Highlights from Jonathan Otto's interview with Dr. Eric Zielinski, for the Depression & Anxiety Series.
Dr. Eric Zielinski: In my book, my mom and dad just read a part of my book, The Healing Power of Essential Oils, and my mom called me. I don't even know if I should say this. But I will.
Jonathan Otto: 05:39 Say it and you can tell me later if you want to take it out.
Dr. Eric Zielinski: 05:42 No, no, no, no, no. You gotta keep this. You gotta keep this. My mom called me just last week and said, "Your dad's reading your book to me." I'm like, "Oh man. What did I say?" I was not incriminating about anything. But she goes, "I had no idea you went through what you went through." She goes, "Why didn't you talk to us? Why didn't you tell us?" I'm like, "You weren't able to help me. You weren't able to counsel me. You couldn't have. I had to deal with it on my own and we didn't have the relationship." When someone's going through suicidal thoughts, when someone doesn't care if they live or they die, if someone's depressed and in despair, you gotta go to a professional because if you go to a loved one, especially a parent, someone like a caretaker, they'll take a responsibility and they'll get defensive oftentimes and it's like, "Well, what did I do wrong? That's not how I raised you," and that's what my mom ... I could sense she was hurt and she was almost offended that I wrote in my book, even though I said nothing about her.
Dr. Eric Zielinski: 06:44 She felt she was a failure because she didn't raise me up in a better way and it wasn't her fault. But I remember vividly the experience and not knowing who to go to, not knowing what to do. But the shame was inherent. But like all little shameful events in our lives, we find people that we can share our shame with. Misery loves company. So I found a cohort of people. I found friends that were not ... They weren't friends, especially those people who ever fall into narcotics or ever fall into anything like that. They're not friends. They're just people that you get high with, people that you do drugs with, people you have sex with, people you just do anything with and they're not there for life and I found those people and we just kind of self medicated what we did and the next thing you know, I haven't seen them in 20 years and people come and they go and so, yeah. Vividly, I remember what that's like. Clinically, I understand what happens now. Scientifically, I understand what happens is when you really, like these SSRIs, the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, these drugs that people that are depressed, that the psychiatrist puts them on, they mimic the serotonin response in the body and so what happens is when you're taking drugs, like ecstasy or SSRIs, when you're taking drugs that pump up dopamine, you're basically doing your body's work for you and your body won't respond the proper way where it should, where you have natural highs and natural lows. I mean, you end up getting addicted to these emotions. You end up getting addicted to the high. That's why a lot of people that are on pharmaceuticals, they need to be on them for the rest of their life or they will commit suicide or be in a horrible state if they get themselves off. I mean, a lot of people, you just can't cut off depression drugs tomorrow. You need to do it wisely. It's actually very dangerous. Same thing, that's why people have withdrawal symptoms. You can't just quit cocaine tomorrow unless, for me, it had to be a divine influence. I was miraculously healed. You can't argue with me. I'll not let you argue with me because I know what detox is like. I tried to quit these drugs on my own and I couldn't and one day, gone, just no detox whatsoever, no withdrawal symptoms. I haven't craved anything. It's been over 15 years. I've been clean. Hallelujah. But for people that are on narcotics and who try and people who are on pharmaceuticals and they try, you're a slave to that. You're an absolute slave. So I understand the science behind it and ultimately what happens is your brain does produce those neurotransmitters, like dopamine, like serotonin, like it should because the drugs are doing it for you. The pharmaceuticals are doing it for you. So yeah, it gives you a temporary release. But what happens is it puts you in a deeper hole. That's why a lot of folks need more drugs. I remember one pill of ecstasy, I needed two to get the same effect. I needed three. I needed four. Up to one point, I was overdosed one night because I needed the same effect. Same thing with pharmaceuticals. Half a pill doesn't work. You need 50 milligrams. You need 100. People are finding they need more and more dosages just to get the same effect to keep them at balance and so, yeah, all these things will help temporarily. But they're not long lasting in my experience and not only for me. But helping people, it puts you in a deeper hole that's harder to get out of.
