Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Depression and Healing: A Story of a Cowgirl and Her Cowboy

Depression and healing ... those are two words that don't belong in the same sentence because when you are depressed, you can't heal.

How do I know this? Because I'm a cowgirl and I just watched my cowboy (hubby) go through a bout of depression after a long illness.

And you know what?

As long as he was depressed, he stayed ill.

Like I said, depression and healing don't go together.

The Story of Depression and Healing, Part I
The first part of this story is about a cowboy who had a mild stroke. After spending a night in the hospital, he came home loaded to the hilt with prescriptions he didn't want to take. His doctor finally convinced him to take a statin medication to lower his cholesterol in hopes of preventing another stroke.

The cowboy (hubby) took the statin for a few days, and then suffered major side effects. His muscles twitched by themselves, plus it caused a major flare-up of his irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). For a month, he could not recover from these side effects, including constipation, cramping, bloating, gas ... basically ick! For a month, he was completely depressed. No amount of holistic healing worked, and he sure wasn't willing to go back to the doctor for more medication.

If he were a horse, he would be operating from his sympathetic, or "fight or flight," mechanism. He was totally depressed. He had the blue meanies. Everything sucked!

So part one of this story is all about depression. The healing happens in part two, so read on!

The Story of Healing, Part II
In this part of the story the cowgirl (yours truly) gets really really tired of watching her cowboy walk around in a blue funk. She's tried everything she can think of in terms of holistic healing for humans, but to no avail.

So she gets this brilliant idea to start treating him like a horse. She calls up her holistic horse vet who is treating a horse with similar symptoms. She asks for the "recipe" being used on the horse, which is a combination of herbs and homeopathics.

Fabulous. Back at the ranch, she pulls out Nux Vomica 6c and the herbal combination called Eleviv. She doses the cowboy every 2 hours with Nux plus 2 capsules of a mood food. She does this religiously, ignoring his complaints.

Amazingly, by the end of the first day, the cowboy is feeling more upbeat, more hopeful. His symptoms are still there but he doesn't feel as uncomfortable. By the end of the second day, his symptoms have improved by 30%, and he's definitely much happier. By the end of the week, his bowels are working normally again, his muscles are no longer twitching like crazy, and he has returned to his usual sunny disposition.

The cowgirl is stunned by this rapid progress after a month a depression. She does more research and discovers that IBS is caused by a problem in communication between the brain and gut. When the gut digests food, it sends signals to the brain, which the brain interprets as pain. So then the brain begins to interpret any digestive process as a painful process, which tends to shut down digestion, causing cramping and all the other side effects.

It turn out that cowboys with this condition don't have enough serotonin in their brains. The herbal supplement Eleviv helps the brain produce more serotonin, which alleviates the symptoms not only of IBS, but also of depression. Serotonin is one of the hormones produced during "runner's high," and who can be depressed when they have the equivalent of runner's high?

So the cowgirl and cowboy remain amazed at the cowboy's rapid recovery, and file away all the information they have learned in case they need to use it on each other or the horses.

Hmmm ... it really gives one food for thought, doesn't it?

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  1. Did the cowboy continue his chemical prescriptions or stop them?

  2. Hi Stephanie, ^___^....what happened with your husband's cholesterol.....does he still need to take the prescribed meds to control it?