3

votes

Paleo and the mind?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created June 06, 2011 at 3:39 PM

I am twenty one years old and have been in depressive moods off and on for two years.. I have no focus and do not feel motivated a lot of the time. I have been doing horribly in school (college) so I quit for a little while. I haven't done much while I was away from school to be honest. I am struggling with shyness and anxiety around people.. I get depressed and angry sometimes.

Basically what I want to know is how does paleo affect the mind? I read somewhere that humans are always striving to improve and grow etc. etc.. Why am I not striving? Will paleo take away my anxiety and depressive moods? Will I become more motivated for my future? Anyone with experience?

Thank you for reading!

E4ea912bb525efc4e392821120cfb8a6

(450)

on September 07, 2013
at 01:28 AM

hahaha I love TED!

1f8384be58052b6b96f476e475abdc74

(2231)

on June 08, 2011
at 04:03 PM

haha regardless i dont care :) i write as i think and dont pay much attention

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 07, 2011
at 06:06 PM

Damned perfectionism. Amen sister!

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 07, 2011
at 04:52 PM

You two want to drop off your emails? Mine is cloudffvii88@gmail.com, better to talk there than here

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 07, 2011
at 04:01 PM

Big believer in Kaizen. Before adopting it I always felt justified in not doing things if I thought I couldn't do them well. Learning to take small steps towards a goal is extremely helpful to quell anxiety, perfectionism and helplessness.

5113df7e1c5a7e9c7555b6b59144de24

(920)

on June 07, 2011
at 12:39 PM

Not only increase the omega 3's but eliminate some of the omega 6's by getting rid of seed oils.

65430e39d7e9e9322718d016fe668051

(2944)

on June 07, 2011
at 08:11 AM

You guys just basically described me. It's nice to feel not so alone!

65430e39d7e9e9322718d016fe668051

(2944)

on June 07, 2011
at 08:07 AM

Derrick, I'm going through the same thing. I'm 22. I've been a little better the past couple weeks since starting whole30 but I'm still not 100%.

E4ea912bb525efc4e392821120cfb8a6

(450)

on June 07, 2011
at 04:00 AM

What do you mean uptight? I get insecure and nervous a lot. I basically don't feel relaxed around new people or people who I percieve as more confident than me. When I drink it's not like I don't think about my insecurities.. that's all I think about. In highschool (yeah I drank in highschool) I was FUN and funny when I drank. Now I am two extremes.. either really crazy (opposite of my sobe self) or I am REALLY depressed because of the no confidence thing.

Ffc7e0ecad8e8831b528c5d4921377cc

(942)

on June 07, 2011
at 03:53 AM

Like everyone said, yes, it has helped me a lot.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 07, 2011
at 03:11 AM

Hey Derek, I have a question. Do you get really uptight when around other people, even your close friends or people you know well. And second, what happens when you drink alcohol?

13c5a9f1678d75b93f269cdcf69f14d5

(2339)

on June 07, 2011
at 02:57 AM

Be careful. And systematic when you start to add carbs back in. Give each new addition at least 72 hours, although you may see the effect much more quickly.

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on June 06, 2011
at 11:44 PM

Voted back up because I didn't think this should be downvoted. Mallory's making three recommendations: Acceptance, Omega 3s, and TheQuilt's blog. Maybe the downvoter saw the lack of punctuation and thought it was spam...?

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on June 06, 2011
at 11:40 PM

This matches my own experience with depression. I added bread back in a couple years ago, briefly, as part of my foray into Kwasniewski's Optimal Diet. Depression returned extremely rapidly. A week in, I replaced the rye bread with potatoes, and the depressive symptoms vanished. (The fat on my rear end didn't, but that's a different part of the story.) If there's any grain in your diet, cut it completely for a week or two and see what happens.

76f3ead3aa977d876bcf3331d35a36e9

(4620)

on June 06, 2011
at 10:43 PM

Great answers, both of you!

