So somebody sees something, maybe in themself, maybe in somebody else. What do you do? How do you go about addressing this in a healthy way?

Dr. Daniel Binus: The first thing that people need to do is recognize that there is no shame in reaching out for help. And at the same time, we shouldn't just reach out for help to anybody. We need to make sure that the person that we're reaching out for help to is actually going to address those root issues and also that they have a philosophical, approach that is in, in harmony with the direction we want to go in our lives. Research actually shows, for example, that if you go to a therapist who has, values that are different than yours, you're going to tend to move toward adopting their value system. So we need to be very careful who we actually open up to, but it is important to reach out for help.

John Bradshaw: Dr. Nedley, a moment ago you talked about, uh, medication, its role, but you've said if we're going to treat mental health issues, really needs to be a much, much broader approach. So speak to me about that approach. You mentioned, it sounded to me like lifestyle factors and so on, so let's talk about that in the context of mental health care and treating mental health challenges.

Dr. Neil Nedley: Well, some of the lifestyle factors are pretty simple, like being on a regular exercise program. When you are physically fit and as you gain physical, even more physical fitness, you actually increase your ability to make neurotransmitters, and you increase the receptors. And studies have shown that physical fitness is actually better for our brain than it is our body. And that, of course, is pretty encouraging. It takes some time. It'll take at least a week, once you start a fitness program, for the brain to start to change, but then there's other simple things, like getting enough bright light, outdoor light; particularly blue sky light is very healthy. And early in the morning, if we get that bright light, it actually sets our circadian rhythm. And if we're living in a winter zone where it doesn't get light till 8 o'clock or 7 o'clock in the morning, it's actually better to get that light at around 6:00 a.m. And then another simple factor is when we're going to bed. We go to bed earlier; we actually turn more of the serotonin we made in the daytime from light into melatonin, and that makes it easier for us to have a rejuvenating sleep and a very restful sleep, which is very important in regards to mental health. And then there are things like nutrition. Tryptophan is an amino acid that we have to get into the brain to make serotonin. We can't take serotonin pills, 'cause they don't cross the blood-brain barrier. We have to actually get tryptophan with carbohydrates in order to get it to cross into the brain so our own serotonin manufacturers can start producing more serotonin. And tryptophan, along with carbs, is in a lot of plant-based foods, uh, pumpkin seeds, soy. Uh, it, there's, a host of nice foods, particularly a lot of your, seeds and even some of your nuts, that can be great sources of this, tryptophan, as well as even broccoli, can be a good source. And then there's another amino acid called tyrosine that we also need to get into our brain in order to be able to make norepinephrine and dopamine. Dopamine's going to give us an interest in life and norepinephrine is going to give us memory and focus and concentration and energy. And so, tyrosine can be in foods like watermelon. Uh, sesame seeds, are a great, source, and, also, pumpkin seeds as well. And even things like, flax seed and chia seeds can have, tyrosine in them. And that can be helpful for the brain. And so, some simple foods, getting on more of a plant-based diet that are more high in antioxidants, low in inflammatory foods. No arachidonic acid, that also helps to have meat and eggs at a minimum, and these healthy plant foods at a maximum. And studies show within 14 days you can actually start changing that brain chemistry for the better, and it can result in markedly reduced scores in depression and anxiety.

John Bradshaw: You know, it's fantastic, and it also sounds very simple. So, Dr. Binus, we don't have a lot of time left in this segment, so I'd like to ask you now, even if it means walking over some of the ground we've, we've walked already. Somebody wants to take charge of their mental health, wants to make some significant changes for the better. Um, you're a, you're a physician; you're a medical professional. You're not going to advocate leaving doctors out of the mix. So, walk me through here some, some simple steps. Here is where I would encourage people to say, here are things I would encourage people to do that will give them the best chance of really having, uh, the most positive mental health that they can. What are those things? What would you recommend? Then, Dr. Nedley, over to you.

Dr. Daniel Binus: Well, one of the things that is key is, like I mentioned earlier, don't be afraid to, to reach out, recognize that we need help. There's no shame in getting help for mental health. And when people come into our program, one of the things that I encourage them to look at is that we have three main relationships in life. We have a spiritual relationship with God, we have a relationship with ourselves, and then we have a relationship with other people. And so, I encourage people to think about that, to really connect with God in a healthy, spiritual way, realizing that when we develop that sort of accepting relationship with God, in other words, we start seeing ourselves through His eyes and start realizing that we're precious and that He loves us, even if we're broken, and that He has solutions for us, that gives us hope. And that also starts to dispel some of that shame. And then from there, that allows us to see ourselves appropriately and start developing a healthier relationship with ourselves. It helps to improve our self-talk. It helps us to start realizing, hey, I need to take care of my, physical health. I need to take care of my mind and my body through doing things like Dr. Nedley already mentioned: exercise, nutrition, and this sort of thing. And then as we start to actually have a healthier, more balanced mind, as we start to have more clear thinking and better emotional control, emotional intelligence, that also allows us then to form better relationships with those people around us. So those are some very simple, practical steps that people can take. But again, it's so important to realize that we don't need to do that on our own, that there is help available, that there are educated, uh, very well-intentioned practitioners out there to guide through the process.

