6

votes

Brain Fog, any new advice?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created May 11, 2011 at 1:51 PM

This was basically my original post....

I've had symptoms of very negative thoughts and actions, often feel like I'm on drugs when I'm not, and didn't enjoy things that I used to enjoy a lot. The symptoms often came out the most after a sip of alcohol, after exercising, waking in morning/from nap, being around people (even people I"ve known my entire life). I never had these problems before turning 20. They all happened to me relatively quickly and have stayed with me since. I'm 22 now. Paleo has been the biggest help.

I asked if anyone could help me based on the circumstances in which my symptoms seem to come out the most.

7b494127ac67e85e572c5222aaee9b4d

(668)

on May 19, 2011
at 09:10 PM

Check your gmail. (found your address on your blog)

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 19, 2011
at 07:15 PM

Joan can we talk more??

6f2c00fcbf48c69f0ea212239b3e1178

on May 13, 2011
at 05:55 AM

Solid answer. Good insight. HF.

9b1da5c61c41bb93afb668f9ab3bc76a

(422)

on May 13, 2011
at 03:27 AM

exactly! every time i mess up I feel it so bad. I know I'll stop eventually >:C

9dbfedbe21eae2a65093f8774ba8ad4d

(559)

on May 13, 2011
at 02:35 AM

sorry, totally forgot paleohacks doesn't have that. for now, you can reach me at [email protected]

D10ca8d11301c2f4993ac2279ce4b930

(5242)

on May 12, 2011
at 05:25 AM

I had a similar thing happen in college with an ill advised mushroom trip that occurred while sleep deprived. Life goes back to normal.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 12, 2011
at 02:17 AM

I'm with you Anonymous Coward about the benefits of meds compared to the benefits of restricting from eating grains

6f2c00fcbf48c69f0ea212239b3e1178

on May 12, 2011
at 02:04 AM

@Charlie: Disturbing to some people? WTF? Screw those people. That's ridiculous.

B4ec9ce369e43ea83f06ee645169cee0

on May 11, 2011
at 09:06 PM

Charlie... I don't fast to get into ketosis (at least not yet). I just eat under 50 grams of carbs per day and my body does this on its own after a couple days. Normally your brain runs on glucose as a fuel. when you're in ketosis, your brain runs on ketones instead. It will help your brain feel clearer because ketones are like a superfuel and run more efficiently than glucose. But you have to do higher fat to fill in your calories, the medium chain fatty acids will give you better energy during this time.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 11, 2011
at 08:59 PM

Kent - It was very dark, and disturbing according to some viewers. The point is looking for people having success with major depression from whatever they found worked, but not what shoudl work in theory, but what worked in reality

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 11, 2011
at 08:55 PM

...yeah but following the diet is the best you're ever gonna feel.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 11, 2011
at 08:53 PM

How can I PM you?

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 11, 2011
at 08:53 PM

nope. to be honest, about three weeks before it happened I had a crazy night at a music festival where acid, coke, and ecstacy were all consumed but in small amounts, among drinking. I remember the next day after that I felt really bad. But don't remember feeling so bad for the next three weeks when it had hit me hard.

9b1da5c61c41bb93afb668f9ab3bc76a

(422)

on May 11, 2011
at 08:18 PM

Paleo guidelines as far as eating? Yup! I have to say I'm not super strict and I've noticed I'm gaining a bit back so I better buckle down. I've found that losing the weight is really encouraging, but I have to be really careful that I don't beat myself too bad when I backslide or I have a hard time recovering.

07ca188c8dac3a17f629dd87198d2098

(7970)

on May 11, 2011
at 07:42 PM

Kind of bad form to completely change your question after you've already gotten some (very detailed and well-thought) answers. Now those people have egg on their faces for providing answers to questions that don't appear anywhere on the site.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 11, 2011
at 07:37 PM

22, it says on my profile

06d21b99c58283ce575e36c4ecd4a458

(9948)

on May 11, 2011
at 06:04 PM

That is burdock root. And Dr. K who posts here wants his patients to be at 70 to 100ng/mL serum Vit D3

Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on May 11, 2011
at 06:03 PM

um, wow. i wouldnt have been surprised to get a downvote or two, but i definitely didnt expect to be attacked like that from anyone (but with a name like "anonymous coward" i shouldnt have been that surprised, i guess). thanks to the people who understood where i was coming from. charlie, i see you edited your post but i hope you'll still take what i said into consideration. paleo is an amazing, life-changing thing but its just not a panacea.

06d21b99c58283ce575e36c4ecd4a458

(9948)

on May 11, 2011
at 06:02 PM

Start Vit D3 at 10000IU a day for three months then back off to 5000IU per day. Assists in transporting calcium into the bones, assists and activates killer T cells in the body to go out and find and kill invading bacteria and viruses, thus you will have an immune system that will ward off colds and flu...and Vit D3 assists in prevent dental problems, and it helps in mood. http://www.swansonvitamins.com/NWF391/ItemDetail?n=0 I use this product because it uses olive oil as the carrier instead of soybean oil.

