Dr. Christina Bjorndal, Naturopathic Medicine, Naturopathic Medicine
Total years in practice: 10
While I was doing my undergraduate degree at UBC in the late 1980s, I experienced debilitating depression and anxiety. I also had an eating disorder and was not coping with the stress I was under at that time. Like most people, I had not heard about Naturopathic medicine so I was treated with medications that were not effective. After taking the medication that was initially prescribed to alleviate depression, I swung into a psychotic manic episode and was diagnosed with bipolar disorder type 1. In 1994, after surviving a suicide attempt (which left me in a coma, on dialysis waiting for a kidney transplant), I finally began the healing process after reading a book called “A Return to Love” by Marianne Williamson. Up until this point, I was living with the shame and stigma of having a mental illness and I had not accepted myself. The sole reason I became a Naturopathic Doctor was that when I was struggling with my illness there weren’t many natural experts in the field. After attending a Mental Health Regained Public Forum in 1999, I became a patient of Dr. Abram Hoffer’s (a nutritionally oriented psychiatrist) and experienced my first depression and anxiety free year in 13 years. I also made some major life changes, such as resigning from my corporate job, where I reported to the CEO and traveled frequently and I began the process of inquiry into what I really wanted to be doing with my life. After sitting with the question “If money didn’t matter, what would I be doing?” the answer revealed itself to me in a tiny whisper “Become a Naturopathic Doctor and help people heal from anxiety, depression, anorexia, bulimia, bipolar disorder (types 1 or 2), addiction, ADD/ADHD, etc using natural therapies and orthomolecular medicine – as you have been helped“.