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Has Primal Helped for Depression/Anxiety? Please share.

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  • #46
    My husband had suffered from moderate to severe depression for as far back as he can remember and he told me that he tasted the barrell of a gun on a few occasions. He had no zest for life, always fatigued, in a fog. You could see the mood change come on him in an instant. We would go somewhere and I'd ask if he had fun. He would say that he neither had a good time, nor a bad time. He just had an existance.

    Working out was his therapy, still is for the most part, since after one time trying medication, before we ever met, he swore he'd never try it again. He had some hormone testing last year and with the advice of a doctor, started an elimination diet. No grain, legumes, nuts, seeds, dairy, fruit, pork, fish, or eggs. So basic meat and veggies. That's what lead me here. It took 3 months until he had his first good day. He was at work and said he had so much energy he wanted to go outside and run. It took a little while longer for him to have consecutive good days, but now he has more good than bad. The bad come after having grains.

    One of his expeiences was after having cut out grains and legumes, he was supposed to compete in a 1/2 Ironman. He had spent months training. When we got to San Diego he ate pizza and subs since we were on vacation too. The night before the race he got a migraine. He hadn't had one in years and it lasted 3 days. He had to miss the race. All that time, money, and training washed away by food. He still indulges once in a while, but knows he'll pay for it.

    It is frustrating being the other person that doesn't have the problem because I don't understand those feelings, but I support him and cook the best I can for both of us. We're still both a work in progress, but this change has been awesome for us as a couple and has him feeling well enough to start his own business after dreaming of it for years, but not having the brain power to do it.

    I don't know the scientific background, but I don't need it. I have the living proof in front of me each and every day. The side bonus to all of this is that he also dropped 30 pounds in the process. Weight that despite a "healthy" diet and tons of exercise he couldn't drop.

    Best of luck to you in your quest to help!

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    • #47
      That's an amazing story, Kim. Wow.

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      • #48
        Aktres it is amazing. It's been a journey. The thing is, we were searching for solutions for me. When I was going to do the hormone testing, the doc sent 2 test kits in case we both wanted to do it. He wasn't interested at first and I talked him into it because of the fatigue. Neither of us ever thought that it would change our lives to this extent.

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        • #49
          Originally posted by Kelda View Post
          And interestingly, at a tangent possibly, alcoholics often have BIG problems with quitting carbs/sugars too ... Art De Vany writes about this. All to do with the fact that the liver processes the fructose the same as the alcohol, in fact you can get fatty liver disease with toxity from alcohol and from fructose (alcoholic fatty liver disease and non-alcoholic ...).
          Alcoholism runs strongly in my family, I don't think thats a coincidence. I believe it has a genetic component and have also read that alcoholics have a bad time with carbs. All tied up with serotonin i guess. BUT anyway, sugar is my addiction and yes, if I can get my head around it the way I have with alcohol - its gone. Its so bloody ubiquitous though, its actually harder to omit sugar from a diet than almost any other substance.... and as you say, one taste can lead to an "overdose".

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          • #50
            Originally posted by denise View Post
            BUT anyway, sugar is my addiction and yes, if I can get my head around it the way I have with alcohol - its gone. Its so bloody ubiquitous though, its actually harder to omit sugar from a diet than almost any other substance.... and as you say, one taste can lead to an "overdose".
            I just don't eat anything that is pre-prepared, so I cook from first principles if you see what I mean and don't add sugar in the process that makes it pretty easy for me. Carbs that naturally occur in say nuts and beef don't cause me a problem and whilst training I eat Nakd bars (raw dried fruit and nuts which have about 14 g of naturally occuring sugars - nothing added) and they are OK too especially as I'm burning some carbs whilst eating them.

            Good luck!
            Seeking the natural way in a modern world ...

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            • #51
              Originally posted by Kelda View Post
              I just don't eat anything that is pre-prepared, so I cook from first principles if you see what I mean and don't add sugar in the process that makes it pretty easy for me. Carbs that naturally occur in say nuts and beef don't cause me a problem and whilst training I eat Nakd bars (raw dried fruit and nuts which have about 14 g of naturally occuring sugars - nothing added) and they are OK too especially as I'm burning some carbs whilst eating them.

              Good luck!
              Thank you!

              I do prep all our food from scratch these days - all the label reading has changed my buying habits!! I do seem to have issues with dried fruit etc - but maybe after hard training sessions it wouldn't be so bad. Timing, + right food choices - something to work on

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              • #52
                Paleobird, you mentioned that your friend drank a lot of soda. Would you say that he consumes a lot of caffeine? I ask because I have suffered with high anxiety for most of my life. Last year an acupuncturist recommended I give up caffeine for health reasons. I remember having a cup of coffee about a month afterwards (I had some work to do late and thought I'd benefit from the "pick me up"). Boy, was I wrong. My heart started beating wildly and I couldn't sit still--it was very similar to how I feel when I'm anxious. I don't have the same response to green tea...

