How Mental Health Relates to Functional Medicine


Welcome to the health detective podcast by FDNthrive. We interview people who have dealt with the trickiest of health challenges but eventually learned to get well and stay well naturally. Now it’s time to hear from one of our detectives and learn how another health issue has been solved. We hope you enjoy the show.

Hello, my friends. And welcome back to another episode of the health detective podcast by FDNthrive. My name is Evan Transue, AKA detective Ev, and I will be your host for today’s show.

In today’s episode, we’re going to keep it a little shorter, but it’s something that, I mean, heck, most of us at FDNthrive, let alone myself can not, not address, and recognize. And what I’m referring to is that October 10th, 2021, and this podcast is being released on October 11th, 2021, it was World Mental Health Day.

If you’ve heard my story, I shared it back in, I can’t even remember what episode it’s probably in the thirties or forties. I talked about my mental health journey and the things that I’ve experienced and I won’t make everyone listen to that all over again today, I’ll just give the background of, I started dealing with panic attacks at five years old.

I had a very invalidating experience through the Western medicine system.

Maybe you’ve experienced that yourself, whether with mental or physical health issues. I know most of us have. Unfortunately. And I say, unfortunately, tongue and cheek. My experience of invalidation was not intentional.

And what I mean by that is so often I hear these very rude and quite frankly, harsh things said to mostly adults about the issues that they’re coming in with. They have a slew of symptoms and since the doctor can’t figure it out with basic blood work, then they just tell them it’s all in their head or they’re stressed. So it’s, it’s pretty invalidating and it’s pretty insulting. My doctor meant well. He just did not pick it up. I don’t think he assumed that a five-year-old would be dealing with panic attacks and not to mention, I think I was probably describing it wrong.

I remember so much of our conversation together being around my intense, fast heartbeat. And a panic attack of course is a lot more than that, but that was the thing that was freaking me out. I didn’t know how to verbalize necessarily the other things that were going on. So it was a very unfortunate, very unintentional case of, well, not even misdiagnosis, just no diagnosis.

And so as time went on and I continued to experience worsening and worsening mental health, that invalidating experience solidified this idea that I can’t talk to other people about this. Oh, the doctor couldn’t figure this out. I must have something really wrong with me.

And this is probably not something I should be sharing with other people. Again, I think it’s possible for an adult to have that circumstance or situation. I was a kid. I think it’s very likely that a child is going to maybe get those thoughts in their head, that well if this person that I look up to, this authority figure, if they can’t figure it out well, something must be really wrong with me.

If you’ve experienced mental health issues before, or if you’re actively experiencing them. I definitely feel you. And there are a lot of people in this company and organization that understand you as well. Certainly there is no one that I know that does not empathize with people who actually suffer with these things.

We’re a place that likes to think big picture. We like to be above the stereotypes. We like to be above the stigma of any health condition, let alone the mental health ones. And so when you come to us telling us that you have these sets of symptoms, whether it’s depressive type symptoms or anxious type symptoms, and you’ve been either given up on or completely dismissed by someone in the conventional space, well, we will not do that.

That is for sure. And the reason I know that to be true is that if you listen to my story before, you know, it was the FDN system that finally helped me get this stuff under control. I was not at my worst when I found FDN I had made progress in my mental health. There’s no doubt about it, but it was an on-and-off thing.

It was something that did happen occasionally. And it was finally the FDN system that freed me from this. And it gave me the ability to get on a podcast like this and say with honesty and integrity, I haven’t had a panic attack in several years. I haven’t dealt with major depressive disorder in several years.

“I haven’t had a panic attack in several years. I haven’t dealt with major depressive disorder in several years.”

Those were standard parts of my life for the greater part of my youth, probably 13 out of the 18 years, I was dealing with some type of diagnosable mental health condition. So to sit here in my mid-twenties, and then to be able to say, this is actually the best I’ve ever been, both physically and mentally. That’s a pretty awesome thing.

And what we want to do on this World Mental Health Day. What I want to do at least is be able to tell you guys that if you are dealing with this stuff in silence, please don’t give up. There are so many options out there, especially in the world of functional medicine, when the people actually know what they’re doing and when they’re well-trained. You could spend the next 10 years trying options.

Now, do I think you’re going to have to do that? Absolutely. 100000% not, but I’m just saying, I know for me, and this is really what I’m trying to prevent because obviously mental health can mean a lot of different things. But the things that I don’t want to see are drug overdoses via addiction. The things that I don’t want to see are suicide attempts or even worse, you know, someone dying by suicide.

