Episode 86 – Unstoppable Physician and Naturopath with Dr. Christine Sauer
This is the 86th episode of Unstoppable Mindset. I am constantly amazed and inspired when I interview guests who describe how their lives began in some sort of “normal way” and then something came along that changed their lives, their points of view, and possibly even their career objectives. The most inspirational thing of all with these people is that they found something inside of themselves that helped them move on from challenges and showed that they are, yes, unstoppable.
Dr. Christine Sauer is such a person. Christine was born and raised in Germany. She was trained as a physician and worked as such until chronic back pain and depression forced her to step back and even be committed to a psychiatric ward for four weeks. As she tells us her story this week you will discover how she decided to, if you will, be unstoppable and move on.
Today, Dr. Christine works as a Holistic Mental Health and Brain Health Professional, Coach, Educator, and Consultant. She will tell us how she has invoked the concept of “Sparkle” to help clients overcome their own life challenges. She will tell us about her views of depression and mental health and she gives us ideas we can put to use in our own lives. She has written books and courses to help others as you will discover if you visit her website.
About the Guest:
Dr. Christine Sauer is a German-trained physician and naturopath, working as a Holistic Mental Health and Brain Health Professional, Coach, Educator, and Consultant.
After major struggles with chronic pain and chronic depression over 20 years ago, and only getting partial relief from the medical system, she made the decision to change. She applied all she knew to herself and developed the SPARKLE System for depression recovery. After helping herself to fully recover from depression, Dr. Christine now uses this system to help her clients to recover their own sparkle.
As “The Doctor Who KNOWS How You Feel” she now helps others overcome chronic depression and to “sparkle”. Her clients value the deep personal connection she forms with them as well the practical strategies, vast knowledge, and her sense of humor.
She is the founder of DocChristine Coaching Inc. and the “Recover Your Sparkle” System and Program, a Simple, yet sophisticated way to recover from chronic depression around all 5 Dimensions of Health and live a fulfilled, meaningful life full of passion and purpose.
She writes and teaches about Practical, Proven Strategies for Depression Recovery.
As a multiple bestselling author and an engaging, inspirational, and entertaining speaker and TEDx speaker, Dr. Christine has appeared on many stages, video shows, and her own webinars and videos.
How to connect with Dr.Christine:
Main Website: https://DocChristine.com
Join our FREE Facebook Community: https://www.facebook.com/groups/sparklesformentalhealth
FREE Gratitude Journal: https://docchristine.com/gratitude-journal
FREE Whitepaper: Why am I Feeling so Bad? (The 7 Surprising Truths about Depression That Most Experts Will Never Tell You!)
Free SPARKLE-Strategy-Session: https://calendly.com/docchristine/sparkle
LinkedIn Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/drchristinesauer/
About the Host:
Michael Hingson is a New York Times best-selling author, international lecturer, and Chief Vision Officer for accessiBe. Michael, blind since birth, survived the 9/11 attacks with the help of his guide dog Roselle. This story is the subject of his best-selling book, Thunder Dog.
Michael gives over 100 presentations around the world each year speaking to influential groups such as Exxon Mobile, AT&T, Federal Express, Scripps College, Rutgers University, Children’s Hospital, and the American Red Cross just to name a few. He is an Ambassador for the National Braille Literacy Campaign for the National Federation of the Blind and also serves as Ambassador for the American Humane Association’s 2012 Hero Dog Awards.
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Michael Hingson 00:00
Access Cast and accessiBe Initiative presents Unstoppable Mindset. The podcast where inclusion, diversity and the unexpected meet. Hi, I’m Michael Hingson, Chief Vision Officer for accessiBe and the author of the number one New York Times bestselling book, Thunder dog, the story of a blind man, his guide dog and the triumph of trust. Thanks for joining me on my podcast as we explore our own blinding fears of inclusion unacceptance and our resistance to change. We will discover the idea that no matter the situation, or the people we encounter, our own fears, and prejudices often are our strongest barriers to moving forward. The unstoppable mindset podcast is sponsored by accessiBe, that’s a c c e s s i capital B e. Visit www.accessibe.com to learn how you can make your website accessible for persons with disabilities. And to help make the internet fully inclusive by the year 2025. Glad you dropped by we’re happy to meet you and to have you here with us.
Michael Hingson 01:20
Well, guess what? It’s time again, for unstoppable mindset. And today we get to speak with Dr. Christine Sauer about her life, her experiences, what she’s doing, and all sorts of stuff. So I hope that you will enjoy it. I had a conversation with her and found it very inspirational. And now we get to expand on all of that and inspire all of you as well, I hope and certainly give you some information that will be invaluable. So, Dr. Christine, welcome to unstoppable mindset. How are you?
Dr. Christine Sauer 01:53
I’m doing well. Hello, Michael. And I’m so honored to be on your unstoppable podcast show because I realize how unstoppable you really are after I talked with you last time. And it is an honor to be in the same virtual room with you.
Michael Hingson 02:11
Oh my gosh. I didn’t even pay her to say that. Well, why don’t we start by you? Why don’t we start a little bit by you telling me some about your life growing up and where you came from? I’d love to start with that. Because it certainly gives us places to go from there. So tell us about you.
