Category Archives: Mind Health

Research, thoughts & community observations on keeping it together

We are reading…..”Nobody: Casualties of America’s War on the Vulnerable from Ferguson to Flint and Beyond”


There is an almost palpable level of fear rising in the minds of many Americans over the steady stream of
unarmed young black men and boys, women and girls killed by police. How do we protect our children? How do
black people conduct themselves to be sure that they are not seen as dangerous. Not shot down, because by
their physical appearance alone, their movements are intuitively misperceived as imminently threatening.
While the majority of killings have been white officers against black citizens, there is that small number
of black officers on black victims that indicates that it’s not only about white on black racism.

Whether it’s this American drama on our urban streets or any of the international wars that bring death
to everyday life, it is clear, killing is not a solution to anything. Guns do not speak more articulately
than human reasoning. Mental health, is the essence of prevention. Racism is a mental health issue. Diminishing
the value of “others” is a mental health problem. In this book, Marc Lamont Hill joins Ta-Nehisi Coates and Michelle Alexander
in bringing clarity to the ongoing war against black men.

Coconut oil for alcoholism

A former alcoholic who researched a solution to the unbearable cravings for alcohol that ruined his personal life, Dr. Robert Hershline, found relief from a simple, natural nutrient.

“He started taking coconut oil daily and within four days experienced the same sense of relief from symptoms that he got from alcohol.”

In his book, The Coconut Oil Miracle, he shares his insights into the conversion of medium-chain fatty acids (essential to brain function) in coconut ketones into fuel for the brain. Through the regular consumption of coconut oil, “the brain’s conditioned dependence on acetic acid and desires for alcohol can be broken”.

In a recent study review in The Well Being Journal, Bruce Fife, ND and certified nutritionist, stated that blood ketone levels can be raised to therapeutic levels by taking 5 to 6 tablespoons of coconut oil daily.  Consumed with foods, three 1 1/2 – 2 tablespoons doses could be consumed daily.

Consumers of coconut oil stress that one should look for extra virgin, cold-pressed, organic coconut oil. Try coconut oil spread with nut butter on sprouted bread or on steamed carrots, added to a smoothie or used in low temperature cooking to saute vegetables.


1. Hershline, R. Why Do I Drink?: The Role of Brain Metabolism, Published by Robert Hershline, Hilton Head Island, SC 2013

2. Fife, Bruce. “Coconut Ketones: A New Approach to Alcoholism“.  Well Being Journal, November/December, 2013: 9-14.

Fight dementia & Alzheimer’s: Dump the bread

Renowned neurologist, David Perlmutter, says that it’s neither consistent with reality nor current science to deny the negative effects of bread, cereals, pasta and other wheat products on brain health. He says that he feels “we owe it to the public to tell them that gluten, carbohydrates and sugar represent a modern brain threat”. He notes that medications for many common brain disorders are detrimental to health, especially for children. He notes that we do not understand the long term consequences of medication for ADHD kids, for example.

Dr. Perlmutter points out that he puts nearly all of his patients on a gluten free diet because of the overwhelmingly positive results.

Women taking antidepressant medications are 45% more likely to have a stroke and increase their risk of death by 32%, statistics that Dr. Perlmutter calls “horrifying”. If you are depressed he points to a study that claims it increases the risk of having gluten sensitivity by 230%. Movement disorders, like Parkinson’s and others, have been powerfully responsive to the removal of gluten from the diet.

Dr. Perlmutter is a board-certified neurologist and Fellow of the American College of Nutrition. He is the author of “Grain Brain” (#1 New York Times bestseller), “The Better Brain Book”,  and “Power Up Your Brain”. Website:

No She Di’nt!!!

bl woman cartoon pulling hair outWhat happened that made Solange let loose?
It seems that alot of what makes the news everyday is really about mental health – poor mental health – that is to say: people losing it!

On May 5 th, Solange Knowles, sister of Beyonce Knowles, seems to have lost it. Unfortunately for her, everybody gets to see what happened, but only a few people know what happened. So most of us are sitting around, (like little kids do when they see another kid crying), asking “What happened? Why was she so upset?” Why did she lose it? What happened that caused her to risk her beautiful gown, her relationship with her brother-in-law Jay Z, and (maybe not) her relationship with her sister enough to start whaling on him?

From the YouTube video it looks like she left her inhibitions on the previous floor in the Boom Boom Room of Manhattan’s Standard Hotel and let her feelings take control. She delivered some serious kicks & those heels were weapon-high. Jay Z looked stunned as he exited the elevator.

Why it matters
Why is it important? Because so many folks assume that if you have fame (maybe not enough) and fortune (maybe not enough) then you will be so happy that you’ll never lose your cool. Some folks cannot imagine letting their anger rip like that and they worry if whatever made Solange lose it, might make them lose it.

Who would you side with?
Did you find yourself siding with Jay-Z, Beyonce or Solange? Our initial casual survey gave Jay Z support.  Rumors have been flying for the last few days.  Just a few hours ago, the New York Daily News reported that the incident was the result of Solange’s feeling that Rachel Roy, former wife of hip-hop artist Damon Dash, had gotten a little too friendly with Jay Z. Whew! All that over some flirting? Maybe not.

What happens in the Boom Boom Room stays in the Boom Boom Room?
What would make a sister lose control like that?
We in the mental health field would be asking several questions, such as:

  1. What’s the history here? Are Solange and Beyonce constantly fighting off the women? Are there other issues that have been building up?
  2. Why so intense? Would a simple aside to the sister have served the purpose? Like we tell kids: “Use your words to express your feelings.” (Not your feet.) Were hormones stoking the emotions? Hormones can turn a disappointment into an appointment for war.

Well, soon we’ll know the real story, but in the meantime, this, like so much of the daily news about our peers and our idols, will provide lessons for us.
The big lesson here: We all are just human beings trying to handle our feelings and get through life gracefully and joyfully. Sometimes we’re not graceful. Sometimes we’re not taking in the joy.
Little lesson here: there are cameras everywhere. Clearly, Beyonce kept that in mind.

Chill Out Crabby Coworkers With This

In a study of the effects of aromatherapy in the workplace,  researchers found that cancer nurses experienced a reduction of nearly 30% in stress from tension, worry and workplace demands. While this study was small and only six weeks in duration, it offers a novel but time-honored means of bringing about changes in everyday stress. Aromatherapy, often associated with spas or luxury retail stores, is being used more and more to lift moods and enhance surroundings due to the documented effects on brain function. Essential oils such as lavender, lemon grass, ylang ylang and patchouli rather than synthetic chemical scents are popular favorites.  Whether you use electric diffusers or just put a drop or two on a cotton ball, these scents are said to calm nerves and improve memory and focus.

Oncology Nursing Conference, 39th Annual Conference, Poster 42, May 1, 2014