Many problems facing young people in society today, including depression and suicide, can be traced to the womb, a leading alternative therapist has said.

Welsh author and therapist Joy Wisdom, who was in North Belfast last week to deliver a talk and training to local alternative health practitioners, is a firm believer that problems like stress and depression in adults and ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) in children develop even before we are born.

Joy, who has worked with local suicide awareness group PIPS Programmes, believes the mental wellbeing of a pregnant mother will go a long way to determining the mental health of the child.

Her beliefs are echoed by US scientists from Yale University who have completed recent studies into whether we have a good or bad gene and how that can develop in the womb.

“Aspects of birth affect our adulthood and create our problems, our issues, our abandonment, our self-esteem, self confidence and depression,” she told the North Belfast News.

“The way women are during their pregnancy will dictate the outcome and the behavior for the child which will be lifelong. It manifests itself in many ways and from that there is ADHD, as well as physical problems like stomach disorders, diarrhoea, anxiety, asthma, panic attacks later in life and depression.

“Dependance on medication the mother has had in labour is also a factor that can be traced back to these areas.”

Last week a BBC Horizon documentary exploring whether we are born ‘good or bad’ revealed that US scientists were exploring the link between stress during pregnancy and the moral makeup of the child.

Joy says ideas explored in her new book Pregnancy & Birth – A New Generation echo their ideas.

“The TV programme highlighted that problems can develop from a lack of the hormone oxytocin which is the love hormone that helps to develop our compassion, our love and our awareness of other people’s distress.

“When the mother is stressed she is producing more testosterone and this then creates dopamine (a chemical   that can influence people’s mood) that is then going to bypass different functions and formations in the frontal cortex of the brain and this is where we have a lot of problems with behaviour issues, ADHD and this sort of thing.

“The book uses 400 clinical references and describes how these impacts can actually come from the womb with the mother’s anxieties and how if she is stressed during pregnancy, she will be creating different hormones that will then affect the brain of the child.”

Joy says that even the way we are born can determine how we handle the stresses of modern life and that those stresses can be removed through therapy.

“With the troubles there have been over here,  there obviously have been a lot of people suffering from stress, depression and anxiety.

“We can work with people on a different level and help them releasee their emotions in a way which helps them live life in a much freer way.

“If successful, therapy can be like having a couple of suitcases on your back and what we do is help remove these.”

She said the techniques that she uses are “gentle”.

“It’s not counselling, it’s not hypnotherapy. It’s not regression. It is about touching the body but also working on energetics and working with the psychological impacts so we can work on all levels, physical and mental.”

Joy intends to return to the North in the coming months to continue her work with PIPS.

“The problems I talk about in the book are creating a lot of our problems in our society today and this is also associated with suicide.

“I have been down to PIPS and have had consultations and we are hoping to come back in January and do trials with this work.”

She has also been training alternative therapy practitioners here and she believes they can help people who have tried conventional medicine.

“For some people they are just not getting the effects and the longterm outcome that they are looking for from conventional medicine.

“However, our programme does work in the longterm and it helps remove those behavioural patterns that have become engrained in us from birth.”

Pregnancy & Birth – A New Generation, published by Allonus, is out now and is available from