Taking a Brain Break with Dr. Chris Palmer

There's no question that we need dramatic changes in the area of mental health, including care, education, and research. Dr. Chris Palmer is the Director of the Department of Postgraduate and Continuing Education at McLean Hospital and an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. For over 27 years, he has held administrative, educational, research, and clinical roles in psychiatry.

His book, Brain Energy, presents the first comprehensive theory of what causes mental illness, integrating decades of clinical, neuroscience, and metabolic research into one unifying theory: Mental disorders are metabolic disorders of the brain. This theory integrates biological, psychological, and social factors and helps us understand the connections between mental health and physical health. It answers questions that have long plagued the mental health field, but more importantly, it offers new solutions, ones that come with the hope of long-term healing as opposed to just symptom reduction. (https://www.chrispalmermd.com/)

I learned so much from this critical conversation, and I know you will as well.

What you'll hear:

  • Research indicators that mental disorders are actually metabolic disorders of the brain (1:32)
  • The controversy surrounding that theory, and the lack of information in the field regarding what causes mental illness (2:20)
  • Treating the brain and the body separately as opposed to them being interconnected (5:54)
  • Up until now, most researchers and clinicians don't know for certain what causes mental illness (9:32)
  • Genetics and the role they play in mental illness (14:15)
  • Empowering people to take control of their mental health when they realize they can control their environmental factors to mitigate their mental illnesses (18:19)
  • The simple version of the science behind mental disorders as metabolic disorders (20:37)
  • How the ketogenic diet fits into all of this (25:12)
  • Dr. Parker's struggle with health issues and metabolic syndrome, and how he healed himself through dietary changes (30:27)
  • What causes OCD (36:28)
  • Inflammation in the brain and how keto can help to relieve that (37:56)
  • Vulnerability to illness and infection (41:16)
  • Chemical imbalance theory and why it's troublesome (45:40)
  • Challenging people to take control of their mental health through diet and exercise changes (54:25)
  • Educating and empowering clinicians to start offering these treatments to their patients (56:31)
  • Why this type of treatment is a win-win for society (1:03:16)


Where to learn more:



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Written By

Robert Sikes

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