Lifestyle psychiatrist offers strategies to stem ‘Rising Tide of Despair’ in teen girls
The current mental health care system and its go-to protocol of diagnoses, drugs and hospitalization is falling short, and at least so far, has failed to meet the challenges posed by the current mental health crisis, says Dr. Cheryl L. Green, M.D., a lifestyle psychiatrist based in Southern California.
Moreover, a recent report from the CDC, the Youth Risk Behavior Survey, broke the startling news that, among high school girls in the past year: 57% felt sad or hopeless; 30% considered suicide; 24% made a suicide plan; and 13% attempted suicide.
“Our teens have been experiencing grave problems in their mental health for over a decade, and the recent pandemic greatly deepened what was already a crisis,” Dr. Green said, adding that she has witnessed the rising tide of despair in teen girls firsthand at the medical university where she teaches and in her own private practice.
In her book, Heal Your Daughter: How Lifestyle Psychiatry Can Save Her from Depression, Cutting, and Suicidal Thoughts, Dr. Green presents a new paradigm for helping teenage girls with depression. She describes the new field of lifestyle psychiatry, and then walks parents or other caregivers through six concrete ways in which they can help their daughters develop health-promoting, depression-reversing habits. State of the art, evidence-based information and guidance is provided in six domains: nutrition, detoxification, exercise, sleep, emotional connectedness and stress reduction.
“The good news is that healing, even from the worst disasters of childhood and early adolescence, is possible,” Dr. Green writes in the book’s introduction. “The early traumas that life inflicts need not be ‘managed’ with ever-escalating doses of psychiatric medications; I believe that they actually can be healed — completely or almost completely healed. There is every reason for hope.”
Dr. Green explains that the method outlined in her book can be used in conjunction with traditional therapies or as a standalone treatment. The method doesn’t require a diagnosis. It is drug-free and affordable. And perhaps most importantly, it offers new hope to those who have given up on psychiatry and on the traditional mental health care system.
“Teen girls with depression are often overwhelmed, and are unable to help themselves,” Dr. Green added. “But you, the caregiver, can help them take tiny steps in the six domains described in the book. The more tiny steps taken, the closer teen girls can come to reclaiming the foundations of their physical and mental health.”
Ultimately, Heal Your Daughter and its companion book, The Heal Your Daughter Workbook, aim to make important new contributions to society’s collective understanding and support of today’s girls.
About the Author
Dr. Cheryl L. Green is a lifestyle psychiatrist based in Southern California. She works part time at the Loma Linda University School of Medicine, and part time in her own private practice based in the greater Los Angeles area. She holds degrees from Harvard University (A.B.), Princeton University (Ph.D.) and Stanford University School of Medicine (M.D.). She is board certified in Psychiatry, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and Lifestyle Medicine. Her passion is inspiring others to achieve vibrant physical and mental health. She can be found online on her website, www.CherylLGreenMD.com.
By Alice Jenkins