Healthy Living

Depression & Anxiety

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript



Series Code: HL

Program Code: HL000060A

00:14 Welcome to Healthy Living, I'm your host Margot Marshall.
00:18 Depression is more than just a low mood,
00:21 it's a serious mental health condition that has an impact
00:25 on both one's physical and mental health.
00:28 Today I'll be talking with a doctor and one of her patients
00:32 who recovered from depression and anxiety as a result of
00:35 simple lifestyle interventions.
00:38 Stay tuned.
01:09 Depression is the single leading cause of disability
01:13 not only in Australia, but worldwide.
01:17 Here to talk to us about lifestyle interventions is
01:20 general practitioner who practices Lifestyle Medicine
01:24 along with one of her patients who has recovered
01:27 from depression and anxiety Dr. Coralia Gigau.
01:31 Welcome to you Esther, lovely that you could come and join us
01:35 today. Tell me, you practice lifestyle medicine...
01:39 How long have you been a general practitioner?
01:41 and when did you start... and how long ago did you start
01:44 including lifestyle medicine?
01:47 I graduated in 1980 in Romania. We arrived in Australia in 1987.
01:55 I arrived here without speaking any English.
01:58 By the end of 89, I passed the AMA exam. Wow!
02:08 I am working here in Australia since 1990...
02:11 So you were able to learn the language in that time
02:13 well enough to pass those exams. That's very impressive.
02:17 Impressive. In...12 years ago, my husband got prostate cancer
02:25 at the age of 56 and we had been so shocked,
02:31 he said what we have done wrong because we have been
02:36 like all the other Adventists eating...considering eating
02:39 healthy, doing everything else good.
02:42 My husband does not believe it was fate, everything else was good.
02:46 Being so shocked, that's when we started looking,
02:52 what was wrong?
02:54 By God's grace we had our eyes open and we'd been so wrong,
03:00 we couldn't believe how wrong we'd been.
03:01 Tell us about that. We started changing our lifestyle.
03:05 Study, find out why is this... Find out why is that?
03:10 So, it took me quite a long time but to re-program,
03:16 to re-phase what medicine means.
03:19 And what sorts of things were you were eating that you
03:22 realized later were not really helpful?
03:24 We never ate too much meat or something like that,
03:29 but we ate a lot of processed food and one of our
03:33 preferred meals was French Potatoes.
03:36 I don't know if you know what French Potatoes are,
03:38 that means it's a layer of boiled potatoes, a layer of
03:42 Feta cheese, a layer of eggs and another layer of potatoes
03:47 and you put some sour cream on top and you put them
03:50 in the oven. Okay. That was an absolute disaster,
03:54 because not only do you have a lot of cholesterol,
03:57 that all cholesterol is oxidized so when you are high,
04:00 you have a lot of advanced glycation end products
04:03 and this is one of the stuff which is aging us,
04:06 one that is causing a lot of problem.
04:08 So I myself, I have gallbladder stone at the age of 42
04:12 and I did not know by that time, I said ah, my father had a
04:15 gallbladder stones but in the family, we eat the same.
04:19 So this is why, now I know why I have my gallbladder stone.
04:26 So, when you husband was diagnosed with prostate cancer,
04:29 that was your wakeup call... It was a real wakeup call,
04:32 he had radio therapy and by God's grace we changed our
04:36 lifestyle completely and by God's grace he's very well now.
04:39 Oh that's really good. So you've seen for yourself the difference
04:43 it can make when you really understand what is healthy
04:47 and actually do it. And of course it's more than just
04:50 the food, it's exercise and other things... It's everything.
04:55 Yeah. All the parts, all our environment which
04:58 belongs to us except the... Yes...Hydration...Yeah
05:03 Well now Esther, what about your story,
05:05 what was it that was your big health concern
05:09 and how you at some point came in contact with Dr. Coralia?
05:14 My journey began three years ago, I had a very good friend
05:18 of mine and she was suffering from gastric cancer.
05:23 But before she was diagnosed with gastric cancer
05:27 they had a lot of issues that had happened
05:33 in the family with the house being flooded,
05:37 the house the following year had been burnt down.
05:41 She was my prayer partner, she was my spiritual mentor,
05:48 she was my best friend you know.
