In this episode, Dr. Chris Bjorndal shares her journey with mental health and how she is now helping others regain their mental health. She talks about her book “Beyond the Label,” where she discusses how labels for mental health diagnoses can be stigmatizing and contribute to suffering. Dr. Bjorndal has struggled with anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, suicide attempts, bulimia, and ADHD. She says that seeking help is the first step towards healing, but those with mental health struggles may not be objective about their subjective reality, which makes it difficult to reach out for help. Caregivers, family and the community are essential for mental health care. Dr. Bjorndal emphasizes the importance of showing up with love and compassion, recognizing that those struggling with mental health may not be ready to take the first step.
The topic of mental health is crucial in today’s society, and Dr. Chris Bjorndal shares her story with honesty and vulnerability, which makes it easy for people to relate to her journey. She emphasizes that mental health struggles are a social condition, and we are all responsible for each other.
Mental Health and Self-Care
In this podcast episode, Dr. Chris Bjorndal shares her personal journey with mental health struggles, including anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, and bulimia, and how she moved through them. She emphasizes the importance of seeking help and being authentic and vulnerable about your struggles. She talks about the role of self-care in maintaining good mental health and what that might look like for someone struggling with anxiety or depression, with no energy or motivation.
Social Support and Community
Dr. Bjorndal emphasizes the importance of social support and community in addressing mental health problems. She shares a very personal journey about how her loved ones played a crucial role in seeking help for her and how they continued to show up for her despite her initial resistance. She encourages caregivers to show compassion and understanding towards those struggling with mental health issues and to continue to support them even when they are not ready to take steps towards recovery.
Overcoming Stigmatization and Shame in Mental Health
Dr. Bjorndal discusses how the labels associated with mental health diagnoses can contribute to stigmatization and shame, making it difficult for individuals to seek help. She shares how she managed the stigma associated with her diagnoses and how she chose to view them as challenges to be overcome rather than as limitations. She emphasizes the importance of reframing one’s mindset towards mental health struggles and seeking support.
Naturopathic Medicine and Mental Health
As naturopathic doctors, both Dr. Rishma Walji and Dr. Bjorndal discusses the role of naturopathic medicine in addressing mental health issues. They highlight the importance of addressing the root cause of mental health struggles and tailoring treatment to the individual’s needs. They also emphasize the role of lifestyle changes, such as diet, exercise, and sleep, in maintaining good mental health.
Empathy and Mental Health
One of the central themes of the podcast is the importance of empathy in building meaningful relationships and understanding the perspectives of others. Dr. Bjorndal talks about how empathy has helped her in her personal and professional life, and she encourages listeners to practice empathy in their own lives.
The discussion delves into the concept of subconscious beliefs that drive behavior. It’s important to identify and understand these beliefs, which are often developed to protect ourselves from past pain and trauma. They discuss how people can become aware of their subconscious beliefs and explore the compassionate inquiry process to delve deeper into this concept and change their thought process.
Your host, Rishma Walji and guest, Dr. Chris, also discuss avoidance as a behavior pattern that arises when individuals do not want to confront certain issues or emotions. They explain how avoidance is often a protective mechanism and how it can prevent individuals from reaching their goals and living authentic lives.
More themes to listen for:
- The importance of understanding your core wounds
- The role of shame in shaping our beliefs and self-worth
- Negative self-talk
- The power of vulnerability and self-compassion
- The connection between our physical and emotional health