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  • Depression

    Are/have any of you ever been depressed? How did/do you deal with it?

    I've read that various foods like eggs and dairy can cause depression, and also lack of nutrients or hormonal imbalances. Anything else?

    How on earth does one figure out what the root cause is?
    "All things are poison, and nothing is without poison; only the dose permits something not to be poisonous."
    Paracelsus

    A Primal Twin Pregnancy

    Proud mother of twin girls!

  • #2
    Originally posted by Valkyria View Post
    Are/have any of you ever been depressed? How did/do you deal with it?

    I've read that various foods like eggs and dairy can cause depression, and also lack of nutrients or hormonal imbalances. Anything else?

    How on earth does one figure out what the root cause is?
    I don't know where to start with this one really.

    I have suffered from depression most of my life. I have had severe, clinical depression once - it lasted about 18 months and put me in hospital. I am completely "depression free" at the moment and I attribute much of that to eating the way I do now. BUT I have also had periods of being free of "the black dog" when eating RUBBISH. It seems to come out of a clear sky - not reactive (as in when someone dies etc - natural and happens to many people). Its in my family, so I think theres a genetic component that makes me susceptible. I also think there may be a strong hormonal link - though I have never seen a pattern. BUT, my sugar intake is definitely part of it - more sugar - more depression - then more sugar to self medicate - then more depression added to the feelings of self loathing. Theres a pattern I have distinguished!

    Basically, there are many things we call depression and many causes of it. For some people, medication is literally a life saver, for others its not necessary or helpful and alternative therapies "work". If and when it hits, I "weather it out" these days, accept it is awful and tell myself it WILL pass. Exercise also helps me enormously, acts as a mood stabiliser somehow.

    If you are saying you are personally suffering, its a process really of trial and error to find out what helps you. All I would say is if you NEED meds, don't be ashamed to take them ... until you know you don't need them any more. They have a place. Be kind to yourself. Blaming yourself for being depressed (weak/worthless/pathetic/selfpitying - I've used all those names to call myself) kind of goes with the territory, but its just another symptom.

    I wish I could tell you "what to do". I can't - but I hope this helps?? I find it very hard to even talk about it - superstitiously fearing I could "wake it up"

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    • #3
      Thank you very much for your reply.

      I've been depressed for years, and I've been in hospital and taken meds. Nothing has ever really helped though.
      I do function quite well, I get up in the morning and I'm working, and on good days I can get a lot done. I do generally feel quite unhappy though, and most of the time it feels like nothing really matters. It's hard to make yourself do stuff then ... I never have any fun and enjoy myself.

      I guess I could be stricter with my diet. I do tend to give in to temptations quite a lot. And maybe I shouldn't have eggs or dairy, or maybe I need a bit more carb. Will have to experiment more I guess and find out what works best for me.

      It's just hard ...
      "All things are poison, and nothing is without poison; only the dose permits something not to be poisonous."
      Paracelsus

      A Primal Twin Pregnancy

      Proud mother of twin girls!

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Valkyria View Post
        Thank you very much for your reply.

        I've been depressed for years, and I've been in hospital and taken meds. Nothing has ever really helped though.
        I do function quite well, I get up in the morning and I'm working, and on good days I can get a lot done. I do generally feel quite unhappy though, and most of the time it feels like nothing really matters. It's hard to make yourself do stuff then ... I never have any fun and enjoy myself.

        I guess I could be stricter with my diet. I do tend to give in to temptations quite a lot. And maybe I shouldn't have eggs or dairy, or maybe I need a bit more carb. Will have to experiment more I guess and find out what works best for me.

        It's just hard ...
        one thing i will say, - its come up on a couple of forums recently, is that this way of eating is great, it will help you heal, it will put food into perspective, it may help you lose weight (if you have weight you should lose) etc etc. BUT its not a "cure-all". It won't "fix" everything. If diet is part of the problem, this is for sure part of the solution. BUT I accept I will still probably have periods of depression. I hate it, I dread it - but I have had to accept it.

        I worry that you are finding ways to use Primal to "beat yourself up some more"? More "being strict" isn't necessarily the way to look at it?? I try to turn that around into "what can I have that I love that will make me feel good"? For a while, that was full fat dairy - butter, cream, cheese. Put a smile on my face for sure!! Right now its the fat on/in/from my meat - mmmmmm BIG treat. Maybe for you its 3 big good meals a day, guilt free? For a while, just relax about what you're stressing about. Well, thats what I am still trying to do. Relaxed about food is a miraculous concept still for me and I cling to every moment i get of it!

