17

votes

Many things better on Paleo, Depression not one of them.

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created November 14, 2011 at 4:51 PM

I know there are similar questions, but I wanted to resurface it, if the moderators find it redundant, there's nothing I can do.

I'm mostly asking this question as a survey for people who suffer from major depression symptoms to whether they have been completely brought back to normal from eating Paleo. If so, what was it in particular aside from the main Paleo concepts? For me, I've gotten so many little health benefits, but I still haven't felt excited about a single thing for years since my depression hit me like a brick wall.

Note* - also at the time it happened I had experimented with hard drugs (ectacy and acid), but had only done it once or twice, but coincidently my depression started abruptly after I tried these drugs.

E7adfe31507efb7c935f618a829f56d6

(1507)

on May 24, 2012
at 05:40 PM

wow. thanks for this. The last rule really is a hard one. I think I would add a rule saying not to beat myself up if I fail to follow one of the other rules. Just to notice it, let it go, and carry on.

3864f9a2af09b1b447c7963058650a34

(3703)

on November 30, 2011
at 05:30 AM

Erika -- thanks the link and info.

3864f9a2af09b1b447c7963058650a34

(3703)

on November 30, 2011
at 05:28 AM

Im sorry Henry S. Ive had countless damage from pharmaceuticals and I think it almost doesnt matter if it is illegal or ordained by physicians (antibiotics from my MD parents, birth control or amalgams/titanium from dentists and oral surgeons). IT DOES SUCK. However i have observed and my own health is recovering. there is an innate wisdom to our minds and bodies which can regrow with the right stimulus, like stem cells, bone marrow and bone broths and targeted treatment. You'll be in my thoughts. Hang in there.

6cca02352c216b4ca8325fda7d83832c

(1042)

on November 19, 2011
at 08:36 PM

I totally agree Aaron. Usually it is our most fundamental behaviors that effect our well being the most, yet many people have the most difficulty changing these behaviors because they require the most effort to change. For example, it is much easier to obsessively tweak one's diet and supplement regimen than to make it a goal to spend more time with other people and/or outside. This has definitely been true for me and many other people who are interested in health and especially nutrition.

724ba4f39f7bbea7f74b45c0a79615f2

(1968)

on November 19, 2011
at 08:25 PM

You're very right, I don't. And I'm very sorry for what you're going through.

D45e43b08cd99a04f5d4294a871e1078

(1010)

on November 19, 2011
at 06:18 PM

^...you don't know what its like to have I what I have

724ba4f39f7bbea7f74b45c0a79615f2

(1968)

on November 19, 2011
at 03:15 PM

very much upvote.

03fa485bfd54734522755f47a5e6597e

(3944)

on November 19, 2011
at 03:04 PM

Jon's is a critical point. I'm taking meds for ADHD, not depression, but depression was a symptom. The meds work brilliantly in combination with some social activity, avoiding processed foods, and keeping my carbs fairly low. If I sit alone all day eating junk carbs, the meds still take the edge off, but my thoughts get pretty negative anyway. It really does take a combination of medication, lifestyle, and diet, just like they say in the brochures.

Medium avatar

(3024)

on November 19, 2011
at 12:53 PM

Psychologists studying happiness found that close ties with friends and family had a major impact on happiness levels, if I remember correctly, more so than anything else. Moving from a cold and dreary place where you have close personal ties to a sunny climate where you don't know a soul may not be a good tradeoff, unless you are able to make new friends easily.

Medium avatar

(3024)

on November 19, 2011
at 12:52 PM

Psychologist studying happiness found that close ties with friends and family had a major impact on happiness levels, if I remember correctly, more so than anything else. Moving from a cold and dreary place where you have close personal ties to a sunny climate where you don't know a soul may not be a good tradeoff, unless you are able to make new friends easily.

3864f9a2af09b1b447c7963058650a34

(3703)

on November 17, 2011
at 08:10 AM

'social momentum' is a very meaningful description!!! awesome!

3864f9a2af09b1b447c7963058650a34

(3703)

on November 17, 2011
at 08:09 AM

mood cure is also awesome and ufortunatly i never had a chance to finish after my sis borrowed.

6cca02352c216b4ca8325fda7d83832c

(1042)

on November 17, 2011
at 08:06 AM

+1 for truly understanding depression August, I feel exactly the same way. Medication just numbs one who is depressed so they feel nothing at all - no highs or lows. It is the epitome of stagnation. I was on antidepressants for almost 5 years, and it was only after I stopped taking them completely that I took full responsibility for treating my depression, rather than being dependent on the meds and therapy to keep me from falling again like a crutch. I would not have made the progress I have if I was still on the meds.

B7e3b7bc500df548af19ddbea7b951c8

on November 16, 2011
at 10:35 PM

I only did it three times and have suffered for over 10 years. I've had my blood tested, my thyroid scanned. I've tried getting more sleep, less sleep. I've gone vegetarian, vegan, low carb, etc. I just found this link and had no idea about the association before. I had initially thought it was caused by any immunizations I got before college, which out may well be, but I'll never know for sure.

D45e43b08cd99a04f5d4294a871e1078

(1010)

on November 16, 2011
at 09:52 PM

It's so interested that your shit happened in 2009, because that's when it happened for me, and also a lot of friends and my sister even started mentally declining at that period.

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on November 16, 2011
at 08:04 PM

@Henry - well duh, then why are you eating pizza, charlie?

D45e43b08cd99a04f5d4294a871e1078

(1010)

on November 16, 2011
at 06:53 PM

Thank you for telling me this! Honestly, I think it was the drugs, even though I only did it one time. it sucks

D45e43b08cd99a04f5d4294a871e1078

(1010)

on November 16, 2011
at 06:52 PM

thanks, but I really hate this answer because there's no point to it.

D45e43b08cd99a04f5d4294a871e1078

(1010)

on November 16, 2011
at 06:49 PM

your depression doesnt sound like mine. Mine is more that my speaking and mental coordination is really drunk feeling, like I'm retarded.

D45e43b08cd99a04f5d4294a871e1078

(1010)

on November 16, 2011
at 06:48 PM

i think I will be forever burnt out, it's too late to get back what I lost, but that the other health benefits of Paleo are sort of masking my pain.

Cfa2637d1b6ec288d32379de06415792

(235)

on November 16, 2011
at 04:21 PM

Yes, different things work for different people, but for me the main things are strongly desiring to feel better, accepting myself and believing I deserve happiness and a normal life. email: [email protected]

7bf306ada57db47547e9da39a415edf6

(11214)

on November 16, 2011
at 03:52 PM

Henry, consider the following statement: School=Prison There are variables which may have made your school better or worse, but if you have been through the propagandization that passes for primary and secondary school in the U.S.A. you should be angry. In fact, very likely you were angry and some professional helped you internalize the anger until you became depressed. The depressed seldom manage a successful revolt, especially if they are medicated. Maybe this doesn't fit you at all, but I think you can find something big like it that has effected your life. SRRIs won't solve the problem.

1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on November 16, 2011
at 12:09 PM

I wonder what Henry's daily carb intake is like? Carbs affect serotonin production.

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on November 16, 2011
at 10:31 AM

this article also talks about a ketogenic diet as a treatment for depression http://perfecthealthdiet.com/?p=541

7d0c3ea9bf8be00b93e6433d8f125ac3

(7540)

on November 16, 2011
at 09:46 AM

@Jon- brilliant advice. All those depressed people should just try to be happier and fill their mind with positive thoughts! How come no-one's ever suggested this before?

6cca02352c216b4ca8325fda7d83832c

(1042)

on November 16, 2011
at 04:35 AM

What matters the most is spending as little time alone as possible, because it is when you are alone and your mind has nothing positive to focus on (like other people) that the negative thoughts will occur. Remember nature abhors a vacuum, so if you don't fill your mind with positive thoughts based on positive experiences, it will be filled with negative thoughts by default.

6cca02352c216b4ca8325fda7d83832c

(1042)

on November 16, 2011
at 04:32 AM

From my experience, there are not many depression support groups, especially in small towns or rural areas like Henry seems to live in, but I have had some success meeting people in online depression forums. Here are the ones I have benefited the most from visiting: http://www.depressionhaven.org/phpBB2/viewforum.php?f=1 http://www.dailystrength.org/c/Depression/support-group http://forums.psychcentral.com/forumdisplay.php?f=6 There are many others you can visit also.