06d21b99c58283ce575e36c4ecd4a458

(9948)

on May 11, 2011
at 05:55 PM

You are talking about healing your gut so you can absorb better the nutrients you are eating. A very low carb or zero carb regime will not spike your insulin and will help. You need to eat more fat than you think. Reading your blog, I know you have the basics. You can roam around Dr. Art Ayers blog. He says throughout his blog that gut dysbiosis...non functioning gut flora...can be healed by eating fibrous foods that ferment in the gut...such as burdock roon, chicory, jerusalem articokes, reg artichokes, jicama fresh. http://www.coolinginflammation.blogspot.com Also supplement with Vit D3

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 11, 2011
at 05:53 PM

I agree here. I've been battling severe depression for over a year but recently I've been eating less than 50 carbs/day and it has helped A LOT! I ate a 1/4 potato yesterday and it had a really negative impact on my mood. The alcohol is something I'm cutting out too. I was going overboard on the vino. As for pot, I stopped it for now. I'll enter it back in at some point but I was using it as a sleep aid and it made me feel a bit hungover and foggy in the morning. I basically eat a cup or 2 of low carb veggies, eggs, and meat. I eat 2x's a day and never feel hungry.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 11, 2011
at 05:47 PM

Damn, I can't downvote. But if I could I would. Calling a psycho therapist insane is just mean.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 11, 2011
at 05:46 PM

I'm going WOW too! Coming from a history of depression (at times very severe) there can be great uses to meds as very specifically described by AKD. In the beginning of treatment the meds can lift the fog and allow a person to set themselves on the proper path to treatment w/o the meds. I'm down-voting Anonymous because the response was not constructive at_all.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on May 11, 2011
at 05:10 PM

WOW Anonymous Coward, your response seems out of line to me. AKD was trying to help and I thought her response was well thought out and extremely helpful. Mild depression can be helped though nutritional changes and exercise (mine was) but severe depression can sometimes need additional help from meds or therapy.

7b494127ac67e85e572c5222aaee9b4d

(668)

on May 11, 2011
at 05:07 PM

How old are you now?

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 11, 2011
at 04:51 PM

This all happened suddently when I turned 20. I never had any problems remotely like this before. I did drugs occasionally, but really was a big binge drinker. two years later, a sip of alcohol make my symptoms really bad. But I'd love to hear about your experience because you seem to be doing things that I'm already considering.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 11, 2011
at 04:48 PM

Thanks, I'm considering what you've said already. Are you paleo?

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 11, 2011
at 04:46 PM

Thank you. This looks interesting and I'm sure by reading it I could decide how I would use this info to real life choices of what I eat. But also, what do you suggest I do in real life about a broken metabolic system?

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 11, 2011
at 04:39 PM

...so its that feeling you get when you wait out your hunger instead of finding something to eat?

7b494127ac67e85e572c5222aaee9b4d

(668)

on May 11, 2011
at 04:33 PM

BTW heavy pot usage was a response to the depression, not the cause. And re: fasting, I find eating just once a day makes me feel on top of the world.

7b494127ac67e85e572c5222aaee9b4d

(668)

on May 11, 2011
at 04:31 PM

I'd say they definitely help A LOT. That and smart supplementation, as far as the physical side goes. That said, you have to complement your physical improvements with psychological improvements or else all is null. It's not a one sided equation, and in my case the things I mentioned above are what really helped me change my life. That, and quitting drugs.

D10ca8d11301c2f4993ac2279ce4b930

(5242)

on May 11, 2011
at 04:28 PM

One of the important questions Ikco is getting to is are you in 'keto-adaptation' which often expresses itself through 'low-carb flu.' Before giving any advice I'd also like to know what your goals are.

D10ca8d11301c2f4993ac2279ce4b930

(5242)

on May 11, 2011
at 04:25 PM

Ketosis is when the body switches over from a glucose metabolism to a ketone body metabolism. My mantra right now is 'try digestive enzymes' for a couple months. Also listen to Chris Kresser's recent podcast on the gut/brain axis.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 11, 2011
at 04:25 PM

60 fat/30 protein/10 carb. when I sleep, I feel like I pass out. deepest sleep I've had in my life probably

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 11, 2011
at 04:23 PM

would you say fasting and high fat were the real big players here?

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 11, 2011
at 04:22 PM

Where did AKD necessarily mention medication? She said he might need support and treatment, which does not necessarily mean that he should seek medication.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 11, 2011
at 04:18 PM

I'm trying to move somewhere warm and sunny! Eh, gotten all test done that I can possible get, again and again. I think I am really a valuable case becuase I've tried everything! and guess what is the only one that worked....