And so I want to get a little deep for a second and call directly to those people. Or if you know someone like that, one, you have to realize, even if you’re dealing with this at this time, and it might be very hard to realize this, but this is the truth. Those thoughts are not yours. I am not suggesting you are delusional.

What Affect Depression & Other Mental Health Issues Can Have

That is not what I mean by those are not your thoughts. It’s not what I mean for a second. I mean, what depression does and what other mental health issues can do as well, they can take the whole situation of glass, half full glass, half empty, and you guys all know what that means, right? If you see a glass that’s objectively, let’s say half full.

One person might see it as, “oh yeah, That glass is half full” and they’re an optimist. Right? And then the other says “well that glass is half empty” and they’re the pessimist. What depression does, which is different than delusion, is you’re looking at a glass that’s filled to the brim. And somehow you only see a drop in that thing.

It completely skews your perception of what the situation actually is in front of you.

And so this is someone that is talking to you, that is not saying this as a theory. He’s not saying this as a kind thought, he’s not saying this just to be motivational. I’m saying this as someone who’s experienced it. I have felt what it is like to have thoughts of suicide and think that they are my thoughts that acting on those thoughts is the only way out of what I’m experiencing.

Suicidal thoughts are a symptom of Depression

And I am telling you for a fact that is a symptom of depression. And I’m also telling you for a fact that if you get the depression properly addressed by people who understand what it’s like to go through that and who actually know what they’re doing, those thoughts given enough time will lessen in intensity and most likely will eventually go away.

But you got to try things. And if the conventional system hasn’t been working for you, it might be time to take the leap and try something else. I am not hating on the conventional system in this podcast, especially on a day like today or yesterday. You know what I mean? World Mental Health Day medication saves lives.

Medication is the only reason I was ever able to get on the plane after 12 years of not flying on one because I had a phobic level fear of flying. And I was able to condition myself a little bit. I still very much prefer to have that medication on my person when I am flying. I am not hating on Western medicine.

And if I am well, that’s rather confusing considering I just said, I still actively try to keep this around me when I’m flying. That doesn’t really make it. But Western medicine for the mental health epidemic is very often, very often like more often than not, an incomplete or just completely useless form of treatment for the people who are suffering with these issues.

“I know when you were. I know when you’re in a crisis situation. I know when it feels like nothing else has worked, that it can be very hard to wrap your head around, starting something new, giving one more thing, a try, having the discipline to actually follow through with that stuff. That’s all, all of those things.”

And so I know when you were. I know when you’re in a crisis situation. And I know when it feels like nothing else has worked, that it can be very hard to wrap your head around, starting something new, giving one more thing, a try, having the discipline to actually follow through with that stuff. That’s all, all of those things. That’s what we’re here for.

We can show you things going on in your body that no one else has ever been able to show you that is a fact, I experienced it myself. I suffered for 13 years. Around that 10, 11 year mark I did start going to the doctor again. It did not work, unfortunately. That system failed me. Started using a counselor that was helpful.

I recommend that to everyone. Mental health issues aside I’m dead serious, I recommend that to everyone. I think that’s a really wise thing to do, even if it’s just one session a year to have some questions asked to you that maybe you’re not asking yourself right now. I think it’s a very wise thing to do,

For the people out there like myself and like so many other coaches and employees that we have at FDN. There might be something more going on. The biggest thing I always share with people to show you that this stuff is actually going up and I’m going somewhere with this, so follow me.

Suicide Rate Study

In the United States, the CDC tracked from about 1994, I believe it was to 2016, the rates of suicide in every single state. Every single state went up most, went up rather dramatically, except one, the state of Nevada, where it went down by a whopping 1%. The highest state in terms of increase was North Dakota by 57%. The reason I am mentioning this is that so many of us have been dismissed as saying, oh, this has always existed.

All of these people have always had mental health issues, but we’re just getting better at recognizing it and diagnosing it. My friends, how on earth do you misdiagnose suicide attempts and completions? Sure, maybe we get better medical technology that allows us to see it was a suicide. Maybe that goes up one to 2%, 57% in one state, 15 to 20 to 25% in most states in a 20-year span.

Has there been that much more abuse in the household since then? Has there been that much more trauma experienced?