6cca02352c216b4ca8325fda7d83832c

(1042)

on November 16, 2011
at 04:24 AM

Julia Ross's books The Mood Cure and The Diet Cure are up there with The UltraMind Solution for nominee for best book on treating depression or any mental/emotional disorder naturally. Those questionnaires you link to are very helpful, but this website has every questionnaire imaginable for determining the cause of one's depression, although there is some overlap between yours and this: http://www.gethelpfordepression.info/index.aspx

6cca02352c216b4ca8325fda7d83832c

(1042)

on November 16, 2011
at 04:16 AM

I definitely think this could be the culprit in Henry's case as well, but what I wonder is how long it takes to grow new serotonin receptors after they have been destroyed, and what therapies/nutrients/foods can facilitate that process?

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on November 16, 2011
at 12:15 AM

O.k. well there are a couple of online support sites/boards if you haven't already found them. Hang in there. Keep yourself safe no matter what. Have a plan in place in case you crash. O.k.? I'll be thinking of you and wishing the best for you. I hope you find some relief somehow, somewhere.

D45e43b08cd99a04f5d4294a871e1078

(1010)

on November 15, 2011
at 11:56 PM

^see mine is underweight. no matter how much I eat, I don't gain size.

D45e43b08cd99a04f5d4294a871e1078

(1010)

on November 15, 2011
at 11:55 PM

moving across the country didn't have any feeling. Just like when I see high mountains I used to feel joy, now, when I see them, there is no change in my mental state.

Medium avatar

on November 15, 2011
at 11:20 PM

true. But I think eventually we'll reach a tipping point as more and more people's eyes are opened and they realize the drugs aren't helping them. There's already movements going on in several states to get NDs covered by insurance, and I believe in some countries like Australia they already are. If that happens it's only a matter of time before people will start demanding a holistic approach to medicine, and doctors using the conventional approach will either have to adapt or go out of business. Since you're a pharmacist you see the difference between the two approaches better than most.

Medium avatar

on November 15, 2011
at 11:14 PM

I've obsessively researched anything related to the gut, immune system, and brain. When I started asking them questions and mentioning leaky gut, dysbiosis, delayed food allergies, etc, every time they'd look at me like I was crazy. I've even gotten into debates with some of them about how to treat my problems, and sometimes I'd have to explain what drug would have a better chance of helping me (when I was desperate enough) and which ones wouldn't. One of the problems in America is that once most patients see that white coat they assume anything that comes out of the doctor's mouth is

Medium avatar

on November 15, 2011
at 11:13 PM

I'm sorry to hear you had to go through that experience, but I'd bet it's made you stronger right? I'll always remember what my professor (who was a ND) once said: (I went to naturopathic med school for a year but had to drop out due to health problems) "we're a back against the wall society". Many people who adopt the paleo lifestyle such as ourselves only do so because we pushed our bodies to the breaking point and had to figure out how to fix ourselves. Regarding the egos of most docs, tell me about it. I've been to tons of doctors over the past 5 years, and throughout that time

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on November 15, 2011
at 11:10 PM

Henry, that's as good a definition of depression as any: Feeling grief, sadness, lethargy and despair for no identifiable *life* reason. I'm positive, after taking both medication (which I'm grateful for, even though I'm now off) and making dietary changes, that the real proximal cause is physiological, and that it's only the symptoms that are emotional and psychological. Unfortunately, the damage caused by depression really can create negative consequences "in real life," but those *follow*, not precede the depression.

D45e43b08cd99a04f5d4294a871e1078

(1010)

on November 15, 2011
at 11:02 PM

^I live where I grew up and it's a small community and I will run into someone I know in a support group and that won't be helping.

D45e43b08cd99a04f5d4294a871e1078

(1010)

on November 15, 2011
at 10:53 PM

^I'm opposed to it

D45e43b08cd99a04f5d4294a871e1078

(1010)

on November 15, 2011
at 10:51 PM

Well you are lucky to ahve reason behind feeling depressed. I feel depressed and my life is perfectly fine, imagine that!

D45e43b08cd99a04f5d4294a871e1078

(1010)

on November 15, 2011
at 10:50 PM

^There's a lot to say about what works and what doesn't. could I get your email? My first response to what you wrote is that I don't have a trace of depression anywhere in my family and I was the opposite of depression right up until age 20, then bam, it started and never went away.

3864f9a2af09b1b447c7963058650a34

(3703)

on November 15, 2011
at 10:40 PM

It is very frustrating to talk to anyone in the med field because their ego's burst by the time they graduate, then they practice and the patient worship kicks in. They can't do wrong. The docs who read Hyman are good allies, otherwise FUHGGEDABOUTIT I've found... You and your twin make a powerful team!!!

3864f9a2af09b1b447c7963058650a34

(3703)

on November 15, 2011
at 10:40 PM

The medical literature says it all if one actually reads it. Unfortunately the reading medical literature with approach from inflammation and hormone endocrine disruption and making interpretations is not taught well because of the drug literature (of which most stats are deceptive). Not all NDs are up to date I've found but they are definitely taught an approach that works to the core physiology/cellular mechanics versus 'bandaid' therapeutics (match the 'drug to disease' docs and specialists).

3864f9a2af09b1b447c7963058650a34

(3703)

on November 15, 2011
at 10:39 PM

It's true. All drugs have adverse effects including quicker mortality. I'm a pharmacist but badly damaged by pharmaceuticals or devices (10 yrs birth control, 3.5 yrs Mirena IUD, titanium dental implant, useless vaccinations w/mercury).

3864f9a2af09b1b447c7963058650a34

(3703)

on November 15, 2011
at 10:32 PM

The UltraMind is an awesome. I've given half a dozen copies away of it. We need optimal MINDS for optimal bodies, body fat composition, bones/boners, connections and community.

Medium avatar

on November 15, 2011
at 09:14 PM

your bones worse. To be a MD nowadays who uses a natural, holistic approach to medicine, you have to be an outside the box, independent thinker because they teach you that the only treatment for any disease is a drug and if that doesn't work we simply don't know what the cause of the disease is and therefore there's nothing we can do. I think every medical school should have at least one class that teaches the paleo diet/lifestyle. Until that happens we have to go to NDs (who are awesome but most can't afford) or be our own doctors. As for my twin, I'd say he knows more than I do.

Medium avatar

on November 15, 2011
at 09:02 PM

I totally agree about the state of our mediacl schools. Basically they memorize vast amounts of info on drugs, biochemistry, anatomy, etc, but almost zero on nutrition. You'd think that'd be more important considering what we eat affects us more than anything. I know from experience because I have a few friends in med school whom I've debated with, it's so frustrating. They think whatever they're taught is right no matter what, even if it causes them to take positions that make absolutely no sense, like using bisphosphonate drugs for osteoporosis that have been shown to actually make . .

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on November 15, 2011
at 08:55 PM

There are depression support groups so there may be something in your area. Go to nmha.org or google it. You may be surprised to find something close by or some online resources for support. Henry are you opposed to medication at this point? Have you tried that route?

D45e43b08cd99a04f5d4294a871e1078

(1010)

on November 15, 2011
at 08:30 PM

I'd rather have a support group of people with deabilitating depression, I think those are the only kind of people I can be around, but I don't know anyone with my condition.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on November 15, 2011
at 07:52 PM

Henry, my depression is of the weight gain, so-called "atypical" kind (which is a funny name, given that it is the more common type). I don't think I've ever been underweight in my life.

D45e43b08cd99a04f5d4294a871e1078

(1010)

on November 15, 2011
at 06:24 PM

well duh, thats why we dont eat any grains

Medium avatar

(5639)

on November 15, 2011
at 06:01 PM

I dunno...Dean Ornish endorses that book...Sounds fishy.

3864f9a2af09b1b447c7963058650a34

(3703)

on November 15, 2011
at 10:38 AM

I must the OLDER twin LOL!!! I am not kidding Hyman has taken a lot of flack but he is leading edge. One of his office staff is mY mentor on gut issues. Theree is so much work to be done for the 're-education' of American medical schools... sigh. it is almost hopeless nless it becomes paleo based IMHO. I love ur posts!!! keep up the strong work!! is ur twin as insightful and totally on the ball as you???

Medium avatar

on November 15, 2011
at 07:45 AM

lol . . . Grace it's funny you say twin cause I actually have an identical twin, so you must be my other twin separated at birth. I've been reading Hyman's stuff for a while now, he's one of the few but hopefully increasing number of MDs who "gets it" in terms of using diet as medicine.