John Bradshaw: Dr. Nedley, last thought, I want to, I want you to comment on the role of faith and faith in God. Dr. Binus has really touched on that, I think quite beautifully, but what would you add? I, I know it would be irresponsible for someone to, to say, "Well, Jesus will take away all your mental health challenges". It's, it's just not that simple. Uh, but how do we go about introducing a spiritual component into our lives that's going to fortify us as far as our mental health goes?

Dr. Neil Nedley: Well, this is where it gets to the frontal lobe of the brain. Uh, the frontal lobe is the spiritual part of the brain. And this is the part that we have found out is the most crucial in getting circulation and activity to actually manage depression and anxiety and even eradicate it. And so, that frontal lobe is also where we worship. It's where devotional activity occurs. And it's also where good, healthy music can increase the circulation. Uh, you know, hymn music, for instance, has been shown to enhance the frontal lobe, and also prayer. Now, the prayer is not just a, a mindless type of activity, but one where we might read the Word of God, if we see promises in that Word, to just claim those promises out loud. If we see commands, ask God if we're in compliance with the command. This is actually very frontal lobe enhancing, and if you pray like that, out loud, you'll actually feel better within 20 or 30 minutes than if you watched your most favorite movie. But there's something better about it, and that is you realize you've become a better person. And so this is the type of what we call "western meditation," uh, that can have a very powerful effect and one that we have found a lot of benefit through.

John Bradshaw: Gentlemen, this has been very helpful, very accessible. Thank you for helping us to take charge of our health in the area of mental health. Dr. Daniel Binus, thank you. Dr. Neil Nedley, deeply appreciate it. Thank you so much.

Dr. Neil Nedley: Thank you, John.

Dr. Daniel Binus: Thanks, John.

John Bradshaw: I'm joined now by Bonnie Hoewing, who's joining me from Idaho. Bonnie, thank you for being part of Take Charge of Your Health. Thanks for joining me.

Bonnie Hoewing: Thanks for having me.

John Bradshaw: Now, you've had an interesting journey with depression. Let's start at the beginning. Talk about your background with depression and, and how you came to the understanding or the realization that, "Hey, I've really got an issue here".

Bonnie Hoewing: I don't really remember when I started realizing I had depression or when I was diagnosed, but I remember struggling with it since childhood, probably early teens, maybe, into high school. I was taking medication in high school for depression. And it just sort of has, had continued on to my adult life.

John Bradshaw: Into your adult life, how did it sort of manifest itself? How did it make life difficult, or what were the sort of day-to-day challenges that you were facing that, that depression brought into your life?

Bonnie Hoewing: You know, sometimes it was worse than others. I was still functional. I was still able to work and get my education. But I just felt like that underneath I was sad a lot or had trouble finding purpose. Um, seemed like it worsened after I had kids, and I started to notice more trouble when I had a family, that I wasn't able to take care of my children the way I wanted to, because I also dealt a lot with anxiety, and the two of them played off of each other, and I started to notice more problems within my family and also at work. I just wasn't really functioning the way I wanted to function.

John Bradshaw: You did something proactive and decided to take some sort of action. So I'm going to ask you two questions in one. What brought you to the place where you said, "I've got to do something," and what did you do?

Bonnie Hoewing: Last year the depression and anxiety started to get so bad that I find, I found myself just wanting to escape from life. I was sleeping a lot more. I didn't want to get out of bed. Um, every day seemed too challenging. I didn't feel like I could get up and get dressed and take care of my kids. There were times where I couldn't even take care of my kids. I would have to send them with my husband for the day just because it felt like it was too heavy. Um, I was staying at work longer so I could get away from the things that I thought were hard at home. Um, not that anything bad was happening at home, but in my mind it was just very overwhelming to do the things I needed to do. I started having more conflicts with my coworkers, um, lack of motivation, and I just really wasn't the person I wanted to be. I, had some positions, positions at church, and they were, you know, talking about not even being able to continue in those positions because I just really couldn't function. And I finally hit rock bottom when I was having thoughts of just taking my own life. I didn't think I ever would, but having thoughts all the time like that really scared me. And so that's when I realized that, "I have to do something".