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 11, 2011
at 04:17 PM

...very interesting. so do you even follow Paleo guidelines

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 11, 2011
at 04:14 PM

Thanks for responding, yup ketosis you're referring to is regarding the results of fasting correct? I notice this too. Fasting is brilliant, and so if a high fat animal diet, and obviously zero grains

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 11, 2011
at 04:13 PM

Done everything and considered everything you wrote. saw big success with high animal fat diet though

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 11, 2011
at 04:11 PM

like said, I'm strict paleo, weed and alcohol are rare, but when I do, this is what happens.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 11, 2011
at 04:10 PM

I submitted my second draft because it was really too dark. But I've tried medication, and it gets me high. I've been forced to self-help because all branches conventional help(physcotherapy included) I just wait, and wait for it help. Medication help just doesn't compare to improvements seen by strict paleo. medication stimulates other things to cover pain. Paleo seems to resolve the pain.

84666a86108dee8d11cbbc85b6382083

(2399)

on May 11, 2011
at 04:04 PM

How long have you been "paleo". What are your fat/carbohydrate/protein sources ? How is your sleep ?

6f2c00fcbf48c69f0ea212239b3e1178

on May 11, 2011
at 03:22 PM

MEDICATION LOLOLOLOL?????? Holy shit please to God Charlie, don't consider meds!!! Also akd, I'm not sure I'll ever be able to read your posts again without getting a really sick feeling. Seriously though, why would you recommend medication to somebody who's had paleo help them, and has only been off SAD for a little while? That's quite irresponsible, especially since you're basing this off a 2 paragraph forum post. Disclaimer: I have absolutely no respect for psychotherapists, and in fact think they're totally insane. Give me a reason to think differently, please!

535633b57c4a4940d1e913e7a12ee791

(1013)

on May 11, 2011
at 03:16 PM

Good point. It may be time to lay off the weed.

Medium avatar

(1029)

on May 11, 2011
at 02:51 PM

and get your b12 checked

Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on May 11, 2011
at 02:38 PM

thank you. i just think that his age (22) is the age of onset for several parity diagnosis that respond well to treatment, and i see a few red flags. i hate to see anyone go to that dark place.

9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

(15833)

on May 11, 2011
at 02:34 PM

I was going to say something along the same lines, major depression is not a D.I.Y. issue. Taking control of your diet and making lifestyle changes to improve your situation is a good idea and can be very helpful, but if you have consistent major depression issues, you should seek other support and treatment.

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16 Answers

11
Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on May 11, 2011
at 02:32 PM

ETA: just so everyone knows, this was in response to charlies first draft of his question, prior to editing.

hi charlie, this post might not be popular with many people here, and it also probably isnt what you want to hear. im a psychotherapist, and im paleo. i use a lot of nontraditional treatment recommendations in my practice, particularly for major mental illnesses such as dietary changes, yoga, breathing techniques, exercise, etc. im so glad to hear that paleo has helped you and that you manage to stay strict while living with people who are not eating paleo, but it sounds to me like there are still some pretty significant issues that youre having.

i think its wonderful that youre reaching out and asking for advice, and that you have someplace like paleohacks to come to, but i think that maybe its time to seek some counseling and maybe even consider medications. im sure you have been in counseling before, and probably didnt have a very great experience. its important to shop around and find someone who you feel comfortable with. i know that youre probably opposed to medications as well, but for people with major mental illness, and if done correctly, they can really take the edge off and make life feel so much more enjoyable. finding the correct medication and dosage is really an art form, and takes some trial and error, but i have seen it save lives. theres no doubt that psychotropic medications have been way over-prescribed, especially in certain populations, and are often used as a crutch or a quick fix, but if its used as one of many tools available to you it can have a profoundly positive impact on your life.

if you tell me your location, i would be happy to try and find a referral for you. finding a good therapist or counselor to talk to about what is going on might be enough. know that we really do care deeply for our clients and their well-being, and would be happy to be an advocate no matter what you decide in the realm of medication. you dont have to feel the way youre feeling about the world.

best, amanda

ps. just seeing that youre in vermont- i actually know several amazing therapists in the central valley and NEK. are you in burlington?

Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on May 11, 2011
at 02:38 PM

thank you. i just think that his age (22) is the age of onset for several parity diagnosis that respond well to treatment, and i see a few red flags. i hate to see anyone go to that dark place.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 11, 2011
at 05:46 PM

I'm going WOW too! Coming from a history of depression (at times very severe) there can be great uses to meds as very specifically described by AKD. In the beginning of treatment the meds can lift the fog and allow a person to set themselves on the proper path to treatment w/o the meds. I'm down-voting Anonymous because the response was not constructive at_all.

Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on May 11, 2011
at 06:03 PM

um, wow. i wouldnt have been surprised to get a downvote or two, but i definitely didnt expect to be attacked like that from anyone (but with a name like "anonymous coward" i shouldnt have been that surprised, i guess). thanks to the people who understood where i was coming from. charlie, i see you edited your post but i hope you'll still take what i said into consideration. paleo is an amazing, life-changing thing but its just not a panacea.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 11, 2011
at 05:47 PM

Damn, I can't downvote. But if I could I would. Calling a psycho therapist insane is just mean.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 11, 2011
at 04:22 PM

Where did AKD necessarily mention medication? She said he might need support and treatment, which does not necessarily mean that he should seek medication.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on May 11, 2011
at 05:10 PM

WOW Anonymous Coward, your response seems out of line to me. AKD was trying to help and I thought her response was well thought out and extremely helpful. Mild depression can be helped though nutritional changes and exercise (mine was) but severe depression can sometimes need additional help from meds or therapy.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 11, 2011
at 04:10 PM

I submitted my second draft because it was really too dark. But I've tried medication, and it gets me high. I've been forced to self-help because all branches conventional help(physcotherapy included) I just wait, and wait for it help. Medication help just doesn't compare to improvements seen by strict paleo. medication stimulates other things to cover pain. Paleo seems to resolve the pain.

9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

(15833)

on May 11, 2011
at 02:34 PM

I was going to say something along the same lines, major depression is not a D.I.Y. issue. Taking control of your diet and making lifestyle changes to improve your situation is a good idea and can be very helpful, but if you have consistent major depression issues, you should seek other support and treatment.

6f2c00fcbf48c69f0ea212239b3e1178

on May 11, 2011
at 03:22 PM

MEDICATION LOLOLOLOL?????? Holy shit please to God Charlie, don't consider meds!!! Also akd, I'm not sure I'll ever be able to read your posts again without getting a really sick feeling. Seriously though, why would you recommend medication to somebody who's had paleo help them, and has only been off SAD for a little while? That's quite irresponsible, especially since you're basing this off a 2 paragraph forum post. Disclaimer: I have absolutely no respect for psychotherapists, and in fact think they're totally insane. Give me a reason to think differently, please!

5
7e1064164e012a1ead098098245b1cd4

(1197)

on May 11, 2011
at 02:31 PM

Hi Charlie,

Before I answer I want to say that your first paragraph basically describes exactly the situation I went through a couple of years ago. It's always a painful step describing exactly how you feel but you should be commended for doing so. These feelings are described very well in Sylvia Plath's 'The Bell Jar', which I highly recommend.

OK, so when it is worst for you:

Upon waking - yes, I experienced this. I have found that adequate sleep really helps. I have also dabbled with meditation and various other relaxation techniques. Mindfulness is a great tool for this, to bring yourself 'back into the moment'. I remember sometimes waking up and having really terrifying thoughts. Mindfulness is an effective a way to bring yourself back from that. I also invested in one of those SAD lamps which I use every morning in the winter. This also seemed to help. In the summer, plenty of fresh air and time in the sun. I often found it difficult to leave the house but it really helps to get out and about.

After exercise - yes, experienced this too. For some people the endorphins and the high from exercise are a great feeling but I remember experiencing much more paranoia...racing thoughts, worries etc. What kind of exercise are you doing? I found that lowering the intensity has helped and I now finish exercise with 'warm feelings'. That is a stupid way to describe a set of emotions but it's all I can come up with right now! I wonder if you are doing cardio and find that your mind begins to wander and you end up focusing on the bad things...

After alcohol - again yes. I went out for a few drinks last night and today I feel pretty low. Alcohol is a depressant so...don't drink it for now. Really, it is not helpful in this situation and a few weeks away from the stuff should make a huge difference.

After weed - I am not clued up on drugs but I found this study after a brief search: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14616175. I have seen friends of mine become quite depressed whilst using cannabis...not saying there is a definite link but something to think about.

I think your feelings are amplified when you are with others because you become more self-aware at those times. I don't think being with other people is the cause of the feelings - it just brings them to surface.

Regarding your living situation, I think striving for 100% paleo perfection is a bad mindset. This can translate into attempting to eat 100% paleo all of the time and then feeling awful when you 'fail'. I have been eating paleo in a non-paleo environment for a couple of years now and don't think that it has been of any huge detriment to my progress. If you focus on doing what is right for you and caring for yourself then I don't think where you live or who you live with will have much of an impact.

The last thing I want to say is that during the year or so that I felt the way you do, I underwent some counselling and also come cognitive behavioural therapy. Some people find this topic controversial but I truly believe that it helped me. Maybe something to look into. At the time I was diagnosed with severe depression. Perhaps seeing a doctor wouldn't be such a bad thing?

Good luck and remember that you are not alone in feeling like this.

4
D10ca8d11301c2f4993ac2279ce4b930

(5242)

on May 11, 2011
at 05:16 PM

Firstly, it's not always as easy as modifying diet and fixing everything. Some situations can be fixed with the wave of the magic diet wand. Others can't. This is especially true for people with 'brain' issues.

