My general philosophy is to listen to my body. As I come closer to entering year five of healing from psychiatric drugs, there are still some confusing things happening in my gut, with my skin, my thyroid, my adrenals, my central nervous system, and my overall hormonal balance. But compared to where I was at in year one, two, and three of post-psych drug life, it’s a walk in the park. And my body is healing more and more every day, especially as I learn how to listen to it better. So, what works for me doesn’t always work for me– things change often– and what works for me might very well not work for someone else. Listen to what your body’s telling you– it’s a wise sage. The resources and links you’ll find below are what I currently use or have used in the past five years to facilitate my healing process. Most of these products I found through doing my own research about toxins, chemicals, the iatrogenic effects of psychiatric drugs, and how to heal oneself without conventional medicine.
*Please note that if you purchase any of the Amazon products I’ve hyperlinked to here (as well as any other Amazon shopping you do after following my hyperlink to Amazon), you will help support me and my work here at Recovering from Psychiatry! Thanks in advance.
For thyroid health
This is important for me, as I am still in the midst of healing from lithium-induced hypothyroidism five years after coming off psychiatric drugs. The good news is that I used to have a diagnosis of Hashimoto’s, a thyroid autoimmune condition that was set off two months after I began lithium, but am pleased to say that since coming off lithium in 2010 and taking my nutrition into my own hands, the autoimmune condition has reversed itself, and some of my thyroid function has returned! I still need to take a small dose of Armour (dessicated pig thyroid supplement), unfortunately. It’s my hope that I can heal my thyroid enough to not need this drug anymore.
A few notes re: hypothyroidism that I’ve found helpful for myself:
- I have learned that foods with goitrogens can interfere with the production of thyroid hormones. These include raw broccoli, cauliflower, kale, spinach, radishes, soybeans, peanuts, pine nuts, peaches and millet. Cooking apparently neutralizes this problem. No more raw kale smoothies for me!
- Tyrosine-rich foods are important, as they combine with iodine to produce thyroid hormones. These include fish, dairy, oats, sesame seeds, bananas, avocados, and almonds. (I have other troubles with dairy, so I am currently not eating it.)
- Use cold-pressed olive oil (Bariani is my absolute favorite; I go through tons of it!) and nuts for vitamin E, and nuts for some B vitamins.
- Shellfish, dairy, eggs, or meat for zinc and vitamin B12. (I am currently avoiding dairy due to other iatrogenic gut issues, and though I’ve also had gut/bacterial issues connected to red meat, I find that it gives me strength, so I continue to eat it.)
- Eat lots of raw herbs like parsley for vitamin C.
- Include vegetables rich in beta-carotene, like winter squash.
- Drink purified water for both cooking and drinking to reduce fluoride consumption— fluoride apparently has been implicated in reduced thyroid function.
- Eat seaweed. I eat Sea Snax (no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives and high in vitamins (B1, B6, C), vegetable protein, fiber, iron and other minerals and trace elements) and GimMe Health Foods Organic Roasted Seaweed Snacks. Iodine-rich seaweed is important for thyroid health. (Note: if a person has Hashimoto’s, iodine can be problematic, especially if selenium is depleted.)
- Eat selenium-rich foods, especially brazil nuts (Food to Live Organic, Raw Brazil Nuts are my go-to’s.) Selenium help support efficient thyroid hormone synthesis and metabolism, and is essential for the conversion of T4 to T3. I eat 1-2 brazil nuts every day.
- If you can tolerate supplements, a good B-complex can be helpful. I’ve used Garden of Life Raw Complex-B.
For liver health
- Eat lots of organic cilantro, garlic, cabbage, bitter greens (arugula, radicchio, dandelion greens, for example), and leafy greens more generally, as they are high in plant chlorophylls, which absorb environmental toxins from the blood stream. And bitter greens help increase the creation and flow of bile, which removes waste from the organs and blood. Also, beets, as they contain betaine, which aids in the liver’s conversion responsibility (they also increase bile.) And lemon stimulates nerve and hormone activation of the liver due to its sour nature. I drink filtered water with lemon often. Lastly, berries contain high levels of phytonutrients (antioxidants), which stimulate detoxifying enzymes.
- Drink lots and lots of water
- I recently purchased Sarada’s Remedies Clear Skin & Cool Body Organic Ayurvedic Liver Tincture and am giving it a try to see if it helps
For hair and skin health
I’ve had a lot of skin struggles since withdrawing from psychiatric drugs, and though they’ve gotten significantly better, I can tell my body is still resolving the massive hormonal imbalances caused by thirteen years of exposure to psychiatric drugs, and fourteen years of exposure to oral contraceptives. I’ve removed all toxic hair and skin products from my daily routine… In fact, I’ve removed as many products as possibly, trusting that my body will resolve its imbalances more efficiently if it’s not confused by various kinds of foreign substances entering through my skin.