Dr. Christine Sauer 02:30
I like what in South southwestern Germany and a typical small suburb in a middle class family. Parents were very science oriented. So I grew up wanting to be a doctor, which was my passion and still is. So I was fortunate I had to give to actually do it. And I was accepted to medical school became a physician, and a naturopath had children early and married early. wasn’t a good idea. But at the time, well what do I know as a young girl. So I got married and had boys and built up a family practice with him. While I was still finishing my medical school and residency and helping him with his practice. I worked a lot and eventually we were raising the boys together with my parents that gracefully moved back to us and helped us. I opened then my own practice as a dermatologist and allergist in Germany, and that was about 9095. So it’s quite a while ago. So that’s the early history. And then things happened because I’ve worked too much as you can imagine. I burned out and my back gave because something has to give. So I ended up in chronic pain, chronic back pain. And I felt forced to give up my office. I couldn’t work as i It’s not pleasant as a doctor when the patients say, Doctor, I think you need to go home and rest. So I went home and rested and didn’t go better. I got this very discouraged. I had to slip discs, nothing helped. And I got depressed on top of it. And it was in the middle of our immigration process to Canada, which we had started because we did not want our teenage boys to have to serve in the den compulsory military in Germany. And so, at the same place my husband, my ex husband, my former husband, I should say he was mentally stable, either. Like many doctors, he has two lives. So he ended up committing suicide. So I was left a fresh widow in Halifax Nova Scotia by myself with two teenage boys. And as you can imagine, I did no nobody. I wasn’t feeling good myself. I was at One of my lowest points, and I actually went in my van and tried to commit suicide myself. And I’m grateful still today that I listened to a little inner voice in my belly that woke up, then they told me no, no, no, you don’t want to die, you want to help. And it was extremely hard, the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life, to actually drive myself to the emergency room and ask for help. I was extremely fortunate again, I was admitted to the psychiatric ward of the local hospital. And they kept me for four weeks and everybody that knows our hospital system in Canada, that’s a long time.
Michael Hingson 05:39
It is well will tell me, you Germany to to Nova Scotia is certainly a long way.
Dr. Christine Sauer 05:52
In the world context, it’s really not that far. It’s about 5000 miles in miles. But it is cultural. It was a different ride, I was prepared. He knew I knew where I was going, I thought it was different. Still, I learned about black flies and things like that, that I didn’t know before. But I expected it to be a nice time and didn’t start that way. But in the end was a very good move and many things in life. And they like that they start miserable. You think oh my god, that’s never gonna work out. In the end. That’s because there is face.
Michael Hingson 06:32
You have to go where you go and where you’re led to go? Well, so you were in the psychiatric ward for four weeks now? How come there?
Dr. Christine Sauer 06:43
What do you mean there?
Michael Hingson 06:45
As opposed to a physical issue? For pain? What took you to the psychiatric ward?
Dr. Christine Sauer 06:52
The fact that I tried to commit suicide. Oh, so I simply because of that, yeah, I was actually a committed. So I fought for a week, they said, even if I had wanted to leave, I couldn’t. But then I said, Okay, I’ll stay, I want to get better. And actually, I got some help. I was put on medication. And I got transitioned into a de hospital group therapy program, which was very helpful. And they did eques address some of the back pain, not much. It helped me a lot to adjust to the environment and deal with the death of my house, ex husband, the new world and everything that was going on.
Michael Hingson 07:34
So what did you discover from all of that?
Dr. Christine Sauer 07:37
I discovered a very important thing. And that is that even if you’re extremely highly qualified and trained, deep down, you’re still a just regular person. And those people that were with me in the mental hospital, that are formerly may have looked down upon schizophrenics, psychotic people going through the hallway is mine mindlessly staring out of the only window of the ward all day. I was one of them. I’m no different, I realized. And that created a humility that hasn’t left me since. And I realized then and I still think that we are all the same. My dear husband, my current husband, I’m with him for 25 years. He always says, We all eat the same. We all chip the same. So true.
Michael Hingson 08:32
So what did you do when you left the ward and became uncommitted.
Dr. Christine Sauer 08:39
When I left to work, that’s a good word. I became uncommitted, irrelevant. The day hospital I finished that. And then I basically struggled, I was on medication. I wasn’t thinking clear. I didn’t know what I wanted. I tried to reconnect with the medical community. It was very difficult here to get a license. I tried. I did the exams that they wanted me to do, I pass them, but I couldn’t get a residency that they wanted, because there was nothing part time. And for somebody with chronic back pain, full time residency was impossible. So there was no me. And they had told us and Immigration Canada doesn’t meet up is ridiculous when you look at it now, but that’s what they did. So I basically gave up I said to myself, well, that’s not going to work out what you do. So I did a little bit here pottery. I didn’t like it. Then I met my current husband. stroke of luck. Very interesting story. I have to tell it sometimes because it’s so unlikely. He’s very different. I mean, I have a university degree postgraduate and all that he didn’t even finish high school he can read or write. And he is a smartest person I know. And I learned about how people with disabilities are sometimes treated in the system, if their parents can fight for them.
Michael Hingson 10:00
What kind of disability does did he does he have?
Dr. Christine Sauer 10:04
He has a learning disability, okay? If you just can’t recognize the words he can sound them out.
Michael Hingson 10:11
So it’s, it’s different than dyslexia. Yeah,
Dr. Christine Sauer 10:15
it’s, it’s maybe it’s a class of dyslexia. And he tried several times, even as an adult to learn to read, nobody could help him. Because he must have one rare thing he didn’t really want to get tested. Because right now it doesn’t bother him anymore. As a child, he was tossed aside, put in what they call the stupid class. And not educated he was just pulled in the system. It said, he still ended up being a successful floor layer, and being a foreman and memorizing all the relationships and all this substance that that he had to know to do the job well, but it is, for my view, it is not right that you never got the support to teach you the basics that every child deserves.
Michael Hingson 11:12
So he had to learn a lot of that on his own.
Dr. Christine Sauer 11:15
But yes, he did. He guessed. He is very smart. His memory is way better than mine. And mine is excellent. He remembers everything. We went to Frankfurt the first time he went by himself. I met him in Frankfort to pick him up. So he managed it. He’s very outgoing. And he met a person talk to the person and said, I know you. You went with me to salsa Elementary, we went to school together, we had Mr. So and so as a teacher, and that person looked at him and said, Who are you? And then he introduced himself? Oh, yes. That was 40 years ago. He remember the person in detail 40 years ago. Okay. It’s amazing.
Michael Hingson 12:04
Isn’t that something? So how long have you guys been married now?
Dr. Christine Sauer 12:08
Michael Hingson 12:09
Wow. That’s great.
Dr. Christine Sauer 12:13
He’s a really good person. Not perfect, but neither am I come on.
