5

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What are your moods like post paleo adoption?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created December 17, 2012 at 9:06 PM

Hello Paleo Hackers,

I came to Paleo for mainly to change my mood. I've had clinical depression for almost a decade now and am still transitioning to Paleo. It's hard to assess what my mood will be like once i am fully acclimated to the diet because i've been comparing success stories and oftentimes have trouble defining what the poster means by "clean paleo diet". The posters here on Paleo Hacks help a lot because they typically do detail what they eat everyday but it varies from person to person as do the results. Some posters have results but drink coffee, or eat copious amounts of fruit or chocolate. So far I've successfully eliminated wheat and can tolerate higher protein and fat levels now but am struggling to quit caffeine and sugar and maybe even fruit. Part of the reason I struggle is because i do not have a clear picture of what a normal mood looks like once successfully paleo. I Right now I am pretty stoic towards tragedy, cannot find pleasure in life, cannot let go of past relationships and have trouble concentrating, memory problems, brain fog, trouble with higher levels of thinking and libido problems.

My question is this: Who out here eats only meat, vegetables, fats and maybe a little fruit, no coffee, alcohol or sugar and still has mood problems? Or if you have no mood problems, how well are you able to handle stress and emotional upsets?

P.S. my clinical depression is linked to adrenal fatigue as well so that may account for the coffee and fruit problems

P.S.S. I hope i've made sense, thank you in advance for your help and please be kind when answering :)

76d3c543f8cbedb5a6f2ad1b49c3c733

(71)

on December 19, 2012
at 01:46 AM

Thank you for your help. I'm currently going through a problem of letting go. Specifically hurt from a previous relationship where i have yet to get the closure i need. Since I've had clinical depression for almost a decade, I'm really not sure how much of it is diet related and what part is my personality. I guess I relive my past. Glad to know it gets better

76d3c543f8cbedb5a6f2ad1b49c3c733

(71)

on December 19, 2012
at 01:42 AM

So it sounds like it took 2 months to see the improvement? That's awesome. Did you quit caffeine as well?

76d3c543f8cbedb5a6f2ad1b49c3c733

(71)

on December 19, 2012
at 01:41 AM

That's good to hear. You've mentioned that foginess is gone. Do you think your mental acuity, creativity, and/or level of level of thibking increase? I've delayed going back to school lately because of this foginess. Thank you for help

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6 Answers

3
36e81537b515c0284ad75ea2e1c2e544

on December 17, 2012
at 11:36 PM

I inadvertently fell into a paleo diet while trying to cure my 4+ year long struggle with moderate depression (dysthymia) and the addiction to carbs and sugar that came along with it. In terms of 'normal mood' changes that I noticed, I find myself enjoying nature and wanting to be outside to get fresh air, if something stressful/upsetting occurs i'm able to deal with it properly and resume to a level/stable mood and I have motivation to complete goals and actually do things. If I have to cry, its therapeutic and I accept is as being a normal human emotion to release whatever i'm feeling as opposed to the deep/hopeless/painful crying that often accompanies depression. I no longer consider myself to be depressed and it is literally all thanks to the food i'm now feeding my body. Since i've finally been able to get back into a normal and healthier mindset, i've definitely noticed caffeine kinda derails my progress. Coffee in particular has a big effect on how well I can handle my moods throughout the day.. I stopped drinking it for a while and my energy improved and that fogginess you were talking about completely disappeared. I've added it back into my diet recently and feel like i've taken a few steps backwards.. I know this isn't the case for everyone but maybe you should consider cutting down on your intake.

Not sure if it'll help but I eat a large assortment of fish, eggs, very minimal chicken, fats from coconut/coconut oil/avocado/olive oil etc, all kinds of veggies, sweet potatoes, bananas, green apples, berries, nuts and nut butters (usually hit a daily 45 fat/25 protein/30 carb ratio). I eat very little chicken and no beef at all because the cognitive dissonance that comes along with eating something I wouldn't kill myself if given the opportunity is something that intensifies my depression.