3864f9a2af09b1b447c7963058650a34

(3703)

on November 15, 2011
at 06:26 AM

I love love LOVE Hyman (he is into coconut oil and grassfed meat finally)

3864f9a2af09b1b447c7963058650a34

(3703)

on November 15, 2011
at 06:25 AM

Chris YOU are AWESOME INCARNATE! I think My twin!!!! ha. aahh!

3864f9a2af09b1b447c7963058650a34

(3703)

on November 15, 2011
at 06:24 AM

I think we are 'pack' animals thoug sometimes I consider myself a loner until I found other like minded freaks..oops meant paleo folks. Seth Roberts reports a person improved his biolar by watching facrs on tv in the morning. This makes sense; Seth states it may be a remainder from tribal days...

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on November 15, 2011
at 05:29 AM

I can add my somewhat similar testimony to Ambimorph's. I was on Celexa and Depakote, the first for clinical depression, the second for Bipolar II, a diagnosis I'm still somewhat skeptical about. When I started my VLC diet (~20g carb/day) in 2007, I felt different inside right away, and gradually decreased my meds until I was off completely. When I added rye bread back in (a brief experiment), the symptoms came back quickly. When I swapped a potato for the rye bread, they disappeared just as quickly. Since going VLC/ZC, I've been free of depression, except that short experiment.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on November 15, 2011
at 05:21 AM

Yeah, I forgot to mention spiritual stuff. You don't have join a mainline religion to enjoy the benefits of religion.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on November 15, 2011
at 05:19 AM

To be honest though, last time I was depressed I did feel better eating junk food. I tried to eat good quality junk food (expensive as $##@* ice cream and whatnot), so I didn't activate other bad behaviors, but I think it helped me.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on November 15, 2011
at 05:13 AM

Some of the worst depression I had was when it seemed like I had it all. But underneath the surface I didn't. I know it has biological causes, but social things can trigger it.

Medium avatar

(4878)

on November 15, 2011
at 03:26 AM

Big Up Vote....

1da74185531d6d4c7182fb9ee417f97f

(10904)

on November 15, 2011
at 02:05 AM

No, maybe once a month I'll eat some soaked lentils or buckwheat with a home made stock and such but I don't make a habit of legumes or rice. I definitely don't eat corn. I'm just saying my depression lifted substantially BEFORE I went completely paleo, so I think it was the fats and nutrient density that did it, not paleo. Paleo (or really, primal since I eat some raw dairy) helped me control my food cravings and a whole host of other issues,

D45e43b08cd99a04f5d4294a871e1078

(1010)

on November 15, 2011
at 12:12 AM

^ I actually think I feel the depression worsening when i take magnesium, it weird.

D45e43b08cd99a04f5d4294a871e1078

(1010)

on November 15, 2011
at 12:11 AM

personal question, but it's important. Are you usually overweight or underweight?

D45e43b08cd99a04f5d4294a871e1078

(1010)

on November 15, 2011
at 12:10 AM

interesting. So you still eat rice, corn, and beans I assume. I think your advice is good actually because I think avoiding sugar, and coffee maybe be almost as important as being Paleo. What do you mean by refined sugar? what are refined sugar foods?

D45e43b08cd99a04f5d4294a871e1078

(1010)

on November 15, 2011
at 12:07 AM

I'm not talking abut depression associated with reason, I'm talking about how everything literally looks like its covered in black tar depression. I was in school, had good friends, was going fine, then one day literally it started and has lasted ever since. I had a good life with close, good friends when it happened.

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on November 14, 2011
at 11:07 PM

Annie, I was just reminded of someone here, Ambimorph, whose mood disorder keeps her from ingesting any carbs. She does vastly better with no carbs at all so it can swing both ways (as it seems for every issue). I definitely think carb intake, higher and lower, is something worthy of investigation.

Ef4c5b09fdccf73be575d3a0c267fdd9

(2539)

on November 14, 2011
at 09:53 PM

totally agree... social motivation is huge.

Medium avatar

(39831)

on November 14, 2011
at 09:36 PM

Depression gets worse with magnesium supplementation or you just feel sick from the supplement itself?

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on November 14, 2011
at 09:06 PM

Annie, I didn't really. I do feel "better" in some ways on higher carb but I can't keep my weight down. The carbs make me feels more...grounded or something? I'm not sure how to describe it really. I definitely think this is worth experimenting with though as some people do report some benefits eating higher carb. I think it's a bit easier to pull off higher carb if you lower fat a bit (if weight loss or maintenance is an issue) so this is again something worth playing around with if depression is an issue.

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on November 14, 2011
at 09:03 PM

Henry I understand that completely. It's a hard thing to process. Unless you've lived with it you can't understand the horror that is depression. I'm so sorry you have to struggle with this. I wish I could fix my brain without medication. I really do. But for whatever reason I cannot and my depression got so bad as to put my life in danger so I can't afford not to medicate. I was lucky enough to find a medication with few side effects that works like a charm for me. Not everyone is so lucky though. I wish I had an answer for you though. I really do.

1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on November 14, 2011
at 08:51 PM

Were you depressed before you moved? If moving made your situation worse, no wonder you're depressed :(

D45e43b08cd99a04f5d4294a871e1078

(1010)

on November 14, 2011
at 08:15 PM

when I take magnesium I feel quickely worse

D45e43b08cd99a04f5d4294a871e1078

(1010)

on November 14, 2011
at 08:13 PM

I've moved across the country and changed everything in my life and it was all a really poor gamble to make.

D45e43b08cd99a04f5d4294a871e1078

(1010)

on November 14, 2011
at 08:13 PM

Paleo makes me feel better, but if feels like some important regulatory part of my brain/body just got burnt out and destroyed and will never come back.

D72e9d21977363ea1850fa00555f151a

(891)

on November 14, 2011
at 07:37 PM

+1 for an informative answer.

6670b38baf0aae7f4d8ac2463ddc37c0

(3946)

on November 14, 2011
at 07:02 PM

Shari, is your depression better or worse on higher carbs?

1fef7e7894cc07366bf31ea514d3fa2b

(552)

on November 14, 2011
at 06:39 PM

deperssion instead of depression so I fixed the tag

Medium avatar

(8239)

on November 14, 2011
at 06:32 PM

Drhyman.com (Dr. Harmin).

Medium avatar

(8239)

on November 14, 2011
at 06:31 PM

Magnesium shows real promise. Dr. Mark Hyman covers the nutritional side really well. Just to be clear, my previous was not meant to recommend meds. Just citing what studies seem to show about breaking the back of bipolar. Even then, there are serious dependency issues to reckon with, preferably in advance. Diet/exercise, to the degree that they help with depression, are ipso facto sustainable, in a way that meds tend not to be.

Medium avatar

(39831)

on November 14, 2011
at 06:21 PM

Any luck with magnesium?

Medium avatar

(8239)

on November 14, 2011
at 05:45 PM

There's no single thing called depression. In fact, the word covers widely disparate symptoms and causes. Meds + therapy is tends to be highly efficacious with bipolar and related hard core biochemically based depression. Most of the rest of "depression" stems from pessimism, and the explanatory styles that foster depression. Martin Seligman's work is very good on this. Bottom line: cognitive reframing.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on November 14, 2011
at 05:37 PM

Do you supplement vitamin D? It was the cause of my depression.

Medium avatar

(5639)

on November 14, 2011
at 04:55 PM

Do you take supplements?

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21 Answers

16
1fef7e7894cc07366bf31ea514d3fa2b

on November 14, 2011
at 06:36 PM

I've never been diagnosed with clinical depression but a combination of the following things help me feeling better:

  • sports (I do boxing)
  • meditation
  • social momentum (going out, meeting up with friends, dating, ...)
  • cold approach pickup (going out and approaching girls)
  • sex
  • sleep
  • eating a low-carb paleo diet
  • taking supplements might help:
    • a multivitamin might help to make sure you don't miss out on any import micronutrient
    • vitamin D might help if you miss out on sunlight
    • magnesium might help you sleep better and might also effect your mood
    • fish oil might help to fight inflammation and getting a better omega6-to-omega3 ratio

Less concrete things:

  • going after your passions (read: the fountainhead and the way of the superior man)
  • enjoying the path you take instead of focussing too much on the goals (read: george leonard's mastery)
  • accepting what is while taking action

See also : http://www.marksdailyapple.com/diet-for-depression/

I'm currently reading The UltraMind Solution which might give me new insights: http://www.amazon.com/UltraMind-Solution-Depression-Overcome-Anxiety/dp/1416549722/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1321294730&sr=8-1

Is your brain broken? We refer to our broken brains by many names???depression, anxiety, memory loss, brain fog, ADHD, autism, to name a few???and although we can???t see it, this silent epidemic affects more than 1 billion people worldwide. If you can answer yes to any of the following, you may have a broken brain: Are you depressed, feeling down, and don???t have the drive to do anything? Do you find it next to impossible to focus or concentrate? Do you get anxious, worried, or stressed-out frequently? Does your mind feel foggy, unable to experience the world clearly? All is not lost. In The UltraMind Solution, New York Times bestselling author Mark Hyman shows that to fix your broken brain, you must heal your body first. Dr. Hyman presents a simple six-week plan based on the emerging field of functional medicine to restore health and gain an UltraMind???one that???s highly focused, able to pay attention at will, has a strong memory, and leaves us feeling calm, confident, in control, and in good spirits.

