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‘Joker’ Movie Highlights Struggles With Mental Health

In the new movie, “Joker,” detailing the life of the infamous DC Comics villain, Joaquin Phoenix plays Arthur Fleck, a downtrodden man who erupts into uncontrollable laughter at the most inappropriate moments, according to MSN news.  The audience soon learns that his outbursts are the symptom of a brain injury, based on a real-life medical condition called pseudobulbar affect (PBA), a condition that can be brought on by a neurological disorder or trauma such as a brain injury.


An estimated 80% to 90% of people have had some form of traumatic brain injury (TBI). Military personnel, football players, soccer players and boxers tend to be at particularly high risk, but TBI can happen to anyone, for a range of reasons.

Telltale signs of TBI include poor concentration, mood changes, irritability, changes in your ability to focus and follow through on mental tasks, poor word recall, foggy thinking and sleep problems.

Treatment for TBIs include floatation therapy, hyperbaric oxygen therapy, photobiomodulation, pulsed electromagnetic field therapy, transcranial direct current stimulation, neurofeedback and CBD oil.

Improving your mental health is as easy as exercising three to five days a week for 45 minutes. Interestingly, going beyond this and exercising for more than five days a week or for more than 90 minutes per session was linked to worse mental health.

Studies show that all types of exercise improve mental health, including that from housework, lawn mowing, baby-sitting and fishing, but three stand out above the rest in terms of offering the greatest mental health gains: team sports, cycling, aerobic and gym activities.

Sunlight — or lack thereof — also has a profound impact on your mental health. Out of 19 environmental factors, the only one correlating to higher levels of distress was the amount of time between sunrise and sunset.

An estimated 20% of Americans are affected by Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) each winter. What differentiates SAD from regular depression is that full remission occurs in the spring and summer months.

Antidepressants commonly prescribed for depression work no better than a placebo in terms of effectiveness. Studies now suggest their effectiveness can be boosted by adding certain supplements, but other studies suggest the supplements alone may do the trick.

Supplements found to boost the impact of antidepressants included fish oil, vitamin D, methylfolate (a form of folic acid/vitamin B9), and S-Adenosylmethionine (SAMe), while some sources show that omega-3, vitamin D and SAMe can help combat depression all on their own.

Eating the right foods can also help with depression. Seven of the best foods for fighting depression include oysters, mussels, seafood, grass fed organ meats, leafy greens, peppers and cruciferous vegetables.

The highest scoring plant-based foods for depression are:

  • Leafy greens including watercress, spinach, mustard, turnip, chicory and beet greens, Swiss chard, dandelion, collard greens and the herbs cilantro, basil, parsley and kale;
  • Lettuces — Red, green and romaine lettuce.
  • Peppers — Bell, Serrano and jalapeno
  • Cruciferous vegetables — Cauliflower, kohlrabi, red cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts

Organic produce is best, but by simply washing your produce in baking soda you can get rid of as much as 96% of the toxic pesticides that contaminate most fruits and vegetables.

Among people aged 15 through 44 years, mental conditions, including depression, are the leading cause of disability worldwide, so viewing food as a treatment option is considered “imperative” for people struggling with such issues.

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