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Picture1Mental health is still rather a taboo medical topic worldwide, more so in conservative countries. Many of us treat it as an isolated stand-alone medical obstacle that only exists in a world of a few. Shockingly, in many black communities the stereotypical notion that it only worries/attacks white people still exists. Often, when a black person is diagnosed with any mental dysfunction it is considered as an ancestral issue that should only involve African doctors; sangomas.

Speaking at our Women’s Day event hosted on Saturday at Southern Sun, Hyde Park, Kings and St Thomas’ School of Medicine in London UK graduate, Dr Sam Cleminson shared the importance of taking care of your mental health just as much as you do your body health.

Dr Sam has over 10 years medical experience and 7 years experience in the aesthetic, wellness and anti-aging sphere in South Africa.   In addition to botox and other anti-aging treatments, Dr Cleminson has a special interest in the use of natural herbs and supplements for the treatment of disease, ageing and supporting peak mental and emotional states.  Where necessary, Dr Cleminson will combine natural and herbal therapies with traditional Western medicine to achieve powerful results that are tailored to your specific body needs. Dr Cleminson is a strong advocate for treating you the individual rather than the disease.

Dr Sam says not taking care of your mental health will have the following repercussions in a long run:

  • Increases risk cardiovascular disease
  • Weaker immune system (T cells)
  • Increased autoimmune diseases
  • Increased dementia risk

Dr Sam says it is essential that we know the causes of diseases linked to mental health in order to treat it before it is irreversible.

  • Inflammation
  • Poor Gut Health
  • Hormone Imbalance
  • Stress
  • Diet
  • Genetics e.g. methylation, faulty receptors
  • Major events or trauma
  • Illness
  • Medication e.g. interferon, accutane
  • SAD
  • Poor sleep

Dr Sam explains the causes of anxiety and depression and says there is an underlying factor when it comes to mental health which includes:

1, Inflammation – recent study showed if a person is injected with inflammatory supplements, then you will feel depressed within hours. This can be managed through a low inflammatory diet. He further explains that low vitamin D and a shortage of omega3s may cause depression.

2. Poor gut poor health – Your gut is the second brain says Dr Sam. He adds that  95% of serotonin is manufactured in the gut. Gut damage and inflammation causes depression he says you should consider:

  • Probiotics
  • Reduce sugar and gluten intake
  • Repair gut lining

3. Neurotransmitters- Dr Sam explains that a neurotransmitter is the chemical that carries a signal between two nerve cells. When your GP tells you have over 50 neurotransmitters, it creates Excitator or inhibitory imbalances that cause depression/anxiety.

He further explains that neurotransmitters are assessed through blood and urine testing, QEEG or by Braverman Questionnaire which is:

Set of questions linked to neurotransmitters

Developed by American psychiatrist

Establishes natural state

Looks at current deficiencies

 

Dr Sam

Dr Sam Cleminson

Mental health is a level of psychological wellbeing, or an absence of a mental disorder, it is the “psychological state of someone who is functioning at a satisfactory level of emotional and behavioural adjustment”. From the perspective of positive psychology or holism, mental health may include an individual’s ability to enjoy life, and create a balance between life activities and efforts to achieve psychological resilience. According to World Health Organization (WHO) mental health includes “subjective well-being, perceived self-efficacy, autonomy, competence, intergenerational dependence, and self-actualization of one’s intellectual and emotional potential, among others.

He concluded by saying amino acids, vitamins and herbs can correct neurotransmitters imbalance:

SEROTONIN

Connection and sensitivity, calming, appetite control, sleep, pain control

DOPAMINE

Motivation, self confidence pleasure, brain processing power, focus

ACETYLCHOLINE

Memory, recall, brain processing

GABA

Calming, grounding, ordered

Siyanda Nkala

Siyanda Nkala

Siyanda is a qualified journalist currently holding a position of Digital Media Coordinator for Longevity magazine. During her last year of study she worked as the online sub- editor for the school's online blog and that's where her passion for Online journalism emerged.

She is currently writing health and fitness articles for Longevitylive, does the weekly newsletter and writes a few snippet pages for the magazine. She hopes to gain vast experience in the field of online journalism.

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