Last week, when the GermanWings flight went down, my first reaction was wondering if it was a terrorist. Wait is it politically incorrect to accuse someone of being a terrorist? Wait, I don't care. But when I learned the details and the fact that the CoPilot was not a terrorist I began to suspect drug use. And I am not talking about illegal drug use, it comes with a prescription. Antidepressants. When major news outlets started reporting that he had just gone through a breakup with his girlfriend, I knew it. And today, major outlets are reporting in fact Andreas Lubitz was on Antidepressants, some reporting anti-psychotics as well.
Shocker. Actually not really. So how was I able to predict that he was on mind altering medication, well it's not that hard. First look at the school shooters, almost every single one of them, from Columbine to Sandy Hook, had been on these type of drugs. What does it exactly take for someone to commit a crime like this or a school shooting? Do I think taking antidepressants can make anyone want to crash a plane or shoot up a school? Of course not. But when you take certain individuals in certain circumstances and put them on mind altering meds, you don't know what you are going to get. Look at the labels, look at the possible side effects. Tendencies toward suicidal or even homicidal thoughts. So where Andreas Lubitz on no medication may have been a suicide tragedy, which is horrible. Instead we make him numb to the world, numb to reality, or any consequences of his actions. Putting people on these medications with very little monitoring or follow up I may add, is like playing Russian Roulette. You have no idea what the outcome is going to be.
I have long been a criticizer of the Psychiatry profession as a whole, actually I take that back, I have been highly critical of the medical profession in general. But especially Psychiatry. I have seen it too many times, with patients and with family members. It's a guessing game, they you put you on this drug, "try this, let's see what happens. Oh that didn't work, or you feel worse on this, let's try this one. Actually I think we need to up the dose. I think if we combine this one with your current one. I know you don't have seizures, but this anti-seizure drug will help your depression." They have no freaking clue. No one does, no one knows how each individual will react when given these medications.
I wrote a blog in August of 2013 that was completely devoted to the dangers of pilots flying while on psychiatric medication. You can read it here, I look like I predicted the future, but again it's not that difficult. I have also used this same topic in an old blog titled "Who's Driving Your Bus?" Where I asked you to think about the people you put your life or your kid's lives in the hands of everyday. The school bus driver, the subway engineer, the pilot. And the possibility that they could be on these mind altering medication. Then why are we shocked when incidences like this happen. They put the warning on the box, they put it at the end of the commercials. They tell us that their drugs can make us want to kill people.
Today is my birthday, celebrating another year on this beautiful planet. And I am extremely grateful for that. I had a friend ask me what I was doing tonight or this weekend to celebrate. I told them that I was actually on a cleanse so there will be not much celebrating in the sense he was thinking. He responded that he would have a drink for me then when he goes out. I laughed but as we get older, our priorities change. I am sure you have found this out to some extent yourself. What use to be important to us, may seem not only unimportant but nonexistent. We may look back and be embarrassed over decisions we made or things we did. We may have regrets, some bigger than others. You may even hate the person you use to be. Maybe you still don't like the person you are. The only thing you can do is Improve. Never stop improving. If someone were to ask me what I think the meaning of life is it would be just that, to improve.
Becoming a better you, year after year. So don't look back in regret, look back at the lessons, and look forward to the future. Because you are the only one that has control of that. One way I think people become stagnant or stop improving is because of poor health. I'm not even talking about poor health as an actual state of disease, or something that makes you picture someone much older than you. I am talking about the extra 10 lbs, the headaches, the fatigue, the boredom, the pain, whatever it is that is limiting you from performing at your absolute maximum potential. I believe that is is IMPOSSIBLE to reach or function at your absolute PEAK state without being in the best possible physical health.
Many people say that if something is important to someone they will find a way, or focus on it. I believe that is true is most cases, but in health I think this is sometimes not true. The main reason, is because your body does such an incredible job of dealing with all the crap you put in it or put it through. You can literally treat it like a garbage can, and somehow it keeps chugging along. Of course not functioning at your PEAK state, but moving along. So I think it is easy to lose focus, to push it aside, to focus on things more important at the moment, or at least seem so. The house, the car, the boat, the fun times out, whatever it is that sometimes takes precedence.
So I am using my birthday to urge you, challenge you, to strive to become better, put a focus on your health. When I work with executives and CEO's in my coaching program the first thing I do is have them get in the best shape they have ever been in. Working out, feeding their body more nutritious whole foods, why? Because it makes all the difference. When your next birthday comes around I want you to look back and be able to say I am healthier this year than I was the last. And put that cycle on repeat.
This past Sunday I was at church, and I had brought in a Starbucks cup. I am actually not a Starbucks frequenter but I had gone through the drive through on the way and got an herbal tea. I am currently on a 14 detoxification process that we do here in the office at Adjust Dallas and it does not allow coffee or caffeine. So teas like green, black, or white are out of the question too. But I thought an herbal tea sounded nice, something warm, it was rainy outside and kinda cold. Hard to believe since it was in the mid 80's today in Dallas. But I sat down and an older gentlemen looked at my cup and asked, "You don't like the coffee here?"
This particular church offers free coffee. I have actually never tried this church's coffee, but to be honest most likely I wouldn't like it. I'm kind of a coffee snob, I like my organic dark roast with a little bit of coconut milk creamer and stevia to sweeten it. As you can see, I probably wouldn't have liked it. But I simply responded "Oh no, it's actually tea." Then he replied, "Oh, you don't drink coffee?" Then I turned and said "What's with all the questions?" Just kidding, this guy was nice and I could tell he was just making conversation. I said "Actually I do, but I am on a cleanse and can't have it." You should have seen his face, very puzzled. He then asked "So is it like green tea or something?" And I explained to him that I couldn't have caffeine and it was herbal.