05:51 We shared lots of things, I had immersed myself in the situation
05:59 of her being sick and of being unwell.
06:01 During the time leading up to her passing away
06:08 I suffered from...I had been suffering from anxiety
06:12 and I didn't even have an idea that I was suffering
06:15 from anxiety because I didn't know what anxiety was.
06:19 When people spoke about anxiety and depression before,
06:24 for me it was, what is this, I don't understand it.
06:28 Because when you are healthy and well
06:30 and you don't know what other people are going through
06:33 mentally, you really don't have an understanding
06:36 at all. You can't comprehend what they are going through.
06:39 So now, it had come to my doorstep and she passed away
06:45 and with her passing away. The loss and grief
06:49 had started an effect on me and I wasn't aware of this.
06:54 Just gradually I had started the symptoms of anxiety,
06:59 started showing up more and more in my lifestyle,
07:05 the way I was living. While traveling overseas,
07:08 I had gotten so sick while I was in the restaurant,
07:11 they called a paramedic to come and the paramedics
07:15 didn't come in time and my husband and sister put me in the car
07:20 and they rushed me off to the hospital.
07:22 The nurse looked at me and she said,
07:25 do you know what is happening to you my dear?
07:27 You're having an panic attack.
07:29 And those words that fell out of her mouth was
07:33 I don't know what this is. And they gave me medications
07:40 in a container and they said look, you are going to have to
07:43 see a psychologist and you are going to have to see
07:45 a doctor when you get back home to Australia,
07:49 you are going to have to follow up.
07:52 Well, I just became progressively worse.
07:56 Mentally, physically, it started taking full charge of me,
08:02 I was becoming desperate because I'd been socially
08:11 I didn't want to mix with people anymore
08:13 because this fear would arise up in me and I don't know
08:17 where this fear come from.
08:18 Eventually one day I became so desperate
08:27 I thought I need find a holistic doctor because I was seeing
08:31 a psychologist, it wasn't helping me.
08:34 I went on Google and up came this program
08:37 "Anxiety, Depression" by Neil Nedley,
08:40 run by the Casey Church down in Dandenong.
08:43 I though oh, maybe I should enroll, which I did.
08:47 I enrolled myself in his program and in this program
08:51 I had learned so much and the support of the people,
08:54 it was absolutely fantastic.
08:56 I learned about foods, I learned about plant based diets,
09:04 the balancing of it...I learned all of that and
09:09 that was all good and fine. The program was 12 weeks.
09:13 After the program was finished, I changed my lifestyle,
09:16 I was a person that exercised regularly and I thought that
09:23 I was eating well. Well, my health just started
09:30 spiraling downwards. I started getting severe stomach
09:35 cramps and I say severe, severe in a fetal position,
09:39 stomach cramps. During this program someone had said to me,
09:44 you know, we see Dr. Jigau, maybe you would like to see her.
09:49 I thought, well okay, it wouldn't hurt because by now
09:54 I was at desperate door. So I made an appointment
09:59 and went to Dr. Jigau, came to her and she said...
10:05 the calm, relaxed person that she is,
10:08 she said tell me what is happening to you.
10:12 Then I started telling her about...well, first of all
10:17 she said what's happening to you? My blood pressure
10:19 was sky high...that's what fear does.
10:23 It actually affects your blood pressure
10:25 without you even knowing it.
10:28 Then she said look, let's get some blood tests done.
10:35 By then, my GP that I had seen before...
10:40 Every time I did a blood test and went to see him,
10:43 he said to me, don't you want to go on anti-depressants?
10:46 It will really help you. Wrote out the script,
10:50 gave me the script, went off to the pharmacy
10:53 got the medication. I opened it up, read the contraindications,
10:57 I almost had an anxiety attack reading that.
11:00 I looked, I thought, I am not taking this medication,
11:05 what if I'm already suffering from fear?
11:08 You know the Bible says in Peter 1:5, I Peter 1:5 it says..
11:17 Be sober, be vigilant, the devil goes around as a
11:22 roaring lion seeking whom he may devour and
11:26 I started learning that he's trying to devour my brain
11:32 with fear because fear was controlling me.
11:35 But I didn't know that I was suffering the effects
11:39 of losing a dear friend of mine. I did not know that it was
11:45 having an adverse effect on me and that was anxiety,
11:48 which was slowly creeping in with depression,
11:51 and I remember sitting in my doctor's room and I said,
11:55 all I want is for this to go away.
