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  • #46
    Originally posted by Owen View Post
    Very interesting, I've also had difficulties in this area in the past, I left an office job during my most recent period of depression. I do think that some office environments are inherently stressful though - any occupation that involves total inertia is likely to induce a lot of stress. We're just not built for it. Some respond better than others, granted, but I wouldn't call being allergic to the office environment an illness, I'd sooner say it's human nature - those that enjoy it are, if anything, the abnormal ones :-)
    In my case, I am a woman working in a male dominated field and the dynamics of that (ie, emotional immaturity of constituents) just gets tiresome. Frankly I'm just at a point where if there is a lack of women in the engineering department, especially in senior roles, then I don't want to work there.

    I don't think all office environments are stressful, occaisonally you get lucky. I worked in one where everyone had their own office and you weren't allowed to schedule meetings on Fridays. That was awesome!!
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    • #47
      Originally posted by Owen View Post
      Since starting a full (90-95%) Primal diet in November last year, the depression that has dogged me my entire adult life (I'm 34) has almost completely vanished - leaving me balanced, happy and able to interact with the world in a normal way.

      I am not here to make any generalized claims about the connection between diet and depression, or guarantee that if you are suffering from depression, PB will cure it, but if you have any level of depression in your life, and haven't tried this way of living yet, I urge you to try it for 30 days. I have just a few observations to offer - things that I've learned, regarding the connections (or likely connections) between diet and the condition known as 'depression'

      - Depression refers to what is usually a range of different malfunctions of the brain, other organs and particularly the endocrine system - a finely balanced array of processes and chemical interactions that require the right nutrients in order to function. It is primarily a physical condition, with secondary psychiatric symptoms. Some are more prone to it than others, but anyone can have it.

      - The brain is made of 80% fat (saturated fat and cholesterol) - therefore it doesn't require a scientist to realize that a low fat diet may cause brain malfunction. Anti-depressants will reduce the psychiatric symptoms, but the underlying brain structure will continue to weaken if diet is not improved.

      - The human body is ingenius at using 'substitutes' so if you are on a low fat diet, it will make do with what it has available, which is why depression is usually a long-term condition involving very gradual, almost imperceptible, degradations to the brain and other organs

      - Absence of a body clock is a symptom of depression. The body clock is regulated by the timed release of different hormones at different times of the day. Exposure to sunlight helps to regulate these, but again, without the right hormones being made in the first place, you won't have a body clock. The body cannot make hormones (or indeed anything at all) from processed foods.

      - Social interaction is (believe it or not) promoted by the release of endorphins (a hormone) into the body. Not able to make endorphins? You won't enjoy other peoples' company much. Ditto for dating and relationships.

      - Exercise allows an exchange of nutrients to occur in all the body's cells by opening up the blood vessels and capillaries - its like getting an internal spring clean, which is why you feel so good afterwards. Feeling good is a marker of general bodily health. If you want to be in a good mood, start eating fresh produce and do moderate exercise.

      - A diet high in refined sugar, which is bad enough for anyone, is for depressed people like throwing parrafin onto a fire. The highs and lows of the insulin spike (buzzing and then crashing) will throw what is already an unstable system into complete chaos. Cutting out the sugar alone can be enough to make your life manageable and liveable. For more information on this area, google hypoglycemia and depression. If this is you - cut sugar out of your diet for 48 hours and see how you feel.
      I don't think that food alone will cure depression. You have to get to the root cause of depression which in most cases is brought on by psychological factors whatever they may be for everyone. Attributing life long depression to food is just a way not to deal with the root cause of it.

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      • #48
        Originally posted by Pretzle View Post
        I've been primal for about 4 months now but I'm still waiting for the depression to clear.

        Granted, I'm doing quite a bit better than I have been doing before (did a suicide prevention online course during June - August, while I still have the stray thought, that's what it is now - just a 'random' thought. That's very different from how things used to be). But the 'boundless energy' and actually feeling good/happy? Not so much (yet?). And I'm very tired all the time (that's been a problem for ... oh, about 10 years now.)

        I really hope things will improve, but I'm not sure 'just food' (and exercise and sleep etc.) is enough at this point. Not sure what else to do - conventional medicine which screw with hormones and chemicals etc. really scare me and I hope I won't have to try them, but who knows... eventually?
        I am actually copying and pasting a reply that I have sent to someone else, but it is applicable here I think.
        "I don't think that food alone will cure depression. You have to get to the root cause of depression which in most cases is brought on by psychological factors whatever they may be for everyone. Attributing life long depression to food is just a way not to deal with the root cause of it."
        I'm not sure what part of the country you're in, but if you can get yourself to a credible psychoanalyst, not psychologist or social worker, but a good psychoanalyst, it will be immensely helpful for depression. I think it has the power to change people's lives.

