4

votes

Are psychologists needed?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created June 04, 2012 at 1:59 AM

Hi, I'm currently reading about and hoping to implement a paleo diet/lifestyle for mental health benefits. I understand that many people have healed themselves of their Mental disorders and those who are healthy claim they can handle stress/life better. But I wanted to know if paleo would put counselors out of business. Just how stable is someone on a paleo diet? Is a person no longer sensitive? What's it like? I ask because I've been battling clinical depression for years and do not know what to expect. I also want to know if applying to grad school to study mental health counseling is necessary?

5af4bc9d2c390b0bcad9524f149c1b4f

(1101)

on June 05, 2012
at 03:35 AM

Oh God, how dare I forget those two. Especially sunlight/vitamin D, being from the PNW after all, hehe!!!

Cdc21bedc8c5ff5c90a9dc0ea117208b

on June 04, 2012
at 10:14 PM

Int that case, I have to say, good for you for figuring out what to do to make you feel better, and take care of yourself. I suppose I misunderstood the question a bit, I'm sorry about that. I still think a lot of people would do well to see a counselor if they have problems. I feel that counseling is still necessary, for some people, despite ignoring the physical, but I agree it would be more effective if it took advantage of this instead. However, since you have found what works for you, then... keep doing it!

A115b8aa3c375f10d5bde0c0d06b6143

(865)

on June 04, 2012
at 07:47 PM

So true. Generally speaking, a holistic approach is always better.

76d3c543f8cbedb5a6f2ad1b49c3c733

(71)

on June 04, 2012
at 07:22 PM

No that's it I just want to make sure I'm making the right decision. Thanks

76d3c543f8cbedb5a6f2ad1b49c3c733

(71)

on June 04, 2012
at 07:19 PM

Thank you for your Prompt responses everyone :) I guess I've just developed a distrust for the psychology field because of personal experience and because it doesn't address the physiological component through the right diet.But I can see that it is still needed to cope with everyday problems. Thanks again :)

76d3c543f8cbedb5a6f2ad1b49c3c733

(71)

on June 04, 2012
at 07:15 PM

Thanks but I've seen many counselors. I didn't start feeling better until I adopted some Paleo practices. Before hat, no amount of therapy helped because my root cause was physiological and not cognitive. I just wanted a survey because I feel as though many of the treatments in counseling are Ineffective and unnecessary because it ignores the physiological component

F9638b939a6f85d67f60065677193cad

(4266)

on June 04, 2012
at 03:40 PM

Actually I would say the opposite is also true. The diet can really help with clinical depression, that is, with depression that has a biochemical reason. Counseling is great for those errors in judgment that cause depression or for getting through tough periods in life and I can't see diet alone being able to do that.

870fdea50f2a9f1cd2890c8e22549300

(2056)

on June 04, 2012
at 12:42 PM

And for MILD depression I'd throw in exercise and sunlight. But I agree with your major point entirely.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on June 04, 2012
at 11:33 AM

+1 because this question has led to so many great answers.

31381cfeb5d6da6fc75f80ab68e041ea

(560)

on June 04, 2012
at 11:30 AM

and ps - don't ever, ever give up! there is ALWAYS hope. email me if you need to, please! good luck sweet one.

31381cfeb5d6da6fc75f80ab68e041ea

(560)

on June 04, 2012
at 11:23 AM

the question was a good one. no need to be harsh.

A4216f1b1e1f5ab3815bd91700905081

(1646)

on June 04, 2012
at 04:33 AM

Really, don't screw with depression. Counseling in addition to dietary changes might work, or some combination of medication, counseling and food could. Depression is a harsh mantle; try conventional means with the diet first, then move towards dietary remedies if it feels wise.

A4216f1b1e1f5ab3815bd91700905081

(1646)

on June 04, 2012
at 04:29 AM

Diet may fix everything, but likely not. I agree: take every opportunity as you can. Diet is not exclusive of everything else.

E8dd83fe24a0879d8b16ab4ca92b72dd

(1307)

on June 04, 2012
at 03:09 AM

In all seriousness though, psychologists are fine. Psychiatrists are more often the problem. Far too often, I've seen friends and family members written off with pen and pad as opposed to receiving actual counseling. Not every damn kid has ADD, ADHD, or whatever the latest medical term for "normal four year old" is these days. It's like that South Park episode with the guy reading from *The Great Gatsby*.