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                • #53
                  Primal has helped significantly with my depression/SAD. Between that and the Vit D supplementation I am feeling like a new person. This has been the most emotionally stable winter in decades.

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                  • #54
                    I've suffered from depression ever since puberty, which I hit around 11 (19 now). During low points I'd cry almost every night and just wish I could know why everything was so wrong with me, or at least die so I didn't have to deal with not knowing. My biggest problems were hating every aspect of my self - thinking that I was never good enough for anyone, having problems with body dysmorphia, binging and purging. I can't say I'm 100% better, but I'm definitely headed in the right direction. Feeling consistently good is so wildly different, I almost can't believe it was really this easy. I know I still have shitty days, but I am so grateful for the good ones.

                    I've gone through slow increments of getting better:
                    1. Felt loads better once I found out I was allergic to wheat
                    2. Felt even better once I started eating meat again.
                    3. Felt the best I had in ages once I found a good brand of 5-htp and started taking it consistently.
                    4. Still figuring things out, but making sure I'm getting plenty of good food in general and avoiding sugary crap (I do fine eating some fruit) has me feeling wonderful.

                    It's insane what a difference finding MDA and gleaning info from the forums has made on my life. Good luck helping your friend, I really hope he finds what works for him.

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                    • #55
                      Originally posted by dmc View Post
                      Paleobird, you mentioned that your friend drank a lot of soda. Would you say that he consumes a lot of caffeine? I ask because I have suffered with high anxiety for most of my life. Last year an acupuncturist recommended I give up caffeine for health reasons. I remember having a cup of coffee about a month afterwards (I had some work to do late and thought I'd benefit from the "pick me up"). Boy, was I wrong. My heart started beating wildly and I couldn't sit still--it was very similar to how I feel when I'm anxious. I don't have the same response to green tea...
                      Oh yes, caffeine, that's another problem for me. Disrupts my sleep horribly and that was definitely a trigger for mania - now if I have any caffeine I too can feel the racing heart etc, not pleasant. The small amounts in a few squares of 85% is my limit!

                      Interestingly someone posted about having something you've given up for a while and it having a much bigger effect than it used to - that was over at Art's forum. It's very common and he cited cases where recovered drug addicts could find fatal a tiny dose of something they used habitually in much larger amounts.
                      Seeking the natural way in a modern world ...

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                      • #56
                        This gives another great insight into how the wrong diet can lead to depression - I didn't realise how much affect insulin could have on the brain!

                        How Stress Makes You Sick and Sad | Psychology Today
                        Seeking the natural way in a modern world ...

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                        • #57
                          I have been dealing with depression for almost ten years now. When I first realized I had a problem I was eating SAD and fairly sedentary. My doctor put me on a fairly low dose of SSRI, which helped to regulate the problem. About two years ago, however, I discovered the paleo diet and also began a reasonable exercise routine (CrossFit-inspired, HIIT, some heavier weightlifting, not too high volume). I am no longer taking any medication, and I am able to regulate my depression quite successfully. I think that the paleo diet has much to do with this, although I would not discount the positive role that physica activity (especially in the great outdoors) has on my mood. If I neglect my exercise routine for more than two days, I can feel myself starting to slip into the doldrums, and have to do some immediate intervention to stop the downward momentum. I have also found vitamin D supplementation to be very helpful. My husband, who also has some mild issues with depression, had a great deal of success taking 5HTP (a tryptophan precursor) as a daily supplement. I noticed a difference in him within just a week or two.

                          amomonamission.wordpress.com

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                          • #58
                            Awesome thread. I have panic/anxiety/depression disorder
                            Gretchen in Wyoming
                            Princess to the King
                            Mom of 3
                            Grandma of 1
                            Bride to Steven

                            my blog Mama Goes Primal

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                            • #59
                              Hi Robin

                              Just my 2c worth, because there already are so many great responses here - don't try to get him to 'give up' anything as a first step, because he likely won't be able to do that. Firstly get him to increase his protein and vege intake, then add the supplements. Those are likely to improve his sleep and ability to concentrate for short periods. Once that happens you're likely to be able to influence the soda and cereal intake, especially since their frequency will probably have reduced a bit.
                              Started Feb 18 2011

                              Tried basic primal and almost everything else in pursuit of IBS control, mood stability, and weight loss.

                              Journalling here

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                              • #60
                                Yeah, I've had anxiety and probably depression for most of my life. Never went to a doctor, always just wrestled with it by myself. And yes, going primal helped it a lot. Did not make it go away, there are still things that can cause me fairly extreme anxiety, but the PB helps quite a lot. Not only that, I could feel the difference almost immediately, within 24 hours of going primal I began to feel so much calmer. It was almost as if I'd taken a sedative. I was telling myself, "finally, I understand what it feels like to be normal!" I've always thought that new calmness came from giving up sugar, and perhaps things that convert quickly to sugar within one's body. Probably getting rid of grains helps too.

                                The whole experience makes me think that the amount of sugar Americans eat might be having a major, but unrecognized, effect on societal behavior.

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