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        • #49
          Originally posted by Zb Acupuncture Studio View Post
          Attributing life long depression to food is just a way not to deal with the root cause of it.
          For many, that's the point. "Tell me about you're mother" is a lot scarier than "eat more salmon".

          The problem with all these brain chemical theories is they confuse cause and effect.

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          • #50
            Originally posted by mmmpork View Post
            In my case, I am a woman working in a male dominated field and the dynamics of that (ie, emotional immaturity of constituents) just gets tiresome. Frankly I'm just at a point where if there is a lack of women in the engineering department, especially in senior roles, then I don't want to work there.
            Don't worry, most of us find working with women just as tiresome, especially ones that automatically assume their emotional perspective is more valid than ours. Sorry to oppress you with my privilege and patriarchy. Lol.
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            • #51
              Originally posted by Eureka5280 View Post
              Don't worry, most of us find working with women just as tiresome, especially ones that automatically assume their emotional perspective is more valid than ours. Sorry to oppress you with my privilege and patriarchy. Lol.
              If this forum had a 'like' button, i'd do just that.

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              • #52
                Originally posted by Owen View Post
                Haven't looked at this thread for some time now as I've been following Primal and largely speaking the issue of Depression has gone away for me, but yesterday / today I had a reminder that vigilance is still the order of the day, even after a full 12 months of this wonderful way of living.

                Its made me realise that its best to carry some decent stuff around with me - fruit or something, to give me something to eat on these rare occasions- usually I would have just fasted but it was the combination of boredom and being out on a long shift, I just got caught out.

                In a way I'm quite dissapointed that I would have such a reaction to one small slip, but it does at least give me a good motivation to stay on the right path.

                The reality of this condition I have come to realise is not about thinking you're in control all the time, but being vigilant to certain things such as what happended in this little episode.

                We talk about N=1 in this community a lot and nowhere is this more useful than with depression, becasue in my experience, its something that can take you by surprise - when it creeps back on, you initially assume the symptoms to be part of your reality, however often you've overcome them before, the trick always gets played on you, so Saturday morning when I woke up thinking my life is awful again, it was likely to be my physiological reaction to what I'd eaten.

                I am generally in robust health these days, but owing to my recent past, there could well be some gland, or some organ that get's destabilised by some unknown ingredient, but, as is the case with many many people, we don't know the specifics, we may never know.
                Owen, I clipped your post a bit to respond to a few specific things.

                First: wow do I really see my own thoughts in what you wrote! Even when I am feeling really great, it is still surprising to realize that other people feel the way I do. That is a curse of depression, I'm sure.

                I am convinced that depression and gut health and STRONGLY inter-linked. A setback from small exposure could be from some particular ingredient (part of gluten intolerance for some people, maybe), but it could also just be that our guts are too damaged to process certain things well enough to avoid more systemic damage & psychological repercussions. Does that make sense? I don't believe that "eating well" is necessarily enough to heal a gut. I think that a diet with supplements, even in food form (like lots of bone broth for the collagen, or including gelatin in cooking/foods/drinks), is necessary for true healing.
                Depression Lies

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                • #53
                  Hi Nameless, It also strikes me as very plausible that a compromised gut lining is the main issue, I am especially convinced after watching some of the interviews with this Dr: Food is the Best Medicine - YouTube

                  I've recently gone deeper into nutrition with bone broth, and organ meats,and begun foraging for wild plants as well. I'm now making a regular stew with bone broth and fresh roots. Regarding this recent low mood, in fact I've realised that I had introduced a few sugary snacks on prior days as well, as part of this job driving around. It's been stopped! I'm also getting cravings for dairy, esp full fat yoghurt, which is not resulting in any weight gain, but I'm unsure of the value of eating a lot of dairy. I've bought some sauerkraut to see if any other fermented food might reduce the dairy cravings.

                  Overall this is still going incredibly well, it seems as though there needs to be an occasional setback in order for us to keep score...:-)
                  Last edited by Owen; 11-04-2013, 02:10 PM.
                  Healthy is the new wealthy.

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                  • #54
                    Originally posted by mmmpork View Post
                    In my case, I am a woman working in a male dominated field and the dynamics of that (ie, emotional immaturity of constituents) just gets tiresome. Frankly I'm just at a point where if there is a lack of women in the engineering department, especially in senior roles, then I don't want to work there.