Michael Hingson 12:20
It’s it’s a learning and growth experience.
Dr. Christine Sauer 12:23
Very much so. And I must really say I respect everyone that tries their best with what they’re given and what they have. And in my books, they’re all equal, whether they have higher education make a lot of money on man, it does not matter to a very verse of a person. And
Michael Hingson 12:49
so you met him? And how did that help you?
Dr. Christine Sauer 12:55
Meeting him helped me in many ways. For one, he was one person that actually wanted me. At that point, I needed that. But that’s it. He not only that, he taught me how to speak regular English in a way that does not come on, come over, as sometimes Germans come over as a little director blind or sometimes even I’m unconscious. So he taught me colloquial English is extremely outgoing. At that point, I was extremely shy. So in this field of tension, I learned to be more outgoing, which was very beneficial. And whenever I felt miserable, he was there to be with me. And when he wasn’t feeling good, I was there to be with him. And in that way, we lifted each other up, and at some point, and I was existing at not thriving, as I said, I made the decision that yeah, I was existing. I was so far, okay, I was relatively comfortable. But I was not happy. And that started the point when I said to myself, listen, you know, enough. What’s missing is you have to actually do the work. You know what you should do, but you haven’t really done it. So that’s when I decided I want to do something with my life. And my passion my whole life, was to help others get better in any way I can help them be the catalyst for change for the better. That’s what a good healer doctor does. A healer doctor never hurts anybody. They are just catalysts. And the real healing work is done by the person in conjunction with their makeup, whatever they believe that it is. And I firmly believe always that and I still do it more than then and And so then I thought, what can I do? So I did a health coaching program and I thought, okay, cool. Now everybody will want to work with me. Yeah. Doesn’t. So I thought, Oh, well just put a website that people would come at doesn’t work that way. So I discovered the principle of joyful failure. But at that point, it wasn’t very joyful.
Michael Hingson 15:28
It’s nice to be able to look back on it, but what happened?
Dr. Christine Sauer 15:32
What happened, it actually went bankrupt, because I thought out, all I have to do is put advertising out there go with business coaches, people will discover how good I am your posts, the coolness, we saying, what nonsense. It wasn’t, it was wasn’t true. So after the bankruptcy, I come down, I said to myself, whatever, downsize, I’m doing my thing, I go slow, one step after the other. And then I thought about what I really wanted to do. And I actually talked with another business coach that the government of Nova Scotia helped me to work with. And we together develop the principle of sparkles. And I said, Yeah, I help people that are depressed to sparkle. And what that means is to live their best life full of passion, purpose, and meaning. So then I thought, How do I really do that, and I said, forever, what I really good at is I distill all the information out there on the internet, and I distill it down. And I make it, I find out what’s important, and necessary for the client right in front of me. So I called it a turnaround assessment, holistic health assessment. That’s what I do five dimensional. And I said, Yeah, five dimensional health, five dimensional mental health, because it aligns with my story. Of course, I had to take additional courses as a lifelong learner, but certified in a few other things. So I can be the best catalyst for people that want to really recover, and not just live with mental health issues like depression, anxiety, and others. And that’s my passion. That’s what I’m doing now.
Dr. Christine Sauer 17:26
How long have you been doing this?
Dr. Christine Sauer 17:28
I’ve been doing that now for three, four years. And it’s really starting to come together. And the more I’m doing it, the more I learned about how to actually put it out there. So people notice, because how do people find you? I always thought, Okay, you have a good program, you put it out there, people will come and then I learned about online, you have to have traffic. And that’s a hard thing to get. And you don’t get it, you receive it. I think that’s the secret.
Dr. Christine Sauer 18:04
explain kind of what you mean by that, if you will.
Dr. Christine Sauer 18:08
I think it’s kind of a little bit like any aquatic catch a dog. When you run after it, it runs faster than you can. But when you hold the treat out, they come running, you have to have a good treat. So in online marketing, what that means is you have something that people want. So basically, how do I know how people find me, I’m on profiles like Psychology Today, they look me up, they see my video, if there is a name with me, they contact me, which is fine. Or they Google a term that I created content around and hopefully they find my content, some of it is now on page one on google. I’m surprised myself and most of it is not. And of course some of it is word of mouth. But I really enjoy the technical aspect of solving riddles. I love to solve riddles of all kinds. This is what I thrive on. My favorite riddles are health metals. My second favorite making technology work for you. Say again, your favorite rental. My favorite rental are to solve health related mental health related problems and issues. Somebody comes with me with a symptom complex. Usually they have been labeled, say five or six different illnesses. So I take that all do my assessment and distill it down and say here is what’s really going on. And that is one or two or three or five PE a strategy, how to solve it and get back to your optimal health. I love doing that so much. So rewarding. I should say. It’s fun too. Can you
Michael Hingson 19:54
tell us a story about maybe, obviously without disclosing any information you shouldn’t, but maybe a story about someone who brought you a riddle that that you solved and how all that worked out.
Dr. Christine Sauer 20:08
Let me think of someone that I can imagine, yeah, there was a family. And, to me, it was actually the mother that contacted me about the daughter. And the daughter was supposedly depressed and anxious. And that add and was on three different medication when she was 14 and struggling in school. And when I looked at the whole family, things were not going right. The parents didn’t really care about what the daughter wanted, they told her what they should do. And with 14, you have to transition so and they want you to do it right. So bad and like with many families, of people have to be addressed, I have a family program to where I help people, from my failures with parenting and my experience learning about it. And the first thing I always tell parents is, you try their best, it’s good enough, you’ll never be perfect parent. And that alone is a relief. And they realize other parents are not perfect, either. They make mistakes, and the kids turn out fine. Anyway, my kids, and I made many, many mistakes. That’s number one. And then I looked at the daughter herself, and what she was doing, what she was eating, what she was taking medication, she wasn’t exercising, and she had some genetic abnormalities that predisposed her to the kinds of struggles that she was experiencing. And so I addressed those with certain types of supplements. And she got immediately better, together with the parents, we were able and herself, we were able to help her find out that it really was in her best interest to get better, because she wanted things that maybe wasn’t what the parents wanted for her. So after we could align that without going into too much details, we could help her to realize she wanted to live her life, not the life that her parents wanted to live, but I like. And then she had the motivation to do the things she needed to do to get better. And I think it took her two years to get to a point where she was talking to her doctors and psychologists because I’m not against all those things. And she was able to lose most of the medication, she started exercising, she started eating much better, the whole family got healthier. That was wonderful.