Searching for other questions tagged with "depression" might also give you some insights: http://paleohacks.com/questions/tagged/depression

The following quizzes might give you some insight (haven't done them myself yet): http://www.moodcure.com/Questionnaire.html http://www.pathmed.com/brain_health.php http://drhyman.com/health-quizzes/

D72e9d21977363ea1850fa00555f151a

(891)

on November 14, 2011
at 07:37 PM

+1 for an informative answer.

Ef4c5b09fdccf73be575d3a0c267fdd9

(2539)

on November 14, 2011
at 09:53 PM

totally agree... social motivation is huge.

Medium avatar

(5639)

on November 15, 2011
at 06:01 PM

I dunno...Dean Ornish endorses that book...Sounds fishy.

3864f9a2af09b1b447c7963058650a34

(3703)

on November 17, 2011
at 08:09 AM

mood cure is also awesome and ufortunatly i never had a chance to finish after my sis borrowed.

3864f9a2af09b1b447c7963058650a34

(3703)

on November 15, 2011
at 10:32 PM

The UltraMind is an awesome. I've given half a dozen copies away of it. We need optimal MINDS for optimal bodies, body fat composition, bones/boners, connections and community.

6cca02352c216b4ca8325fda7d83832c

(1042)

on November 16, 2011
at 04:24 AM

Julia Ross's books The Mood Cure and The Diet Cure are up there with The UltraMind Solution for nominee for best book on treating depression or any mental/emotional disorder naturally. Those questionnaires you link to are very helpful, but this website has every questionnaire imaginable for determining the cause of one's depression, although there is some overlap between yours and this: http://www.gethelpfordepression.info/index.aspx

3864f9a2af09b1b447c7963058650a34

(3703)

on November 17, 2011
at 08:10 AM

'social momentum' is a very meaningful description!!! awesome!

14
98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

on November 14, 2011
at 05:05 PM

No paleo did not resolve my major depression either. I was diagnosed 25 years ago and my disease got progressively worse (as depression will do.) I finally accepted that I would need to be on medication the rest of my life which I was fine with. Since paleo I've made two serious attempts to get off meds the last one a 6-month stint last year. I did supplemental therapy ala Julia Ross but found no relief. I went back on my meds. Feeling good and protecting my life is more important to me than standing on principle but everyone must make that decision for themselves. I certainly think paleo can help some people's brains normalize but paleo doesn't fix everything for everyone. I don't think there is any better diet to follow in hopes of healing but paleo just isn't a panacea for all things wrong with the body for all people.

If you haven't tried exercise or looked into Julia Ross's work or others who espouse amino acid-type therapy those are worth a look. Depression is a horrible disease and I hope you find something that will give you relief.

6670b38baf0aae7f4d8ac2463ddc37c0

(3946)

on November 14, 2011
at 07:02 PM

Shari, is your depression better or worse on higher carbs?

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on November 14, 2011
at 09:06 PM

Annie, I didn't really. I do feel "better" in some ways on higher carb but I can't keep my weight down. The carbs make me feels more...grounded or something? I'm not sure how to describe it really. I definitely think this is worth experimenting with though as some people do report some benefits eating higher carb. I think it's a bit easier to pull off higher carb if you lower fat a bit (if weight loss or maintenance is an issue) so this is again something worth playing around with if depression is an issue.

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on November 14, 2011
at 11:07 PM

Annie, I was just reminded of someone here, Ambimorph, whose mood disorder keeps her from ingesting any carbs. She does vastly better with no carbs at all so it can swing both ways (as it seems for every issue). I definitely think carb intake, higher and lower, is something worthy of investigation.

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on November 14, 2011
at 09:03 PM

Henry I understand that completely. It's a hard thing to process. Unless you've lived with it you can't understand the horror that is depression. I'm so sorry you have to struggle with this. I wish I could fix my brain without medication. I really do. But for whatever reason I cannot and my depression got so bad as to put my life in danger so I can't afford not to medicate. I was lucky enough to find a medication with few side effects that works like a charm for me. Not everyone is so lucky though. I wish I had an answer for you though. I really do.

D45e43b08cd99a04f5d4294a871e1078

(1010)

on November 14, 2011
at 08:13 PM

Paleo makes me feel better, but if feels like some important regulatory part of my brain/body just got burnt out and destroyed and will never come back.

D45e43b08cd99a04f5d4294a871e1078

(1010)

on November 15, 2011
at 08:30 PM

I'd rather have a support group of people with deabilitating depression, I think those are the only kind of people I can be around, but I don't know anyone with my condition.

D45e43b08cd99a04f5d4294a871e1078

(1010)

on November 15, 2011
at 10:53 PM

^I'm opposed to it

7d0c3ea9bf8be00b93e6433d8f125ac3

(7540)

on November 16, 2011
at 09:46 AM

@Jon- brilliant advice. All those depressed people should just try to be happier and fill their mind with positive thoughts! How come no-one's ever suggested this before?

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on November 15, 2011
at 08:55 PM

There are depression support groups so there may be something in your area. Go to nmha.org or google it. You may be surprised to find something close by or some online resources for support. Henry are you opposed to medication at this point? Have you tried that route?

D45e43b08cd99a04f5d4294a871e1078

(1010)

on November 15, 2011
at 11:02 PM

^I live where I grew up and it's a small community and I will run into someone I know in a support group and that won't be helping.

6cca02352c216b4ca8325fda7d83832c

(1042)

on November 16, 2011
at 04:32 AM

From my experience, there are not many depression support groups, especially in small towns or rural areas like Henry seems to live in, but I have had some success meeting people in online depression forums. Here are the ones I have benefited the most from visiting: http://www.depressionhaven.org/phpBB2/viewforum.php?f=1 http://www.dailystrength.org/c/Depression/support-group http://forums.psychcentral.com/forumdisplay.php?f=6 There are many others you can visit also.

6cca02352c216b4ca8325fda7d83832c

(1042)

on November 16, 2011
at 04:35 AM

What matters the most is spending as little time alone as possible, because it is when you are alone and your mind has nothing positive to focus on (like other people) that the negative thoughts will occur. Remember nature abhors a vacuum, so if you don't fill your mind with positive thoughts based on positive experiences, it will be filled with negative thoughts by default.

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on November 16, 2011
at 12:15 AM

O.k. well there are a couple of online support sites/boards if you haven't already found them. Hang in there. Keep yourself safe no matter what. Have a plan in place in case you crash. O.k.? I'll be thinking of you and wishing the best for you. I hope you find some relief somehow, somewhere.

03fa485bfd54734522755f47a5e6597e

(3944)

on November 19, 2011
at 03:04 PM

Jon's is a critical point. I'm taking meds for ADHD, not depression, but depression was a symptom. The meds work brilliantly in combination with some social activity, avoiding processed foods, and keeping my carbs fairly low. If I sit alone all day eating junk carbs, the meds still take the edge off, but my thoughts get pretty negative anyway. It really does take a combination of medication, lifestyle, and diet, just like they say in the brochures.

6cca02352c216b4ca8325fda7d83832c

(1042)

on November 19, 2011
at 08:36 PM

I totally agree Aaron. Usually it is our most fundamental behaviors that effect our well being the most, yet many people have the most difficulty changing these behaviors because they require the most effort to change. For example, it is much easier to obsessively tweak one's diet and supplement regimen than to make it a goal to spend more time with other people and/or outside. This has definitely been true for me and many other people who are interested in health and especially nutrition.

10
100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on November 14, 2011
at 11:35 PM

My depression completely resolved but not on a typical paleo diet. I went from eating a VLC diet that was paleo-compatible, and being on meds, to a carnivorous, ZC diet, off all meds, and more stable and happy than ever in my adult life.

