Beyond the Label: 10 Steps to Improve Your Mental Health with Naturopathic Medicine
KRISSY HAGLUND, ND
“At the end of the day, all we have is love,” writes Christina Bjorndal, ND. She would know. She’s been at the bottom of her well. She has battled self-worth issues, bulimia, anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder type 1, and had several suicide attempts. She’s fallen down, picked herself up, and taken steps forward into a meaningful, balanced life. Her account of her own journey through decades of mental health struggles is riveting! Her words and descriptions are raw and they cut through to the core of the reader. Before picking up this book, I knew little about this Canadian naturopathic doctor. But after reading her personal account of life with a bipolar type 1 diagnosis, I’ve concluded that everyone should know about Dr Christina Bjorndal. This powerhouse doctor has turned around her life and now treats patients with mental illness, brain issues (ADD/ADHD), and eating disorders.
I believe there is something for everyone in this book
It is helpful for any person with a diagnosis of a mental disease, for it offers root-oriented naturopathic treatments that are achievable, proven, and effective. Her personal story can help both medical practitioners and laypeople who have an interest in mental health. The CDC website states, “Half of all Americans will be diagnosed with a mental disease or illness within their lifetime.” This is a staggering statistic that should launch many to seek information regarding mental health.
There are many roads to wellness. The important thing is to pick a path and follow it wholeheartedly.
This book starts off with a bang
This book starts off with a bang as Dr Bjorndal takes off her mask and bravely details her own life struggles with bipolar disorder. Following this she discusses how there are 4 aspects that must be addressed in mental health: physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. Our Western medical system focuses mostly on the physical level – which is important; however, if that’s all we focus on, then we miss 75% of the puzzle. To speak to that physical level, Dr Bjorndal explains that there are 3 macrosystems we need to address: one’s neurotransmitters, the neuroendocrine system, and the organs of detoxification.
To help patients achieve balance in everyday life and “make peace with the present moment,” Dr Bjorndal recommends that patients follow a specific 10-step program:
- Stress management
- Your behaviors and reactions to the world
- Exposure to environmental toxins
- Love and compassion for yourself and others
The more of this book I read, the more joy I was able to unearth
Dr Bjorndal is clearly on a mission to help those who are needing assistance and a way to find their way back to normalcy. I found her personal journey extremely relatable, as I’m the daughter of a mother with mental illness who went undiagnosed for her entire life. As with many patients in the medical system who seek health, they often only encounter palliative or emergency care. My mom, like the author, had numerous ups and down in mental health. She was taken in by the police when she was out on the town during a manic period. In fact, her 125-pound body had to be held down by 2-3 policemen, to secure her into a police car or into a hospital ward – a similar fate experienced by Dr Bjorndal. She slept away much of her life, slacked at housework, and was alone in much of her world. She ultimately drowned in her bathtub due to ineffective epileptic medications that failed to address the cause.
Having a doctor like Dr Bjorndal would have raised my mother’s happiness quotient and might well have saved her life. Given how many people are potentially affected by these issues, I hope you will take the time to read Beyond The Label and help those who are worth saving. For, ultimately, at the end of the day, all we have is love.
JUST THE FACTS
- Title: Beyond the Label: 10 Steps to Improve Your Mental Health with Naturopathic Medicine
- Author: Christina Bjorndal, B Comm, ND
- Publisher: Natural Terrain, Inc
- Available from: Barnes & Noble; Target; Amazon (widely available)
- Pages: 379
- Style: Trade Paperback
- Copyright: 2017
- MSRP: $11.50