Michael Hingson 22:51
How long did it take for her to be able to communicate with her parents and say, I really need to live my own life a little bit more.
Dr. Christine Sauer 23:00
It didn’t take that long. I think it took four weeks, between me talking to the parents, me talking to the daughter, and then they talking to each other to realize that they both wanted the same thing, the best for the daughter. It was not just the same what the parents envision what the daughter wanted, but there was a middle ground. And that’s so the case. Yeah.
Michael Hingson 23:27
So often parents have one perception. And as their children are growing up, they have another perception. But if we don’t see communications, that tends to be a problem.
Dr. Christine Sauer 23:39
Oh, yeah, communication is extremely important. Whether it is in parenting, or between partners, in any relationship. Humans are communicators. And I’m still not the best, but I’m getting better. And I think that’s a principle that everybody needs to pursue getting better at something every day, a little bit. And we all can do that. One thing today, get better at pick one, and get better at it today.
Michael Hingson 24:11
It’s all it’s all about growth and learning what you can do and, and it oftentimes is living life one day at a time, but we need to live it.
Dr. Christine Sauer 24:22
Yeah, you’re right. And I talk to people and I volunteered on a palliative care unit. And I always thought about buying up people afraid of dying. Why are they afraid of that? And my answer is because I never lived. I really fear if somebody lives a full life, meaningful life for them. They don’t need to be afraid to die.
Michael Hingson 24:47
Yeah, the big thing about dying as none of us have really tried it who are living so we don’t know what it will lead to. I say that many times when I talk to people who think they’re experts about blindness, the biggest problem went blind and says that people haven’t tried it.
Dr. Christine Sauer 25:03
That’s a good point. I actually did. And I volunteered for the cniv. They said, Try it and put blindfolds on me. And I tell you, it’s hard when you’re used to navigating with the eyes. Sure.
Michael Hingson 25:17
And that’s the big issue is that even if you put a blindfold on for a few hours, and I’ve seen a number of organizations that tried to say, we’re going to show you what it’s like to be blind, we’ll blindfold you for a few hours. Or now we have these dining in the dark programs that oftentimes say, we’re going to show you what it’s like to be blind, we’re going to blind fool you, and you have to eat, but you don’t get the training. And, and so the result is you really don’t know what it’s like to be blinded and often reinforces your fears. And I’m not saying that somebody should go off and try dying, because mostly, we haven’t figured out a way to come back from that so that you can report it.
Dr. Christine Sauer 25:56
That is true. But I really feel we don’t know what’s after. So why should we worry about it? If we live our life fully, and to the best of our abilities, and at least try to be good people, I do not think even in any spiritual tradition, we don’t have anything to fear.
Michael Hingson 26:19
Exactly. And it’s something that we really need to deal with. We often fear so many things. And most of the things we fear, we don’t have any control over anyway.
Dr. Christine Sauer 26:32
You’re so right. And one of my mentors, they say, it’s not the fear that paralyzes you, it is the avoidance of the situation that makes you feel fear. And that is very true. Because if somebody is afraid of heights, it’s of sale of small spaces. It’s an easy example to understand. It’s not the fear that makes him his life miserable, it’s that he doesn’t want to go with an elevator, he doesn’t want to go right through a tunnel, he doesn’t even want to go in in a room where the doors are closed. Now, that is bad for your quality of life. But if you dare to go there, and then experience a fear for say, 2030 minutes, and sometimes you need help to get used to that, then you will notice the fear, lets go. And there’s good methods to tune it down and train your brain to feel less fear in those situations. But it’s not the fear that ruins your life, the anxiety that wants you alive, it’s avoiding the triggers. Or
Michael Hingson 27:48
confronting the triggers and learning that it’s not what you thought it was,
Dr. Christine Sauer 27:52
right? Especially if something like if you’re afraid of poisonous snakes, and you can’t avoid, if you do want to avoid that, then it’s not that dangerous. The same. If you’re afraid of being struck by lightning, come on, it’s not that likely that you have.
Michael Hingson 28:10
But at the same time, there are things that you can do to lessen your chances of being struck by lightning. And that’s what we really need to learn about. It’s not so much the fear it is learning what you can to make sure that you can deal with it when it comes along. So you can be in a thunderstorm with lots of lightning around you. But if you’re standing out in the middle of an open field, that puts you in a whole different situation than if you’re inside a building. Or if you can’t be inside a building next to a wall. As opposed to being next to a tree which is as a more likely place for you to to be in danger. But if you are in a place that lessens your chance of being struck by lightning, that doesn’t mean that you’re afraid of lightning, that means that you are really looking at doing what you need to do to protect yourself as much as you can.
Dr. Christine Sauer 29:09
I love that idea. Because it is such a nice illustration of the truth of life. And you know that the Serenity Prayer, to the wisdom to know the difference between what we can change and what we can change. And I mean, the nonsense would start when the thunderstorm is over, and you’re still frozen in fear and on the floor, not daring to get up even though the sun has started to shine again.
Michael Hingson 29:39
Yeah, and you have to learn to it all is is part of living life. You have to learn to live life. I had a roommate when I was studying physics who told me about a friend of his who or maybe it was one of his professors who whose son was asking him about lightning because they were in a thunder Storm, and they were walking outside of their house. And he was explaining lightning and so on to his son. And they were very calm about it. And then a lightning bolt came down and struck maybe 1012 feet away from him. And he said, Okay, this is what lightning is about, no, let’s just go in the house, and they went in the house. And of course, they were safe. But the fact is that you can’t allow fear to overtake you. There’s no need for that. Because when you do that, you blind yourself to being able to make decisions. And you forget how to think more clearly and strategically or appropriately in your life.