Jonathan Otto: 10:24 Wow. That's incredible. There's a particular case that we're studying where people do some of the more aggressive treatments to try to remedy manic or chronic depression and one of them is shock therapy, which is to induce a seizure and then the side effects, memory loss. There are some occasions where people are able ... It's very dangerous. It's a very dangerous type of therapy. Bt it gets some responses, right? But the challenge is that it makes them less responsive to other treatments. So this particular clinic that we're looking at, they had to double the amount of time that they were in this program for if they had gone through shock therapy because it made them less responsive, which is one example. Dr. Z, could you tell me what do you see as being the most effective treatments and solutions to anxiety and depression?
Dr. Eric Zielinski: 11:13 There are so many things that people can do, whether it's supplementation, essential oils, nutrition. But at the core, I mean, at the core, there has to be hope and to me, as a Christian, it's centered in Christ. There has to be faith and any doctor who has ever worked with patients will see a commonality. You have to have a positive mental attitude. You have to believe you can get well and hope is a word I think we throw out too much flippantly. I mean, hope was the last thing in Pandora's box for a reason. Go back to our ancient Greek mythology. It is the most important, vital component to bringing health and healing because at the core, if you do not really think that you could get better, if you feel like you're a slave to your, whether it's a diet, whether it's a pill, whether it's an essential oil, you're never gonna be able to heal and to me, God's given our body the remarkable ability to heal itself under the right conditions and it all starts here and then we have to speak it. We have to believe it. So there's so much we could do and we can wean ourself off of pharmaceuticals and there's so many other things we could do to facilitate good, healthy, happy mood. But at the core is why and for me, I realized for me at the core, I was lost. I had no relationship with my Creator. I didn't know where I was going to go. I was really worried. What's gonna happen to me when I die? What kind of life am I living? Am I living my God given destiny? I had to get that in set motion first before I could ever think. No drug, no oil, no supplement would have helped that. So we always hear about root cause resolution. Well, at the core, why are you worried? Why are you depressed? Why are you sad? Was it a traumatic event? Was it some sort of experience that caused you to bring fear in your life or, I don't know. There could be a million thing and so what I want to encourage everyone to do, like myself, is to have some soul searching. Be vulnerable with yourself. Be vulnerable with a trusted counselor and mentor and find out and, dare I say, fall on your knees. Look up to Heaven. Open up your hands and ask God, "What is up? Why am I feeling this way?" Those are the best prayers. "Just help me. I'm lost." You don't even have to believe in a God. He's there. He loves you. He knows you better than you know you and so for me, it's faith at the core and we have so many things we could do and I love the talk about how we could manage symptoms. Essential oils are great with managing anxiety and managing sleep issues, like insomnia, low libido. I mean, so many other things, mood disorders. But again, that's just a bandaid. Why, at the core, are you dealing with this?
Jonathan Otto: 13:59 Excellent. I appreciate that. It think that you're looking at the worldview aspects that it's interesting. The British Journal published an article showing that weekly worship attendance decreased somebody's chances or their likelihood of committing suicide by 50%.
Dr. Eric Zielinski: 14:20 Yup.
Jonathan Otto: 14:21 So it's an important part of the conversation from a scientific, medical perspective, that if you're dealing with chronic depression or anxiety, it is a very safe things to do, to consider some aspects of faith, to look at how that can help alleviate some of this, if not the core of this particular issue and then from that, we can look at a whole lot of other things. For somebody that's listening and watching this right now that maybe doesn't feel like that is for them right now, then I still see great value in looking at all the other things because what I found is when people can clear their bodies up and feel healthier, then their minds and their heart is a bit more open to having a conversation with their Maker and these types of things or to open up in a deeper way with their loved ones as well. So I think relationships deepen, whether that's spiritually with God or our spiritual beliefs or whether that's with others, loved ones, family member, people that we've had broken relationships with and obviously, our relationship with ourself and I think that the things that we look at and study within natural health and [inaudible 00:15:32] things that heal the body help to enhance our ability to dive deeper into these other areas. So they kind of go hand in hand. You can go to one and then it can help the other or you could go to the other and it can help.