        For now, "function". Thats good - a real achievement when you are depressed. Really notice and savour EVERYTHING that makes you even a little bit happy. Nice cup of coffee (with cream if thats your thing), walk in the drizzle (maybe that's just me), the way you feel after running flat out (and get your breath back of course - again that could just be me), holding hands with husband while watching rubbish tv (definitely me) - even a bird singing his heart out outside your window At the risk of sounding stupid, I do all those things. Even on a black day, a hug, a sunbeam - the fact that another hour has gone and I'm an hour closer to feeling better. I cling to every one of them.

        And it can go away - I am living proof. You can get well and feel happy and enjoy things and feel connected to life. Give yourself time - and cut yourself some slack.

        And on that note, I feel I have wittered long enough and sound like some "happy clappy" person, so I am off!

        Last edited by denise; 02-13-2011, 04:11 AM. Reason: spelling!

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        • #5
          I am always looking for solutions to my problems, always trying new things that might fix my problems. It's stressing me out I must admit ... And I do beat myself up whenever I fail which is most of the time.

          Wish I could be more relaxed and stop thinking and worrying so much.
          "All things are poison, and nothing is without poison; only the dose permits something not to be poisonous."
          Paracelsus

          A Primal Twin Pregnancy

          Proud mother of twin girls!

          Comment


          • #6
            By the way it's good to hear that you are happy. It gives me hope for the future.
            "All things are poison, and nothing is without poison; only the dose permits something not to be poisonous."
            Paracelsus

            A Primal Twin Pregnancy

            Proud mother of twin girls!

            Comment


            • #7
              I've been chronically depressed for years, and diet really hasn't helped with it at all.

              I use zoloft, 50mg per day. I've tried to quit my medication several times in the past, when eating healthy and exercising, and depression always returns a few weeks after I quit taking the pills. So I've come to accept that I might have to be on those meds for life, and I'm not gonna try to quit taking them again unless perhaps when my circumstances have changed significantly (girlfriend, kids, etc..)

              I can't say that diet or exercise helps with my depression, but they sure do make me feel better when I am also on the meds. Meds + no primal = not depressed, meds + primal = not depressed at all, and pretty much just happy and content.

              I don't see why eggs or dairy would cause depression. If diet and exercise isn't helping you then maybe it's time to see a doctor. Depression is one of those things that modern medicine can fix easily, without a lot of side effects (in most cases).
              Kriskris.com

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              • #8
                If you want to delve into the biochemical reasons for depression you can get Dr. Julia Ross' "The Mood Cure" (which goes into diet and supplements) and I've also seen a book recommended here called something like "Curing Depression Naturally" (I think I butchered the real title, but I'm sure a quick amazon search could find it.)

                I've struggled with depression most of my life. I've been on meds and off meds. Currently, I'm on a regimen of supplements (along with clean diet and exercise) that are working to keep me pretty stable. I know I will still dip down into depression from time to time, that's just the reality. But it's less often and not as deep now and I'm OK with that. If my depression were to get worse, I'd go back on meds.

                I also found a lot of help in two other books. One is called "The Pursuit of Perfect" By Tal Ben-Shahar. It's about how perfectionism leads to dissatisfaction (which for me is a big part of my depression.) The other is called "Positivity" by Barbara Fredrickson which is a fairly scientific look at how our outlook affects our lives. Both gave me some valuable insights into my own thought processes and how they were negatively affecting me. I still struggle with it, but now I know it's there

                Hope that helps! Good luck to you. Depression sucks.

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                • #9
                  i would check out cillkat's journal. she has lots of links about healing depression naturally and even a book recommendation in there. she said it has helped her tons. i am currently waiting on my book and looking forward to reading into supplementation/diet change to help with my hateful outlook on the world. i know mine is partly caused by my upbringing, i look for the worst in every situation. but, i am usually right! so how am i not to be this way? haha! seriously though, check out her journal, and shoot her a question or two. she is pretty busy, but very nice and helpful. good luck!

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                  • #10
                    this is one of the books cilla recommends:

                    http://www.amazon.com/Depression-Fre.../dp/0345435176

                    buy it. it is extremely informative and can *really* help you figure out wtf is going on in your brain.
                    sigpic

                    HANDS OFF MY BACON :: my primal journal

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                    • #11
                      I have recovered from bipolar during the last 14 months since I read Gary Taube's The Diet Delusion (GCBC) and cut grains and sugars and then quit vegetarianism exactly a year ago and joined with Mark's Primal living ethos.

                      I've done a lot of research into how this could have been possible, at first I didn't dare believe it to be honest, I thought it was something I would live with forever (as had my paternal grandmother). I spent 25 years with my mother implying it was lack of will power or excuses for poor behaviour (the manic side lead me into some seriously stupid, and occasionally dangerous, scenarios) and I know all about the self-loathing which goes with believing it was in my head and I was weak and then the regret and guilt following the worst episodes.