At this point he was very confused. "A cleanse huh?" .... "Yup"... "What's it for? Are you sick? What's wrong with you? Why would you do a cleanse?" I honestly can not recall all of his questions, I was particularly focused on the confused look on his face. Now you know where this is going, I explain to him that nothing is wrong with me, and that is the whole point! To keep it that way! But after our conversation I couldn't help but think of all the people just like him that in a million years would never dream of doing a cleanse or detox just for "the heck of it". I sometimes need reminders like his. It keeps me going. I was fortunate to be raised in a household that put a huge emphasis on health and well-being. Most are not. Some have never heard of anything like this and wouldn't have the slightest clue what to do or where to go to get healthy. That is why we get so many people stuck on prescription drugs with no plan to get them off.
Now if you keep up with my blogs or if you are a patient in my office, I urge you to dedicate just 2 weeks to doing one of these cleanses. You have 52 weeks every year, this is only 2 weeks. Imagine if you have never done anything like this, you have literally never given your body a chance to take a break, heal, and rejuvenate. We have really good success with our cleanse, mainly because it is not calorie restrictive, you can eat as much as you want as long as it is approved. And don't worry it's not a colon cleanse. It is a metabolic and liver cleanse, your liver is the vital organ for cleansing your body, and most of us abuse it. So if you took the time to read this blog, you can no longer be like the guy in church with the confused look on his face. You have been empowered with this knowledge, so use it, share it. So we can start making a dent in these disease rates.
Don't you hate when someone tells you how busy thy are? I can be guilty of it too, but it's like, "Yea, we are all busy." Now I don't mind when someone is telling me about their work week or projects they are working on, but you know the people I am talking about. They are always the busiest people on the planet, they have so much work to do, so much more than YOU! You know what I usually find, the people that talk the most about how busy they are usually have the least on their plate. People I encounter on a regular basis that I know are super busy never complain or say a word about it. Kinda like that old saying if you want something to get done, give it to a (wo)man who's busy.
But the truth is we are all busy. The difference is what we are focused on. Many people are extremely focused on urgent matters, deadlines, emails, meetings, and are in a crisis mode. Successful people are more focused on what's important. Important and urgent are two very different things. People focused on what's important are able to discern and categorize very quickly what needs to be addressed immediately and what can wait. When something urgent comes across their desk, they are not in crisis mode, they are able to evaluate if it needs addressed or if there is something that takes precedence over it. They are more big picture minded, less task oriented. You might be thinking, well at my job all I do is tasks, and tasks need to be done. You are right, there will always be tasks that need to be done, but the difference is what you are focused on. If you are focused on the big picture, what's important, or with the end result in mind, you will be able to quickly analyze the situation and decide what is most important at the time. Instead if you are focused on urgent matters, you can be thrown off course by a whim. The first person that raises their voice will become your priority. Changing this focus is also extremely beneficial in dealing with stress and managing stress levels.
One thing we have all been guilty of at least a few times in our lives is what I like to call "Mindless Eating". You know what I am talking about, plopped on the couch in front of the TV with a bag of chips or a box of crackers on your lap. All of a sudden you look down and the bag is empty, how did that happen?! This is a perfect example of mindless eating, but another one may be grabbing your lunch through the drive through, or grabbing your breakfast and eating it in a hurry in the car. This may sound funny but your body will deal with food differently depending on the state your body is in when the food is consumed. If you are stressed (in a rush) your body will consume more of that food to fat, even if it is healthy.
When you are plopped in front of the couch snacking you are rewarding pleasure centers in your brain and depleting dopamine. This can also affect your mood and eating habits at different points in the day. So instead, practice "mindful eating". Take a deep breath, sit down, acknowledge what you are about to eat, think about how it will affect your body. This is something that I am currently teaching my 3 year old daughter, and she has a lot of fun with it. For example I teach her that when she eats carrots she is helping her eyes, she now asks me almost everytime she eats, "What's this good for? or "Is this healthy?" When she says it there is an F somewhere in Healthy, Healthfy. But she is learning to acknowledge and appreciate what she is putting in to her body. This will also help her and you make better decisions when picking out what to eat, if you ask yourself everytime you eat, what's this good for? Im sure there would be at least a few things that you put back.
If you don't think signing away your rights to refuse medical treatment is a bad idea. I Give Up.
If you think giving the government complete authority of what goes in to your body sounds like a good idea. I Give Up.
If you think this has been strictly about measles. I Give Up.
If these word from Benjamin Franklin, "Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.” do not resonate with you. I Give Up.
If you believe in the idea that sacrificing a few for the safety of "the herd" is okay. I Give Up.
If you think that the current vaccine schedule will not increase, since it has tripled since 1983 and is 15 times larger than in 1940. I Give Up.
If you don't think the 70 doses of 16 vaccines by the age of 16 has any negative impact on the immune system and hasn't led to an increase in autoimmune and chronic disease. I Give Up.
If you think a newborn baby needs to be vaccinated for a disease only acquired through sex or IV drug use. I Give Up.
If you think pharmaceutical companies and government only have your best interest in mind. I Give Up.
If you think you will be completely comfortable with all of the 300 future vaccines that are currently in the developmental pipeline. I Give Up.
If you are over 25 years old, hate antivaxxers, and yet have never had a booster as an adult. I Give Up.
If you think some unvaccinated kid who doesn't have a disease, is going to give your kid who is vaccinated for that disease, the disease. I Give Up.
If you think a mother can not tell the difference in her child's behavior when it immediately changes after a routine visit to the pediatrician's office. I Give Up.
If you do not think it is a problem that vaccine manufacturers have legal immunity. I Give Up.
If you think the government would pay out $3 Billion dollars to petitioners through the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program for no reason. I Give Up.
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