emotional questions answered

Dear Muffin,                                                                                       submit your question here
I am 25 years old with two young children and have battled anxiety and depression for several year’s now. I’d been on medication in the past but do not like the groggy effects it’s had on me. Is there anything I can do to help calm myself down and be more relaxed, yet alert, for myself and my children? I do not want them to be affected by their mother being frustrated and stressed all the time.
Thank you!

Dear Sarah,
Antidepressants have a high price tag. Over 42,000 people a year die from side effects of pharmaceuticals designed to quell depression. That is eight times more deaths than people who commit suicide from depression.
The grogginess you speak of is common place with any of the depression drugs, which added with lethargic energy levels, loss of libido, and potentially dangerous physical ramifications make alternative holistic remedies very attractive.
It is easy to become seduced into thinking a pill might relieve your pain, especially when it comes with the endorsement of your physician. Feeling depressed is never pleasant, and you naturally want to escape it as quickly as possible. Drugs should always be your last choice, and antidepressants are no exception. You wouldn’t want to expose yourself to the enormous risks these drugs present, especially since the best they do is mask the symptoms, and never get to the root of the problem.
Being a young mom, with young children and a full time job, depression must feel overwhelming at times. This is a time when you need to make sure to set some time aside for your own care, so that you are sustainable to care for others for a long term basis.
Perhaps you have family nearby, or a friend with children. You could exchange a little “you time” for a little “her time” each week. ASK FOR HELP.
There are many ways that you can release depression from yourself.
I suffered with depression for a number of years. After the mainstream protocol of anti-depressants left me with the feeling of emotional dis-connect, I found my way into the strength of herbs, nutrient dense foods, and alternative health care. Depression has been “a thing of the past” for over twenty years now. I hope you will find some answers for yourself, starting here!

It is helpful to translate depression as a sign that your body or life are out of balance, rather than as a mental disease. What you need to do is regain your balance.
Make a list of parts of your life that cause you stress or unhappiness. It doesn’t matter how large or seemingly significant or insignificant these things may seem, put everything that causes you concern on this list.
One by one, put your energy into a “solution oriented” mindset and start to tackle and make modifications for each and every problem. It won’t be an overnight fix, but the process of finding solutions will be an excellent foundation to help move you forward.
This may be a time when you really need to access your circumstances and make decisions about what is truly best for you and your family. Making decisions that only please others will not benefit you at this time. You must be strong, and rely on your gut instinct to guide you forward.

One of the best ways to clarify your emotional triggers involves addressing negative emotions that may be trapped beneath your level of awareness. One of my favorite methods of emotional cleansing is Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), a form of psychological acupressure.
It is a very easy process of tapping certain points on your body that help to soothe and unclutter emotional “knots” throughout your meridian system.
You may want to consult an EFT practitioner, although this is a technique you can learn to do effectively on your own. In fact, it’s so easy that children are learning it.
REIKI is also a wonderful way to open up the energetic streams in our bodies so that we have a deepened sense of relaxation, clarity, and connection to our higher spirit.
ACUPUNCTURE has a very high success quota with depression.
There are other effective stress-management methods you could try as well, such as meditation and yoga.

Regular exercise is one of the “secret weapons” to managing and overcoming depression. It works by helping to normalize your insulin levels while boosting the “feel good” hormones in your brain Research on physical exercise is that it is at least as good as antidepressants for helping people who are depressed… physical exercise changes the level of serotonin in your brain. And it increases your endorphin levels, which are your “feel good, elevated hormones.”
There are amazing studies—exercise can increase the number of cells in your brain, in the region of the brain called the hippocampus. These studies were first done on animals, and they’re very important because sometimes in depression, there are fewer of those cells in the hippocampus. You can actually change your brain’s chemistry with exercise. It is so important for everyone, but especially those who suffer with depression.
Find an exercise you like to do. Perhaps it’s a 20 minute walk five times a week, or maybe that friend exchange time could give you a gym workout a few times a week. Find a gym with child-care. You can always find a short video program you can do in your own living room after the children go to sleep.

Another factor that cannot be overlooked is your diet. Foods have an immense impact on your body and your brain, and eating whole foods will best support your mental and physical health.
90% of serotonin is made in the gastrointestinal tract!
Therefore, keeping a very healthy intestinal track is of utmost importance
Avoiding sugar (particularly fructose) and grains will help normalize your insulin and leptin levels, which is another important aspect of depression. Sugar causes chronic inflammation, which disrupts your body’s normal immune function and can wreak havoc on your brain. Sugar also suppresses a key growth hormone called BDNF (brain derived neurotrophic factor), which promotes healthy brain neurons and plays a vital role in memory. BDNF levels are critically low in people with depression, which animal models suggest may actually be causative.
You may benefit by starting a probiotic protocol. You can find the better probiotics in your health food store in the refrigerator section. Eating fermented foods daily, such as a pickle (make sure they are sugar and (always) sweetener free) and having ¼ cup organic plain yogurt before you go to sleep.
Leafy greens, clean animal fats such as chicken, fish, and grass fed beef, lamb and pork are the best foods you can eat for physical and mental health.