76d3c543f8cbedb5a6f2ad1b49c3c733

(71)

on December 19, 2012
at 01:41 AM

That's good to hear. You've mentioned that foginess is gone. Do you think your mental acuity, creativity, and/or level of level of thibking increase? I've delayed going back to school lately because of this foginess. Thank you for help

2
5236a3d5d4daf6304da5e50d19a96e56

on December 17, 2012
at 09:20 PM

What does your typical diet look like these days?

For me, I saw a lot of improvements in mental health going paleo, but adding in high intensity weight lifting as well took it to another level. I'm male, and suspect I had low testosterone before which was probably the issue.

Another thing that seemed to help my mood was improving micronutrient intake. After reading "The Perfect Health Diet" I realized my paleo diet was still deficient in many important nutrients, so I added in several supplements, as well as organ meats and starchy tubers.

0
782d92f4127823bdfb2ddfcbcf961d0e

on December 18, 2012
at 07:27 PM

I have struggled with depression for most of my life. I have now been eating paleo for about a year: meats, veggies, little fruit, little dairy, lots of fats, no coffee, some chocolate, little sugar. Late last year I was briefly without health insurance so I stopped all my antidepressants (something that I would not suggest anyone else do) but my mood had stabilized enough that I found I did quite well without them. Maybe gluten was causing the problems?

I have no real objective measurement, but I do feel that my memory is better, there is less fogginess in thinking and awareness, and I just feel that I’m on an even keel emotionally. Things that may have formerly upset me may still bother me, but bother me less. I still feel tired and draggy sometimes but it may be due to less sunlight right now and I seem to get a little relief from using a blue light.

You don’t say how long it’s been since eating paleo but in my experience, there was an initial euphoria and then a settling in to the new normal. Because I have had life long problems with depression, I tend to be somewhat hyper vigilant to my moods. If I thought I was heading for another depressive episode (which hopefully will not happen) I would not hesitate to talk to my physician and do whatever necessary to get myself back on track.

BTW, I was treated for years with dextroamphetamine for hypersomnia. Now I have problems staying asleep at night so I stay away from coffee.

76d3c543f8cbedb5a6f2ad1b49c3c733

(71)

on December 19, 2012
at 01:46 AM

Thank you for your help. I'm currently going through a problem of letting go. Specifically hurt from a previous relationship where i have yet to get the closure i need. Since I've had clinical depression for almost a decade, I'm really not sure how much of it is diet related and what part is my personality. I guess I relive my past. Glad to know it gets better

0
366c23d69eadce094a2b22299c58a424

(2988)

on December 18, 2012
at 01:03 PM

Not an answer, really, just wanted to recommend Emily Dean's blog Evolutionary Psychiatry in case you don't already know it:

http://evolutionarypsychiatry.blogspot.com/

If you scroll through her archives, she's got some great articles on depression and nutrition.

0
197651282ddd8d675b974ee811d2269e

on December 18, 2012
at 02:40 AM

I'm a little over 3 months Paleo but I cut the grains and sugar very gradually. I used to get depressed and angry, especially when I was tired or going through a stressful situation. In the last month or so, I've noticed that I haven't gotten angry or depressed even though nothing has changed but my diet and overall health. Maybe it's being healthier and my husband is also a lot happier (he's Paleo, too) and healthier that's made the difference.

76d3c543f8cbedb5a6f2ad1b49c3c733

(71)

on December 19, 2012
at 01:42 AM

So it sounds like it took 2 months to see the improvement? That's awesome. Did you quit caffeine as well?

0
79850813c5cfc0a089e1060ef9b6ed27

on December 18, 2012
at 02:34 AM

I have been eating a Paleo diet for about 6 weeks. Not only is my arthritis pain gone but I'm finding that I sometimes forget to take my meds for anxiety. Normally, I would get a "sensation" in my head - almost a bit of a dizzy feeling - when I don't medicate every day. I no longer get that feeling. My moods are better in that I'm handling things well without that overwhelming feeling that I can't cope. I am really leary to totally go off meds because it hasn't worked in the past. My caffeine intake is up to 4 cups of coffee/tea per day. I plan on keeping tabs on my moods and slowing reducing meds.

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