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18 Answers

17
Ae8946707ddebf0f0bfbcfc63276d823

(9402)

on June 04, 2012
at 02:04 AM

I think that's a bit of a stretch. Diet may be one factor in mental illness, but it is one of many.

A4216f1b1e1f5ab3815bd91700905081

(1646)

on June 04, 2012
at 04:29 AM

Diet may fix everything, but likely not. I agree: take every opportunity as you can. Diet is not exclusive of everything else.

12
9af2c2c49634ea6caea14af9e1431b82

on June 04, 2012
at 02:24 AM

Jesus this is an awful idea.

Has Paleo anecdotally helped my mental health? definitely. Would I ever suggest that psychologists are obsolete? God no.

That is ball-ridiculously irresponsible.

Being someone who has been absolutely dependent on therapy and counseling, I wouldn't imagine taking away that resource, or suggesting that paleo is a blanket replacement. Diet and exercise isn't the only factor in mental health, and it's hard to express how much of detriment this kind of thinking is to people who would be in danger without these systems.

Do I think Paleo is a helpful method to good health? Yes. But it is not a cure-all.

31381cfeb5d6da6fc75f80ab68e041ea

(560)

on June 04, 2012
at 11:23 AM

the question was a good one. no need to be harsh.

4
Cdc21bedc8c5ff5c90a9dc0ea117208b

on September 07, 2013
at 12:44 AM

From what you said it sounds like you're scared, and you really want to make a change to help yourself to not feel so bad. I think it's a good idea to change your diet, I know I felt much less depressed and anxious after eliminating grains and sugars and adding fats, but it could be different for you, or, changing your diet might have no effect.

Either way, suffering from clinical depression, you really should be seeing a psychologist, as they are trained to help you deal with your issues. Diet and exercise might, or might not help, but having someone to talk to, who's trained to recognize the symptoms of your illness and knows how to treat it, is very important for you to recover.

I doubt that counselors will be put out of business because of people eating a paleo diet. People will always have issues that healthy living (diet, exercise, and stress management) cannot solve, and that they need help to cope with. There is, I believe, a difference in the process of thinking and mood regulation for people with depression or other mental illnesses, that can be helped with lifestyle changes, but not erased. Counselors are supposed to help people with mental illnesses learn how to manage their lives in spite of their problems. Again, lifestyle changes may help regulate these problems, but they will not teach you how to deal with the underlying issues, which is necessary for being able to live your life fully.

How stable someone is on a paleo diet depends on the person. For example, I am rapid-cycling bi-polar. I am much more stable eating a paleo diet than I was eating SAD, with less depression, no thoughts of suicide or harming myself, and much less anxiety, but I am NOWHERE NEAR 'normal' as far as my mood swings go. Without other changes I have made in my life to help manage my stress, anxiety, self-destructive and suicidal impulses, I would probably still have to consciously battle those parts of myself, despite the increase in stability.

As for sensitivity, some people are just more sensitive than others. You can read about communication improvement techniques, or ask your counselor for help with that, to make sure you are not taking someone's words in a way they do not intend. You'll still be sensitive, I know I still am, because I am still insecure. So I have to remind myself that this is my problem, and that whatever I am reacting to has not been said to intentionally harm me. Also, if you can improve the way you communicate with people, you might find that they say less hurtful things, even unintentionally.

If you want to study mental health counseling, then go for it. But, it would be good for you to know exactly why you want to study it. If it's because you want to help yourself, I'm sure it would help, but, again, you really should see a counselor, because it's very difficult for us to be objective with ourselves. If it's due to a genuine desire to help others in a situation similar to yours, then I think that's very admirable, but you need to make sure you take care of yourself, first, or you'll find it very difficult to help anyone else, and you might even do some damage to them.

Finally, I didn't see anything wrong with this question, though I can understand why other people might. I'm glad it was asked. I know, a lot of the time, when I am depressed, it feels like I could just 'cure' myself, if I can change something that's bothering me. But it turns out whatever I think I need to change is not the real problem, I am. Again, this is why you need a counselor to help you.

