How Gene Expression Affects Mental Health

Did you know that one in five Americans suffers from mental illness? 

When you hear the phrase “mental illness”, what comes to mind? 

The American Psychiatric Association defines it like this, “Mental illnesses are health conditions involving changes in emotion, thinking or behavior (or a combination of these). Mental illnesses can be associated with distress and/or problems functioning in social, work or family activities.”

Everything from mild depression to suicidal ideation fall under this umbrella. Too often people don’t get the help they need or they don’t ask because they don’t know they are anxious or depressed. They assume this is who they are.

And very often people blame themselves for how they feel. In this interview, Dr. Dunn explains the science behind our genes and our mental wellness. How certain variants are responsible for our body’s inability to make certain neurotransmitters responsible for happiness, confidence, focus, and clarity.

Many of the traits we exhibit when our brain is firing literally on all cylinders. 

On this episode of the Small Changes Big Shifts® podcast, Dr. Michelle Robin picked Dr. Dunn’s brain on how a genetic test can reveal the hidden places in our makeup that lead to various forms of depression, anxiety, and addiction. 

Dr. Robin is the founder of Big Shifts Foundation®, and the Kansas City Wellness Consortium®, and a visionary for the well-being of many generations. After opening her chiropractic practice in Kansas City over 30 years ago, she’s become a national influence and memorable leader in the wellness industry. Her simple framework – called the Quadrants of Well-Being – is the key to what many people have been looking for when it comes to discovering their best life.

“Our mission was founded on a very simple idea – we want to see people come fully alive,” says Dr. Robin.

In this podcast you’ll hear about

  • how today’s environment puts stress on our bodies
  • The importance of healthy mitochondria
  • The role of a MTHFR variant, the enzyme that converts folic acid into methyl folate, the active form of folic acid and how or whether genes express. And why everyone should not take folic acid.
  • The different pathways in the body and the importance of working to support them in the right order
  • Dr. J’s theory of genetic compassion
  • The concept of epi-genetics or how environment and our habits influence our genes

    When discussing why we see so much more mental illness now both J and Michelle have a number of insights. Michelle mentioned Dr. James Chestnut who believes , “A body’s sick for two reasons only. It’s toxic or deficient.” She adds, “I think that is probably 85% true toxic in hate, deficient in love, toxic in sugar, deficient in whole food.”

    There’s so much more to learn in this in depth discussion with two pioneering wellness professionals. Have a listen!