I strongly recommend that you take a high-quality, animal-based omega-3 fat, like krill oil. Be sure to purchase an organic and quality based product, such as Dr. Mercola (online) or again, in the refrigerator section of a good health food store. This may be the single most important nutrient for optimal brain function, thereby preventing depression.
DHA is one of the Omega-3 fatty acids in fish and krill oil, and your brain is highly dependent on it. Low DHA levels have been linked to depression, memory loss, Schizophrenia, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Getting safe sun exposure, which allows your body to produce vitamin D, is great for your mood. It is no coincidence that feeling the sunshine on your body feels so good.
Studies report that people with the lowest levels of vitamin D were 11 times more prone to depression than those who received adequate vitamin D. You can optimize your vitamin D either by sunlight exposure or by using a safe tanning bed, or by taking a high-quality vitamin D3 supplement, such as Biotic Research BIO-D mulsion.
The torso is the best place to take in the sun’s rays for the body’s manufacturing of Vitamin D. This is a great option for you, as you can take your children swimming at the beach, and everyone can get a good dose of sun and have family time and fun at the same time!
Standing directly on the earth’s surface with bare feet is an incredible way of receiving balancing energy from our grounded planet. This can be done at the beach, or right in your back yard! Again, no coincidence that people gravitate to the sea when they are looking for some R&R!
If you live in an area that produces some dew in the early morning, go slide your bare feet through the grassy dew. Not only will you pull grounded polarity from the earth’s core, you will have the benefits of heavenly electrolytes.

If you decide that you want to try alternative remedies for depression, talk to your Dr. and have him schedule your meds so that you get off of them in a safe manner. Do not add any supplement while you are on your pharmaceutical.
There are many effective supplements that help to balance your body’s chemistry to alleviate depression.
My clients have had good results with S-adenosyl methionine ( SAMe), and 5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP).
There are also powerful blends of herbs such as the ones in my tincture, OH HAPPY DAY that you can see in the Apothecary portion of my website.

I wish you the best of luck. Please feel free to write again or be in touch directly if you feel I could help you.
Warmest regards,


Dear Muffin,
I am 25 years old with two young children, and have battled anxiety and depression for several year’s now. I’d been on medication in the past but do not like the groggy effects it’s had on me. Is there anything I can do to help calm myself down and be more relaxed, yet alert, for myself and my children? I do not want them to be effected by their mother being frustrated and stressed all the time.
Thank you!

Dear S.E.,
In your gut, if you are seeing or feeling addiction, trust yourself. GET HELP
Nothing is more important than to identify a substance addiction as early as possible and do whatever necessary to get the help and intervention needed. There is always time to go back to college. There is a lifetime of misery and failure to be addicted to alcohol and drugs.
If AA is a program that philosophically works for her, support her in going, and you personally should augment that with Al-A Non in your area.
Require her to go into personal counseling with a substance abuse therapist. Make yourself and your family available to do the counseling with her, she didn’t get to this place by herself, and she will need your help getting out of it.
It becomes the priority immediately.

This is also the time when there can be a collision of the cultures.
Your college age student is also of age to legally drink which is often experimentally awkward, and occasionally explosive. Meanwhile, the parent(s) are prepared to make the biggest financial investment of the child’s lifetime, and have the least physical and daily control of the students life.
The good news is, that while your child is still dependent on you for living expenses and tuition, you DO have power in helping this child gain control of the current situation, and help them through this difficult time with real life lessons to insure a healthy balanced future. The biggest tools you have are your purse strings. The agreements made where finances are a direct response to the young adult’s choices will most accurately mimic the harsh realities out there in the big cruel world. While you have the ability to change their circumstances dramatically, you also have the security to know there is a safety net for your child, and that it is much better they learn these lessons under your loving direction than the job market or law enforcement at a later time.

Time to drink, is time to work. If there is enough time in her schedule to be under the influence, and to recover adequately enough to be passing her classes, then I suggest you give her more personal responsibility for herself, and again, the most effective asset is your financial power. If you are paying for her living expenses, give her a cutoff date, and have her find a job near campus. College websites always have jobs available and many times they are within the department a student may be associated with. I would make sure your child checks in with a school counselor once a week to monitor her progress, or a good Life Coach to help her set and realize goals. Make tour tuition payments contingent on her doing so.
Tough love! Help her experience a life lesson she will benefit from forever.

If you are not able to get the results necessary for her health and safety, then I suggest that you not fund her education until she is willing to meet healthy and mature criteria.

As a Junior, she is invested in three years in her education. She is close to finishing, I would gamble that it wouldn’t take her very long to straighten out.

Sometimes a year working at minimum wage paying maximum bills puts things into perspective. If she lives at home, have her responsible for her proportionate percent of the costs.

Would you make an investment in a business or real estate that showed obvious signs of vulnerability or distress?
You will need to assess these choices by your child’s personality and, your relationship.
I wish you the best of luck. I have been in this place. The more businesslike and unemotional I approached this with, the more results I got.

Warmest Regards,

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