                    I don't think all office environments are stressful, occaisonally you get lucky. I worked in one where everyone had their own office and you weren't allowed to schedule meetings on Fridays. That was awesome!!
                    Again, interesting observation. For me it was the other way round, I was a male working in a female dominated field. I think I know what evolutionary psychologists might conclude from us two as individuals: Women are generally disposed to work with women, and men with men. Now I work with a load of men and prefer it. Also I occasionally get to drive some incredible cars, but thats another story :-)

                    That office does sound better. I've always preferred offices with seperate rooms myself.
                    Healthy is the new wealthy.

                    http://www.facebook.com/groups/ances...handnutrition/

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                    • #55
                      I appreciate all comments regarding what's the best focus on dealing with depression. In my case, and IMO, diet is the principle concern. But thats because it seems to work for me. I still pay attention to other areas, especially sunlight and sleep. I appreciate being reminded that there are other facets - activity, movement, stress reduction and therapy such as CBT are going to be helpful.

                      But the reason I focus on nutrition can be explained by this amazing insight by Andrew Solomon. In a society which values the search for happiness and constantly searches for ways to be happier, he has pointed out that 'The opposite of depression is not happiness, it's VITALITY'.

                      Quote by Andrew Solomon: The opposite of depression is not happiness, bu...

                      It is vitality that this diet brings you. You become stronger. You become better. Everything about your life improves. We can partly explain it by science, but it's about something more powerful than us. Nature, which is still a mystery in many ways. I know I'm accessing something more powerful than me or any other individual.

                      Depression was part of my identity. It's mainly part of my past now, barring the occasional blip. I celebrate that. I want to share my experience.

                      Last night I did something quite vain. I stood in front of the mirror and looked at my torso, the abdominal muscles starting to show through, my complexion and general appearance much improved. I'm beginning to look like some kind of athlete. I'm becoming the man I always wanted to be, inside and out. Not perfect, still prone to low mood if I don't eat right, still with challenges and things to face up to in life. I am anything but complacent though. This is still the journey, not the destination. But that's fine with me right now.
                      Last edited by Owen; 11-04-2013, 02:32 PM.
                      Healthy is the new wealthy.

                      http://www.facebook.com/groups/ances...handnutrition/

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                      • #56
                        I'm considering dairy as a good supplementary food. Potassium, saturated fat, some vitamins, and it can be very easy to digest for those without intolerances. For me, it helps me keep my calories up and my mood always suffers when I'm under-eating. I'm not shying away from "natural sugar" sources such as fruit these days and I find it a lot easier on my digestion to have fruit & goat milk on a daily basis.
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                        • #57
                          Originally posted by Eureka5280 View Post
                          Don't worry, most of us find working with women just as tiresome, especially ones that automatically assume their emotional perspective is more valid than ours. Sorry to oppress you with my privilege and patriarchy. Lol.
                          Hahahaha
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                          • #58
                            Originally posted by namelesswonder View Post
                            I'm considering dairy as a good supplementary food. Potassium, saturated fat, some vitamins, and it can be very easy to digest for those without intolerances. For me, it helps me keep my calories up and my mood always suffers when I'm under-eating. I'm not shying away from "natural sugar" sources such as fruit these days and I find it a lot easier on my digestion to have fruit & goat milk on a daily basis.
                            I also find fruit and dairy to be a good combo for breakfast - bananas and cream for eg, I don't use milk per se. The problem with dairy is that it seems to slow me up a bit, although I love eating it, it does seem to have an effect on my general desire to be active. It doesn't fatigue me like refined sugar does, but I find I'm a bit stiff in the mornings etc. I ate a lot of dates until recently and that helped hugely. Must get some more in fact. I doubt ketosis is going to work for me, at least not for another year or so I think. I find I'm able to fast occasionally though.
                            Healthy is the new wealthy.

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                            • #59
                              'Let your food be your medicine and medicine be your food' -Hippocrates

                              'No disease that can be treated by diet should be treated with any other means' -Maimonodies

                              'The opposite of depression is not happiness, but vitality' -Andrew Solomon

                              'The 21st century U.S. diet is often inadequate in protein content. It is also low in the anti-inflammatory vitamin and mineral co-factors which are typically found in fresh vegetables and fruits. Pain and the medications needed for relief can both reduce appetite and further reduce the intake of nutrients vital to the production of endorphins. Since opiate medications depend on endorphin activity to support their effectiveness, supplying the amino acid building blocks for the production of additional endorphins can be critically beneficial.' - Julia Ross, 'The Mood Cure'
                              Healthy is the new wealthy.

                              http://www.facebook.com/groups/ances...handnutrition/

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                              • #60
                                Depression is the razor which cuts off afflictions like hope, dreams, and false pursuits that waste energy and distract. Embrace it.
                                Crohn's, doing SCD

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