11:58 I just want to fall asleep and only wake up when it's
12:02 all gone and he said, take the medication,
12:07 but I wasn't convinced about this medication.
12:12 But Dr. Jigau, her approach was different.
12:15 After talking to her, she said let's go and do your test.
12:20 I went after and did the blood test.
12:21 It came back I had lack of Vitamin A, B, C, D, zinc,
12:29 Magnesium, low levels of Omega 3, absolutely low
12:37 and I said to her doctor, what do I do?
12:41 and she said to me, let's start with a nice whole food plant
12:47 based diet, let's see how we can change this.
12:50 She said are you exercising? I said yes, she said
12:53 early in the morning are you getting out there?
12:57 We also learned that walking in the blue light helps,
13:03 you build up Melatonin walking in the blue light.
13:10 I was waking up early and I was going for my walks
13:14 and I was doing my exercises. I was going for swimming lessons,
13:20 I am a swimmer, I was going for swimming.
13:22 But this anxiety just wasn't getting better,
13:29 it had spiraled to a point where the muscles in my back
13:35 were spasaming so badly that I couldn't breathe.
13:40 Oh my goodness. I ended up... That's incredible.
13:44 I ended up having such a bad attack that I ended up driving
13:50 in to the Renewed Public Hospital with my arms wrapped
13:55 around my abdomen saying I can't breathe
13:59 and they took me in, did all these tests and I had to stay
14:04 there for a long period of time and then they recommend all
14:09 these different tests and eventually I ended up
14:13 going for an angiogram and the doctor said to me,
14:17 there's nothing wrong with your heart, your heart is fine.
14:22 You're suffering from musculoskeletal issues
14:26 and I do have Fibromyalgia and it is actually...
14:32 it flared up from suffering from anxiety and depression.
14:38 Do you know, it's an incredibly disabling thing,
14:41 not just mentally, but physically as you've just
14:45 experienced and I don't know if people really understand
14:48 that how bad it can be physically and so I am really
14:53 sorry that you have been through that terrible journey. Go on.
14:56 Well actually there were times when I felt that I'm being put
15:03 in the crucible, that I'm being refined in this process
15:09 of suffering from anxiety and depression.
15:11 I started learning to...I've always been a prayer warrior
15:18 and I've always journaled, for years I've journaled.
15:24 In sermons, I journal them, the prayers I journaled,
15:29 and I started turning more and more to the Lord.
15:35 I had suffered severe from anxiety and depression
15:41 that I had brain fog, I had fatigue, I had to manage to
15:50 scramble my body up in the morning, get dressed,
15:54 go to work and I had to listen intently, I had to focus
15:59 on what people were saying because I needed to work.
16:03 I needed to think more because brain fog is very cloudy
16:11 and your thinking patterns are not sharp, they are not clear.
16:19 It's a vicious cycle anxiety and depression
16:24 when you don't get help, it can actually put you in a very
16:31 precarious situation.
16:33 Yes, well thankfully you were able to get some help
16:36 from our lovely doctor here. Yes, she looked at my diet
16:40 and she said, okay, let's change this,
16:43 let's start off with...You need to build up your Omega 3's
16:47 Esther so get some Hemp seed, get your Chia seeds,
16:51 get your Lin seeds, grind them up, get a smoothie going
16:57 let that be your first drink in the morning.
17:00 I started my plant based diet, whole meal foods,
17:06 my green vege's, my green smoothies. She said to me,
17:11 are you not eating your carrots? You got no vitamin A inside
17:15 of you? I started my... Because when you are sick,
17:23 your clarity of thought is not very clear, so with coming into
17:30 her office, her listening to me, that empathy
17:35 telling me you know what, there's hope,
17:37 this is not the end of the road, you can get better.
17:40 Ah! That's encouraging. There is light after anxiety.
17:44 There is hope and, I started changing my lifestyle of my diet
17:53 with colorful vege's, colorful... getting my Quinoa in,
17:57 my brown rice in, my vegetables in and also
18:04 I turned to God. I used to rush home in the afternoon...
18:08 to get...I changed my work patterns.
18:12 I used to work long hours before, long ridiculous hours.
