Despite her career as a speech-language pathologist, it took her two decades in the field to realize she had yet to find her own voice.
After sharing her healing journey in “Picking Up the Shards: Healing the Pain of Mother-Wounds, Discovering the Mother-Heart of God,” author Anita Oommen inspired readers yet again with her second book earlier this year, “3-Minute Inspirational Reflections For the Soul: 50 Daily Truths and Journal Prompts.”
Recently, we spoke to Oommen via telephone to learn more about how she found her voice, began writing, and what readers can look forward to seeing next from her.
How much do you value your physical health? Alright. Now, how much do you value your mental health? Take a moment to truly reflect on that – perhaps you prioritize one over the other.
And it’s not your fault. For decades, “mental health” simply wasn’t a facet of our vocabulary.
“When I was a kid, nobody ever mentioned mental health,” said psychotherapist and ‘Better App’ co-founder John Halker. “It was just not on the agenda.”
Attitudes towards mental health have shifted in recent years, with a 2019 American Psychological Association survey reporting 87 percent of American adults said: “a mental health disorder is nothing to be ashamed of.”
However, mental health is more than just a buzz word – it’s intertwined with your overall health. An emotional wound demands your attention, just as a physical wound does.
Recently, we spoke to Halker via video call for a very insightful discussion about the “Better App” and “Better Stop Suicide App,” groundbreaking mental health apps designed to guide you in fostering a proactive approach to your emotional wellbeing.
By now, it’s no secret the brain and gut are in constant communication – and yet, there’s still an air of mystery shrowding the gut-brain axis.
So far, we know serotonin is central to gut-brain signaling. In fact, 90 percent of serotonin is synthesized in the lining of the gastrointestinal tract, according to a 2016 Nutrients journal review.
Psychedelics, including psilocybin (a.k.a ‘shrooms’), LSD (a.k.a. ‘acid’), and DMT are serotonergic drugs that bind to the 5-HT2A receptor, says a 2018 World Psychiatric article. This is central to triggering the “psychedelic experience.”
Although research on psychedelics in mood, anxiety, and substance abuse disorders has been and currently is being heavily investigated, with a particular focus on serotonin, the impact of psychedelics on gut health remains largely untapped and under-researched.
Using neuroscience, psychology, and philosophy as her compass, Annaka Harris guides the reader through the mystery of consciousness in “Conscious: A Brief Guide to the Fundamental Mystery of the Mind.”
Keeping the journey short, sweet, and digestible, Harris manages to present the big question in just a little over 100 pages – an impressive feat, considering the debate has spanned over multiple centuries.
Whether it’s a bandaid over a bullet wound or a patch over an underlying mental health condition, researchers have been studying the effectiveness of treating depression and attention-deficit disorder with nicotine patches.
Which leaves one to wonder which is the lesser of two evils – a dependence on nicotine, a highly addictive substance, or grappling with depression and ADHD?