I imagine that you are experience other issues along side this brain fog - fatigue, memory problems, slight to extreme digestive discomfort. The brain has no pain receptors so issues with brain inflammation manifest themselves as peripheral symptoms. Getting digestive health in line is a good place to start. It sounds like you're pretty strict paleo. Make sure you take out the dairy for a while. A lot of people are stubborn about that. It doesn't need to be forever just take it out for a while.

Pull out caffeine for a while also. It doesn't have to be forever. Just take it out and see what happens. Hell, just start with coffee and then go to caffeine. This is especially necessary if you're a lean dude. Something about being leans equates to loving stimulants. We're very clever about getting our hands on stimulants also. "Just in moderation" seem to be the mantra. Lots of health conscious people use all sorts of stimulates in moderation which ends up with using a variety of stimulates very regularly. This can become hell for hormonal homeostasis. On the otherside of things if you're looking to lose weight, coffee causes insulin spikes which are going to get in the way of your weight loss goals. Also, coffee is one of the strongest cross reactant with gluten if you're a celiac.

Upon waking in the morning, get your blood flowing. A lot of us go from laying down to sitting down. From sedentary horizontal to sedentary up right. Make your body recognize that there is a big difference between waking and sleeping. First always grab a glass of water. Then move a bit: Go for a walk. Do some push ups. Whatever you can convince yourself to do. The early morning is an ideal time to work out... Though I can never get myself to work out in the morning.

Mediation is a good. As is yoga. I especially love the Bikram breathing exercise that starts each class. Get blood flowing to the brain. That also reminds me that Kresser was saying that acupuncture is a great way to increase blood flow to the brain. I haven't done it myself, but when I start up at med school this summer I'm going to try it out for a couple months.

Keeping your environment clean and orderly also helps create a sense of clarity. Make lists of things you have to accomplish. At the end of the day, spend five or ten minutes reflecting on the day. Evaluate how you spent your day. Did you live the sort of life you would be proud of? How are you going to improve on your performance tomorrow? And make sure you take time to remember what you are thankful for about the day. If there are goals you have for the next day, write them down and put them where you will see them the next morning.

Many religious practices are fundamentally healthy. Religion to me, as a Christian, regards the how about living. I said in a different post that: "I hold my faith as dealing with existential realities. It and science are not by any means enemies. They ask different questions and are interested in different aspects of reality and experience. "What does it mean to be a person who is alive and in a predicament?" is different from "What are the mechanism that allow life to happen?" They can inform each other but only to a point." This is to say it may be helpful to you to find a existential framework which you can ground yourself to. Though perhaps being so intentional about it will make it seem 'fake.'

As always, make sure you aren't deficient in micronutrients, that you don't have parasite. Consult a medical practitioner (preferably a naturopath who graduated in the last twenty years and isn't a crazy vegan). Try digestive enzymes. Don't think that everything is diet related. People are physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual being. All four identities inform each other. If you're exercising often give yourself a couple week break. If you aren't exercising, start. And if all you're doing is HIIT training, go on a run once a week. I never feel more clear headed than when I run. This should give you a couple months worth of self testing to start with.

4
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 11, 2011
at 02:13 PM

It's hard to say. I am not the type of person to facilely advise people to seek counselling, but maybe you should do so to sort things out. Even though I am a big fan of weed and other entheogens (see some of my other posts), now might not be the best time to indulge. Set and setting is everything. Remember pot and other entheogens are amplifiers. That is to say that they will amplify your feelings...in this case, unpleasant ones.

535633b57c4a4940d1e913e7a12ee791

(1013)

on May 11, 2011
at 03:16 PM

Good point. It may be time to lay off the weed.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 11, 2011
at 04:11 PM

like said, I'm strict paleo, weed and alcohol are rare, but when I do, this is what happens.

2
Aceb6b0a6bc90e79293297c872a9b723

(20)

on May 11, 2011
at 04:27 PM

I consider medication a last resort after exhuasting all other possiblities. I myself have severe depression and would never consider going off my medication again. Perhaps too many people turn to medication too quickly, but I wouldn't disregard it as a total scam altogether. For someone like myself whose symptoms are clear cut, medication allows me to function. It allows me to do things like care for myself, work and be a productive human being.

As far as therapy I have found DBT helpful. Of course therapy is like anything else. There are good therapists and bad therapists and everything inbetween. When it comes to finding what works for you, it requires a lot of trial and error. As long as you're out there exploring your options, it may just be a matter of time before you find your niche.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 11, 2011
at 04:48 PM

Thanks, I'm considering what you've said already. Are you paleo?

2
7b494127ac67e85e572c5222aaee9b4d

(668)

on May 11, 2011
at 04:09 PM

Ditching the pot will help. A LOT. Believe me. I've been there.

I may not be the best example. I ran away (overseas) to try and escape my 7 year long deep depression, that also coincided with me in a never ending spiral to morbid obesity. In my case it worked for me. But I also know far too many expats who are just as miserable overseas as they were back 'home'.

