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Thread: Is Poor Diet the Cause of Depression, Addiction, etc.? page

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    squeally dan's Avatar
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    Is Poor Diet the Cause of Depression, Addiction, etc.?

    Primal Fuel
    Recently read a very interesting (to me) book: Addiction: The Hidden Epidemic, and got to interview the author.



    She is basically reports how some folks are having lots of good results treating addictions, depression, and other mood disorders with diet and when needed, supplements.



    Seems like these diseases have increased over the past years as our diets have also gotten crappier. Makes sense to me.



    Thought I would post the interview for discussion since there always seems to be lots of health-minded people here. Let me know what you think. We are going to keep doing these interviews if people are interested in them.

    Hunting For Health: Hunting For Health #14: Pam Killeen, Author of Addiction, The Hidden Epidemic

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    Love this subject; I enjoyed Dr Schreiber's book Instinct to Heal, which really enlightened me about the benefits of Omega 3 and how the diminishing amount in our "civilized" diet has led to increased depression.

    It was of course sad when he did pass from a recurrence of his brain cancer. But I think he was on the same track that many of us here are; eat to live, eat to thrive. Here is a link to his bio upon passing.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/30/wo.../30servan.html

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    Speaking from experience: I had bouts of deep depression (seriously considered suicide on more than one occasion) starting in my early teens. I was on an off medication from my early 20's (always stopped taking them due to side effects). Started experimenting with Primal back in late 2010. Got serious with Primal in early 2011 and the depression has completely gone away.

    Prior to Primal I was definitely a sugar addict who desperately tried to follow a "conventional wisdom" healthy diet (with 4-10 week long binges consisting of horrible sugar laden junk food)
    "You have succeeded in life when all you really want is only what you really need." ~ Vernon Howard

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    Ill chime in and say YES, it's very much linked to diet! I'm glad it's becoming more common knowledge.

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    Personally I think the biggest problem with depression in modern society is that folks spend way too much time inside their own heads. Used to be you were occupied all day with the day-to-day tasks of living and supporting yourself and your family. Western society nowadays just has way too much time to dwell on things.

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    speaking from my own experience....primal/paleo didnt improve my depression...
    ive struggled with it on and off for years..and it doesnt matter how well I eat (im pretty strict)..only medication really helps...

    I just think some people will have to take medication regardless..and at 35 years old, ive finally accepted that is just the way it is for me..

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dig62 View Post
    Personally I think the biggest problem with depression in modern society is that folks spend way too much time inside their own heads. Used to be you were occupied all day with the day-to-day tasks of living and supporting yourself and your family. Western society nowadays just has way too much time to dwell on things.
    +1
    Exercise and meditation are proven to work as well as normal dosages (obviously just a general rule). In fact, I've often observed that the mental benefits of exercise far outweigh the physical.

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    dianejaquay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JVib View Post
    Speaking from experience: I had bouts of deep depression (seriously considered suicide on more than one occasion) starting in my early teens. I was on an off medication from my early 20's (always stopped taking them due to side effects). Started experimenting with Primal back in late 2010. Got serious with Primal in early 2011 and the depression has completely gone away.

    Prior to Primal I was definitely a sugar addict who desperately tried to follow a "conventional wisdom" healthy diet (with 4-10 week long binges consisting of horrible sugar laden junk food)
    I could have written this post myself, I've had the exact same experiences with depression as you. I was told by doctors I'd probably never be able to come off of depression medication, and believe me, as much as I suffered I wouldn't have wanted to. Until I started on a strict primal diet that is. I've been lowering my dosage of medication over the past few months, I'm down to a very minimal amount now, and hope to try eliminating it at the next doctor visit. I've been shocked and amazed at how much my diet (and my addiction to sugar and grains), was affecting my depression. I had always bought into the idea that it was a chemical imbalance in my brain (which it might have been, but little did I know the food was causing that imbalance!!) I have NO cravings anymore either, whereas before primal my cravings definitely controlled my life.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dianejaquay View Post
    I could have written this post myself, I've had the exact same experiences with depression as you. I was told by doctors I'd probably never be able to come off of depression medication, and believe me, as much as I suffered I wouldn't have wanted to. Until I started on a strict primal diet that is. I've been lowering my dosage of medication over the past few months, I'm down to a very minimal amount now, and hope to try eliminating it at the next doctor visit. I've been shocked and amazed at how much my diet (and my addiction to sugar and grains), was affecting my depression. I had always bought into the idea that it was a chemical imbalance in my brain (which it might have been, but little did I know the food was causing that imbalance!!) I have NO cravings anymore either, whereas before primal my cravings definitely controlled my life.
    Bad diet is an exacerbator but often not the root cause.
    F 5 ft 3. HW: 196 lbs. Primal SW (May 2011): 182 lbs (42% BF)... W June '12: 160 lbs (29% BF) (UK size 12, US size 8). GW: ~24% BF - have ditched the scales til I fit into a pair of UK size 10 bootcut jeans. Currently aligning towards 'The Perfect Health Diet' having swapped some fat for potatoes.

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    Just listened to that podcast this morning, and it was pretty interesting.

    Yeah, I think it has a lot to do with it, though it may not be the total fix for everyone. I know my ADHD is much more under control when I'm eating better, and I'm a lot more motivated to do projects that I've been putting off, so diet definitely impacts brain chemistry.

    I really only personally know about alcohol. My ex was an alcoholic, and he ate a ton of sugar. Probably malnourished as well, though he was overweight. Most of the alcoholics I've known were constantly eating sugar/carbs and had the belly to prove it.

    I also think there is some genetic component as well. It seemed to run in families (though) that could be environment, and I remember the way the alcoholics' bodies handled the alcohol was different from those that weren't. So in my thinking, it's a little of both.
    My sorely neglected blog - http://ThatWriterBroad.com

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