Have You Lost Your Mind?

In today’s fast-paced world where technology impacts on almost every aspect of life, it’s quite easy to lose track of things. Constant pressures demand instant answers – telephone calls, emails, text and other social messages pay intrusive visits, and you can begin to feel fragmented and exhausted as your attention is drawn from one place to another at lightning speed. It wasn’t quite the same in the ‘good old days’, whatever else those may have been; the amount of daily input into your brain today is far more intense and can become overwhelming.

Have you ever lost your mind?I hear many people express concerns that they are stressed out, becoming forgetful, lacking concentration and focus, feeling mentally or physically exhausted. Some experience sleep disturbances, generally of the kind where they fall asleep relatively easily and then awaken in the early hours of the morning with their mind thinking about all the things they either need to do, or forgot to do. Others feel quite afraid that they are in the process of losing their mind, with the dreaded spectre of premature dementia or Alzheimer’s disease hovering ever-closer.

The first time I encountered anything of this nature personally was after the birth of my first child at the age of 25. It was almost as though there had been a separation of brain from body in the days following the delivery. I wondered what had happened to my intellect, my ability to recall peoples’ names and telephone numbers; where I had left the keys, or the laundry, or what I had originally set out to do when I arrived in the kitchen on a mission. More than bewildering, it left me in a state of shock.

My previous self, the astute, focused and articulate ‘me’ that I knew, seemed to have morphed into a great contender for the title of ‘Village Idiot’. As I pondered what had happened to my brain and where I may have lost it, I mourned the loss of self, my energy and enthusiasm, and felt that I had unwittingly been sentenced to the life of one lobotomised. Postpartum depression perhaps? My doctor didn’t think I was the type and laughed off the suggestion.

Hindsight has taught me that it was probably a consequence of mineral depletion during pregnancy, natural delivery and the subsequent sleep deprivation that had turned me into this rather dimwitted version of myself.  It would have been much easier and short-lived had I had known about the secrets of Kali Phos and the other tissue salts at the time.

So would the second episode of brain-fag I encountered about seven years later. By then I had two children and had coped much better with the second pregnancy and postnatal process, probably saved by the prenatal vitamins, iron and folic acid supplements. Slowly and more insidiously, this one crept up on me and lingered for too long after a hepatitis infection had flattened me the year before. I found myself unable to muster the energy for an evening beach walk with the family and struggled to stay awake for more than two hours at a time before needing a mini-siesta.

ME (myalgic encephalomyelitis or chronic fatigue syndrome) was all the rage in 1994 – it featured in all the magazines and almost every second person was being tested for it. My doctor waved my concerns aside because I wasn’t experiencing the muscular pains that go along with it. In retrospect, I feel it’s a good thing that I never had a label for what I was experiencing; I wasn’t effective at work or socially, and couldn’t remember much of what I read or conversations that I had. I was mentally and physically exhausted all the time. I think I could have slept for 24 hours a day had I been able to, and it was only the fact that I had a young family to care for that prevented me from fully succumbing to the Sleeping Beauty archetype.

An extremely low iron level was all that the physician found to account for the problem. My ferritin levels had been a problem on-and-off over the years, I think possibly triggered in my radiography days when I was a regular blood donor. At the age of 23, I consulted a doctor in search of a good multivitamin or tonic for fatigue, and was prescribed anti-depressants, because he saw me yawning during the consultation. No tests were done, but I now know that this was the first inkling of iron (and potassium phosphate) deficiencies for me – after all, iron carries oxygen in the system and when there is not enough, the body fatigues and tries to obtain more, hence the deep breaths he observed. Although surprised, I trusted his diagnosis and took the medication before discarding it a few weeks later – it made me feel even worse than before.

The link between the vitalising phosphates of iron and potassium is literally held in the red blood cell, where both co-exist and are distributed around the body in the arterial blood supply. Blood loss depletes the system of these essential life-giving minerals. What many women don’t realise is that periods become longer in duration and heavier in intensity as more iron is lost in a perpetual cycle that can be difficult to break. Looking in the rear-view mirror, I can see all of the puzzle pieces fitting together in a story of monthly loss of iron and other minerals, and pregnancies contributing to the further depletion of my fragile mineral balance.

At the age of 34, this was old news being delivered by a new messenger. After a few months of completely ineffective prescription iron supplementation, my physician and gynaecologist recommended a hysterectomy. I was ready to go ahead in order to reclaim my life – my entire self had gone AWOL.

In what I believe to be an incredible synchronicity, this is what eventually brought me crawling to the threshold of Dr Schuessler’s biochemic minerals. On telling my mother about the doctors’ verdict, she told me of a colleague’s success with these, and solicited a promise that I would wait to receive and read a book about tissue salts before making  an appointment for the operation.

I was extremely sceptical; my medical training and conventional upbringing had never embraced anything other than what the doctor prescribed. I waited for the book to arrive via snail-mail, read it and decided to give tissue salts a try for 6 months. I took a combination of salts, mainly Kali Phos, Nat Mur, Ferrum Phos and Calc Phos to address the exhaustion and iron deficiency.

To my astonishment, it was the kiss that woke Aurora. Not only was I feeling a reconnection to myself and my brain, other people started noticing the changes as my energy, inner glow and life returned. I never had the hysterectomy. My gynaecologist still asks me if that was all I did, and comments that I could probably help other patients of his.

Could it really be that simple? In my experience, yes. Give the cells the minerals they need to play their part, and they’ll perform to the best of their ability, depending on how disabled they’ve become along the way. I cannot promise an elixir of never-ending life, but the only way you’ll ever really know if it works or not is to suspend your disbelief and give it a try.

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