John Bradshaw: Tell me what it was that you did.

Bonnie Hoewing: So, I don't know why I did this. I'm sure it was God, looking, back on it now, but I typed into Google, "Seventh-day Adventist depression programs," and Dr. Nedley's program came up. I am fairly new to the Adventist faith; I've been Adventist for about 10 years or so, so I didn't actually know of Dr. Nedley. Some of my family did, but I had not heard of him. Um, so I just found his program on the internet and clicked on it. I started to investigate it more. It sounded great and it sounded amazing. But I just thought, "Boy, there's sure a lot of factors that would have to go into play. I just don't think it could work out". But as everything unfolded and God made it possible, pretty soon I was signed up to go attend his 10-day depression-anxiety recovery program in Weimar, California.

John Bradshaw: What did you learn? What did you experience in the depression recovery program? What were the things that really helped you, and how has it impacted your life?

Bonnie Hoewing: The biggest thing that really helped down there was having a supportive staff to get you through each part of the day that you have to go through. Um, but I think the most important thing was that it was part of a comprehensive lifestyle change. I didn't just attack one thing, but they worked on everything. And so it was getting us up early so that we had a good sleep-wake cycle. We weren't napping all day, staying up late. We woke up early, get on, an exercise program. We were exercising for several hours per day, drinking enough water, eating a healthy plant-based diet. And those were just some of the things that were there to supplement the more intensive counseling and therapy sessions and the lectures we attended. And all of that was based on the foundation of the spiritual aspect of reading the Bible and praying and really improving your relationship with God. And doing all of those things together were just, I felt like I was brought out of the pit that I was in and finally had some ground to stand on so I could work on some of these things and change into the person I wanted to be.

John Bradshaw: So tell me now, how are things different for you today?

Bonnie Hoewing: So, I would say that going through those 10 days really did change my life. I still continue on a plant-based diet. I try to exercise the best I can. And I wake up early and, try to have my personal devotional times and make sure that I'm even doing the little things like staying hydrated and remembering all the things I learned through counseling, which is trying to keep a positive attitude, avoiding negativity, and really paying attention to the thoughts I'm having and what I'm telling myself about even little things that happen in the day-to-day that can be frustrating. If I think about those the wrong way, I get down. But if I remember the things I learned and apply them, I'm able to keep myself going despite the challenges that happen in life.

John Bradshaw: And how are you doing with, with medication? Is that still part of your day-to-day experience?

Bonnie Hoewing: So I was able to get off of medication last summer, completely, which was the first time in over 10 years probably, and I take some nutritional supplements, but compared to being on prescription medications, I feel like that's been such a positive change that I don't have to worry about side effects or being on a prescription drug the rest of my life for that.

John Bradshaw: Yours is an incredibly inspiring story. Thank you for sharing it. Bonnie Hoewing, I appreciate it very much.

Bonnie Hoewing: Thank you.

John Bradshaw: And you know I've said it before and I'll say it again: No success story could ever happen if people didn't learn how to make changes in their lives to improve their chance of staying healthy. Well, joining us once again is Chef Ani. Chef Ani, welcome back to Take Charge of Your Health.

Chef Ani: Thank you so much, John. I am delighted to be here. Tonight I'm going to show you how to make a fantastic smoothie. This is actually one of my family's favorites. So the first thing we're going to start with is our fruit. Now, fresh fruit is the best, but a nice thing to have in your freezer is some frozen fruit so that you can make this smoothie whenever you want to. Today I'm going to be adding some frozen raspberries. Raspberries are incredibly high in antioxidants and fiber, which are really good things. Now, you can use whatever kind of fruit you like; like, let's say your favorite is blueberry, then use blueberry; you can use fresh or frozen. Today why not just throw in a little bit of that? I love fresh raspberries, and they're so good for you, too. So you can use whatever kind of fruit makes you happy. Berries and fruit are high in vitamins and antioxidants. So we want to pack in as much as we can into our smoothie. I'm going to add a banana next. This adds a nice creamy element to our smoothie.

