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Has Primal Helped for Depression/Anxiety? Please share.

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  • #61
    Just wondering, if any of you were on medication for depression or anxiety when you started Primal, did you still notice a difference? Do you think you need to be off all meds to be able to really get the benefits from a healthy diet?

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    • #62
      Originally posted by Sam Cree View Post
      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.
      Exactly - "finally, I understand what it feels like to be normal!"

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

      Yes, and here too in the UK - we have some really poor behaviour now and endless young people diagnosed officially with problems.

      @Paleobird - I hope all these comments will encourage your friend :-)
      Seeking the natural way in a modern world ...

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      • #63
        I'm having a particularly bad night and it is frustrating to me b/c my diet has been great. I was sooo hoping that getting rid of the crap in my diet would make a difference.

        I work with special needs children and it frustrates me to no end what most of their parents feed them. Forgetting paleo/primal, I am always shocked by how little (or no) REAL FOOD these kids get. Everything is packaged, full of sugar, chemicals, dyes, etc. I know the FIRST thing I would do if I had a special needs child would be to make sure his/her diet was as healthy as possible. I am SURE it would make a huge difference in the behavior of a lot of these kids. Unfortunately it is not my place to say anything, so I keep my mouth shut, but it is very hard sometimes and makes me sad.

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        • #64
          Originally posted by paradisefound View Post
          I'm having a particularly bad night and it is frustrating to me b/c my diet has been great. I was sooo hoping that getting rid of the crap in my diet would make a difference.

          Unfortunately it is not my place to say anything, so I keep my mouth shut, but it is very hard sometimes and makes me sad.
          And that makes you feel stressed (probably chronically) and raises cortisol - this does not help with depression. Perhaps you should investigate a way you can share your knowledge with these families or look at another way of earning your living for your own mental health :-( - go see the Play thread and watch the link (26 minutes) - absolutely brilliant and he suggests we all think back to our play as children and what made us happy and work with that emotion forwards (apparently many people who do this work end up changing their careers).
          Seeking the natural way in a modern world ...

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          • #65
            First of all I just wanted to express my heartfelt gratitude to everyone who has contributed to this thread.

            I haven't had much time for posting the past few days having spent most of it with my friend. He has been under an inordinately high stress level recently due to work pressures plus the terminal illness of his father with Parkinson's disease. A few days ago he got a call from his brother in Seattle saying that their father had passed away. So, as you can imagine, the past few days have been pretty rough.

            I convinced him to come stay with me for a few days and have been filling him up with good primal foods, getting him up and out for lots of walks in the sunshine and keeping him away from his soda jones and, most importantly, just trying to be there. He is now making arrangement to fly home for the memorial service and I am very hopeful that things are looking up for him. I am not under any illusions that this is a quick fix solution but it is definitely progress in the right direction.

            Again, my thanks to you all.

            Robin

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            • #66
              Robin-
              I'm sure I don't need to tell you this, but I will anyways.
              This is a very... delicate, I guess the word is, time for him. Things are so far gone from normal and so far removed from everything he knows that he may pull back to what he does know: depression. I speak from experience. It becomes a game of "the devil you know and dislike vs. the devil you don't know and don't like." It's a very stressful time for him (obviously you've seen this) and stress brings out the old habits, old ways of thinknig in all of us. I would say that what you're doing is definitely on the right track but with a caveat: he'll likely be further back into his depression shell when he gets back from the memorial service. DO NOT DRAG HIM OUT. Coax him and encourage him, but if you drag him out, it's likely to create rubber band effect: he snap right back to where he was and may go further the instant you think he's "safe." You'll have also broken a link that you've worked so hard to forge. Speaking as both the depressive and the rescuer, do not force him out. Coax him, encourage him, let him think and talk, essentially do what you're doing now, and it'll work out for him. Crowbar him out of his depression shell and the boomerang effect can have some nasty effects.


              (All that aside, if I'm full of shit in this particular case, use what works.)
              Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, steak in one hand, chocolate in the other, yelling "Holy F***, What a Ride!"
              My Latest Journal

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              • #67
                Thank you NK

                Yes, it is a delicate balance between coaxing and dragging. I will work on staying with the former. Thankfully, he and I have a very good communicating bond where he can gently tell me to back off if I'm pushing too hard. A couple of days ago, I just about dragged him off the couch to go out for a walk. He bitched and moaned about it but then thanked me for my persistence later and said that the fresh air and sunshine had done him a world of good. It's hard to know where that line is but, if you can really talk with each other, you might be able to fuddle through.

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                • #68
                  Originally posted by Paleobird View Post
                  Thank you NK

                  Yes, it is a delicate balance between coaxing and dragging. I will work on staying with the former. Thankfully, he and I have a very good communicating bond where he can gently tell me to back off if I'm pushing too hard. A couple of days ago, I just about dragged him off the couch to go out for a walk. He bitched and moaned about it but then thanked me for my persistence later and said that the fresh air and sunshine had done him a world of good. It's hard to know where that line is but, if you can really talk with each other, you might be able to fuddle through.
                  I think you are doing just fine, and I wondered if your abscence from here was for this reason. Another thing about this kind of life-changing moment (death of a parent) is that it can be the motivation/trigger for life reassessment and then renewal, it doesn't have to be sinking back - especially if there is a person around to be supportive and who follows a different kind of lifestyle, it just depends on the individual. You are 'being there' for him at this pivotal moment - I do think these things happen for a reason - you are armed here with lots of positive experiences now from many of us who have had a range of experience within mental health dysfunction, hopefully you can yourself feel supported as you support him.
                  Seeking the natural way in a modern world ...

