I wish to hear your stories about how eating clean changed your mental health.
For example, I feel much more relaxed and in control, no mood swings.
It's much easier to listen to my body and give it what it needs..
I want to hear you, so don't be shy.
On message boards like these, I tend to "lurk"; to read and read but not post a lot. While I feel that mental health is fundamentally rooted in physical health, I have noticed that a lot of people on the paleo path have taken a more proactive approach to controlling their lives through diet (many for the first time). That simple act of taking control of their lives seems to yield big confidence gains. And when you're confident, the world is your oyster.
I'm hypochondriac, I used to be depressed all the time. Since I started eating primal I still get depressed out of health worries but only in short "shocks" during the day.
Hoo boy. Where do I start.
I was never actually diagnosed with anything save for weird teenage hormones. They were pretty bad, though. I had been oddly anxious and mildly depressed for a while, which all cumulated one day when I suddenly had my first anxiety attack. My field of vision started to become much... darker, as if I was looking at the world through a black, see-through fabric, on which strange, morbid film clips were projected. I started hearing screams, inhuman, primal ones, and they became very frequent for me. During the worst times, I heard them every day. (They were not of the 'pretent-do-be-dying' screams you'll hear in horror movies, either. In fact, I wish I could've recorded them. I would've made a fortune selling them them to whatever company is behind Silent Hill.) I begun to see things, too. I was able to discern that they were not real, but they were never the less not particularly pleasant. Burning buildings and burning [I]people[/I] were very frequent. I was also an insomniac, and couldn't sleep no matter how tired I became. On the odd nights that I did get proper sleep, I usually had nightmares or very strange, incoherent and random dreams that didn't make sense.
To be frank with you, I haven't been completely consistent with my diet. I still get the anxy, 'I've got to move around like crazy/run away from something RIGHT NOW' feeling when I cheat too much. I get paranoid and afraid of things I've thought up in my head whenever it's dark, and it is real enough for me to be unashamed to say that, at age 18, I've actually bought myself a lava lamp nightlight :P
On the whole, though... Well, while I don't feel completely satisfied with my life and my mental health, I'm still alive, which was more that I thought I would be at some points in the past. I don't see things anymore. I very rarely hear the screams, and they're not so loud. I'm not chronically depressed, and I don't feel like I'm walking around in a memory of a dream that may or may not be real. I get sleep, and I've (almost) regained my own ability to feel genuinely [I]happy[/I]. I've dropped several of my 'ticks', such as involuntarily twisting my hands and my head at random times. In short, I just feel that there might be some hope of not feeling like a wreck all the effing time :D
I also enjoy the satisfaction of getting out of all that. Before, whenever I saw any improvements, I simply registered it. When I started eating primal, aside from the obvious effects mentioned above, hope and the knowledge of progress actually became a pleasant, grateful feeling.
Reindeer, that is wonderful news and may you continue to find improvement.
For me, much less dramatic but still worthwhile - I just feel calmer and less stressed, especially around the time just before my period.
My anxiety and depression are gone. My social anxiety is gone. I can make a phone call withouthaving heart palpitations. I am calm and gentle with my children (most of the time!). I now have motivation to get things done like scrap booking, sewing, and mowing the lawn while before I would just wallow in the fact that I couldn't get things done. When I backslide, all that crap falls back on me like a ton of bricks and I become useless, angry, lazy, and anxious. Paleo has literally changed my mental health completely.
I no longer take Effexor and Lamictal to control my depression. If I eat what I know what works, my mood is fine. However, if I think I'm invincible and eat whatever I want, my mood plummets, and I can relate it all specifically to about an hour into the digestive process. There's a fascinating connection between gut integrity and mental health, I feel, and I hope it will be described in greater detail in the scientific literature in the coming years.
Of course, the connection may not be all that interesting. My gut problem rendered my B12, folate and testosterone virtually non-existent, so that alone could account for my depression.
Unfortunately, I can never know exactly how much of my current situation I can blame on my seven years of psychiatric experimentation, everything from Zoloft to Lithium...
Unfortunately, I can never know exactly how much of my current situation I can blame on my seven years of psychiatric experimentation, everything from Zoloft to Lithium...[/QUOTE]
I've used to be sad about my lost years as well.. But when I think about how well I feel now, it goes away.
The feeling of being in control over my food intake has boosted my self esteem, coupled with positive body composition improvements. I'm still on anti depressants and will stay on them for now, but i do feel a lot better than i did. I feel like i am looking after my body properly by not filling it with crappy food and that makes me feel in control and positive.
I was diagnosed with clinical depression and generalized anxiety at the age of 15. I was on and off SSRI's like Prozac and Lexapro from ages 15-23. I never liked the side effects I had on them. I always felt like my personality was being masked. Since going primal, I've found that my moods are overall much better and more stable, but I still need help from a dose of Tryptophan from time to time. I also very rarely experience anxiety now.