Dr. Christine Sauer 30:44
Yeah, you’re right. It’s a good point. And that’s an important skill to learn. And I know you did exactly that. And you were trapped in the what was it the at first law of trade building minutes was burning,
Michael Hingson 30:56
the 78th. Yeah. And we’re, we’re writing a book about that. The title, the working title is a guide dogs Guide to Being brave, but it’s going to be all about learning, as I did say it not to be blinded by fear. But learning how you can control fear and learning how you can deal with unexpected situations in your life. We’re excited about it.
Dr. Christine Sauer 31:21
I can’t wait to see that book in print and ever get a copy. Because in this world situation that we are currently facing, regardless pandemic and all changes, many people are afraid of the future. And they’re fearing the worst, but we don’t know what’s gonna happen, and they’re missing a good way to deal with it.
Michael Hingson 31:42
Well, and that brings up a point, we are, we’re so surrounded by fear today. And so surrounded in so many ways, whether it’s greatly so we’re not by depression. Why are why is depression and why is fear so much around us today?
Dr. Christine Sauer 32:03
My personal opinion is that is very complex. Number one, the media has a very negative way of reporting relevance, because fear sets. And historically, when you look 10,000 years ago, our brain was evolved to react to fear as a priority, because we evolved to recognize fear right away and recognize events that could hurt us right away. So if you had a rustle in the woods, 10,000 years ago, it could have been the tiger that wanted to eat us. So I entered the ground. And if it was a tiger, we were prepared for a fight or flight stress mode. And then normally, after we either fought the tiger ran away or discovered it wasn’t a tiger, we went back to the cave at that point, and rested and maybe had a meal, then we had collected some food or an animal or whatever. And that was a parasympathetic resting state. So we were able to switch from the fear or stress state to the resting state. And nowadays, the fear is so ubiquitous, if you pay attention to all other fear mongering all the time, we stay in a high stress state, our brain stays totally in the right state, the amygdala in the brain that recognizes the stress actually gets engraved stress, until we can turn off the stress and the stress hormones rage, and that causes chronic inflammation in the body. And that eventually wears us down and leads to depression. And that’s one of the important factors in it. And that’s why all the relaxation techniques, they are important, but it’s not just it. But we need to learn to switch back and forth between those states, you need to be able to switch in that alert state and be stressed and get our stress. So we get used to it and learn how to deal with it. But then we have to also learn how to switch it off, go on to calm state and activates our digestive system so we can eat our food and actually not end up with the stomach problems that are very common in people that are anxious and depressed.
Michael Hingson 34:24
Of course, we haven’t talked about that tiger. And is there the possibility that the tiger is more apt to try to eat us because we’re afraid of it. And we never try to explore making friends with the tiger or saying I’m not afraid to you.
Dr. Christine Sauer 34:41
Hmm, that’s an idea depends. If it’s a highly Tiger. If it’s
Michael Hingson 34:47
a hungry tiger and there’s nothing else around then you you also need to say go somewhere else. I’m not going to be your meal and you’re going to leave me alone or you want any more be a part of the world.
Dr. Christine Sauer 35:00
See, that is very true. And it may not work for real tiger. But if it’s another human being that acts like the tiger, it usually is.
Michael Hingson 35:10
Right? I don’t know, it may work for a real tiger, but it depends on the circumstances. But still, it all comes down to we we hear often, that a lot of animals can sense when we’re afraid. And when we show fear, they react to that.
Dr. Christine Sauer 35:26
They can smell it, I’m convinced of that. And there are no dogs, for example, they can smell fear. And the smell is actually the only sense that is directly connected to the limbic system in the brain. Is that interesting? The owners interesting, it’s not the eyes, it’s not as it’s the smell, the smell bulbs go directly to the limbic system without being first looked at by the prefrontal cortex that has judgment and forethought in it. You said
Michael Hingson 35:55
something a while ago, when you were telling the story about the family that you put the daughter on some supplements that helped. Tell me a little bit more about that, if you will.
Dr. Christine Sauer 36:07
I love supplements, I substituted my own psychiatric drugs over time, the supplements. But when I help people to do that, I always say never, ever go just off your psychiatric drugs, a big mistakes that cause serious withdrawal, you need to know what you’re doing, you need to talk with your doctors or whatever. So that said, I myself, shoot myself over two years of all medication. And instead, I’m taking a supplement regimen, do exercises and all that but and I recommend it works very well. And my own psychiatrists can believe it. But okay. And I found that good collection of supplements of good quality together, that reasonable nutrition can make a huge difference, not just in mental health, but also in general health. But it has to play together like a well oiled orchestra. I like to compare it with an orchestra because when you look at an orchestra, the different instruments they play together well, that’s how nutrition and supplementation can go together. And that’s why somebody, for example, that it’s a very healthy diet needs different or less supplements and somebody that it’s a very unhealthy diet. Or somebody that eats a diet high in processed food or high in toxic food, or somebody that has genetic inaccurate in equities, it’s different supplements in different quantities. Now, I will say when you go to listen to a symphony, you don’t just want to listen to the drummer, and the first violinist they wouldn’t sound good. And that’s by all the scientific studies that examine one single supplement show that they don’t work. If you examine one supplement it tries. I’m looking at the trauma, not a good symphony. Music does the work.
Michael Hingson 38:06
Why is it that we don’t see more aspects of medicine talking more about this?
Dr. Christine Sauer 38:13
That is quite obvious. There’s big, big, very powerful corporate interest behind medicine and what we see in conventional medicine very,
Michael Hingson 38:25
you’re saying you’re saying those drummers and violinists get a lot of money?