Certainly, I don’t want to act like those two things don’t exist. Absolutely they have. Sorry, they have, and they do. But I don’t think trauma and abuse account for those types of increases in the rates of this stuff. And I know if you’ve been dealing with this stuff for a while, or you’ve really thought about the situation, you probably know that doesn’t make any sense either right?

So then the question is what is happening and what’s going on? Well, when we look at the rates of chronic disease, physical disease, that is, I think we’ll see a pretty similar thing. You see it going up. So, would it be fair to say that perhaps, maybe just maybe the things that are increasing the rates of physical, chronic disease in the world are the same things that are increasing the rates of mental health issues in the world?

I’d say yes. And as scary as that is on one hand, the good news is that’s what we specialize in. We help you figure out how you’ve been affected by this insane non-natural modern world that we’ve been un-voluntarily signed up for, and we’re all a part of. And let’s be honest, we all contribute to.

A couple of things. If you’re dealing with this right now then just know I hear ya. I promise you, the other amazing individuals here hear you as well. Two is that please don’t ever stop trying to get better. No matter what reason you’re dealing with this stuff, maybe it is a history of trauma. Maybe there is no trauma and you have no idea why you’re dealing with this stuff.

Please keep going. As someone who has been in this space for eight years now, in one way or another, I have heard so many stories from individuals who have gone through the most intense and insane things. And I am not suggesting that if you feel like you can’t handle the intensity of the things that have happened to you, that you are weak or wrong or bad, not what I said. These people that have gotten through it, they had to try a million different things, so don’t get me wrong.

What I am suggesting is perhaps you haven’t exhausted all options yet, even if it may feel like that. And trust me, after 13 years of going through this stuff, I know what it is like to feel like you’ve exhausted all options. Third, and finally, be a friend to someone, okay.

If you know someone who’s dealing with this stuff, please, please don’t be their therapist, don’t be their doctor. That’s not what I’m saying. I’m saying be a friend. Be someone that they can call and talk to about this stuff when they really need it. And there’s nothing else available. Just be someone that they know that they can share these experiences with without judgment. That’s really what being a friend is.

Having someone to talk to

A counselor is a whole different thing, like I said. Doctors, a whole different thing, like I said. But just knowing that they can share with someone, “Hey, you know what, I’m really having an anxious episode today, having a panic attack right now. And I’m sorry, I’m going to be a little late”. That is a very freeing experience in and of itself for those of us who deal with this stuff or have dealt with this stuff.

If you need help

If you guys need help, Click that Get Started Here, button. You’re going to end up on a free call with one of us and we will absolutely talk to you about whether or not we can help you. If we can’t help you, we will get you to the right place who can. All you got to do is have the courage to reach out.

This is a day that I’m really glad exists. It is super important to me and super special to me because it’s sometimes crazy looking back on my life and realizing how many circumstances and situations I put myself in because of my unresolved mental health challenges. That very well could have been the last circumstance I was ever involved in.

How my days are now compared to when I was in a dark place.

And people always laugh at me thinking I’m jacked up all the time, hyped up all the time, super energetic. It’s because I’m grateful as crap. I wake up every day and I am in complete disbelief that I get to do fun things. I get to do work that is meaningful to me. I get to help people. When, not that long ago in the grand scheme of things, I’d be driving to school wondering, “should I drive off this highway right now”. I’m not trying to be dramatic or extreme because if you haven’t dealt with this stuff, this could sound like, wow, like he’s getting pretty dark guys. The people out there that have dealt with this stuff, you guys know exactly what I’m talking about, don’t you?

This can change, the situation can get better. And your life one day, you’re going to look back and be like, “wow, I can’t believe I went through that”, but you got to get this stuff under control before that can happen. And we are here to help, okay. We love you guys. Thank you so much for listening. And I don’t know if you say happy World Mental Health Day, but I will say this happy World, Mental Health Day.

I’m glad it exists. And I’m glad we’re able to have conversations around this in the way that I am right now, because 20 years ago, 21 years ago, when I was dealing with this stuff for the first time, I’ll tell you this, we weren’t having this kind of conversation in this way. So I’m extremely grateful for that.

I’m extremely grateful for you. And again, you guys know where to find us If you need us. Take care and I’ll talk to you guys again soon. Thanks for tuning into the Health Detective Podcast. If you were ready to finally work with a real health detective on your health journey so that you can get well and stay well naturally, visit us at and click the Get Started Here button.

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