Now, to sweeten our smoothie, you can use a variety of things. I love to throw in some pineapple. Of course, pineapple is really good for us; plus it adds flavor and a really nice sweetness to our smoothie. Today I'm using fresh pineapple, but you could also find this in your freezer section of your grocery store and then have it frozen, ready to go. I'm also going to throw in a little bit of apple juice concentrate, and it adds just a little bit of sweetness, but still it's the natural sweetness, so it's going to be better for you in the end. And I'm just going to throw in some grapes in here as well, 'cause why not, right? But even if you only have one type of berry, that makes an amazing smoothie. Like, if I only have raspberries, that is still going to be an incredible smoothie. I'm just showing you today how we can pack more fruit into our diet by really packing a lot of fruit into this smoothie.

To take this smoothie to the next level and make it a little creamy, I love to add some coconut milk. This is canned coconut milk. It just has a very nice rich flavor. But you could use any kind of plant-based milk that you like, let's say, almond milk, oat milk; whatever you have on hand will work. But if you have coconut milk, you should try it because it's, it's just really good. And all we have left to do is to just blend this till smooth. Make sure your lid is on good and tight, or you might be wearing it... by the end. Okay. Just serve it up, and that's literally it. That's how simple it is to make this smoothie. And talk about a beautiful healthy smoothie! And I like to finish this off with a few fresh raspberries. If you really want to just make this look like a tropical drink, you can just put a little bit of mint on there as well. And this is it. This is a great way to get more fruit into your diet. I love this smoothie, and I hope you enjoy it as much as my family and I do.

John Bradshaw: Ani, it looks incredible. Hey, one small favor, if you could figure out a way to, email that to me or overnight it, uh, send it as an attachment, I'd really appreciate it. It looks great.

Chef Ani: That is so nice. Well, you know what, I don't think this would taste very good if I were to mail it to you, but an easier way probably is to make it yourself. And, as you know, we can get the recipe at takecharge.life. If you go to takecharge.life, you can find this recipe and many more.

John Bradshaw: Hey, that's wonderful. Thanks so much, Chef Ani, and thanks for reminding us about the website, takecharge.life. Appreciate that.

Chef Ani: Oh, it was my pleasure.

John Bradshaw: Well, let's talk now with dietician Dr. Fay Kazzi. Dr. Kazzi, thanks for joining me. Welcome to Take Charge of Your Health.

Dr. Fay Kazzi: Thank you again for having me.

John Bradshaw: Now, you're a dietician, health professional. You're an author. So tell me, then, when it comes to depression and mental health, where do we make the connection between that and diet?

Dr. Fay Kazzi: Yeah. So depression is a very multilayered mental and, some might even argue, a physical state. So the issue with depression is that studies are showing individuals who are suffering with depression are also suffering with some form of inflammation. Inflammation is a state in the body where there is redness and there's heat and there is "fighting" going on. It's when your immunity recognizes a threat, and it goes and attacks it. So, inflammation in and of itself is a protective mechanism. However, a long period of time of being exposed to inflammation can lead to diseases. So studies are actually showing us right now that people who are depressed are inflamed, whether a disease of some kind, even mental issues. So depression in and of itself can most definitely be managed with diet, believe it or not.

John Bradshaw: Okay. Now, somebody mentioned to me once legumes, beans. I've heard again and again how good these things are for you. So tell me, what is it about legumes or beans that are just so good for a person?

Dr. Fay Kazzi: Yeah, so legumes, which is a huge umbrella to describe a wide variety of different foods, legumes include different types of beans, which include peas and red beans and black beans and chickpeas, which are also called garbanzo beans. You have the lentil group. There is the, the brown lentils; there's small lentils; there's red lentils. And so there are quite a lot of different types of beans and peas. Um, and the great thing about them is that they're very high in protein, and they also contain a good amount of carbohydrate. And they have this great tendency to what we call "have a bulking tendency". When you eat them, you can get full really quickly. So you don't need a lot of it to get full, and it can help protect you from eating other foods that might be really high in calories. And so, the best part about legumes specifically, when it comes to depression, is that they have what we know to be antioxidants, antioxidants and other anti-inflammatory, uh, components that actually help to fight against inflammation. So if an individual who is depressed is also dealing with physical limitations, whether it be inflammatory or disease-related, you can actually help to lessen the effects of inflammation through eating and consuming a good healthy amount of legumes per day. And so, to a certain degree, studies are showing that individuals who consume more beans can limit the amount of depression that they are going through.

John Bradshaw: Okay, give me some great ideas. Now, what I mean by that is tell me how an individual can get more legumes, more beans into their diet. How do we begin?