Dr. Christine Sauer 38:31
Yeah, so not so well sounding symphonies? Yes. They do not use or go ahead. Now, I personally call them the farmer, the agro surgical industry. And they purposefully mislead the public about what they can do themselves to get healthy and well, and what is going on, really going on. And they try actually to discredit supplements. They put fake studies out there can prove all that. I know it’s true. But you won’t hear that in the conventional media saying,
Michael Hingson 39:11
No, I’m sure you wouldn’t. What got you started in learning more about supplements and dealing with them.
Dr. Christine Sauer 39:20
What got me started is my background in natural medicine and my interest in herbal medicine and biochemistry and the agar and general medicine. And in Germany, for example, I was able to be a medical doctor and a naturopath and certain supplements what we hear called supplements. They’re accepted in conventional medicine. I could prescribe them on the German health system to my clients for example, Saccharomyces boulardii I probiotic yeast for diarrhea, it’s highly effective, or certain herbs like chamomile for inflammation highly effective. Hear, it’s looked down upon why? I know why. But it doesn’t make sense. So that’s how I got into it. And I started to research it so much that I founded my just my sister website, not long ago supplements for mental health to educate the public even more about it, that there are options. I love it. That’s what I like to do best. It
Michael Hingson 40:26
is pretty exciting that you’re doing some very revolutionary or unique things, at least by the standards of what we look at, maybe on this side of the ocean.
Dr. Christine Sauer 40:36
Thank you for that, Michael, I really tried to make a difference, a positive difference for myself. And for others. That’s my purpose. That’s all I do. That’s why I am on this earth. And yes, I still live a private life, I still go for walks with my dog. But I spend a lot of my time doing research, and finding out what really goes on and how I can help clients that are afflicted with all those illnesses even better.
Michael Hingson 41:08
Well, as you are working on all of this, and you’re you’re obviously being pretty successful with a variety of clients, and so on, how can all of us do more to eliminate depression, and just in general, maybe become more mentally healthier?
Dr. Christine Sauer 41:33
I think the most important thing that anybody can do to improve their mental health is first to make a decision that they want to do something, and that they’re not content with the state they’re in. And then to do their own research, and really dig deep and find out, are there other options than what my conventional doctor tells me I have to do? He looked at me for 10 minutes, and I left with a pill, I’m not satisfied. Are there other options? More likely than not? There are and then find out what you think, might be right. And there’s, you will discover there’s lots of people like you, Michael and I out there that work in the personal growth field, some more or less special, specialized, some more or less good. And if you look, you will find somebody something that resonates with you, and then try it. Do your research. Is that person you want to work with? Do they have a credible background? Some coaches, I know they have a background in marketing, maybe it’s not the best person to talk about your health. But there’s others. There’s good psychiatrist, integrative psychiatrist, Dr. Daniel Amon, I’m on his teaching team. He is one of the his colleagues hate him. I don’t know why is amazing in my books, whatever. He does good work. He has an 80% success rate. That’s one. But there’s always options. So I always say Never give up. Look for your solution. Find your personal purpose and passion, turn off social media and TV if you need to, for a while, are limited. An hour of news a day is more than a normal person should watch. So enough. Instead, use your time to read some books. There’s amazing inspirational books out there from modern authors from old authors, if you really want to go into philosophy, Seneca said everything that I say that all the coaches or the philosophers out psychologists say, already 2000 years ago, it’s still the same. Just do it. The one thing today,
Michael Hingson 43:57
we we don’t spend collective work, or individually, collectively or individually enough time studying and thinking. I’ve talked about it many times here on the podcast, we don’t spend much If anytime at the end of the day, performing some sort of introspection where we even look at our day and say, what went well, what didn’t go well, but more important, how can I improve all of it and listen to what our mind and our heart is telling us and then put it into practice. I’ve said in the past, you know, we’re our own worst critics. And that’s probably not the way to put it. I think maybe a better way as I’ve thought about it is to say, we’re in the best position to really if we do it, analyze and grow based on what we analyze about ourselves and what we do.
Dr. Christine Sauer 44:50
That’s a good way to put it. I really like that obviously to my clients. You are the expert for your body, mind and spirit. I can be a cat Let’s see, that’s all I can do. I can give you recommendations what I think might work. But it’s up to you to evaluate it, decide if you want to try it, and then actually do it. I can help you to follow through. That’s accountability. But if you decide you don’t believe it, you don’t want to do it. It’s not for you, that’s fine. Maybe somebody else resonates better. But do your research. And I’m a big fan every night I asked myself, what went well today? And if something is maybe didn’t go, Well, I say, What can I do to make it better? Next time? What can I do to make tomorrow better for me and for others? And in the morning, same thing, I feel grateful. Gratefulness, gratitude is so important for mental health. appreciate the little things. And what blog about you can see it on Google. It is amazing. It’s really helpful. It’s what they do every day, I go around and appreciate things like yourself, you’re wonderful person, I appreciate your minor
Michael Hingson 46:09
part of the issue of what didn’t go well, it seems to me is not beating yourself up over it and going, oh, that didn’t go well. That’s horrible. And, and all of that sort of stuff. It happened. You no longer have control over the fact that it happened because it did. The issue is and that’s the step and the leap. I think that oftentimes we don’t take now, how do I keep that from happening again? Or what can I do to make that situation better in the future?
Dr. Christine Sauer 46:43
Yeah, and those are very important point. I mean, our mother already told us Don’t cry over spilt milk. That’s the same principle. But next time, maybe be more careful. And don’t spill it.
Michael Hingson 46:54
Don’t steal it. Yeah. And that’s, that’s fair. That’s the lesson to learn, and figure out how not to spill the milk next time.
Dr. Christine Sauer 47:08
And many people don’t do that. They just spell it over and over on some paper, quiet grind, right? I live over it. And then he said,
Michael Hingson 47:17
You know, we’ve been talking a lot about depression. And I’ve heard many times that depression is such an insidious thing, and you don’t even know you’re depressed. What do you think about that?