Things that helped me free myself from the chains of depression:

  • Going high fat paleo, and cooking my own meals
  • Intermittent fasting
  • Intense exercise 1x per week
  • A lot of low level activity walking everywhere (this goes along with leaving my car behind in the US)
  • Supplementing with the appropriate nutrients. Check out the Perfect Health Diet's recommendations
  • "Living in the moment" and slowing down
  • Developing your masculinity and being content with your position as a man
  • Taking classes or taking up hobbies that allow you to be you
  • Making new friends and growing a social circle that supports you
  • Not making excuses to anyone for anything, especially not to yourself

It's not easy, but it's possible. I know, I did it without shrinks or pills.

7b494127ac67e85e572c5222aaee9b4d

(668)

on May 11, 2011
at 05:07 PM

How old are you now?

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 11, 2011
at 04:23 PM

would you say fasting and high fat were the real big players here?

7b494127ac67e85e572c5222aaee9b4d

(668)

on May 11, 2011
at 04:33 PM

BTW heavy pot usage was a response to the depression, not the cause. And re: fasting, I find eating just once a day makes me feel on top of the world.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 11, 2011
at 04:51 PM

This all happened suddently when I turned 20. I never had any problems remotely like this before. I did drugs occasionally, but really was a big binge drinker. two years later, a sip of alcohol make my symptoms really bad. But I'd love to hear about your experience because you seem to be doing things that I'm already considering.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 11, 2011
at 07:37 PM

22, it says on my profile

7b494127ac67e85e572c5222aaee9b4d

(668)

on May 11, 2011
at 04:31 PM

I'd say they definitely help A LOT. That and smart supplementation, as far as the physical side goes. That said, you have to complement your physical improvements with psychological improvements or else all is null. It's not a one sided equation, and in my case the things I mentioned above are what really helped me change my life. That, and quitting drugs.

7b494127ac67e85e572c5222aaee9b4d

(668)

on May 19, 2011
at 09:10 PM

Check your gmail. (found your address on your blog)

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 19, 2011
at 07:15 PM

Joan can we talk more??

2
B4ec9ce369e43ea83f06ee645169cee0

on May 11, 2011
at 03:18 PM

At times I have similar feelings to the ones you are describing. You are not alone! You said you are strict paleo, but are you very low carb paleo? I have found that being in ketosis helps me VERY much. AFter eating VLC (under 50 grams carbs per day) get some keto strips and test your urine.

Your brain may need more fat than other people, and may need medium chain fatty acids. Coconut oil and its derivatives helps me a lot. I try to eat 60-75% fat per day and I try to get as much of that from coconut oil as I can. I eat at least 4 tablespoons of it per day (in it's various forms).

I also agree with RolandPlain... get your vitamin D checked. Mine was low and was compounding my symptoms. You may still have these brain symptoms if your levels are up but low vit D makes it so much worse.

EDIT: forgot to say... alcohol always makes me feel REALLY bad... not just physically but it increases my negative thoughts and anxiety. I stay away from it.

D10ca8d11301c2f4993ac2279ce4b930

(5242)

on May 11, 2011
at 04:25 PM

Ketosis is when the body switches over from a glucose metabolism to a ketone body metabolism. My mantra right now is 'try digestive enzymes' for a couple months. Also listen to Chris Kresser's recent podcast on the gut/brain axis.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 11, 2011
at 04:14 PM

Thanks for responding, yup ketosis you're referring to is regarding the results of fasting correct? I notice this too. Fasting is brilliant, and so if a high fat animal diet, and obviously zero grains

B4ec9ce369e43ea83f06ee645169cee0

on May 11, 2011
at 09:06 PM

Charlie... I don't fast to get into ketosis (at least not yet). I just eat under 50 grams of carbs per day and my body does this on its own after a couple days. Normally your brain runs on glucose as a fuel. when you're in ketosis, your brain runs on ketones instead. It will help your brain feel clearer because ketones are like a superfuel and run more efficiently than glucose. But you have to do higher fat to fill in your calories, the medium chain fatty acids will give you better energy during this time.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 11, 2011
at 04:39 PM

...so its that feeling you get when you wait out your hunger instead of finding something to eat?

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 11, 2011
at 05:53 PM

I agree here. I've been battling severe depression for over a year but recently I've been eating less than 50 carbs/day and it has helped A LOT! I ate a 1/4 potato yesterday and it had a really negative impact on my mood. The alcohol is something I'm cutting out too. I was going overboard on the vino. As for pot, I stopped it for now. I'll enter it back in at some point but I was using it as a sleep aid and it made me feel a bit hungover and foggy in the morning. I basically eat a cup or 2 of low carb veggies, eggs, and meat. I eat 2x's a day and never feel hungry.

1
9b1da5c61c41bb93afb668f9ab3bc76a

(422)

on May 11, 2011
at 03:42 PM

I have suffered with really heavy mood swings that normally lead into depression myself. I figured I was just CRAZY and people would have to deal with it for a really long time.