Dr. Fay Kazzi: Yeah. So one of the best ways is to make a big batch of chili. And you can make some incredible vegetarian chili, um, or even if you want to add different types of meats to it, you can, but chili on its own is just a big nice hefty bowl of straight-up beans or legumes. You can also get your legumes by eating hummus, different types of hummus. You can make it at home, it's so easy to do, and it's basically ground-up garbanzo beans. And you can even get them ready-made in cans; you don't even have to put them in a pressure cooker or an Instant Pot or anything like that. Just get them ready-made in a can. Just try to make sure it's BPA-free canned garbanzo beans. And you can make your own hummus. That's a great way to get your legumes. Um, there's lots of ethnic dishes, uh, lots of Indian dishes, like, chickpea masala, which is basically masala with chickpeas, and you put it on top of rice. And, of course, the Mexican cuisine, I mean, who doesn't love that? Who doesn't love a good beautiful burrito with lots of beans in it? Or some sort of burrito bowl where you just have, you know, the rice, and like what I said initially, I love Chipotle. You can get a lot of different beans there. So, there's great ways to incorporate beans in your diet. But I think probably the easiest way is to just do batch cooking, where you just make a huge amount of beans, whether it's red beans or pinto beans or garbanzo beans, and you leave those in the fridge. And then you can, create batches, and then with the batches, you can season them according to your taste, whether you like something a little bit more acidy with some lemon or some garlic. There's so many different ways that you can prepare your, legumes, and you can eat them every day.

John Bradshaw: Dr. Fay Kazzi, thank you very much indeed. We can take charge of our health. These are great suggestions. I'm sure there are plenty of recipes in your book. Tell me a little bit more.

Dr. Fay Kazzi: Yes, my cookbook is called "The Earthy Canvas Vegan Cookbook," which is available at your store right now. And it's loaded with a bunch of plant-based recipes, over 100 recipes, to be exact, and it does contain quite a lot of, of bean-related recipes. There's lot of legumes and different ethnic dishes, and I'm part Middle Eastern, so it definitely does lend itself to me incorporating that within my cookbook.

John Bradshaw: Magnificent. Dr. Fay Kazzi, thank you very much. I appreciate your time. Thank you.

Dr. Fay Kazzi: Thank you again for having me.

John Bradshaw: So let's take a look at some frequently asked questions when it comes to the area of mental health. I have with me Dr. Daniel Binus, who is the director of Beautiful Minds Medical in Auburn, California, and Dr. Neil Nedley, the director of the depression and anxiety recovery program based in Weimar, California. Dr. Daniel Binus, what's a question people ask you, a common question with regards to mental health, and how do you answer?

Dr. Daniel Binus: Well, people often want to know, "What got me in this mess? What caused my mental health condition"? And the way I answer is that there are root causes that we can, we can look at, and, actually Dr. Nedley, I often use, his, approach where he looked at 10 common root causes, to addressing those, mental health, conditions. And those would include things like, lifestyle, which would be not having a regular exercise program, nutritional factors, genetic factors, developmental issues, toxins, and, the list goes on. And so we really try to help people realize that there is hope that they can address those underlying factors.

John Bradshaw: Dr. Nedley, what's a frequently asked question you hear again and again regarding mental health?

Dr. Neil Nedley: Well, when people find out that medications have their limitations and might have problems down the road, they have this tendency to want to stop their medicines abruptly and say, "Well, you know, these really haven't helped me. Can I stop them right away"? And I strongly recommend that anyone, before stopping medicines, particularly if they've been on them more than a couple of weeks, they need to see a mental health practitioner and someone who's skilled at being able to take them off of that. And it may not be time yet. There might be things that they need to do to try to fix their underlying condition before they can more easily get off their medications. And so we tell people, "Don't stop your medicines on your own, and don't stop them abruptly. Get some professional help to, to get you through that".

John Bradshaw: Dr. Binus, another frequently asked question? What are people asking you on some sort of regular basis about mental health?

Dr. Daniel Binus: Oftentimes they ask, "What can I do to help a family member that is struggling with mental illness"? And the answer there is make sure that first and foremost that you get well yourself. Oftentimes we want to fix other people, and we see all their problems, not realizing that we might even be part of their problem. And so one of the best things that we can do is work on our own mental health, take responsibility for that, be an example of what it looks like to live a healthy, balanced way, not try to be coercive or instructive necessarily to the other person, but encouraging and really living out the principles that we want to advocate.

John Bradshaw: Dr. Nedley, is there another frequently asked question, something you hear again and again, and you know that this answer would really make a difference in somebody's mental health?