So my current diet happens to be paleo, in that it includes no non-paleo foods, but it also excludes many perfectly paleo foods. It happens to be low carb, but it also excludes many perfectly low carb foods. I was intimidated by the restrictiveness at first, but it's really not a big deal, especially considering that I have my life back.

D45e43b08cd99a04f5d4294a871e1078

(1010)

on November 15, 2011
at 12:11 AM

personal question, but it's important. Are you usually overweight or underweight?

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on November 15, 2011
at 05:29 AM

I can add my somewhat similar testimony to Ambimorph's. I was on Celexa and Depakote, the first for clinical depression, the second for Bipolar II, a diagnosis I'm still somewhat skeptical about. When I started my VLC diet (~20g carb/day) in 2007, I felt different inside right away, and gradually decreased my meds until I was off completely. When I added rye bread back in (a brief experiment), the symptoms came back quickly. When I swapped a potato for the rye bread, they disappeared just as quickly. Since going VLC/ZC, I've been free of depression, except that short experiment.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on November 15, 2011
at 07:52 PM

Henry, my depression is of the weight gain, so-called "atypical" kind (which is a funny name, given that it is the more common type). I don't think I've ever been underweight in my life.

D45e43b08cd99a04f5d4294a871e1078

(1010)

on November 15, 2011
at 11:56 PM

^see mine is underweight. no matter how much I eat, I don't gain size.

9
13c5a9f1678d75b93f269cdcf69f14d5

(2339)

on November 15, 2011
at 01:36 AM

Don't discount the impact of avoiding gluten. Absolutely no gluten.

Medium avatar

(4878)

on November 15, 2011
at 03:26 AM

Big Up Vote....

D45e43b08cd99a04f5d4294a871e1078

(1010)

on November 15, 2011
at 06:24 PM

well duh, thats why we dont eat any grains

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on November 16, 2011
at 08:04 PM

@Henry - well duh, then why are you eating pizza, charlie?

724ba4f39f7bbea7f74b45c0a79615f2

(1968)

on November 19, 2011
at 03:15 PM

very much upvote.

8
68f2734a5078a7106f560a7079df45fd

on November 15, 2011
at 03:07 AM

Maybe a ketogenic diet can help (short papers, straight to the objectives):

The Antidepressant Properties of the Ketogenic Diet

The ketogenic diet may have mood-stabilizing properties

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on November 16, 2011
at 10:31 AM

this article also talks about a ketogenic diet as a treatment for depression http://perfecthealthdiet.com/?p=541

7
F15e0bae42dbf0b8cfc71e62902497b4

on November 15, 2011
at 05:39 AM

I've been being treated for depression since I was 8 years old, on meds since I was 10. I have a long family history of depression. After a NASTY bout of depression this summer, I realized that no matter how good my diet or how perfect my life situation, I will need meds for the rest of my life. I supplement with fish oil, D3, and magnesium, as well as eating a paleo diet. I work out, spend time in nature and schedule time with family and friends to make sure I don't let myself get socially isolated, even when I'm stressed. I give my body and brain all the advantages I can, knowing I am genetically behind the 8 ball.

I've seen what can happen if you convince yourself that you've fixed the problem (my ex-boyfriend killed himself when he went of his meds). I've also seen what happens if you try to supplement on top of RX meds (DO NOT mess with serotonin syndrome, it's not pretty).

6
1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on November 14, 2011
at 06:19 PM

Your environment is probably causing you more grief than you realize. Environmental factors include: Home life, what part of a city/country that you live in (is it always cold and dreary?), your work (co-workers, crappy job, etc), your family, your friends, etc.

For those sorts of things, no diet can fix. You have two options: Change the environment or change how you feel about it.

1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on November 14, 2011
at 08:51 PM

Were you depressed before you moved? If moving made your situation worse, no wonder you're depressed :(

D45e43b08cd99a04f5d4294a871e1078

(1010)

on November 14, 2011
at 08:13 PM

I've moved across the country and changed everything in my life and it was all a really poor gamble to make.

D45e43b08cd99a04f5d4294a871e1078

(1010)

on November 15, 2011
at 11:55 PM

moving across the country didn't have any feeling. Just like when I see high mountains I used to feel joy, now, when I see them, there is no change in my mental state.

Medium avatar

(3024)

on November 19, 2011
at 12:52 PM

Psychologist studying happiness found that close ties with friends and family had a major impact on happiness levels, if I remember correctly, more so than anything else. Moving from a cold and dreary place where you have close personal ties to a sunny climate where you don't know a soul may not be a good tradeoff, unless you are able to make new friends easily.

Medium avatar

(3024)

on November 19, 2011
at 12:53 PM

Psychologists studying happiness found that close ties with friends and family had a major impact on happiness levels, if I remember correctly, more so than anything else. Moving from a cold and dreary place where you have close personal ties to a sunny climate where you don't know a soul may not be a good tradeoff, unless you are able to make new friends easily.

5
Medium avatar

on November 15, 2011
at 05:16 AM

I agree 100% with Melissa. People in the paleo community tend to focus on diet alone, but that's not enough for some people. We all need to be affirmed and have meaningful relationships in our lives, and if we weren't as kids then we'll spend the rest of our lives looking for people who will affirm us, usually subconsciously. Growing up with only one parent who was often sick, I speak from experience, but when I read Conrad Baars' books it really opened my eyes, especially Born Only Once, and Healing the Unaffirmed. As a society we've grown much more isolated and selfish than we used to be, imo the Greatest Generation could never have done what they did if they were raised by today's parents and lived in this culture. Generations ago there wasn't nearly as many cases of depression, anxiety, adhd, and other mental issues. Of course a main cause of that is our increasingly toxic diets, but I think it also has to do with the fact that people had more friends and family around back then. The more addicted to technology and material things we've become, the less we value people and true friendships. So I would say look at all the things that may be missing in your life on the spiritual, social, and psychological level, then focus on the physical. Ok now that I went on that rant here's some practical suggestions: Excess and chronic inflammation is a big factor in causing depression. One theory says that it's actually evolutionarily advantageous becomes it temporarily protects the brain from damage under stressful conditions until the stress is gone and the brain can heal the damage. The problem is in modern times we have chronic stress, which causes chronic inflammation, so instead of allowing the brain to repair itself, it causes continual damage which accumulates and prevents the depression from being alleviated http://www.ultramind.com/epidemic_depression.php. There are many causes of excess inflammation but I would say the biggest ones are a high omega 6/3 ratio, bacterial dysbiosis/leaky gut, excess sugar in the diet, and chronic stress. Make sure to reduce the omega 6s in your diet, increase seafood, and eat as much fermented food as possible. Studies show links between dysbiosis and depression and anxiety. Autoimmune diseases, especially food allergies, have long been checked for by naturopathic doctors as a cause of depression since they produce an inflammatory response that slows down the brain. Try eliminating all gluten, dairy, and soy in your diet for a week or two and see if your mood improves. Also make sure to take magnesium and vitamins B and C since they're needed to make the neurotransmitters you need for optimal brain function. Balanced hormones are key for depression, especially cortisol and thyroid hormone. Stress from a job, lack of sleep, or even drinking too much coffee raises cortisol levels chronically, leading to adrenal fatigue, which is a common finding in depressed patients http://www.drlwilson.com/articles/adrenal_burnout.htm. If you find that your memory isn't what is was before, that's excess cortisol causing atrophy of your hippocampus. One nutrient that can help this is phosphatidylserine http://www.drlowe.com/emailnewsletter/8.24.10/low.high.cortisol.fatigue.print.htm. Balancing your neurotransmitters is important as well. We've all heard that a serotonin deficiency causes depression but that's mainly because the drug companies have drugs targeted for that. A GABA deficiency may be more likely since it's the nt that keeps us calm and balanced. L-theanine is a good way to increase your gaba levels, but for some people they are in fact low in serotonin, so try 5htp for that. I would recommend a paleo diet but you've already got that covered and still have depression, which is why I'm recommending these other things. I hope you find the peace you're looking for.

3864f9a2af09b1b447c7963058650a34

(3703)

on November 15, 2011
at 06:25 AM

Chris YOU are AWESOME INCARNATE! I think My twin!!!! ha. aahh!

Medium avatar

on November 15, 2011
at 07:45 AM

lol . . . Grace it's funny you say twin cause I actually have an identical twin, so you must be my other twin separated at birth. I've been reading Hyman's stuff for a while now, he's one of the few but hopefully increasing number of MDs who "gets it" in terms of using diet as medicine.