Dr. Christine Sauer 47:30
I disagree with it. I think when you’re depressed, you know that you don’t feel good. We’re depressed people feel sad. They have no interest in pursuing what they usually are interested in. They think of suicide, they don’t want to do anything. They have no motivation. They have trouble getting out of bed. When many people are in the borderline, and maybe some people try to call that depressed, it’s really not really depressed. It’s a little bit not fully living. That’s what I call it existing, but not thriving. Many people are existing in this world, they’re just there. They don’t really live. They’re just there. And they’re comfortable. They think that’s how life should be. And that’s all life can be. And that’s a sad situation. Yeah.
Michael Hingson 48:25
And they, again, it seems to me that they haven’t looked for ways out of that. And does it mean they’ve given up?
Dr. Christine Sauer 48:38
It depends on my favorite answers, in some cases, they have given up or they have not had enough pain to affect change because to want to change you have to be in pain if you’re not really in pain or you can’t feel the pain because you’re so over medicated. You Why should you change, you don’t feel the pain. And there’s actually people in physical pain, it’s very obvious that are born they cannot feel pain. Those children die early. Because for example, when we have appendicitis, it hurts, and we want to change it. So we go to the doctor have surgery. If a child that can feel it has appendicitis, or it bursts and they die. So it’s important that we are able to feel the pain and then do something about it. And very seldom Is there nothing we can do about it. And then maybe it’s okay for Medicaid, Medicaid for short term. I’m against long term psychiatric medication except for certain. And certain exceptions. There’s exceptions.
Michael Hingson 49:49
It’s an interesting concept that you talk about that you can’t really affect change unless you feel the pain and of course Pain can be physical or emotional or mental. And, and what can we do? Either to start to teach ourselves more about recognizing that we have pain? Or what can we do to start to teach others and help us all learn to recognize this premise of, you’re not going to have change until you feel some sort of pain.
Dr. Christine Sauer 50:33
That is a very hard thing to decide. Because there’s something that we call personal autonomy. That means everybody has to decide for themselves what they want to accept what they’re willing to accept for themselves. I’m not telling anybody else how they should live their life. But I found that if somebody is not in any kind of pain, they don’t want change. If though they don’t necessarily feel happy, and pain comes in many variations like physical pain comes a slight pain or severe pain, severe pain, you go either way to the emergency room, you’ve broken an arm for exam, severe pain, like slight pain, it may just in each, and the same scale that you can apply to the mental realm or emotional rain realm. The slight pain would be you feel a sense of unease, something’s wrong, you can’t really pinpoint it, but your life is not what you think it could be. And then there’s severe pain, you are so dysfunctional, and you can’t do anything, you’re severely depressed. You want to kill yourself, that is very severe emotional pain. There’s everything in between. And some people like in my case, I had to learn the hard way. I had not been trained as a child to recognize the emotional pain. I was, I had learned to cover it up with a facade, just pretending to be happy, but a smile on my face. And then the pain had to be so bad that I nearly killed myself before I recognize, hey, I have to do something about it.
Dr. Christine Sauer 52:10
And which again, because I
Dr. Christine Sauer 52:14
just said it says then then the solution seems the only solution seems to be suicide. And I’m always saying when a young person commits suicide, that’s opportunity last.
Michael Hingson 52:26
Yeah. It’s It’s, of course, it’s sad when anyone does commit suicide. But again, that gets back to the question of how do we collectively start to teach people to recognize more that they’re in pain rather than covering it up? Because it seems to me that probably a lot of time, we just encourage Oh, ignore it, it will pass.
Dr. Christine Sauer 52:49
I think the problem is often that people are encouraged our talk about mental health. And to a certain extent, I agree with that, but only to a certain extent. Because if there’s no real support out there, what good is it? On the other hand, I feel we have to stop teaching our children that the world is a fairy tale, and everything is good. And you can be whatever you want to be, don’t teach and that nonsense, the world is don’t hurt, get them used to it, train them to learn to tolerate emotional hardship, learn, train them to learn emotional resilience. It’s uncomfortable for parents to do that. It’s uncomfortable for the children to experience that. But like any muscle that needs to be trained, our emotional muscle needs to be trained. It’s easier in childhood than later.
Michael Hingson 53:46
Well, as you have been a coach and doing the things you have, you have also been a speaker, you’ve delivered TED talks, and you’ve also written some books. Tell us a little bit about that, if you would. Yeah, I’ve written
Dr. Christine Sauer 53:59
a few books on Amazon and my first book was vibrant. I know eating for vibrant health and explosive energy and I’m just rewriting it actually making it better. And I’m releasing it soon as sparkled foods that help you to sparkle, what to eat for better mental health and energy. And people can actually go to my website and pre register for the course because I released a book and pieces already in Nikos area. So I get feedback. And I wrote a book that I’m especially fond of, I call it my daily sparkle of gratitude journal to brighten your day that has inspirational quotes writing prompts questions in it to help you develop a gratitude habit. And I find that is one of the main things that if you do it will lead you to better understanding of mental health issues and to a better understanding of yourself and then oppression. creation of what can be in what life really is.
Michael Hingson 55:04
I love the concept of talking about learning to be mentally healthier in terms of that you want people to learn to sparkle. I think that’s really great.
Dr. Christine Sauer 55:17
You know where I got that concept from that I was told my sparkle method. Yeah, that’s really a sign that somebody is happy. When you talk to somebody that’s happy and excited, and doing something that they’re passionate about, that’s their purpose, fulfilling their purpose, you will see them eye sparkle.
Michael Hingson 55:39
And I bet even a tiger would react positively to someone who truly sparkles.
Dr. Christine Sauer 55:45
Thank you. To be honest,
Michael Hingson 55:49
well, there you go. See that? You’re letting that fear come in. But I hear what you’re happy
Dr. Christine Sauer 55:53
to try Muy Thai golf a dog?
Michael Hingson 55:56
Well, there’s there is that or try a tiger in a controlled experience, because they’re not bad. But by the same
Dr. Christine Sauer 56:05
by nature, I don’t say that. I don’t want to be Tiger forward. No, I
Michael Hingson 56:11
wouldn’t want to be Tiger food either. I don’t think that there’s a need to do that. And they don’t want to be our food. So we just need to learn how to get along. And, and sparkle.