18:19 I changed my hours, I spoke to my husband and he was so
18:24 empathetic, he said to me, why don't you work four days
18:28 a week and shorten your hours?
18:30 In the meantime before I did that Dr. Jigau said I think
18:37 you better go for a CT Scan... no and ultrasound.
18:41 I had a colonoscopy and a gastroscopy,
18:46 they found out I was suffering from gastritis.
18:49 Do you want to explain what gastritis is?
18:51 It's just an inflammation on the stomach.
18:54 Yes. I had inflammation in my mesenteric glands.
19:00 That was mesenteric adenitis when you came with one of the
19:04 big problems. You know when I examined you and you had
19:07 such a bad... and I sent you to have an ultrasound
19:11 and the ultrasound was confirming yeah, because
19:13 we're not sure if it's appendiscitis or it was inflamed.
19:18 The pain. Yes! And settle and with the lifestyle change
19:24 God started relaxing, the pain started easing.
19:31 I had to see an Osteopath... For Fibromyalgia.
19:37 Fibromyalgia. That's a painful journey
19:43 in so many ways, with so many things going on
19:45 in your body and you're continuing to work,
19:48 somehow or other you just pushed yourself through that.
19:52 But that must have been a really really difficult
19:53 time of your life. Looking at you now, it's hard to imagine
19:58 all of that happening to you.
20:00 So I'm taking it that it's all a thing of the past,
20:02 is all of that behind you? Yes!
20:04 It's...Anxiety is something that tries to trick the brain,
20:09 like you have to scared of something that is fearful
20:14 that is going to happen but it is not true. It's not true.
20:18 You eventually learn that fear comes from Satan.
20:23 Jesus says, I come to give you and I've come to give you
20:27 life abundantly. Well, I think the first thing that happened
20:30 when His birth was announced was "Peace on Earth"
20:34 the last thing He said was to the Disciples was,
20:37 "My Peace I leave with you", and so yes, it's there for us.
20:41 It really is and that's what God would like us to experience
20:44 and it play's a big role, the spirituality,
20:46 the connection with the One who created us.
20:49 Played a huge role in our healing, any kind of healing
20:54 really, and a lot of it starts in the mind. Absolutely.
20:57 Whatever is going on in our mind is telling the rest
20:59 of our body things that aren't helpful so. Absolutely.
21:03 It's good that you had that connection. Absolutely.
21:05 I hate to think how different it might be if you hadn't a
21:08 wonderful GP and a connection with the creator who can...
21:14 Yeah, it's just the changes she implemented.
21:16 She was so nutrient depleted, so nutrient depleted,
21:20 that is the problem with our western diet.
21:23 We are very nutrient depleted, we eat food which is very good
21:27 taste and it's very pleasant in the mouth and does not
21:31 have the nutrients. I mean, how can you expect the brain
21:36 to work properly when you have a vitamin B depleted completely,
21:39 when you don't have vitamin E, when you don't have vitamin C.
21:43 Yep. So, this is why depression and anxiety, that disease
21:48 of the 21st century.
21:49 The main problem is, we are so depleted in nutrients.
21:54 I had some lecture in Monash University, I was talking about
22:00 that microbiome and as I walked in, it was a big panel there
22:06 and it was written on it, "One in four teenagers classified
22:13 for a mental disorder."
22:16 Isn't that tragic? One in four! It was terrible, when I read it,
22:21 I said Oh No! So the reason is our kids and teenagers,
22:27 that are eating so bad. Apart of the other program,
22:30 this is one of the programs. Staying on the machines
22:34 all the time, lots of media interruption,
22:38 not social connections. Yeah! Also there was one thing
22:43 that we learned with the "Whole Food Plant Based Diet".
22:47 With the Whole Foods, they actually increase Tryptophan.
22:54 Which is a pre-cursor for Serotonin. For Serotonin.
22:58 Lentils. Yes. Lentils are a great food, we eat it at least
23:04 twice a week. That was one thing, I wasn't sleeping well.
23:07 If I had two hours sleep, maximum. Oh, you are kidding.
23:14 A night, for a whole night? Yes, and that was happening
23:18 for two to three years. Oh my goodness!
23:21 Yes, it was a battle. You're saying a couple hours
23:24 sleep a night for three years. I don't know how you lasted.