3864f9a2af09b1b447c7963058650a34

(3703)

on November 15, 2011
at 06:26 AM

I love love LOVE Hyman (he is into coconut oil and grassfed meat finally)

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on November 15, 2011
at 05:21 AM

Yeah, I forgot to mention spiritual stuff. You don't have join a mainline religion to enjoy the benefits of religion.

Medium avatar

on November 15, 2011
at 09:14 PM

your bones worse. To be a MD nowadays who uses a natural, holistic approach to medicine, you have to be an outside the box, independent thinker because they teach you that the only treatment for any disease is a drug and if that doesn't work we simply don't know what the cause of the disease is and therefore there's nothing we can do. I think every medical school should have at least one class that teaches the paleo diet/lifestyle. Until that happens we have to go to NDs (who are awesome but most can't afford) or be our own doctors. As for my twin, I'd say he knows more than I do.

3864f9a2af09b1b447c7963058650a34

(3703)

on November 15, 2011
at 10:39 PM

It's true. All drugs have adverse effects including quicker mortality. I'm a pharmacist but badly damaged by pharmaceuticals or devices (10 yrs birth control, 3.5 yrs Mirena IUD, titanium dental implant, useless vaccinations w/mercury).

3864f9a2af09b1b447c7963058650a34

(3703)

on November 15, 2011
at 10:40 PM

It is very frustrating to talk to anyone in the med field because their ego's burst by the time they graduate, then they practice and the patient worship kicks in. They can't do wrong. The docs who read Hyman are good allies, otherwise FUHGGEDABOUTIT I've found... You and your twin make a powerful team!!!

Medium avatar

on November 15, 2011
at 11:20 PM

true. But I think eventually we'll reach a tipping point as more and more people's eyes are opened and they realize the drugs aren't helping them. There's already movements going on in several states to get NDs covered by insurance, and I believe in some countries like Australia they already are. If that happens it's only a matter of time before people will start demanding a holistic approach to medicine, and doctors using the conventional approach will either have to adapt or go out of business. Since you're a pharmacist you see the difference between the two approaches better than most.

3864f9a2af09b1b447c7963058650a34

(3703)

on November 15, 2011
at 10:40 PM

The medical literature says it all if one actually reads it. Unfortunately the reading medical literature with approach from inflammation and hormone endocrine disruption and making interpretations is not taught well because of the drug literature (of which most stats are deceptive). Not all NDs are up to date I've found but they are definitely taught an approach that works to the core physiology/cellular mechanics versus 'bandaid' therapeutics (match the 'drug to disease' docs and specialists).

3864f9a2af09b1b447c7963058650a34

(3703)

on November 15, 2011
at 10:38 AM

I must the OLDER twin LOL!!! I am not kidding Hyman has taken a lot of flack but he is leading edge. One of his office staff is mY mentor on gut issues. Theree is so much work to be done for the 're-education' of American medical schools... sigh. it is almost hopeless nless it becomes paleo based IMHO. I love ur posts!!! keep up the strong work!! is ur twin as insightful and totally on the ball as you???

Medium avatar

on November 15, 2011
at 11:13 PM

I'm sorry to hear you had to go through that experience, but I'd bet it's made you stronger right? I'll always remember what my professor (who was a ND) once said: (I went to naturopathic med school for a year but had to drop out due to health problems) "we're a back against the wall society". Many people who adopt the paleo lifestyle such as ourselves only do so because we pushed our bodies to the breaking point and had to figure out how to fix ourselves. Regarding the egos of most docs, tell me about it. I've been to tons of doctors over the past 5 years, and throughout that time

Medium avatar

on November 15, 2011
at 09:02 PM

I totally agree about the state of our mediacl schools. Basically they memorize vast amounts of info on drugs, biochemistry, anatomy, etc, but almost zero on nutrition. You'd think that'd be more important considering what we eat affects us more than anything. I know from experience because I have a few friends in med school whom I've debated with, it's so frustrating. They think whatever they're taught is right no matter what, even if it causes them to take positions that make absolutely no sense, like using bisphosphonate drugs for osteoporosis that have been shown to actually make . .

Medium avatar

on November 15, 2011
at 11:14 PM

I've obsessively researched anything related to the gut, immune system, and brain. When I started asking them questions and mentioning leaky gut, dysbiosis, delayed food allergies, etc, every time they'd look at me like I was crazy. I've even gotten into debates with some of them about how to treat my problems, and sometimes I'd have to explain what drug would have a better chance of helping me (when I was desperate enough) and which ones wouldn't. One of the problems in America is that once most patients see that white coat they assume anything that comes out of the doctor's mouth is

4
Ca2c940a1947e6200883908592956680

(8574)

on November 16, 2011
at 11:29 AM

Henry, I really am sorry for your situation. I have hesitated on replying to your question because I don't actually know how helpful my comments would be. In terms of diet I do not know the answer, but from all I do know about foods for a healthy brain, Paleo seems to be ticking many of the boxes.

I am 30 and spent 2005 - 2007 nightclubbing and probably took around 30+ ecstasy pills over the two years. I do not recall suffering acute depression before (though have always been a thinker and more melancholic in temperament), but in 2009 I had my first real storm, and over the last 3 years have become very aware of the horizon.

For me acute depression is like a dark cloud that appears in my head out of nowhere. The only way I can explain it to people is that it is like being dropped into an turbulent ocean, treading-water to stay afloat and trying to bail out the water with a bucket. People forget that the very means and tools with which one could use to get out of the storm are the very means and tools which are made futile by the storm.

I really do hope that the following comes across sincerely and without any presumption or arrogance, I just want to share how I personally manage my storms. Perhaps this may be helpful for you as you continue your journey to recovery albeit possibly too slowly for either you or I.

I have a few rules in place that help me during a storm:

  • I watch the horizon for the storm, and learn to know my triggers: Sleep and not eating enough calories is a big trigger for me. I find that if I have a crazy week I get into a cycle of eating less full meals, drink more coffee, sleep badly and this all compounds into each other until I have to force a break in the cycle. This is almost impossible to do once I am in a cloud of depression, so I have to make the effort to check myself regularly when I notice I am starting down the path. When I am at my weakest in this cycle, just a something small like a personal criticism can seed the storm and within days I can fall into the black.

  • I do not trust how I feel or what I think during the storm: Once I am in a storm, everything I say or think about myself I have to ignore. I have to find things that are objectively true outside of myself and hang onto them like an anchor; things that are unchanged, solid and remain no matter how I feel or think. I have to know these and have these at hand before the storm as my hands are tied during and I will not have the ability or desire to find them in the waves.

  • I do what I am responsible for: This is the greatest and hardest rule but the most effective for me. Simply it is to do what I am responsible for whether I feel like it or not. That means that if I don't feel like finishing the work I am assigned in my job because I feel and think I just cannot do it, because it's too much and I left it yesterday and so it's more; I just have to do it. That which is my responsibility whether I feel like it or not, I do that. I just start, just answering one email, and then another even if I have a hundred, just do the top one and then the next and the next. Before long I am brought out of myself, and into objective circumstances outside of myself. I try and schedule my work, then follow my schedule not my feelings.

I am sorry if perhaps you are trying to keep afloat yourself and I am just describing the water again, but I hope that I have been helpful even in just a small way. I really believe that the body and brain are incredible, far more incredible then we think. I believe that recovery is possible, it may take decades but Henry keep on keeping on. The Paleo diet that we are doing here from all I am reading and continue to read and learn about, appears to me to be a beneficially maximized lifestyle of eating, and perhaps we will never be fully healed, but perhaps closer then we ever could be if we were not making this dietary change.

D45e43b08cd99a04f5d4294a871e1078

(1010)

on November 16, 2011
at 09:52 PM

It's so interested that your shit happened in 2009, because that's when it happened for me, and also a lot of friends and my sister even started mentally declining at that period.

D45e43b08cd99a04f5d4294a871e1078

(1010)

on November 16, 2011
at 06:48 PM

i think I will be forever burnt out, it's too late to get back what I lost, but that the other health benefits of Paleo are sort of masking my pain.

E7adfe31507efb7c935f618a829f56d6

(1507)

on May 24, 2012
at 05:40 PM

wow. thanks for this. The last rule really is a hard one. I think I would add a rule saying not to beat myself up if I fail to follow one of the other rules. Just to notice it, let it go, and carry on.