Dr. Neil Nedley: "How little exercise do I have to get in order to improve my mental health"? And the answer to that is, "The more the better". But particularly it becomes exponentially better up to one hour per day. Now, after that, studies have shown you'll do even better with two, and you'll do better even with three. But it's a more of a linear rise, and because we have to do other things in the day, sometimes we have to live more of a balance. And so, for the typical person recovering from depression, we recommend a full hour of aerobic fitness training per day. It might be brisk walking. It might be running versus walking and back and forth. It might be swimming. It might be bicycling. Uh, and we might have, actually have periods of rest in there so we can pick up some more oxygen and then go for it again. Uh, but that hour a day is important, and it can work as good as medicine, sometimes even better, without the side effects.

John Bradshaw: Fantastic. We've got time for one more FAQ each. Dr. Binus, is there another one that you hear again and again? "Doctor, here's my question". What is it? What's the answer?

Dr. Daniel Binus: All right, so, people often want to know, "Does diet really matter"? And the answer is unequivocally, yes, it does matter. And then they want to know, "Okay, what kind of diet"? And I always point them to a whole-food plant-based diet. And the reason for this is because it actually decreases inflammation in the body and in the brain, which allows the mind to work better, to work more clearly. And it also allows the absorption of the valuable nutrients that our brain needs, nutrients like tryptophan and tyrosine, so that our minds can have the neurotransmitters to, think clearly and work properly.

John Bradshaw: Gentlemen, thank you so much. Dr. Neil Nedley, Dr. Daniel Binus, it's been a joy, a real pleasure. Thank you both, really appreciate you taking your time.

John Bradshaw: I'm joined now by Christy Christopher, who's in Fort Worth, Texas. Christy, thanks so much for joining me.

Christy Christopher: Thank you for having me. It's a pleasure to be here.

John Bradshaw: Now, you've had quite an experience, quite a journey with depression. Take me back to where it began and walk me through some of that journey.

Christy Christopher: So, it started about the age of 12. Um, I wasn't sure really quite what to call it. I just knew that I wasn't really engaged with my friends, and my parents ended up taking me to a family physician. And he ended up putting me on, antidepressants at the age of 12.

John Bradshaw: So what sort of effect did that have on you? Did it help? Did it hurt? Did it sort of stop the downward spiral? What was the net result?

Christy Christopher: It didn't really seem to, have, you know, a complete healing effect, per se, more just kind of numbed out, even the good emotions. So I was just more kind of flat, just more like apathetic and just kind of going through the motions, in a way.

John Bradshaw: Yeah, that's a young age to be, you know, medicated, although, of course, it's not unheard of. And then to sort of be locked in this struggle, where did this struggle take you? What did you experience?

Christy Christopher: Um, throughout the depression I tried to self-medicate through alcohol and, just unhealthy behaviors. And so at one point I actually was, an alcoholic, you know, and I was drinking a lot and just trying to basically, survive one day to the next. So, it, it was a, a pretty dark place that I was in. Uh, it didn't really lead anywhere good.

John Bradshaw: Yeah, okay. So were there repeated attempts at getting the medication right? Were there interventions? What did you do to try to get on top of this? Or was that not even a question?

Christy Christopher: Uh, I had actually seen therapists. I'd seen counselors. Uh, I'd seen medical doctors. So, it was kind of like a revolving door; just when one medication lost its efficacy, they would put me on something stronger. So it was a lot of, trying out different medications over a period of time.

John Bradshaw: Must have been hard on your family as well, was it?

Christy Christopher: It, it was very hard. Uh, my parents didn't really know what to do. They were trying to do the best thing for me and be supportive and try to do the right thing, but they had no training or background in psychiatry, so they were just doing what they thought was best.

John Bradshaw: So tell me how difficult it got? How far down did depression drag you?

Christy Christopher: It got to the point where, I had been sober for a while. I'd actually worked in, as a critical care nurse, and so I had gotten sober. And I had been, I think, six years sober, and I fell off the wagon, so to speak. Uh, so I took a bottle of tequila and drank it on my own. And took a gun into my backyard, so I wouldn't make a mess, uh, and I pulled the trigger, and the gun jammed. Um, so that was, it got pretty bad.

John Bradshaw: The gun jammed?

Christy Christopher: It did.

John Bradshaw: So when you reflected on that, what did you say to yourself? Did you say, "Um, the gun jammed"? Or did you say, "Well, this was divine intervention"? Or did you say, "Something went wrong"? How did you relate to that? Was it any kind of a wakeup call?

Christy Christopher: It, it was. Um, I have a friend who...in Texas a lot of people have guns, and so at the time, I had called my dad and my friend who, who knows a lot about guns, and he came and took a look at the gun and said, "There's no reason that it shouldn't have gone off". Um, so I know without a shadow of a doubt that it's the hand of God that protected my life.