76d3c543f8cbedb5a6f2ad1b49c3c733

(71)

on June 04, 2012
at 07:15 PM

Thanks but I've seen many counselors. I didn't start feeling better until I adopted some Paleo practices. Before hat, no amount of therapy helped because my root cause was physiological and not cognitive. I just wanted a survey because I feel as though many of the treatments in counseling are Ineffective and unnecessary because it ignores the physiological component

Cdc21bedc8c5ff5c90a9dc0ea117208b

on June 04, 2012
at 10:14 PM

Int that case, I have to say, good for you for figuring out what to do to make you feel better, and take care of yourself. I suppose I misunderstood the question a bit, I'm sorry about that. I still think a lot of people would do well to see a counselor if they have problems. I feel that counseling is still necessary, for some people, despite ignoring the physical, but I agree it would be more effective if it took advantage of this instead. However, since you have found what works for you, then... keep doing it!

4
8508fec4bae4a580d1e1b807058fee8e

on September 07, 2013
at 12:44 AM

It depends on the severity of mental illness! Even Paleo docs know if someone is suicidal they're not going to say hey take some fish oil and go Paleo, and tomorrow you'll feel 100% better!

Paleo is not a panacea -that's a naive view. Some conditions require surgery, drugs, and/or counseling. Ex: Appendicitis, OCD, etc. Paleo just makes the process smoother and makes it easier to return to normal but some people may never return to normal.

Nobody should go cold turkey off meds - they should slowly wean off and cut their dosage under supervision while their health improves (if it does under Paleo)!

4
A4216f1b1e1f5ab3815bd91700905081

on June 04, 2012
at 02:34 AM

Wow... Ok, so while there's n=1 evidence that diet might help with depression, it's hardly a cure-all. Eating paleo/primal will most likely help you to feel better, but it most likely will not help with clinical depression.

Best advice? If you can go for a paleo/primal diet, then by all means, do it! But make sure you do what you need to to maintain a healthy attitude. Get the help you might need and, if it's not necessary after a few months, so much the better.

Don't roll dice with depression.

F9638b939a6f85d67f60065677193cad

(4266)

on June 04, 2012
at 03:40 PM

Actually I would say the opposite is also true. The diet can really help with clinical depression, that is, with depression that has a biochemical reason. Counseling is great for those errors in judgment that cause depression or for getting through tough periods in life and I can't see diet alone being able to do that.

4
F15e0bae42dbf0b8cfc71e62902497b4

on June 04, 2012
at 02:32 AM

honestly, if you're even considering this as a factor in your decision, you probably don't really want to be a counselor.

76d3c543f8cbedb5a6f2ad1b49c3c733

(71)

on June 04, 2012
at 07:22 PM

No that's it I just want to make sure I'm making the right decision. Thanks

3
1e443a3241f80129faa05125ce346e47

(734)

on June 04, 2012
at 10:51 AM

This is a tendency I see many, many times when dealing with illnesses. People want to reduce everything to one single cause, and then have their own eureka moment. It's almost always based on anecdotal evidence (this diet/supplement saved my life!). People have a strong tendency to want to reduce everything to one single principle and deduce everything from there, but that simply doesn't work. Diet is needed, psychologists are needed too. It's as simple as that.

A115b8aa3c375f10d5bde0c0d06b6143

(865)

on June 04, 2012
at 07:47 PM

So true. Generally speaking, a holistic approach is always better.

3
Da2c728c093488e4f2ea87b81619682f

on June 04, 2012
at 07:11 AM

For me personally, I see going paleo as taking medication, but with counselling still definitely needed. And that's only once most of the effects of paleo nutrition have "kicked in" and have started to heal my brain and body.

It helps, but it doesn't help the psychological problems concerning deeply ingrained thought patterns & behaviours and other habits that keep me mentally and emotionally unstable. For those kinds of things, you definitely would benefit from some kind of psychological counselling.

Maybe it's like if you're thrashing in the ocean and no boat in sight, then paleo would be what gives you the strength and health to swim and stay above the surface. However if you don't have some kind of psychological counselling, you may just thrash around forever, or start swimming towards a teem of sharks, or do some other unhealthy thing and never really get out of the water. You may, or you may not get out on your own.

So I think psychologists and counselours will always be needed.