23:28 I don't know how you could do it.
23:30 It can only be the grace of God. Oh my goodness.
23:33 He's got a purpose for each one's life.
23:35 How do you sleep now? Beautiful!
23:38 I sleep now. Now I sleep like a baby.
23:43 When I do wake up early, it's because I need to have
23:49 a conversation with God. Yes. So you don't wake up fearing
23:55 anymore. You wake up actually, must be the Lord inviting me
24:00 to have a conversation with Him.
24:02 It's a beautiful way to start the day.
24:03 Yes, and there are so many people that need prayer.
24:07 Now, it's amazing how you have to go through a journey.
24:12 Yes. To be able to emphasize with other people
24:16 who's going through the same, or family members who are going
24:20 through the same. Once you've been through that journey,
24:24 you can actually give those who are going through the same,
24:27 hope and you can actually give them tools to help them.
24:33 To let them know, it's not the end of the road,
24:36 there is hope on the other side. And that's the beautiful thing,
24:42 because there is hope. The Nedley program that you did.
24:45 I've conducted that a number of times and I have seen
24:48 the change that can take place, and very quickly.
24:51 It's actually 20 weeks for a full turn around,
24:54 but even at the end of the few weeks program,
24:58 they are just measurably by their own standards...
25:02 Do they test before and after? And just implementing the
25:06 sorts of things that you said. The "Whole Food Plant Based Diet
25:09 and the exercise and the sun light and the sleep,
25:12 all of that. How long is it taking since you started
25:14 implementing your new intensive lifestyle treatment?
25:18 How long is it taking until you gradually improve reasonable?
25:24 It took me 12 months. Okay. It took me to become...
25:32 You were extremely at the extreme end.
25:35 I was at the extreme end.
25:36 Honesty, I can't hardly believe that anyone could have
25:40 two hours of sleep a night for three years and still function.
25:45 I started...when I discovered I was suffering from anxiety,
25:50 I was a wealthy weight of 65.8 kilograms and as the impact
25:58 of anxiety made me lose 13.8 kilograms. Oh my goodness.
26:04 Yes! It affected my gut and well-being so badly.
26:09 We know exactly how it's helping, the cortisol,
26:13 the stress hormone, it is directly impacting on your gut
26:17 bacteria, this is why you have all the gut symptoms, you have
26:21 all the problems with your stomach and so...
26:24 So it is known today why this is happening.
26:28 Our gut is sometimes being referred to our second brain.
26:32 It is our second brain... It is more, about nine times
26:36 as many messages go from the gut to the brain,
26:39 as the other way around and we are just beginning to
26:41 understand how we're made and how we function,
26:45 it's just remarkable.
26:46 As I said, the book which I read, the professor studied
26:51 for 40 years, gut mind interaction and he said,
26:55 we are just in the beginning of our understanding.
26:58 Yes, just beginning to under stand that...
27:00 So, looking after that gut and everything that goes in here,
27:04 ends up down there and it's either making us well
27:08 or contributing to our unwellness.
27:10 It's estimated that our gut micro are making 40%
27:15 of our metabolites. Forty per cent of the substance
27:18 which are traveling in out gut and making
27:20 bio microbes. Isn't that interesting?
27:24 It is important what you put in your mouth.
27:26 See, the little microbes down there, we either feed the
27:30 good ones or the bad ones and that tips the scales either way.
27:34 So those wonderful healthy foods we talked about and the physical
27:37 activity and the connecting with the creator and
27:40 the sunlight, all that beautiful, beautiful...
27:44 And you know if you look at Daniel and Schadrack,
27:47 Meshach and Abednego, when they insisted on having their
27:52 plant based diet Yes. And in 10 days, they measured them
27:58 in 10 days, it's the oldest clinical trial conducted
28:01 and it's still very very valid. Absolutely.
28:04 Ten days, that was quite remarkable and someone's
28:07 life is on the line if it hadn't worked. Absolutely!
28:10 He would have got his head cut off.
28:13 So our goal is to support you on your journey through life
28:17 and we trust that today's program has been beneficial
28:20 to you, or to someone you love.
28:22 Remember, you can watch our programs on demand,
28:25 just visit and click on the watch button.
28:30 May God bless you.


Revised 2019-11-12