John Bradshaw: Absolutely miraculous. But that's not the end of the miracles. So somewhere along the line you said, "We've got to do something about this". What did you do, and why did you do it?

Christy Christopher: Uh, at that point, I was actually admitted to a psychiatric, facility, and my mom had found out about Dr. Neil Nedley's program in California, the depression recovery program, and I really wanted nothing to do with God. I wanted nothing to do with any sort of program. Um, but I ended up agreeing 'cause my mom said it was going to be like a vacation. Anyway, so I went there. It was not, not a vacation. Um, but it, it definitely was life-changing after going through that program.

John Bradshaw: Tell me about some of the things from the program that equipped you, some of the tools that you received, some of the ways in which your life changed.

Christy Christopher: Some of the ways would be lifestyle. Um, I'm on a completely different diet. I eat, I try to eat mostly plant based for better brain health. I am on a daily exercise routine, so I wake up in the morning without question. Uh, I get up and I do some exercise. I'm also early to bed, early to rise. That's another piece. And there's light therapy, which you can do in the morning within 30 minutes of awakening, uh, blue light therapy, and that helps with moods. So those are some of the things.

John Bradshaw: Now I'm going to ask you this question. It's a little difficult to ask, might even be difficult to answer. Was that your only suicide attempt?

Christy Christopher: No, there was five total.

John Bradshaw: See, there's a reason why I ask you that question. Clearly you were in, as you said, a really dark place, a really difficult, difficult place. And many people can relate to this because depression is common. Lots of people struggle with depression, whether it's at this level or that level or some other level. But if that's who you were, who in the world is this person that I'm talking to now?

Christy Christopher: I don't know. I don't know. That's a good question. I, I don't recognize that person from before, and I just praise God every day that I don't. Um, but, yeah, I, my life is transformed.

John Bradshaw: Describe how you're doing now. If you were to sum up in a few words, if we would say, "That's where I was, and those were the struggles I was having. I went through the program; my lifestyle has changed. Now I'm", what? How would you finish that sentence?

Christy Christopher: I am grateful, joyful, and at peace.

John Bradshaw: Oh, what a thrill! It's been a transformation and one where you can look back over it and say, "This was a miraculous transformation on many levels". Christy Christopher, thank you so much for sharing your story. I appreciate it immensely.

Christy Christopher: Thank you so much. It's a privilege.

John Bradshaw: Did you ever see people jogging, running, riding their bike, and you've thought to yourself, "Yeah, I ought to be doing that. I should get back to that. It's about time I did some of that"? Here's Dr. Steve Lee to encourage you in an exercise-oriented way of life. With exercise, thanks so much for joining us, Dr. Steve Lee.

Dr. Steve Lee: Thanks, John. Sometimes, for one reason or another, we can't leave our house, but we still want to exercise. There are lots of different exercises that you can do at home without any equipment. They're called calisthenics, and you probably remember this from PE class. These exercises work large groups of muscles in a coordinated fashion, so they're very good for coordination and building muscle. Many of these are exercises that you're probably very familiar with, like push-ups, sit-ups, squats. And some of them are exercises that you may be less familiar with, like burpees, lunges, handstands. There are a endless number of exercises that you can do. And a simple search for calisthenics or body weight exercises will yield more results than you know what to do with. A more important question might be, which exercises to do, how many to do, and how long to do them for? There's probably no single right answer for this, but an interesting method was espoused by Dr. Izumi Tabata when he was working with Olympic athletes in Japan. He divided his athletes into two groups. In one group, he had them exercise for 30 minutes at a moderately intense level. And another group, he asked them to do maximum effort for 20 seconds, followed by 10 seconds of rest, and then he cycled this eight times, for a total of four minutes of exercise. He found that the athletes that did the four minutes of exercise had much greater improvements than the 30 minutes. So while we're not all Olympic athletes and you may wanna ease in to the maximal effort for 20 seconds, it has been shown that 20 seconds of any of these exercises, with 10 seconds of rest, cycled for eight cycles, for a total of four minutes, has been very effective.

John Bradshaw: When it comes to depression and mental health, it's really important to take care of yourself spiritually, to take charge of your spiritual health. So let's take a look at tonight's Creation Life study guide. It's study guide number 5, produced by It Is Written in association with AdventHealth. This one is called "Trust in God". It starts...with one of those stories, one of those heart-in-mouth stories. An 8-year-old boy, high on a building, how many floors up was he? Four floors up. The building was burning. He was in Gary, Indiana. Down below on the ground there were a group of people who made a makeshift net out of blankets. It wouldn't be a net, would it, but you know what I mean. They called to him, "Jump!. We want you to jump"! He's 8 years old. He knows, he knows better than to jump out of a fourth -floor window. But his mother called, and he said, "I could trust my mother". So he jumped, and he was safe, and he was saved. As the lesson says, "Trust can be a powerful thing. In many cases, it's all that stands between life and death".