What helped me was Landmark Education at first. It's kind of expensive, but a friend paid for it for me. Feel free to look it up if you like, it's like a lecture series over a 3 day weekend that's all about changing your life. It really helped me see my history in a different light, and pulled me out of my very self centered cycle (Why didn't my parents love me, why didn't boys love me, why is nothing working out, etc etc).

After that, when I moved out of my hometown to be with my second husband, it started up pretty bad again. I chose to see a therapist who started recommending me different medications. I tried 2 or 3, but the side effects really weren't worth it for me. But trying to solve them that way kind of kicked my butt into overdrive. I am lucky to have a supportive husband who really doesn't LIKE when I'm being that person. He can be a little insensitive at times, but it's just him not catering to me being whiny. Anyway, I'm just saying that meds may work for you, or may not. I know they work GREAT for some people, and I was really anti-med for some time, but there are people who function really well on them. Just don't think you have to be a zombie.

Alcohol and marijuana always kick my anxiety and depression into overdrive, so I don't do them often at all. I prefer to just hang out with people who also don't feel the need to drink or smoke to have a good time. I party maybe 4-6 times a year, and never to the point of blacking out or anything mega excessive.

I've found hobbies that really play to my strengths, and a group of people (online unfortunately, minus conventions where i can finally see them face to face!) that are positive, good people. I try and get in the sun every day, eat well, smile, be myself!

This has become an essay, but I'm 26, so my depression laced early 20's weren't that long ago. You can get through it!

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 11, 2011
at 08:55 PM

...yeah but following the diet is the best you're ever gonna feel.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 11, 2011
at 04:17 PM

...very interesting. so do you even follow Paleo guidelines

9b1da5c61c41bb93afb668f9ab3bc76a

(422)

on May 11, 2011
at 08:18 PM

Paleo guidelines as far as eating? Yup! I have to say I'm not super strict and I've noticed I'm gaining a bit back so I better buckle down. I've found that losing the weight is really encouraging, but I have to be really careful that I don't beat myself too bad when I backslide or I have a hard time recovering.

9b1da5c61c41bb93afb668f9ab3bc76a

(422)

on May 13, 2011
at 03:27 AM

exactly! every time i mess up I feel it so bad. I know I'll stop eventually >:C

1
Dbe5290b790e6e2d2bd59d581d9cf164

on May 11, 2011
at 02:32 PM

Have you had your vitamin d levels checked? Are you consuming enough saturated fat? Are there other stressors in your life? Such as a bad breakup, missing an ex? Pressure from finals could be a huge thing. Stress has very destructive effects on the body and your mental state. Try taking a break from drinking as It's a depressant. Also marijuana does amplify feelings, it tended to send me into a state of over analysis and paranoia. Are you getting adequate exercise? Exercise that stimulates pulses of gh and in turn igf? Low levels or gh can be responsible for depression. Also binge drinking, or even one drink for that fact can lower test levels by well over 50%. Low test could easily be another reason. I advise you to go to your physician's office and get blood work done on all of your levels.

Medium avatar

(1029)

on May 11, 2011
at 02:51 PM

and get your b12 checked

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 11, 2011
at 04:13 PM

Done everything and considered everything you wrote. saw big success with high animal fat diet though

0
669790861549f3c6d54d88a65296ed19

(452)

on May 14, 2011
at 08:21 PM

Have you ever checked a list with symptoms for Adrenal Fatigue? Most people with adrenal fatigue,like myself,feel the crappiest in the mornings. Because of the adrenal fatigue you don't have a good night sleep,despite all the suggested protocols.

I think I totally burned out my adrenals by years of excessive chronic cardioing&stress,together with other complications which I didn't know back then, (physical&mental) and not eating enough and the wrong kinds of food (which builds up to even more physical&psychological stress). A while ago I read this article about an exerciser who burned out after a while (The case for High Carb Paleo) on going high carb Paleo to heal adrenal fatigue , 'cause Glucogenesis is fine for a healthy person but a stressor to someone who's adrenals are already stressed, 'over'feed the body for a short while so it will return to it's original Homeostasis,that really made sense to me. I'm considering trying it,since I'm starting to notice I don't feel so depressed/lethargic and mentally hungry being not so LC.

0
559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on May 11, 2011
at 08:24 PM

Been there, still fighting it sometimes.

I have a weird question for you. You said in a comment that things took a turn for the worse when you were 20. Did you maybe get sick and take antibiotics that year? Or did you maybe travel somewhere unusual?

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 11, 2011
at 08:53 PM

nope. to be honest, about three weeks before it happened I had a crazy night at a music festival where acid, coke, and ecstacy were all consumed but in small amounts, among drinking. I remember the next day after that I felt really bad. But don't remember feeling so bad for the next three weeks when it had hit me hard.

D10ca8d11301c2f4993ac2279ce4b930

(5242)

on May 12, 2011
at 05:25 AM

I had a similar thing happen in college with an ill advised mushroom trip that occurred while sleep deprived. Life goes back to normal.

