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  1. #11
    Kelda's Avatar
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    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 at 08:39 AM.
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  2. #12
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    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

  3. #13
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    Quote 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.
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  4. #14
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    EFT is a great self-help tool that has cleared depression for a lot of folks.

  5. #15
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    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 at 09:56 AM.
    "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food." -- Hippocrates

  6. #16
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    You may want to check out this site. The fundamental thing to remember is the path to health points in the direction of fat metabolism.

  7. #17
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    I went through a period of depression about 13 years ago. I was already in counceling for marriage problems and felt rather friendless (still do not really have close friends). Talking about it with my therapist helped immensley. I never went on any kind of meds for it. It just sort of resolved itself after a period of time. I'm no longer in therapy and still have some periods of depression and I find being outside in sunshine helps a lot, but as someone also said, exercise does raise my mood too.

  8. #18
    Kelda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TigerLily View Post
    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.

    .
    That's a lot! Many of the links I found on line talked of higher doses being over 100 mg and side effects. I think I might buy the book and read the full SP! I'm very loathed to supplement at all so taking that amount worries me a tad to be honest. How quickly did you notice a difference and have you had any side effects? Thanks for your reply :-)
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  9. #19
    Kelda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by js290 View Post
    You may want to check out this site. The fundamental thing to remember is the path to health points in the direction of fat metabolism.
    AWESOME! Having worked it all out myself from my n=1 experience and a little science understanding to find a psychiatrist confirming it all is excellent. This forum is such an amazing resource.
    Seeking the natural way in a modern world ...

  10. #20
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    Yes, please do read the book. Please don't start taking something as powerful as this just because you heard some good things on a message board.

    I've been on it consistently for approx. 7-8 months now. The only thing I've noticed is very wild dreams if I take it too close to bedtime and nausea if I don't eat. Two of my friends are now on it as well and haven't noticed anything at all after many months -- likely because I warned them about the above.

    edit:
    It's been a while since I began, so I can't recall exactly how long it took to kick in. I want to say two weeks or less.
    Last edited by TigerLily; 02-13-2011 at 01:52 PM.
    "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food." -- Hippocrates

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