                      However, I now know that the effect of an overloaded insulin pathway that I had initiated by eating a high carbohydrate diet - a vegetarian iron distance triathlete - and overly stressful training regime on top of parenting a difficult teenager with a husband deployed regularly in the military was causing serious chemical imbalances with dopamine and serotonin.

                      Once I understood the mechanisms involved I could see immediately that all along I was simply out of chemical balance, it had nothing to do with will power. In fact I have massive will power, just functioning through periods of depression takes huge self motivation - non-sufferers have no idea about that. They bemoan the fact you should shake yourself out of it, take a cold shower etc, etc, stop being so weak. If they only knew how much effort it took to function ... I can't get over how much focus I have for other things now I don't have to work so hard just to get by - I hadn't realised how much mental energy that took. In fact the other day I realised I've started just enjoying each day for what it brings, there doesn't need to be an end point or a goal, just being is good.

                      The relief to know it was the diet and not a failing in me was HUGE and I still marvel every day to be honest. My genetics predispose me to be particularly sensitive to insulin/sugar, my Grandmother was the same a manic depressive who was also diabetic and was sectioned many times and given electric shock treatment and died age 56 from complications of uncontrolled diabetes.

                      I have dealt with the swings since my teenage years and became gestationally diabetic in both my pregnancies - all the signs were there but the medical profession just doesn't see the connections yet.

                      I went 'cold turkey' and cut grains and added sugars and that made a massive difference to things like hunger and constantly craving food and waking at night starving hungry. Poor sleep particularly triggers mania in me and then subsequent depression.

                      Now I'm at the stage of wanting to tweak a bit and am looking at taking vitamin D3 because living in the north of Scotland I'm certainly short of sunlight for a large part of the winter. The last few weeks I have felt a little lower than I have been (but we are talking fractions here) and from all my reading supplementing with vitamin D3 makes a lot of sense so I've started out by taking some - 1800 IU at the moment to see how I go. I've also read a lot about 5-HTP which is supportive of serotonin and aids with sleep (triggers melatonin) and appetite control so am giving that a try as well because in the second half of my cycle I find it harder (relative to before mind you!) to sleep well and not to eat too much!

                      The biggest message to you is this - depression (and mood disorders in general) from all my reading are metabolic disorders just like diabetes - it's all biochemical and has nothing to do with will power so try not to beat yourself up about it. You wouldn't blame yourself for having diabetes and try and think yourself out of it?

                      Clearly there are emotional and psychological issues that get layered on top and learned behaviours that are hard to recognise or break but for me the fundamental starting place is getting the engine running properly first, the bodywork comes later and is much easier to work on once the fog is cleared from running your body on the wrong fuels.
                      Last edited by Kelda; 02-13-2011, 08:39 AM.
                      Seeking the natural way in a modern world ...

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                      • #12
                        Brain chemistry ain't right, mostly serotonin. I've had wonderful success using amino acids (Julia Ross, "The Mood Cure"), but more particularly/primarily with 5-HTP. This book changed my life, maybe even saved it.
                        http://www.amazon.com/5-HTP-Natural-...7613206&sr=1-1

                        Exercise and sunshine and being out in nature help....but first you've got to be able to get that 500-pound gorilla that is depression off of you so you can get out of the house.
                        "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food." -- Hippocrates

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by TigerLily View Post
                          Brain chemistry ain't right, mostly serotonin. I've had wonderful success using amino acids (Julia Ross, "The Mood Cure"), but more particularly/primarily with 5-HTP. .
                          TigerLily - what dose of 5-HTP do you take and at what time of day. After reading reams of stuff I've plumped for one 50 mg capsule with my first meal and then one more at bedtime. There seem to be wildly varying opinions! The bottle says 1 - 2 tablets as required or at night.
                          Seeking the natural way in a modern world ...

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                          • #14
                            EFT is a great self-help tool that has cleared depression for a lot of folks.
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                            • #15
                              Kelda: In that book, Dr. Murray says the minimum effective dose is 300 mg (divided amongst your meals, 20 minutes prior to) .... but you need to ramp up to that. I am currently holding strong at 400 mg (200 mg x2 -- I only eat twice a day). But in the beginning, to get some solid footing underneath me, I had ramped up to as much as 600 mg and stayed there for a couple of months. Dr. Murray says the maximum is 900 mg per day. I got a PM from someone saying, "This isn't working." She was only taking 100 mg a day.

                              P.S. for the OP:
                              Julia Ross has been a guest on Underground Wellness (very popular podcast) two times now and will be again either next week or the week after. You can find both those previous shows on iTunes. Only one of the shows is available for streaming on the UW site; the other one isn't archived that far back.

                              I've heard good things about "Depression Free Naturally," but haven't read the book. I've found what works for me, so I'm not inclined to fiddle with anything.
                              Last edited by TigerLily; 02-13-2011, 09:56 AM.
                              "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food." -- Hippocrates

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