Face (I haven’t used face wash for a year, or facial moisturizer for several months, as I’m experimenting to see if my skin can resolve its own natural balance, but was using the products listed below before):
Alba Botanica Acnedote, Face & Body Scrub
Alba Botanica Natural Acnedote Deep Pore Wash
Desert Essence Facial Blemish Stick-Anti-Bacterial with Tea Tree
ACURE 100% USDA Organic Moroccan Argan Oil
Life-Flo Organic Pure Safflower Oil
Nature’s Way Extra Virgin Organic Coconut Oil
Hair (I’ve been experimenting with the ‘no poo’ technique for six months now…occasionally putting a few drops of argan oil or coconut oil on my fingers and running it through my hair after I shower.)
Deodorant (With the years of detoxing happening in my body, this has been an ongoing experiment. Here are the different brands I’ve tried.)
Primal Pit Paste Natural Deodorant Stick, Aluminum Free, Paraben Free, No Added Fragrances, Lavender
Lafe’s Natural Crystal Deodorant Stick
DeodoMom Roll-on – A Hypoallergenic Lotion Deodorant: ZERO% Aluminum, Alcohol, Scent, Dye, Parabens; 100% Vegan
Food and Drink
Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar– Great for hair, skin, and digestion. I take two tablespoons of it every day, and use it with olive oil to make a great salad dressing.
Bariani California Balsamic Vinegar– Good antioxidant, helps with digestion, and tastes great. I use it often in salads or to marinate vegetables, meat and fish before cooking them in the oven.
Bariani California Olive Oil– Great for cardiovascular health, reducing inflammation, and brain health.
Navitas Naturals Raw Cacao Powder– 100% Certified Organic, kosher, non-GMO, gluten-free, vegan and raw. A source of antioxidants, magnesium, iron and fiber. Tastes great in smoothies!
Navitas Naturals Raw Cacao Nibs– 100% Certified Organic, kosher, non-GMO, gluten-free, vegan and raw. A sources of antioxidants, magnesium, iron and fiber. Crunchy alternative to chocolate chips!
Navitas Naturals Organic Goji Berries– 100% Certified Organic, kosher, non-GMO, gluten-free, vegan and raw. An abundant source of antioxidants, protein, vitamin A and vitamin, zinc, iron, phosphorus and riboflavin (B2) and beta-carotene. Great in oatmeal and smoothies.
Navitas Naturals Organic Raw Chia Seeds– 100% Certified Organic, kosher, non-GMO, gluten-free, vegan and raw. Chia is a vegetarian source of omega fatty acids, protein, calcium, antioxidants, minerals, vitamins and soluble fiber. I let a tablespoon hydrate in water for a few minutes and then I pour it over a bowl of berries. Also great in oatmeal, smoothies, and granola! And can be used as an egg-replacement in many recipes.
Manitoba Harvest Organic Hemp Hearts Raw Shelled Hemp Seeds– A great source of essential fatty acids including Omega 3, 6 and GLA. More digestible protein than meat, whole eggs, cheese, human milk, cows milk or any other high protein food, and rich in Vitamin E.
Now Foods Certified Organic Golden Flax Seeds– A great way to get Omega-3 essential fatty acids, lignans, and fiber. I pour flax seeds on berries and in salads and they add a great crunch.
Barlean’s Organic Oils High Lignan Flax Oil– Pure, unfiltered and unrefined source of essential omega-3 fatty acids and nutrient-rich lignans that promote heart health and healthy cholesterol. Great for skin, hair, and nails. I squeeze a tablespoon over berries or in oatmeal and it adds a great nutty flavor.
Food To Live ® Organic Almonds (Raw, No Shell, Unpasteurized) and Once Again Organic Smooth Raw Almond Butter- Almonds have as much calcium as milk, and contain magnesium, vitamin E, selenium and lots of fiber.
Food To Live ® Organic Cashews (Whole, Raw) and
Once Again Organic Cashew Butter– Cashews are rich in minerals including copper, magnesium, zinc, iron and biotin, and they have a high concentration of oleic acid.
Food To Live ® Organic Walnuts (Raw, No Shell)– Great for your heart and brain, walnuts also contain ellagic acid, an antioxidant.
Food To Live ® Organic Macadamia Nuts (Raw)– Macadamia nuts have a bunch of Vitamin A, iron, protein, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin and folates. They also contain moderate amounts of zinc, copper, calcium, phosphorus, potassium and magnesium. Macadamias also contain antioxidants like polyphenols, amino acids, flavones and selenium.
Food To Live ® Organic Pecans (Raw, No Shell)– Pecans have tons of vitamins and minerals like Vitamins E and A, folic acid, calcium, magnesium, copper, phosphorus, potassium, manganese, B vitamins, and zinc.
NOW Foods Certified Organic Pine Nuts– Pine nuts have Vitamins A, B, D, E, P and contain 70% of your body’s required amino acids.
Once Again Organic Tahini– Sesame seeds are rich in minerals like phosphorus, lecithin, magnesium, potassium and iron. They are a good source of Methionine, calcium, vitamin E, and vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5 and B15.
Really Raw Honey, totally unprocessed– I put a teaspoon of raw honey in tea, or add some to give a bit of sweetness to salad dressing, or mix it up with a spoonful of almond butter for a tasty sweet dessert. Raw honey still has all its natural vitamins, enzymes, and phytonutrients, and of course bee pollen and bee propolis, which are, among many benefits, antiviral and antibacterial.