From a breakdown to getting his life back together
by Sue Kira, Naturopath & Clinical Nutritionist
Client name and identifying information changed
Max was someone whose life always had to run to the ‘Max’ as in maximum. Always rushing around and creating dramas along the way, his body appeared to cope for many years until inevitably, Max had a nervous breakdown from taking on far too much stress and living a poor lifestyle.
He was a stockbroker who invested for his clients and dabbled into the market himself. When the global financial crisis hit, Max had ‘maxed out’ his investments and suddenly found himself broke, in the middle of a marital separation, and out of a job.
Medically, a nervous breakdown is loss of valuable nutrients such as potassium, magnesium, calcium and sodium. This was true for Max, especially as during the previous few months prior to seeing me, he had been running on caffeine, sugar and milk (in coffee), followed at night with bourbon and coke in premix cans. Occasionally he ate a pie or toasted sandwich but his high adrenaline quelled his appetite.
Then he crashed, big time. By the time Max came to see me, he was a shadow of his former self. He had lost 10kgs and was weak and depressed. He showed me photos of what he normally looked like (pumped at the gym) and he really looked different and had aged 10 years.
What he really needed was a nutrient re-building program.
A diet for stress support does just that. Max was given choices of foods to help re-build his nutrients lost due to stress, particularly minerals such as magnesium, calcium, potassium, plus B vitamins and vitamin C. I also took him off all grains, gluten foods, dairy products and refined sugar so his adrenals and digestive system could rest and allow his body to recover. His prescription also included lots of relaxation time, which he could then do as he had no job.
However, Max still had some stress to deal with regarding his losses, but when we discussed the ‘what’s the worst thing that can happen’ scenario, he realised it just meant starting over again with the wisdom of knowing what not to do next time. He also knew he needed to take time out to relax and value those things that were important to him.
I also shared a ‘gentle breath meditation’ with him that was easy for him to do to bring some stillness and gentleness to his body. We also discussed how to be more aware of his body and the messages it was sharing.
Even though he was an absolute mess when he first came in, Max put his ‘maximum’ effort into making things better for his health, wellbeing and family. Within a couple of months, he was back beaming and told me that he was back with his wife and happier than ever.