3
A980a13555ef30d83a0da52761606039

on June 04, 2012
at 02:16 AM

The progress to transitioning mental illness therapy to a paleo diet is extremely slow. It may never happen because there is simply no money in it. Go ahead and become a counselor. Put all of your patients on a paleo diet with some targeted supplements and you'll have an amazingly successful career.

2
E8dd83fe24a0879d8b16ab4ca92b72dd

(1307)

on June 04, 2012
at 03:08 AM

There's been quite a few studies done on nutrition, sleep, and exercise on a person's mental well-being, but if my wife leaves me, I get fired from my job, and my dog gets run over by my sixteen year old kid coked out of his mind, eating bacon isn't going to make me reconsider putting a grain-free bullet between my eyes.

E8dd83fe24a0879d8b16ab4ca92b72dd

(1307)

on June 04, 2012
at 03:09 AM

In all seriousness though, psychologists are fine. Psychiatrists are more often the problem. Far too often, I've seen friends and family members written off with pen and pad as opposed to receiving actual counseling. Not every damn kid has ADD, ADHD, or whatever the latest medical term for "normal four year old" is these days. It's like that South Park episode with the guy reading from *The Great Gatsby*.

1
31381cfeb5d6da6fc75f80ab68e041ea

(560)

on June 04, 2012
at 11:28 AM

for me, no amount of dietary changes could erase the challenges i had been through in my life, and believe me, i tried (raw veganism, fruititarian, ZC, etc.). not all depression is hormone balance/mentally induced.... some of it can stem from a lifetime of challenging memories/experiences that have left you at a loss for how to move on. that is why a real person is necessary... to help you remember what you are living for. i am a million times healthier mentally and physically after counseling and plugging into church. do what you can to help yourself learn new patterns and establish hope for your LIFE.

31381cfeb5d6da6fc75f80ab68e041ea

(560)

on June 04, 2012
at 11:30 AM

and ps - don't ever, ever give up! there is ALWAYS hope. email me if you need to, please! good luck sweet one.

1
1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on June 04, 2012
at 02:26 AM

Exercise and diet could help to some extent. Not everything though...

0
7bf306ada57db47547e9da39a415edf6

(11214)

on June 04, 2012
at 06:50 PM

Look, the big bad standard American diet replaced traditional, more ancestral diets. Psychology replaced traditional, more ancestral religions. In some cases, psychology is actually going to be helpful because a lot of people are just too detached from anything ancestral, but it is helpful to realize that it operates under plenty neolithic/modern assumptions.

0
5af4bc9d2c390b0bcad9524f149c1b4f

(1101)

on June 04, 2012
at 06:09 AM

Well my self-esteem has certainly improved since losing weight and feeling the "mental fog" go away, but I seriously doubt diet can single-handedly cure severe mental illness such as schizophrenia, bipolar, psychosis, gender identity disorder, severe depression, etc.

It may certainly help in some aspects (and I'd certainly fix diet over taking an anti-depressant for MILD depression), but with major issues, people need the support and guidance of a psychologist.

870fdea50f2a9f1cd2890c8e22549300

(2056)

on June 04, 2012
at 12:42 PM

And for MILD depression I'd throw in exercise and sunlight. But I agree with your major point entirely.

5af4bc9d2c390b0bcad9524f149c1b4f

(1101)

on June 05, 2012
at 03:35 AM

Oh God, how dare I forget those two. Especially sunlight/vitamin D, being from the PNW after all, hehe!!!

0
D45e43b08cd99a04f5d4294a871e1078

(1010)

on June 04, 2012
at 05:43 AM

Paleo, diet, food, rest, sleep, sex, fun = actually recovering your body and self

Diagnosis, doctors, shrinks, drugs, formalities = helps you live in society with a mental illness

0
Ba20b502cf02b5513ea8c4bb2740d8cb

on June 04, 2012
at 05:27 AM

I would be curious for you to list a typical day pre "paleo" of what you would be putting into your body.

0
370887362af83a394c5ab0ce9edab04a

on June 04, 2012
at 04:18 AM

It might put ineffective psychologists out of business, and give effective psychologists more business.

0
Fb1acc37c066271cd4addf494f02861e

on June 04, 2012
at 02:46 AM

clearly, the diet did not improve or worsen mine

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