Dr. Christine Sauer 56:21
I like that. And as I always say, when several people sparkle together, because hair works.
Dr. Christine Sauer 56:28
We do exactly right.
Dr. Christine Sauer 56:32
And why not make the whole world? Right, again, fireworks?
Michael Hingson 56:36
There you go. Would you please tell us a little bit about how people can reach out to you learn more about what you do, where they can get your books, maybe hear some of your talks, and so on. Because I’m sure that people are going to want to follow up on this. There’ll be people who will, where you have struck a chord today. And so how do people reach out?
Thank you, Mike. And I appreciate that opportunity. Out. Of course, I have a website, it’s Doc christine.com d o c c h r i s t i n e.com. And also have a second one supplementsformentalhealth.com. Either one, you will find me. Of course you can google my name, there’s always something that comes up that shows something I’ve done on LinkedIn, Chamber of Commerce, and you can go and find my website from there.
Spelled spell your first and last name if you would.
My first name is Christine, C h r i s t i n e my last name is Sauer S a u e r, a German name that actually means sour.
Michael Hingson 57:46
Well, so but you’re not a sour person. You spark Oh, no,
Dr. Christine Sauer 57:49
I go by the German saying sour is makes happy. Okay, happy.
Michael Hingson 57:54
There you are. So people can reach out to you and contact you and what’s on your website, you mentioned courses and what else?
Dr. Christine Sauer 58:03
It just reorganized it. So you can see a few really good pieces of content right on top. And I want to encourage your whatever you’re interested in, I love the VA this way to start exercising, even if you’re hated how to train your brain to do that. It’s funny, and it’s causing work. So that’s how I started to go back to the gym because I do not like to exercise. And I released a few videos about that. Because I like to have fun. I always think life without fun is down. And how can we spark?
Michael Hingson 58:38
Fun? There you go. So
Dr. Christine Sauer 58:41
I’m on my website, and some of my videos are really funny. Like the one I put on my YouTube about my dog roadie app, my dog is smarter and cuter than I which is true.
Michael Hingson 58:55
Well, we’ll have to go watch that. Of course, I can’t resist being a guy who occasionally yields to temptation. Have you done anything to make sure that your websites accessible for persons with different kinds of disabilities like blind people looking at and hearing descriptions of videos or even just finding labeled links and so on? Have you done anything with all of that,
Dr. Christine Sauer 59:18
that’s actually something I’m working on currently, to make that more accessible at all my big blog posts have audio embedded, so at least you can listen to them but I have not made all the links accessible so that’s something that is on my list to do before the year ends the website will be accessible and there’s a few good options and and now you’re with one of them.
Michael Hingson 59:43
Well and I’d love to help with that. Of course as you know I work with accessibe and there there are a lot of things that it can do and if you’d like to explore that I would be glad to help you. But mostly it’s it’s a matter of making the website available. however you choose to do it, and that will be a great thing. So I’m glad you’re working on that.
Dr. Christine Sauer 1:00:05
I absolutely do because I want to do it. And I, my website is now getting more and more popular. So I definitely want to allow people that have different kinds of disabilities, not just blind people hearing impaired or whatever, yes. To access it.
Michael Hingson 1:00:24
Right? Well, again, your website is Docchristine.com. Or supplementsformentalhealth.com. Right?
Dr. Christine Sauer 1:00:33
That’s correct. I think to talk to you have a free consultation, we can get connected, and then we can talk about more.
Michael Hingson 1:00:42
There you go, everyone. So reach out to Christine. Clearly a lot of insights clearly a lot to learn. And we’re very grateful, and pleased that you consented to come on unstoppable mindset, because I think what you’re doing can help make a lot of people think and realize that they can be more unstoppable than they think they are.
Dr. Christine Sauer 1:01:02
Thank you so much, Michael, you’re unstoppable yourself. Over and over, and I highly respect you for that. Thank you.
Michael Hingson 1:01:11
Well, thank you. And again, everyone. Of course, if you’d like to reach out to me, we’d love to hear what you think. And we’d love to hear your your ideas and thoughts. And you may know other people who want to be guest, we met Christine through another podcast guests. So we’re always glad to hear from you. So please feel free to reach out my email address is Michael m i c h a e l h i. At accessibe a c c e s s i b e.com. You can go to our podcast webs page which is www dot Michael hingson.com. That’s m i c h a e l h i n g s o n.com/podcast. So I hope that she’ll reach out and please give us a five star rating. We appreciate the the ratings and your thoughts and we hope that you liked this and that you’ll give us a five star rating to help us continue to do this and reach out to others and tell them about us. So one last time. Christine, thanks very much for being here. We’re excited to have had the chance to do this. And we’ll hopefully get a chance to to meet and do some more of this. If you have other stories that you want to tell let us know. Thank you.
Michael Hingson 1:02:32
You have been listening to the Unstoppable Mindset podcast. Thanks for dropping by. I hope that you’ll join us again next week, and in future weeks for upcoming episodes. To subscribe to our podcast and to learn about upcoming episodes, please visit www dot Michael hingson.com slash podcast. Michael Hingson is spelled m i c h a e l h i n g s o n. While you’re on the site., please use the form there to recommend people who we ought to interview in upcoming editions of the show. And also, we ask you and urge you to invite your friends to join us in the future. If you know of any one or any organization needing a speaker for an event, please email me at speaker at Michael hingson.com. I appreciate it very much. To learn more about the concept of blinded by fear, please visit www dot Michael hingson.com forward slash blinded by fear and while you’re there, feel free to pick up a copy of my free eBook entitled blinded by fear. The unstoppable mindset podcast is provided by access cast an initiative of accessiBe and is sponsored by accessiBe. Please visit www.accessibe.com. accessiBe is spelled a c c e s s i b e. There you can learn all about how you can make your website inclusive for all persons with disabilities and how you can help make the internet fully inclusive by 2025. Thanks again for listening. Please come back and visit us again next week.