0
9dbfedbe21eae2a65093f8774ba8ad4d

on May 11, 2011
at 07:32 PM

Ever tried astrology? If you PM me I can recommend some good non-hack sources.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 11, 2011
at 08:53 PM

How can I PM you?

9dbfedbe21eae2a65093f8774ba8ad4d

(559)

on May 13, 2011
at 02:35 AM

sorry, totally forgot paleohacks doesn't have that. for now, you can reach me at [email protected]

6f2c00fcbf48c69f0ea212239b3e1178

on May 13, 2011
at 05:55 AM

Solid answer. Good insight. HF.

0
Be25bf57492adabddf083c62a8d9d7b0

on May 11, 2011
at 04:37 PM

I find having energy/chi work done very helpful,ie tai chi,accupuncture,reiki,meditation..most of all prayer..

0
06d21b99c58283ce575e36c4ecd4a458

(9948)

on May 11, 2011
at 04:31 PM

Charlie, here is a link to three postings regarding "Low Carb Flu" and brain fog and what to do about a broken metabolic system.

http://www.gnolls.org/?s=the+science+behind+the+low+carb+flu

You can get out of the fog by diet modification.

06d21b99c58283ce575e36c4ecd4a458

(9948)

on May 11, 2011
at 06:04 PM

That is burdock root. And Dr. K who posts here wants his patients to be at 70 to 100ng/mL serum Vit D3

06d21b99c58283ce575e36c4ecd4a458

(9948)

on May 11, 2011
at 06:02 PM

Start Vit D3 at 10000IU a day for three months then back off to 5000IU per day. Assists in transporting calcium into the bones, assists and activates killer T cells in the body to go out and find and kill invading bacteria and viruses, thus you will have an immune system that will ward off colds and flu...and Vit D3 assists in prevent dental problems, and it helps in mood. http://www.swansonvitamins.com/NWF391/ItemDetail?n=0 I use this product because it uses olive oil as the carrier instead of soybean oil.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 11, 2011
at 04:46 PM

Thank you. This looks interesting and I'm sure by reading it I could decide how I would use this info to real life choices of what I eat. But also, what do you suggest I do in real life about a broken metabolic system?

06d21b99c58283ce575e36c4ecd4a458

(9948)

on May 11, 2011
at 05:55 PM

You are talking about healing your gut so you can absorb better the nutrients you are eating. A very low carb or zero carb regime will not spike your insulin and will help. You need to eat more fat than you think. Reading your blog, I know you have the basics. You can roam around Dr. Art Ayers blog. He says throughout his blog that gut dysbiosis...non functioning gut flora...can be healed by eating fibrous foods that ferment in the gut...such as burdock roon, chicory, jerusalem articokes, reg artichokes, jicama fresh. http://www.coolinginflammation.blogspot.com Also supplement with Vit D3

0
E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107

(15613)

on May 11, 2011
at 02:31 PM

This doesn't directly address why you feel worse after waking up, but it might be worth noting that advancing your sleep cycle (i.e. waking and sleeping earlier) can help depression. I've heard various friends report that they feel much worse after sleeping in later (not the case with me, I just feel better the more I sleep, without fail).

It's surprising that you feel depressed after exercise, since one would expect it to make you feel better. Are you definitely eating enough post-workout? In my experience its quite easy for health-conscious people not to eat enough, because they don't feel hungry.

I certainly feel much worse (health and mood wise) after even a small amount of alcohol (and this is after having drunk a lot of alcohol!), so I'm not surprised that it makes you feel worse. Ditto cannabis, although I've never partaken, it's been associated with various mental health disorders when people under 21 use it.

Also I note on your blog that you eat around 30% protein. I wouldn't say that this is too much for any-one, but it is rather a lot and protein can be quite stressing. Have you considered replacing it with carbs/fat. Have you also tried either eating more carbs or going fully ketogenic (with lots of coconut), either of which might be expected to help?

I live in a non-paleo environment, but I don't find that it bothers me that much.

Regarding being with other people. It's well known that depression tends to be accompanied by wanting to withdraw from people, but also that being around people (even if you don't want to) can help alleviate depression. This might explain why you want to be away from people. Or it might be that you antecedently don't like being around people and this is separate from (but linked to) your depression. (For my own part (and I'm not depressed) I tend to prefer being on my own even at the best of times, but for most people, being around other people seems to be quite important.)

-2
Fd504de9b242f4cd7009db70af5e2121

(558)

on May 11, 2011
at 04:02 PM

anti-depression meds are a total scam. Get blood work done,testosterone vitamins and minerals ect and counseling. Also consider moving somewhere warm and sunny in the future.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 11, 2011
at 04:18 PM

I'm trying to move somewhere warm and sunny! Eh, gotten all test done that I can possible get, again and again. I think I am really a valuable case becuase I've tried everything! and guess what is the only one that worked....

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