Dr. Eric Zielinski: 15:48 Well, why did all those people respond so good? It wasn't going to church and I'm not saying institutionalized religion here. It was because they felt community. Look at the 12 step programs. Look at AA. Look at all the 12 step programs are all faith focused for a reason. It's A-Acknowledging that there's a higher power, it's acknowledging that, A-We're not a victim of our circumstances. We can have power. We can manifest our destiny. It's believing. It's faith. It's hope. But it's also community. Again, I'm not telling people to go to church, I'm telling people to have church here. We're having church right now.
Jonathan Otto: 16:24 Yeah.
Dr. Eric Zielinski: 16:24 Right? That's what the core is, and don't think you have to do this alone. The commonality that I've gotten from myself, but everyone that I've known and worked with that have battled depression, suicide, anxiety, is isolation. Whether or not you're surrounded by people all day, the most ... I've never felt so alone than in New York City. I don't like New York City because there's millions of people all around me, and everyone's ignoring each other. Everyone's got their earbuds in. You're absolutely isolated. If you talk to someone, they think you're going to mug them. It's like I'm just a friendly person. I remember smiling at people and my cousin said, "You can't do that here." I'm like, " Why?" He goes, "Because they think that you're going to hurt them." That's isolation being around people. You're at work, you're at church, you're going to school, but you're all alone. That's the one thing I experienced was loneliness. I felt all alone, and it's being with people because then I feel people could understand me. I didn't think people could relate to me. I didn't feel there's anyone I could go to. That's why people get benefit from going. The thing is, find a support group. Find two or three people that love you and that can listen to you. Honestly, we need to look at what we can do, because at the end of the day, we do have ability to take control of our health, and there are great strategies. Implementing a low inflammatory, high-plant based diet is absolutely fundamental for someone that's battling anxiety, depression. One of the common markers is inflammation. One of the common reasons why these SSRI's potentially can work, and they only work in 30% of the depressed patients, or depression patients, is because of the inflammation response. What else can you do to lower inflammation? Essential oils. When you look at the research, the citrus oils are profoundly effective at helping boost mood. Why does it ... Yeah, it smells good, but they actually have a direct inflammatory response because of a chemical known as delimining, which is also a chemical that's been shown to kill cancer cells. Orange, neroli, grapefruit, lime, lemon, bergamot, petitgrain, these oils, there's so many of these different citrus oils that you could just diffuse into the air. For those people who really know essential oils, research is actually shown topical application works better than inhalation, which is profound because when you inhale in essential oils, those particles, those volatile organic compounds, stimulate the olfactory bulb, and the olfactory [nucocite 00:18:52] and that lets your brain know that something's happening and then there's a trigger. The trigger in the brain is to release a neurotransmitter or to stimulate something or to have some sort of biological pathway. It could be a variety of different things, but the reality is when you smell it has a very light, but profound, effect. Research has shown once you apply topical diluted oils on your body, those chemicals get into your bloodstream, and that has more of an effect because in my opinion, it's because ... We have no reason why. We haven't proven it yet, but my guess is because of the inflammatory response because we know that these oils, as they circulate through the bloodstream, within minutes, just topical application over your abdomen, the back of your neck, always dilute with a good carrier oil, but they will get into your blood stream, next thing you know, within 20 minutes, your whole body is being benefited. Your entire body, brain, lungs, feet, all of your body. It causes an inflammatory calming, a soothing, and that has a better effect than just effecting the brain, which leads me to believe that depression is more than just the neurotransmitter issue, serotonin. Depression is more than just what's in your mind. It's a whole body effect.