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Thread: Sugar and mental illness page

  1. #1
    LJH's Avatar
    LJH
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    Sugar and mental illness

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    Hello everyone. I'm a new member, floundering around trying to learn all this info on all things primal and just saw this on my favorite permaculture forum. Figured it was a good way to de-lurk:

    http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/...urprising-link

  2. #2
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    Interesting article. (I am rolling my eyes that the link is "surprising" to anyone, of course...

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    sugar and refined carbs have definitely played a sizable role in my (past) depression. I knew it wasn't good, but I don't think I fully realized just how much they compounded all my mood problems. Unfortunately being depressed made me even more addicted to carbs and less likely to plan for healthy meals. Terrible cycle.

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    I am a firm believer that sugar and refined carbs exasperate depression and other mood disorders. I have dealt with depression and bipolar-like symptoms for most of my life and only as of lately as I have gotten older have my moods and way of thinking been very polar.

    Since May of last year I have lost close to 70 or so pounds on a low carb high fat WOE. My moods had fluctuated like normal, but nothing extreme. By Thanksgiving, I came off of my plan and stayed off throughout the holidays I had the "I've lost tons of weight I can cheat" type attitude. During those 8 or so weeks, I dropped into a severe depression, with paranoia, and I truly think that I was teetering on psychosis. I went on drugs to stabilize and when I was doing a little better I started to link my issues with going back to crap eating.

    The beginning of this year, i started back on my high fat plan and I have come off of the meds and I have been COMPLETELY stable for almost 2 months now. Whereas before, I felt like I was on a "diet", I no longer do. This is the physically and mentally most healthy way for me to eat and I will NEVER go back. I have kids, and if I know what makes me crazy, then I owe it to them to not do the things to trigger my Looney Button.

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    Horsewoman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pitter View Post
    sugar and refined carbs have definitely played a sizable role in my (past) depression. I knew it wasn't good, but I don't think I fully realized just how much they compounded all my mood problems. Unfortunately being depressed made me even more addicted to carbs and less likely to plan for healthy meals. Terrible cycle.
    Me too. Even a few days back on it and I am borderline depressed even now.
    Gluten intolerance and hypermobility syndrome http://www.cfids.org/pdf/joint-hypermobility-guide.pdf

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    Eva Lution's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tribe View Post
    I am a firm believer that sugar and refined carbs exasperate depression and other mood disorders. I have dealt with depression and bipolar-like symptoms for most of my life and only as of lately as I have gotten older have my moods and way of thinking been very polar.

    Since May of last year I have lost close to 70 or so pounds on a low carb high fat WOE. My moods had fluctuated like normal, but nothing extreme. By Thanksgiving, I came off of my plan and stayed off throughout the holidays I had the "I've lost tons of weight I can cheat" type attitude. During those 8 or so weeks, I dropped into a severe depression, with paranoia, and I truly think that I was teetering on psychosis. I went on drugs to stabilize and when I was doing a little better I started to link my issues with going back to crap eating.

    The beginning of this year, i started back on my high fat plan and I have come off of the meds and I have been COMPLETELY stable for almost 2 months now. Whereas before, I felt like I was on a "diet", I no longer do. This is the physically and mentally most healthy way for me to eat and I will NEVER go back. I have kids, and if I know what makes me crazy, then I owe it to them to not do the things to trigger my Looney Button.
    Tribe, that's amazing, wonderful that you figured it out...and eerily familiar. I started eating paleo just after the new year. Have battled depression all my life (I'm now 48). This past summer, events triggered a relapse and it was the worst yet--to the point my therapist recently told me I was as low as she sees patients without hospitalizing them. A couple of things happened all at once that may have "saved" me--not the least of which is the change in my diet.

    I was diagnosed with a heart condition that put me on a calcium channel blocker that just happens to be useful for treating female Type 2 bi-polars. And, whoops, I have been misdiagnosed for years and am, guess what? Type 2 bi-polar. So that may (or may not have been helpful). Started the new heart medication about the same time I started eating Paleo.

    My money is on the diet. I stopped all grains and sugars. All refined foods. Started eating meat after a decade of being vegetarian. And really increased the good fats (from less than 30% to more like 45-50%) and protein. And within a couple of weeks (at the most) my depression lifted. In fact, I have been released from the psychiatrist and my therapist (who had referred me to the psychiatrist because I was just that ill) has also said she thinks our time is done. I'm no longer ill.

    I have never felt better. This is the first time in my entire adult life I have not had SAD. It is February. In Indiana. And I feel as good as I have during my best summer.

    Like you, I have made a commitment to my mental health. This way of eating is about staying healthy--mentally and physically. I have made it clear to myself and to my husband that I will do whatever I have to do--eat what I need to eat, exercise when I have to, cut back on work if necessary--to never get that sick again.

    Not to go on and on, but I am a firm believer that sugar and grains are the source of much of the depression "epidemic" in this country. It is something the medical community needs to focus on and stop tossing Prozac, et al to everyone as an easy fix.

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    Horsewoman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eva Lution View Post

    I have never felt better. This is the first time in my entire adult life I have not had SAD. It is February. In Indiana. And I feel as good as I have during my best summer.
    .
    That is encouraging to hear. I use a lightbox but winter is still pretty grim for me.
    Gluten intolerance and hypermobility syndrome http://www.cfids.org/pdf/joint-hypermobility-guide.pdf

    Eat food. Mostly real. Enjoy life.

    Health, energy, wellbeing, vitality, joy, LIFE! Health At Every Size

    "Do not ask what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive."
    Harold Whitman

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    Quote Originally Posted by DianeThePurple View Post
    Interesting article. (I am rolling my eyes that the link is "surprising" to anyone, of course...
    +1. Hands up everyone who's 'surprised'.

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    Just putting in my vote on this one. 30 years of trichotillomania (hair pulling), SAD, and cycles of productivity and lethargy. Tried CBT, SSRI, light therapy, supplementation to some success, but never anything that lasted. 6 months without grains and sugars = Clarity and freedom for me. I got sloppy over the last two months; the pulling urges, acting on the pulling, the fog and ineffectiveness returned.

    The last 5 days I've returned to eating little to no sugar and no grain and am experiencing clarity and energy, no urges to pull my hair and now can manage the physical habit of hair pulling with awareness not white-knuckle willpower.

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    I haven't suffered from severe depression for quite a long time, but I've always been prone to down days or sometimes weeks and considered myself to be a rather negative person, to my regret.

    Yet since starting PB, I've found that my mood has increased noticeably. While I have more energy, I also seem to have gained a sunnier disposition. The turn-around was a little shocking, actually. Furthermore, the two days I've felt more helpful and depressed since changing my eating have been days immediately after I've binged while out with friends. Definitely will encourage me to be careful and not stray too much!

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