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                  • #69
                    There is a similar thread going over at Art De Vany's Evolutionary Fitness (where I'm a member). He posted this comment yesterday which I think is quite brilliant at giving a pure physiological explanation of anxiety. I hope he doesn't mind me reproducing it here.

                    "Art De Vany


                    Anxiety is something the brain does to protect it (you, they may be different, depending on the brain module that is active). One reason the brain induces anxiety is its lack of nutrition, specifically glucose. One of the great strange loops in brain nutrition is that ingesting lots of carbs makes the brain/blood barrier resistant to the passage of insulin. What happens then is that the brain cells can't take in the glucose they need; it becomes an insulin resistant, pre-diabetic brain.

                    EF helps to shift the brain toward ketones and lactate and restores insulin sensitivity. The exercise releases lactate which the brain and heart thrive on. The diet and the exercise, with IF, turn you into a fat burner and that gives your brain ketones to use.

                    Once the brain becomes a fuel-switching hybrid, it no longer signals stress and anxiety.


                    Posted: 28 Mar 2011 09:23"
                    Seeking the natural way in a modern world ...

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                    • #70
                      Kelda, you make a valid point. I hope that's the direction this guy does. At any rate, he's damn lucky to have Robin on his side.
                      Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, steak in one hand, chocolate in the other, yelling "Holy F***, What a Ride!"
                      My Latest Journal

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                      • #71
                        I currently suffer from bulimia - binging and purging, and even after just a few days of pretty strict paleo, I feel less tempted to binge, feel way less cravings etc. I hope it isn't just in the beginning I'll feel this effect, but I guess time will show.

                        Oh, and I', also very prone to depression.

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                        • #72
                          Thank you for sharing your story Bissen. My sister nearly died of bulimia about 25 years ago. Now she is married, a little overweight but nobody cares about that, they just care that she is happy and healthy. I just tell you this to show that there can be lots of life beyond such afflictions. I hope that you find your way there and that the PB can help.

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                          • #73
                            I want to echo some things other people have said and also suggest one new thing - for getting off the soda, have you thought of kombucha? I make mine with decaf tea if you don't mind the "processing" at least it wouldn't have the caffeine (if you think that's a concern). Anyway, I love kombucha and it has not only the carbonation but kind of a sharp bite (depending how long you let it go!). I was never a huge soda drinker but got hooked on seltzer / club soda long before going primal (or Paleo 2.0 as PaNu recently coined). Now I also really like kombucha (plus I am a cheapskate so being able to make it myself is key!).

                            I've also made homemade ginger ale, which I let go for a loooooong time until it isn't sweet. (You do have to be careful of the carbonation so it doesn't explode - I divide and add water until it gets unsweet enough for me.)

                            With respect to primal, I've said many times that I will stick with this forever regardless of body recomposition because of the difference it has made for me in sleep and mental attitude. I believe this is one of the great assets of Mark's take on the relationship between long-term chronic stress and the SAD unhealthy state. To be honest I was not a huge grain/carb eater before taking on the primal approach, but taking fish oil (well, nowadays I tend to eat sardines) and focusing on good sleep and stress reduction has totally turned my world around.

                            Another note I don't remember if anyone else has mentioned: I discovered over the winter that for me, low-fat is absolutely depressing. Since this friend of yours doesn't have a weight problem, I would suggest adding good healthy fats into his diet, especially of course if you can get him to cut back on the grains.

                            You are doing a good thing. Keep us posted.
                            Last edited by beachrat; 04-01-2011, 04:48 AM.
                            "If man made it, don't eat it." ..Jack LaLanne
                            "It doesn't matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn't matter how smart you are.
                            If it doesn't agree with experiment, it's wrong." ..Richard Feynman

                            beachrat's new primal journal

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                            • #74
                              I have not had problems with depression my whole life like some people in this thread, but I get depressed and anxious due to challenges in my life. I had PTSD after a death threat. I'm a stepmother and have had a lot of difficulties with my adult stepchildren, which has been very depressing at times.

                              I have found that changing my diet to a primal one has helped somewhat. It helps me deal with real dangers and real problems with more focus and resolve, and less confusion and despair. I think my thinking and speaking are clearer, which helps me communicate better with other people about how things need to change.

                              I guess I"m saying that sometimes in life there are truly bad situations that anybody would be depressed about. Sometimes it's rational to be depressed and "anxious" or worried about the future. I am worried about the future of our planet and our country. Sometimes it gets me down, but having a better diet definitely helps people bounce back quicker and respond more intelligently to challenging situations.

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                              • #75
                                I know I'm jumpin in 8 pages late... but personally my depression has completely gone away after paleo/primal. Not sure if it's the confidence of looking good now or if it's chemical but i have no depression anymore.
                                March 1st 2010: 308lbs | CW: 219lbs / 18.5%BF | New Goal: 16% BF
                                Male. 28. 6'4''. Currently working on them muscles and strength!

                                "My chest hair caught fire when I was fighting a bear with a flamethrower, how do I get my hair back? - Rivvin

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