4
3864f9a2af09b1b447c7963058650a34

(3703)

on November 15, 2011
at 06:40 AM

Consider the value of a trace heavy metal test. I waited until I chealated out some metals so it would show up in a hair sample, otherwise the test is worthless because toxic meatls are stored or hoarded deep in fatty tissue and the brain. Mercury toxicity can be at the heart of many gut dysbiosis and cognitive effects like adhd and depression spectrum disorders IMHO from my research. After a tetanus shot (which I shouldve requested for mercuryfree but was too out of it to ask) and a titanium dental implant, my mood went from perfectly good to borderline pretty sh*tty over 6-9 mos. Im on an intense gut protocol, control of mycotoxins, and slow oral chelation. its all getting better but defintely wish recovery back to baseline was overnight!!

Modern toxins(NADS) also include ddental amalgams of our moms vertically downloaded to baby AND in our own mouths, annual flu shots, vaccinations, broken thermometers or light saving light bulbs, well water, excessive seafood, gut dysbiosis, excessive seafood consumption, genetic propensity for metals (apoE4, polymorphism of M1 M2 M3 M4 etc) and a host of other factors.

pubmed has great refences 'mercury mood human behavior' fyi.

yoga, family/friend support and weekly massages have been GOD SENDS for me!!

good luck!

3
6cca02352c216b4ca8325fda7d83832c

(1042)

on November 16, 2011
at 04:04 AM

If you feel depressed and your life is perfectly fine, that suggests to me that the cause is primarily if not solely physiological in nature, as Rose mentioned in her comment above. I have suffered from clinical depression for about 8 years now, and I have researched the subject as thoroughly as I possibly could. What I have learned is that not all depression has a physiological cause, but all experiences of depression have a physiological component that if corrected will remediate the symptoms of depression despite the continued presence of the psychological or environmental cause. I joined a depression forum called Depression Haven and gave a fairly comprehensive explanation about the pathology of depression and the resources that helped me the most in my battle against it here (post by undepressed): http://www.depressionhaven.org/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=11882

Probably the website that discusses the physiological causes of depression most comprehensively is here: http://www.gethelpfordepression.info/index.aspx Complete all of the tests and I guarantee you will learn a lot about your depression and yourself in general, even if you do not discover the cause of your depression. Most of the tests are taken from books by Dr. Mark Hyman, as a few people mentioned above, and Dr. Julia Ross, so I highly recommend you read those books also. If you can afford it, I would request a comprehensive blood panel from your PCP or other health practitioner to determine levels of some important nutrients you have too little or too much of, otherwise you are just making an educated guess about the cause of your depression.

Since only a few people briefly mentioned it in their answers, I feel obligated to mention the importance of regular exercise. The higher the intensity the better, as long as it does not become uncomfortable for you. It has been shown in numerous studies to be as or more effective than the most effective SSRIs. To that end, I recommend reading the book Spark and similar books about how regular exercise effectively treats depression.

There are many other potential causes of your depression, but I simply don't know enough about you to provide more specific recommendations. Feel free to email me though if you want more ideas from someone who has dedicated themselves to understanding the nature and causes of depression and related disorders.

D45e43b08cd99a04f5d4294a871e1078

(1010)

on November 16, 2011
at 06:52 PM

thanks, but I really hate this answer because there's no point to it.

3
B7e3b7bc500df548af19ddbea7b951c8

on November 16, 2011
at 02:38 AM

I found this on ecstasy and depression. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/16574715/ It basically says that ecstasy destroys serotonin receptors. Now that I think back, I took ecstasy when I started college. I had no symptoms of depression before starting college, but became very depressed and so tired all the time. I ended up missing most of my classes because I couldn't drag myself out of bed. 10 years later, I still suffer from fatigue and depression. I've never been medicated, but feel like I should be. I've just started my paleo journey, so it will be interesting if it helps.

D45e43b08cd99a04f5d4294a871e1078

(1010)

on November 16, 2011
at 06:53 PM

Thank you for telling me this! Honestly, I think it was the drugs, even though I only did it one time. it sucks

1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on November 16, 2011
at 12:09 PM

I wonder what Henry's daily carb intake is like? Carbs affect serotonin production.

6cca02352c216b4ca8325fda7d83832c

(1042)

on November 16, 2011
at 04:16 AM

I definitely think this could be the culprit in Henry's case as well, but what I wonder is how long it takes to grow new serotonin receptors after they have been destroyed, and what therapies/nutrients/foods can facilitate that process?

B7e3b7bc500df548af19ddbea7b951c8

on November 16, 2011
at 10:35 PM

I only did it three times and have suffered for over 10 years. I've had my blood tested, my thyroid scanned. I've tried getting more sleep, less sleep. I've gone vegetarian, vegan, low carb, etc. I just found this link and had no idea about the association before. I had initially thought it was caused by any immunizations I got before college, which out may well be, but I'll never know for sure.

3864f9a2af09b1b447c7963058650a34

(3703)

on November 30, 2011
at 05:28 AM

Im sorry Henry S. Ive had countless damage from pharmaceuticals and I think it almost doesnt matter if it is illegal or ordained by physicians (antibiotics from my MD parents, birth control or amalgams/titanium from dentists and oral surgeons). IT DOES SUCK. However i have observed and my own health is recovering. there is an innate wisdom to our minds and bodies which can regrow with the right stimulus, like stem cells, bone marrow and bone broths and targeted treatment. You'll be in my thoughts. Hang in there.

3864f9a2af09b1b447c7963058650a34

(3703)

on November 30, 2011
at 05:30 AM

Erika -- thanks the link and info.

3
9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on November 14, 2011
at 09:32 PM

You said you felt better eating a pizza? Was in better energy-wise or mentally or both?

Does your strict diet prevent you from hanging out with people? Do you live alone? How often do you see people? Do you have many close friends? Do you have a significant other?

What's pretty unique about modern life is how few people have close friends. The worst my depression has ever been, I was working from home alone and eating almost all my meals alone. I had a boyfriend, but he was too busy for me except for on weekends and would accuse me of being "clingy" if I wanted to hang out during the week. I know loneliness is not the only factor, but it can be a big one.

3864f9a2af09b1b447c7963058650a34

(3703)

on November 15, 2011
at 06:24 AM

I think we are 'pack' animals thoug sometimes I consider myself a loner until I found other like minded freaks..oops meant paleo folks. Seth Roberts reports a person improved his biolar by watching facrs on tv in the morning. This makes sense; Seth states it may be a remainder from tribal days...

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on November 15, 2011
at 05:13 AM

Some of the worst depression I had was when it seemed like I had it all. But underneath the surface I didn't. I know it has biological causes, but social things can trigger it.

D45e43b08cd99a04f5d4294a871e1078

(1010)

on November 15, 2011
at 12:07 AM

I'm not talking abut depression associated with reason, I'm talking about how everything literally looks like its covered in black tar depression. I was in school, had good friends, was going fine, then one day literally it started and has lasted ever since. I had a good life with close, good friends when it happened.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on November 15, 2011
at 05:19 AM

To be honest though, last time I was depressed I did feel better eating junk food. I tried to eat good quality junk food (expensive as $##@* ice cream and whatnot), so I didn't activate other bad behaviors, but I think it helped me.

2
E7adfe31507efb7c935f618a829f56d6

on May 22, 2012
at 02:46 PM

After a year and a half of paleo (not LC, just whatever I feel like eating) and 5 months of weight lifting (Crossfit), things have finally started to improve for me and my major depression.

I think inflammation is the culprit (ala the PATHOS-D theory) and I think it takes a combination of diet and exercise to reduce inflammation plus "cognitive re-framing" to physically redirect the neuronal pathways as they are repairing themselves.

In other words, years and years of depressive thinking creates physical patterns in the neuronal pathways of the brain. You have to create the condition that make it possible to re-program (i.e., reduce inflammation) and then you have to consciously re-program (i.e., actively combat negative thinking patterns through cognitive therapy, meditation, whatever works best for you--though I HIGHLY recommend meditation).

So I think it just takes a while. I'm continuing to see improvement. Every day is still a conscious battle, but the hill is getting less and less steep.

Hope this helps.

2
7bf306ada57db47547e9da39a415edf6

(11214)

on November 15, 2011
at 09:53 PM

I believe a relatively low carb paleo diet helps, but what we've got to remember is that a lot of us have good reason for what we feel. We may have the scope to change our diets, but how much scope do we have elsewhere? The never ending hymns to 'be positive' and the medicalization of feeling down in a broken society- this is laughable.

