In an average week in Britain
- We drink 1 billion cups of tea, 154 million coffees, 250 million sugared or caffeinated soft drinks and 120 million alcoholic drinks
- Smoke 1.5 billion cigarettes
- Consume 6 million kilograms of sugar and 2 million kilograms of chocolate
- Take 2 million antidepressants
- Puff our way through 10 million joints
- Pop 1 million tabs of Ecstasy
Do these work?
Obviously they do to some degree, or they wouldn’t be so popular. They may boost energy, relieve anxiety or help us recover from a hard day’s work, but the highs we feel afterwards often evaporate all too quickly, leaving us with a nasty aftermath and in a cycle of dependency. Mood swings, anxiety, exhaustion and even addiction can result from all that popping, pouring and puffing – a roller coaster of ‘highs and lows’.
Meanwhile, psychotherapy is becoming increasingly popular. More people are now seeking professional help, and more and more frequently with at least 10 million visits a year.
Other avenues like life-changing courses, self help books, hypnotherapy, NLP (neuro linguistic programming), yoga and meditation are also on the rise as we look to change our states of mind. All of these can help, but they are just one part of the puzzle.
A change in diet
Any intelligent person can recognise that our diets and environment have changed radically in the last 100 years. When you consider that the body and brain are entirely made from molecules derived from food, air and water and that simple molecules like alcohol can fundamentally affect the brain, isn’t it unlikely that changes in diet and the environment have had no effect on our mental health?
The evidence is there if you look for it. You can change how you think and feel by changing what you put into your mouth.
The rise of antidepressants
Antidepressant drugs like Prozac (SSRIs) work by preventing the body breaking down a feel good brain chemical called serotonin, therefore keeping more circulating in the brain, which improves your mood. The trouble is that these kinds of drugs induce unpleasant side effects in about a quarter of those who take ......
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