Before there was modern medicine, there was natural medicine. But, with all the awesome studies and technology we have today, more and more evidence is coming up to support natural medicine. While there are many different avenues you could take when deciding on a medication or alternative, I would like to share insights I have gained on it. For many people Rx medication has been an answer to prayer. Personally, I have found natural alternatives to be an answer to my prayers. There are many who say that the natural way is just as effective or more, pure and better for the body. I would like to encourage you to do your own research on it.
Since most of us probably have access to a doctor who would encourage and prescribe medication for mood disorders (postpartum or not) I will leave that to them. I would like to present a side to healing that they may not mention so much, if at all, though.
Sometimes, depression comes because our bodies are lacking certain nutrients that support healthy body functions. I feel it is important to pay attention to fixing these deficiencies to treat the depression. Vitamin D3, calcium, magnesium, potassium, Omega 3,6 and 9 oils, essential fatty acids, B vitamins, vitamin E, natural progesterone cream, sleep, enough good, clean water and exercise can do wonders for a depressed soul. Journaling, meditating, praying, and doing art of any kind is also very therapeutic. Babysitters, counselors, a good friend or trusted family member, essential oils, EFT, foot zoning, iridology, rapid eye technology, yoga, energy work, herbs, craniosacral therapy, neurofeedback, and homeopathics are also excellent resources for recovering lost energy (emotional, spiritual, physical, or mental) and nutrients. Do not be afraid to use these, for in them, also, is God's hand. In fact these methods are, to me, a lot closer to what God would do himself if he were here. Many practitioners of these therapies know that it is what God wants them to be doing right now to help serve their fellow men. You can do a lot of these while on medication too! There is much beauty in these. Love is the answer. Sometimes you don't find enough or give enough love if your only method of treatment is the Dr.'s Rx.
Here is the insight I gained from my PP experience with the twins.
When I had PPD with the twins, I was very fortunate to run into a kind lady who shared with me that she had also been through PPD a few years back and that a solution that worked for her was Vitex (chaste tree fruit) and Sepia (a homeopathic remedy). I had taken Sepia before with good results, but had tried it a bit this time with not as good of results as before. So I tried the Vitex. The morning after I took it, I felt as if I had just woken up from a nightmare - not freaked out, but calm and wondering about the nightmare of yesterday's life. Another way to describe it, though, is that instead of climbing the mountain, I felt like I was on top of it. In some ways it bothered me, because I was so used to the climb. In some ways I like the climb. It brings satisfaction. So, I backed off of it for a few days, and started feeling "normal" again, or, like I was climbing again, but with a clearer mind and a walking stick. I took it again when I felt like I was hiking without a friend and in the dark. I experimented with how much to take and how often to take it. I was so grateful for something natural to take. I really did need something extra. This herb contains progesterone which hormone can be deficient in postpartum women.
While we acknowledge the HAND of God in all things, there is no substitute for the armour of God. Medicine is not truth, righteousness, nor the preparation of the gospel of peace. It is not a shield of faith and it is not the means whereby salvation cometh. It is not the word of God and it can't substitute for prayer. Medication may help me out of a hole temporarily, but it is the Lord that helps me out of the holes of not forgiving myself, the holes of self degradation, of not accepting the whole gift of the atonement, and basically, the holes of spiritual debt. In a true emergency, are we prepared with a supply of the armour of God when there is no medication to take?
Remember the wonderful good news of the gospel in all of this and pray that God will Guide you to the choice that will TRULY heal your mental challenge AND bring you closer to Him. I testify that He cares about you and all the details of your life! We really can trust in Him.
Here is a little more info about some of the above mentioned therapies.
*Essential oils can be more therapeutic than the plants they come from because, not only are they more concentrated, but they are in oil form and can absorb right into the largest organ of the body (the skin). They have constituents and properties that cleanse and detoxify. They can be inhaled which affects the limbic part of the brain. This is where many of our emotions emanate from, including fear, anxiety, and depression. Do a Google search on how essential oils work to find out more! Citrus oils are great for depression. Rose is a very high frequency oil that can help as well. But sometimes we need more grounding oils like vetiver or cedar wood. Frankincense can be one that brings courage to the discouraged and is an excellent brain oil. Geranium is also great. Many companies have blends of essential oils that are specifically blended for lifting spirits and balancing hormones. Contact me or someone you know who is into essential oils to find out more.
*EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) is a system of tapping on our body's energy meridians while repeating positive affirmations. This is a very simple and way of describing it. I have tried this several times and experienced great results. It can help with problems like mood disorders, trapped emotions, and bad habits and works for many to provide relief from symptoms of dis-ease.
*Foot Zoning is a way of balancing the body systems and getting/keeping the body in homeostasis using the receptor points on the feet that correlate to different parts of the body. It is very relaxing and can be effective and helpful in overcoming mood disorders. The key to why foot zoning works for postpartum mental challenges is the "balancing". Mood disorders are mostly about being out of balance in one area or another.
*Rapid Eye Technology works with communication at the cellular level that has been and is assimilated through REM sleep. http://rapideyetechnology.com/faq.htm
*Iridology is a system of reading the eye to see what parts or systems of the body are experiencing health, weakness, or stress. The practitioner will then usually use muscle testing to determine what nutrient the body needs in order to restore the body to optimal health.
*Yoga is probably the one most of us have heard of more than the others. Widely accepted now, it helps the body, mind and soul by promoting and facilitating meditation while maneuvering the body in very helpful stretches and moves. The act of involving the body with the meditation process increases the effectiveness of both. Yoga is big on breathing correctly throughout the exercises which, of course, oxygenates, helping all body systems get into a better standing.
*Energy Work is a broad term that can be encompassed in many alternative ways of recovering from stress. Some practitioners call themselves just plain "energy workers". They will likely be very in tune with your spirit and hopefully in tune with the spirit of the Lord as well, and use that communication to help them understand what you need in order to overcome whatever it is you are seeing them for (or maybe something that you didn't know you were seeing them for). Many energy workers are also trained in 'methods' of energy therapy like Reiki, muscle testing, Simply Healed Spirit Code, Emotion Code, etc... and some combine it with foot zoning, EFT, etc... Energy work is a VERY effective way to accept the good that is waiting to step into your life.
*Herbs are so awesome! Do a search on herbs in the scriptures or on the internet and find a wealth of information! They have been used for thousands of years to alleviate all kinds of discomfort or ailments. This is actually how medicine came about in the first place. They figured out that a certain herb fixed this problem or that, and then they decided to try to find out why. What nutrient or property or constituent was it that healed that ailment anyway? Then they isolated it and put it in a pill. The trouble with doing this is that it caused more side affects than the whole herb did in the first place. So there are a lot of people who have chosen herbs over prescribed medication. As with the others, there is so much more to find out about herbs! Look into them! They are so worth it!
*Cranial sacral therapy. Spinal fluid ebbs and flows throughout the membrane around the brain and the spinal cord, and therefore affects the whole nervous system. This therapy is very gentle, emotional, and beautiful as the therapist moves gently on the skull and spine areas as well as other areas affected by the spinal fluid that may need extra help. There are many success stories with craniosacral therapy. Search out more info online.
*Neurofeedback is a really awesome way for the brain to see itself through the technoligy of EEG and feeding the results back through a movie the patient watches. The brain can see if it is working top notch or not and fixes itself. New neuropathways litterally are created in the process and the brain is able to handle more and work through things it wasn't able to previously. Considering the fact that depression is a neurological disorder, this is wonderful technology and therapy for PPMD. Here is a link for more info. And here is another.
*Homeopathics are the energy of certain plants. The idea behind homeopathy is that you take a certain plant that, when eaten, causes the symptoms that you have, and dilute it's properties down to where it's basically just the energy of the plant left in the water. (This is why homeopathics are so cheap.) The body will recognize it as something to fight off and rid your body of the symptoms that the plant would cause if it were to be taken in heavier concentrations. To read more about homeopathic therapies, click here.
*Dietary Therapy. Some things you can add to help take away your symptoms. Other things you will need to subtract from your diet. See my previous blog post about this.
Did I miss any? Comment below with what helps in your experience.