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  • Writer's pictureJohn K Maltby II, D.C.

Mental Distress and Chiropractic

Updated: Mar 25, 2022

1-800-273-8255 or Text 838255

This is the National Suicide hotline.

Picking up the phone and asking for help is not the easiest thing to do. Anyone can call this number to ask for help for anyone else as well.

It is up to everyone to look for the signs that someone needs help. It is also up to everyone to do something the moment they recognize those signs.

Things to be aware of:

Appearing sad or depressed most of the time

Hopelessness; feeling like there’s no way out

Anxiety, agitation, sleeplessness, or mood swings

Feeling as if there is no reason to live

Feeling excessive guilt, shame, or sense of failure

Rage or anger

Engaging in risky activities without thinking

Losing interest in hobbies, work, or school

Increasing alcohol or drug misuse

Neglecting personal welfare; a deteriorating physical appearance

Withdrawing from family and friends

Showing violent behavior, like punching a hole in the wall or getting into fights

Giving away prized possessions

Getting affairs in order, tying up loose ends, or writing a will

Immediate Action or Attention is needed:

Thinking about hurting or killing yourself

Looking for ways to kill yourself

Talking about death, dying, or suicide

Self-destructive behavior such as drug abuse, weapons, etc.

In the event of an emergency:

  1. Call 911 (EMS/police) and if possible, request an on-duty veteran be sent to speak with the person in need

  • They’ll need critical information from you: address of where the individual is, vehicle type and color (license plate number is helpful if you have it), and/or their last known location

  1. Contact the person’s family if you have this information*

  2. For veterans and first responders, contact their unit or command if you have this information*

*if you do not have this information – DO NOT take it upon yourself to insert yourself into the situation, please let trained authorities handle it.

Important notes about using social media:

If you are seeking resources or are reaching out on the behalf of a veteran, it’s always best to designate ONE POINT OF CONTACT to take the lead in these communications.

Also, please do not excessively share “missing” or “in-need” posts outside of the individual’s region – unfortunately this is how information gets miscommunicated and often leads to headaches and frustration for the veteran and/or their families.

Recent research has been slowly coming out that gives us a connection between concussion, the most common form of traumatic brain injury (TBI) and suicide. In fact a paper published February of 2019 which performed a review of research on the connection from 1963 to 2017 has shown a 2 fold increase in risk of suicide after Concussion and mild TBI. About 25% of individuals who suffer from a concussion or mild TBI, experience chronic neuropsychiatric symptoms, including anxiety and depression. These symptoms may last years after the initial injury.

There is a strong history between Chiropractic and mental health. In fact the Chiropractic profession maintained two major mental hospitals, until the middle fifties and early sixties (mainly because of third party pay issues, insurance companies often refused to pay the costs of care) Forest Park Sanitarium opened in 1922 (originally named the Chiropractic Psychopathic Sanitarium) and Clear View in 1926. In the 1920s, several inpatient mental health facilities were established where Chiropractic Adjustments were the dominant clinical service provided. North Dakota Judge A. W. Ponath noted at the North Dakota state mental hospital, the “cure and discharge rate” ranged from 18-27%, compared to 65% at Forest Park.

Many articles addressing mental health issues and Chiropractic care have been published, ranging from single case reports to randomized clinical trials. Favorable responses were reported in persons with conditions including addiction, depression, ADHD, autism, dyslexia and learning disabilities.

Everything we experience is processed through our nervous system. When our perception of the world is distorted by nerve interference, it compromises our ability to respond appropriately. In addition to damaging our physical health, it can result in impaired psychological and emotional function as well. Recent research has shown that when someone is Adjusted the part of their brain that is affected the most is the prefrontal cortex. The prefrontal cortex is the part of the brain that is involved in planning complex cognitive behavior, personality expression, decision making, and moderating social behavior. The basic activity of this brain region is considered to be orchestration of thoughts and actions in accordance with internal goals. The most typical psychological term for functions carried out by the prefrontal cortex area is executive function. Executive function relates to the ability to differentiate among conflicting thoughts, determine good and bad, better and best, same and different, future consequences of current activities, working toward a defined goal, prediction of outcomes, and expectation based on actions.

In short, this part of the brain interprets the world around you, and the Chiropractic Adjustment helps this part of the brain properly interpret the world around you in order for you to make informed decisions about what your actions should be in everyday life decisions.

One of the best things that you can do to help your brain heal from a Concussion or other TBI is to get Adjusted.

If you or someone you know had a mild TBI or full knock out concussion, do not hesitate to find someone who specializes in bringing the brain back online. Anxiety, depression, foggy memory, anger, lack of focus etc., are only symptoms of bigger neurological issues.

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