Okay. So "what are some of the benefits of trusting God"? This is question number 1. I want to read some Bible verses for you. You'll find them listed in the lesson. And by the way, you can download this lesson at takecharge.life, takecharge.life. I will remind you of that in just a few minutes. Proverb 16, verse 20, listen: "He who heeds", and that's he or she, of course, "who heeds the word wisely will find good, and whoever trusts in the Lord, [that person is] happy". So trust in God really benefits your outlook on life. Isaiah 26 in verse 3: "You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because [that person] trusts in You". How do you like that? Perfect peace because your mind is stayed on God and because you trust in God.

In Psalm 32: "Many sorrows shall be to the wicked; but [the one] who trusts in the Lord, mercy shall surround him. Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, you righteous; and shout for joy, all you upright in heart"! There's something about living in the light of God's love and living with integrity before God that has a really positive impact on your mind and your mental outlook on life. And then in Romans 15:13, "Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit". And, do you know, those are just some of the benefits that come from connecting your mind with the mind of Almighty God. Just some, there are many.

I want to look at question 3 with you: "How does a person develop trust in God"? If you've never seen God, you might not know how you can trust in God. If you weren't raised to know God, you might be wondering, "How does that relate to me"? Listen to this. Quoting from Proverbs 3, verses 5 and 6: "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths".

Isn't that something? Cut God in on the action of your life. Bring Him close to the center of what's going on. Acknowledge Him in all things, and you receive God's direction. "When we acknowledge how God has blessed us in the past, we're given more reasons to trust Him in the future. [God's] desire is that we will trust Him with all of our heart, not just part". How's that going with you? How much of your life are you trusting to God? It might be a little, it might be a lot, but is it all? When it's all, that's when things are really starting to go right.

Okay, what's the next question we're going to consider? It's question number 4: "What's an additional benefit of trusting God"? "Therefore", this is quoting from Romans, "Therefore, having been justified by faith", listen to this, "we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ". Isn't that something? Peace in your heart. There is so much stress in the world today, and trusting God is really the cure for stress. Trusting God. Stressors are going to come into your life. There's no way around that. Stress is gonna get you one way or the other. In fact, if you had no stress, that probably wouldn't be a good thing at all. It's just what you do with the stressors of life.

Where do you channel them? Who takes hold of them? If you are trying to fight all of life's battles on your own, hey, that's an overwhelming fight you can't possibly win. But if you trust in God, lean on God, look to God, your stress level is going to start declining. It's going to diminish. And you'll experience peace in your life, the kind of peace that God wants you to have. "If God cares so much for me, why do bad things happen to me"? What a great question, question 7. Isaiah 41, verse 10: "Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand".

The fact that rough things are happening in your life is not an indicator that God is not with you. You don't get to say, or you shouldn't say, "You know, things are bottoming out. God abandoned me". No, don't do that. God is with you. You can't always see Him. You don't have to feel His presence. But you can trust His presence and trust that He's with you. Okay. I'm going to share with you from this lesson, Creation Life study guide number 5, "Trust in God," five steps to overcoming worry; I will share them quickly. Number one: "Recognize that worrying doesn't help. Remember that all things are possible with God. Request God's help". We are told to ask God. "Release the problem to Jesus". Philippians 4:13, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me". And then, "Refocus your thoughts".

Now, I want to encourage you to get to takecharge.life. Go to takecharge.life, and you can download this resource and others. This is study guide 5, "Trust in God". You can also get the book we talked about last night from Dr. DeRose, packed full of practical, helpful, useful information that will help you to take charge of your health.

Now, something else I want to tell you is this. Tomorrow night our subject is rest and stress. Among other physicians, we'll be speaking to a medical expert who is a sleep specialist. Rest and stress, and you'll learn an ancient secret that has been helping people ward off stress for thousands of years. Dr. Fay Kazzi will join us with, diet and nutrition information. Dr. Steve Lee will guide us in exercise. Really, the best is yet to come. Also, head over to itiswritten.tv and see more It Is Written productions and wonderful programming that will be a blessing to you. That's itiswritten.tv. Looking forward to seeing you tomorrow night for more. See you then. Remember the subject is rest and stress, same time at takecharge.life for Take Charge of Your Health.
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