I have had the worst depression during times of my life when I have been most thin, and I always got to my thinnest through extreme exercise and calorie restriction, which is automatically low fat. My normal state, whether fat or thin, has always been to teeter on the edge of insanity, just one outburst away from getting another letter in my personnel file. All that has melted away.
Last summer while backpacking with a friend he told me how his wife had joined Food Addicts in Recovery Anonymous. Regular Overeaters Anonymous lets people decide for themselves what abstinence is but FA prescribes a specific diet: no flour from any kind of grain (whole grain is okay, but it has to be truly WHOLE), and no sugar. Meals should always include a generous portion of healthy fat. My friend, who is a big barrel-chested guy puts 1/4 cup of olive oil in every meal.
He told me his wife did FA for a couple years before he did it. Over that time she was able to reduce her prozac to a very minimal dose. She was afraid to stop entirely because of her job. She also lost over 100lbs and no longer would participate in nightly squabbles with my friend. She finally encouraged my friend to go and he said the irritability he always felt melted away. They no longer squabble every night. He no longer needs blood pressure medicine. His wife is retired now and no longer needs prozac.
On our backpacking trip we talked for hours about the incredible changes we both experienced in mood since giving up flour and sugar, him with his FA diet and me with my primal diet. It's a really common occurrence for a lot of people, apparently, but one of the most surprising and least discussed in my opinion.
All these years, I can look back all the way to my teens and earlier, all those crying episodes, all those times I just locked myself in my room with the lights off, all those times I couldn't get out of bed and wanted to die. All because I ate flour, sugar and crappy oils and avoided real food, real meat and real fat. Growing up right when the whole low fat movement started -- I was 15 or so when it came out -- probably had a huge amount to do with it, I'm sure.
Female, 5'3", 49, Starting weight: 163lbs. Current weight: 135 (more or less).
Starting squat: 45lbs. Current squat: 180 x 2. Current Deadlift: 230 x 2