James Maskell, creator of Functional Forum, was interviewed on the Anxiety Summit by host of the Anxiety Summit, Trudy Scott, Food Mood Expert and Nutritionist, author of The Antianxiety Food Solution.
Anxiety and the Importance of Community
- The definition of community and examples
- The Functional Forum and a medication talk by Dr. Hyla Cass
- The effect of social support on HPA axis function during pregnancy.
- Social support for parents of autistic children
- An interview with Kelly Brogan: the role of community in mental health
- Community and social anxiety/introversion
Here are some gems from our interview:
…the solution to chronic disease is integrative or functional medicine because it’s preventive, it’s proactive, it’s participatory on behalf of the patient. And so our goal and our vision is big Trudy. The first thing has been to increase the supply of these functional medicine doctors because you need them and they can’t be replaced by technology. The human element is a really big part. But the first step is to get enough of those doctors and then the next step is to galvanize those practitioners into a really efficient system that takes the best use of technology. It takes the best use of human interaction and uses practitioners in the most efficient way to be able to keep and get people well as effectively as possible.
What we need is people to work together. We need collaboration, not competition. We need people to really see the gifts of everyone. And really we need it to be a meritocracy [definition: a social system in which people’s success in life depends primarily on their talents, abilities, and effort].
Here is the big take-away from James – when it comes to community:
…the real results that we see that are most powerful Trudy is where people have been able to pair getting together into a community with other healthy behaviors. So getting a group of people together to go on a run or to go on a walk together. You get the power of the community plus you get the power of everyone getting the exercise together
Just going back to your idea of supporting each other, doing something together with a common goal. Going back to the Benzo Buddies story. Imagine if that group had local groups getting together. So they’ve got this online forum supporting each other but if they got together and cooked a meal together and also meditated together and then supported each other getting off the benzodiazepine. So that would be what you’re talking about the getting together and also supporting each other online.
Here are some of the studies we discussed in the interview:
The aim of this study, Effect of social support on HPA axis function during pregnancy, was to assess whether individual differences in social support alter psychological distress and cortisol during pregnancy. There were 82 pregnant women in the study. Psychological distress and cortisol were assessed in all three trimesters. It was found that:
Pregnant women receiving inadequate social support secrete higher levels of cortisol in response to psychological distress as compared with women receiving effective social support. Social support during pregnancy may be beneficial because it decreases biological sensitivity to psychological distress, potentially shielding the fetus from the harmful effects of stress-related increases in cortisol.
New research also shows that for parents of autistic children, more social support means better health, protection against stress-induced immune problems and reduced inflammation
Dr. Hyla Cass, MD, integrative psychiatrist shares how to safely get of SSRIs and antianxiety medications and how to maintain good mental health once you are off them. She is addressing physicians but the information is valuable for anyone. This was filmed at the Functional Neuropsychiatry meeting of the Functional Forum in January 2016.
Dr Kelly Brogan, integrative psychiatrist, another past speaker on the Anxiety Summit and author of the brilliant new book “A Mind of Your Own” discusses the role community can play in mental health.
I tied community and social anxiety/introversion together with the discussion about pyroluria.
Here is the link to the next Functional Forum , a wonderful resource for integrative practitioners in the world of functional medicine (doctors, therapists, nutritionists etc).
If you are not already registered for the Anxiety Summit you can get live access to the speakers of the day here: www.theAnxietySummit.com
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