WHY SHOULD WE CONSIDER NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENTATION?
Many people who are just getting sober or who have just finished a detox have persistent and recurring symptoms of anxiety, depression, stress, and fatigue.
This is not unusual.
In fact, it’s more the rule than the exception.
Much of the emotional distress that can not be directly attributed to a specific life event stems from correctable malfunctions in our body and brain chemistry - the result of critically unmet nutritional needs.
We have witnessed and experienced remarkable improvements in mood - often times within days - simply by implementing a nutritional repair plan.
Keep in mind that we are referring to what has been referred to as "false moods", meaning those that are not true, genuine responses to the real troubles we deal with in life. Those "true" emotions are actually beneficial in that they can point us to areas in our lives that need attention. They are effectively treated and relieved with talk therapy and a strong fellowship network for support.
Rather, the "false" moods are the ones that seem to come and go without reason that can severely disrupt an early sobriety attempt.
The brain (and to a lesser extent, the gut) is responsible for most of your feelings. It transmits feelings through four primary "mood chemicals" - endorphins, serotonin, GABA, and catecholamines.
In chemical addictions, to one extent or another (depending on the substance, amount consumed, and duration of use), it stops producing these chemicals on a regular basis.
Pharmaceutical companies have been developing drugs for decades that attempt to disguise or band-aid fix deficiencies in these areas. But that is not the same thing as true repair. Our research and experience has shown that many, many people achieve relief through nutritional supplements and can all together avoid the use of incredibly powerful pharmaceutical alternatives.
A sound nutritional program is essential to successful treatment. Giving vitamins and minerals in correct amounts and proportions will allow the cells to generate new cells, repair injured ones, and strengthen its defense against other diseases.
Because every individual entering recovery is different, each recommendation will vary. I recommend consulting a professional educated in the use of nutritional supplementation - e.g. physician, pharmacist, nutritionist - and who is also well-experienced in the nuances of substance use disorders and how this will affect recommendations.
It may be tempting to do one's own research in this area and decide what would be best, but as a general recommendation, we discourage this.
Being your own advocate is important (and necessary), however we believe there is too much information available, mostly unsubstantiated, and the probability that a random searching will lead one to an appropriate supplement approach is unlikely.
Because the supplement market is not regulated to the same extent as the pharmaceutical industry, the discretion of an experienced professional is advised.
He/she can help you navigate through which remedies are safe and which should be avoided. What works and what doesn't. Keep in mind, no nutritional supplement is a miracle cure. In fact, a good way to rule out a particular option is one that claims to be so. Although supplementation is a significant component (enough to make an entire rule about), it is still just a component.
Do not expect a quick fix.
In the world of drug recovery, THERE IS NO SUCH THING!
12 Daily Rules for Recovery: Rule 5 - Establish a supplement regimen:
There is perhaps no aspect of-addiction treatment less optimized than nutritional supplementation.
The founders of Reaction Recovery are trained and experienced in pharmacy practice and certified in the review and recommendation of nutritional supplementation.
Each individual recovering from a chemical addiction is a unique person with a unique personal and medical history, therefore there is no one-size-fits-all approach to supplementation. Each recommendation would be made on a case-by-case approach.
There is, however, enough research in the area for us to suggest some broad considerations that are applicable to the majority of cases. We can say with certainty that a majority of people who could be noticing improvements with a nutritional supplement regimen are not taking advantage of what's out there.
If you have a known or suspected medical condition, or are prescribed medication for a particular disease state, please consult with your physician before following specific suggestions.
Supplementation recommendations are intended only as guidelines. Because we might not be able to respond to individual's personal needs and circumstances, as we would do one-on-one, we ask that you seek a qualified healthcare professional before electing for a dosage regimen on your own.
NOTE: We have done our best to provide sound and useful information in this section. There are co-occurring disorders - including bipolar disorder and schizophrenia - that could become exacerbated by the addition of any food or nutritional supplement. Given the complexity of the addictive disorders, we can not promise results, nor do we accept liability to anyone who uses the suggestions.
Malnourishment stems from years of poor eating habits and can create clinical signs and symptoms that look and present exactly like psychiatric disorders.
Currently, there are many people taking psychiatric medications who are actually just deficient in nutrients such as b vitamins, iron, vitamin D, and others.
Nutritional deficiencies along with medical conditions should always be addressed with a diagnosis of mood, or depressive disorder, because it could certainly be a core component of the underlying cause.
Eating real food is the long-term answer, of course, but for many people nutritional supplementation can certainly help in the beginning.
Misdiagnosis or missing the cause of a diagnosis can lead to a life of treating the symptoms rather than the underlying disease, which can actually harm lives.
Let us begin to eat to improve our mental health so we can focus on improving our other dimensions of health.
Body image issues have the potential to complicate an interfere with a healthy life of recovery.
It can compromise one’s ability to fully engage in activities, relationships, and quality of life.
It’s a major problem in our society and affects people of all walks of life. Also, increasingly more men are meeting the criteria for body image disorders than ever before.
It is possible to free up all of that wasted energy and re-channel it to something more beneficial and useful to the universe.
What steps can you take to start freeing up some of that wasted energy?
Here’s a practice we can do right now.
Take a minute to close your eyes, slow down your breath, and acknowledge your body for how much it does each day. How it carries you and supports you. What does your body allow you to do that is fun and enjoyable?
Take a moment to notice how your body feels right now - your skin, your muscles, your bones…
Appreciating the functional and joyful aspects of your body can help to take the focus off your body image.