I noticed when I started eating liver I felt a pleasant sense of not caring particularly much about what people thought about me.
I also realized the external metric was wrong, for in no small part, that metric is part of an attempt to keep the whole scam that brought us stuff like the SAD (and our little cubicle jobs) in the first place. It is quite possible one's feelings are entirely appropriate to one's situation.

D45e43b08cd99a04f5d4294a871e1078

(1010)

on November 15, 2011
at 10:51 PM

Well you are lucky to ahve reason behind feeling depressed. I feel depressed and my life is perfectly fine, imagine that!

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on November 15, 2011
at 11:10 PM

Henry, that's as good a definition of depression as any: Feeling grief, sadness, lethargy and despair for no identifiable *life* reason. I'm positive, after taking both medication (which I'm grateful for, even though I'm now off) and making dietary changes, that the real proximal cause is physiological, and that it's only the symptoms that are emotional and psychological. Unfortunately, the damage caused by depression really can create negative consequences "in real life," but those *follow*, not precede the depression.

7bf306ada57db47547e9da39a415edf6

(11214)

on November 16, 2011
at 03:52 PM

Henry, consider the following statement: School=Prison There are variables which may have made your school better or worse, but if you have been through the propagandization that passes for primary and secondary school in the U.S.A. you should be angry. In fact, very likely you were angry and some professional helped you internalize the anger until you became depressed. The depressed seldom manage a successful revolt, especially if they are medicated. Maybe this doesn't fit you at all, but I think you can find something big like it that has effected your life. SRRIs won't solve the problem.

6cca02352c216b4ca8325fda7d83832c

(1042)

on November 17, 2011
at 08:06 AM

+1 for truly understanding depression August, I feel exactly the same way. Medication just numbs one who is depressed so they feel nothing at all - no highs or lows. It is the epitome of stagnation. I was on antidepressants for almost 5 years, and it was only after I stopped taking them completely that I took full responsibility for treating my depression, rather than being dependent on the meds and therapy to keep me from falling again like a crutch. I would not have made the progress I have if I was still on the meds.

2
1da74185531d6d4c7182fb9ee417f97f

on November 14, 2011
at 09:09 PM

I've been diagnosed over the years with Depression, Bipolar type 2, and ADHD. The bipolar hypomanic symptoms have completely gone away and the depression has lifted for the most part. Going paleo didn't do that though, I felt it lifting around the time I went Gluten-free WAPF (so I was still eating some gluten free grains and beans at the time.) I still get some seasonal malaise around fall (like now) but nothing like the mind numbing despair I used to get. I think getting my vitamin D levels up, eating liver, and getting some extra Bvitamin C helped, eating lots of fat and really lowering my PUFA's. Like, I don't really eat nuts or use much olive oil. Just butter, tallow, and coconut oil. I find staying away from refined sugar is REALLY important for the depression and ADHD symptoms.

It's an ongoing process and I've only been on this journey for about a year now, so I really think I can kick the seasonal malaise at some point in the future. Good luck on your journey!

D45e43b08cd99a04f5d4294a871e1078

(1010)

on November 15, 2011
at 12:10 AM

interesting. So you still eat rice, corn, and beans I assume. I think your advice is good actually because I think avoiding sugar, and coffee maybe be almost as important as being Paleo. What do you mean by refined sugar? what are refined sugar foods?

1da74185531d6d4c7182fb9ee417f97f

(10904)

on November 15, 2011
at 02:05 AM

No, maybe once a month I'll eat some soaked lentils or buckwheat with a home made stock and such but I don't make a habit of legumes or rice. I definitely don't eat corn. I'm just saying my depression lifted substantially BEFORE I went completely paleo, so I think it was the fats and nutrient density that did it, not paleo. Paleo (or really, primal since I eat some raw dairy) helped me control my food cravings and a whole host of other issues,

1
724ba4f39f7bbea7f74b45c0a79615f2

on November 19, 2011
at 04:02 PM

So you say paleo is masking the pain, but what you're left with is feeling burnt out and lacking in excitement. It's like a crippling, soul-crushing boredom, I suspect.

Feeling like death on the inside and physically smiling on the outside will make you feel worse. Don't do that.

But try faking it with the rest of your body. Move as though you had energy, as though you were excited about whatever you're doing. Put yourself in situations that force you to move in those ways, like rock climbing or playing frisbee. You don't have to smile, but you have to be alert, you have to move, you start producing some endorphins, etc. Make your body convince your brain to be different, to release the chemicals it's supposed to, when it's supposed to.

It would also force you to be around other people, and just watching other people act and react in the world can have profound normalizing effects on your brain even if you're not actively engaging them (though I can't find a good cite for this now for some reason).

Having a good therapist is also something I think probably everyone would benefit from. Also, I don't know if you're taking anti-depressants or not, and I've never taken any, but I definitely wouldn't discount them out of hand if nothing else is working, especially given the other excellent comments to your post.

724ba4f39f7bbea7f74b45c0a79615f2

(1968)

on November 19, 2011
at 08:25 PM

You're very right, I don't. And I'm very sorry for what you're going through.

D45e43b08cd99a04f5d4294a871e1078

(1010)

on November 19, 2011
at 06:18 PM

^...you don't know what its like to have I what I have

1
4f7ccde03addfc07a66a21a77b0a46c8

on November 16, 2011
at 09:42 AM

What helps/helped me is a combination of.. everything, it seems. Diet, supplementation, clearing my house of toxic substances (cleaning products, hygeine products etc), exercise, and counseling/self-therapy all helped change me. I feel like a completely different person now, after 20 years of depression and other problems.

I don't think there is any one solution, it's just a combination of everything everyone has mentioned. Keep experimenting, it's worth it. You can feel joy again!

D45e43b08cd99a04f5d4294a871e1078

(1010)

on November 16, 2011
at 06:49 PM

your depression doesnt sound like mine. Mine is more that my speaking and mental coordination is really drunk feeling, like I'm retarded.

1
Cfa2637d1b6ec288d32379de06415792

on November 15, 2011
at 08:40 PM

I have suffered from mild depression from age 12, adding in panic attacks, OCD and 2 psychotic breakdowns from age 19 on.

I go to alternative therapy sessions monthly and do all therapy meditation / vizualisation exercises religiously and it really helps.

When it comes to diet. what I feel helps the most with panic attacks is avoiding sugar and keeping medium to low carb. If I go VLC, depression kicks in.

What has helped depression, apart from the therapy, was exercising for fun, like biking and trekking and a 60/40 to 80/20 raw food diet. I did 1 week of all raw before embracing a more paleo approach and it was a great energy booster, I hadn't felt so happy and calm and no-paranoid in years.

Of course diet alone isn't the cure, but in my case, 2-3 portions of fruit every day, lots of fish, no gluten EVER, flower is my doom, and a minimal quantity of processed foods was the missing link. It was 50% will power, 40% therapy and 10% diet / exercising. :)

If you want to exchange ideas about what is working or not, give me a shout.

Cfa2637d1b6ec288d32379de06415792

(235)

on November 16, 2011
at 04:21 PM

Yes, different things work for different people, but for me the main things are strongly desiring to feel better, accepting myself and believing I deserve happiness and a normal life. email: [email protected]

D45e43b08cd99a04f5d4294a871e1078

(1010)

on November 15, 2011
at 10:50 PM

^There's a lot to say about what works and what doesn't. could I get your email? My first response to what you wrote is that I don't have a trace of depression anywhere in my family and I was the opposite of depression right up until age 20, then bam, it started and never went away.

1
D45e43b08cd99a04f5d4294a871e1078

(1010)

on November 14, 2011
at 08:14 PM

So far, I have gotten some answers that are giving me new ideas to try.

0
2602755dafeea3f6e2494438bf3f6f87

on May 22, 2012
at 04:23 PM

My view on depression is completely different and may even be conflicting with many of the viewpoints above. With that disclaimer, hopeful my perspective will be helpful to someone here :)

In my experiences, I have seen depression to be a primarily spiritual issue, with your spiritual state dictating whether or not you are susceptible to something like depression, anxiety, etc. Often hallucinogenic drugs open your mind to the spiritual realm, opening you up to outside things. For those of you who have your depression linked to drug use, I'd be curious to find more about your trips that occurred right before depression came on.

I also believe the state of your thyroid plays a role in all this....I believe it is somehow deeply interrelated with your spiritual self/body. I'm a big fan of Danny Roddy's approach with all this (Hair like a Fox).

If you would like to know more about my journey through all this stuff or how to be free, shoot me an email! ajpadua7 at gmail dot com

Alex

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