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 06, 2011
at 10:14 PM

Props here on Dean's blog.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25472)

on June 06, 2011
at 09:28 PM

Changing you omega 6/3 ratio is the first thing you must do to fix this problem. Every cell is surrounded by a cell membrane. Within this cell membrane resides all your protein signaling receptors. When the neurons are recycled if your CM are omega 6's they break down by a process known as autophagy and the byproducts of the omega sixes become inflammatory eicanosoids that increase your highly sensitive CRP to cause neuronal damage and lead to depression. You must increase the omega 3's, add 1200 mgs of Mg malate, and three B complex vitamins when you go paleo. Paleo will help tremendously

E4ea912bb525efc4e392821120cfb8a6

(450)

on June 06, 2011
at 08:27 PM

Good info! Thanks!

E4ea912bb525efc4e392821120cfb8a6

(450)

on June 06, 2011
at 08:25 PM

Dude that is funny because I was happy and popular in highschool.. I became depressed after as well... I feel like we have a lot in common man.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 06, 2011
at 08:01 PM

I was a happy, popular, guy in college, then suddenly after my 20th birthday, major depression symptoms hit me like nothing I'd ever experienced. I'm almost 23 now, and haven't been able to go to school or work since. And it's amazing how it's all F*ing! diet!! ....I wasted so much time trying conventional methods of healing...Anyway, write back and tell me what happens. Your're gonna have a lot to say I bet!

B4e1fa6a8cf43d2b69d97a99dfca262c

(10255)

on June 06, 2011
at 05:31 PM

said so much better than i did

E4ea912bb525efc4e392821120cfb8a6

(450)

on June 06, 2011
at 05:02 PM

Hormones definitely.. I am trying to increase my testosterone as well!

E4ea912bb525efc4e392821120cfb8a6

(450)

on June 06, 2011
at 04:57 PM

Good to hear man! Gives me some encouragement for sure!

E4ea912bb525efc4e392821120cfb8a6

(450)

on June 06, 2011
at 04:57 PM

Perfect, thanks!

E4ea912bb525efc4e392821120cfb8a6

(450)

on June 06, 2011
at 04:56 PM

Definitely man.. I have been eating zero carb for 3 days now and I feel really good!

E4ea912bb525efc4e392821120cfb8a6

(450)

on June 06, 2011
at 04:54 PM

Yeah.. I just started this diet, it has really helped my game out!

A0b8c4cc369f93ee987ce15b1bf323fe

on June 06, 2011
at 03:59 PM

D Rose... MVP! Could it be? :-)

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16 Answers

5
5113df7e1c5a7e9c7555b6b59144de24

(920)

on June 06, 2011
at 06:51 PM

There is a very well known connection between the brain and gluten grains. You can google this. The Gluten File is a great resource and has a section on neurologic manifestations.

I did not realize just how depressed I was all my life until I gave up gluten. It was like a fog lifted from my brain. I am now grain free/paleo/primal because that makes me feel even better.

I mention gluten because if one is gluten sensitive, small amounts can make a difference. If I get the tiniest bit through cross contamination, my depression. along with agitation and brain fog and other symptoms, returns for a couple of days.

No one can tell you how a paleo diet will change you, but you will be able to tell us.

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on June 06, 2011
at 11:40 PM

This matches my own experience with depression. I added bread back in a couple years ago, briefly, as part of my foray into Kwasniewski's Optimal Diet. Depression returned extremely rapidly. A week in, I replaced the rye bread with potatoes, and the depressive symptoms vanished. (The fat on my rear end didn't, but that's a different part of the story.) If there's any grain in your diet, cut it completely for a week or two and see what happens.

E4ea912bb525efc4e392821120cfb8a6

(450)

on June 06, 2011
at 08:27 PM

Good info! Thanks!

4
E3c6d84c01a12e2ee1c49e2180d84238

on June 06, 2011
at 04:41 PM

Although I am no Paleo expert (or even journeyman), I do know about how food can change your brain.

Walking away from sugar and grains as well as adding a weird kind of meditative swim session (two or three times a week) surely saved my brain.

My husband and I both noticed that unprovoked rages, followed by severe depression always followed on the heels of baking day. Licking the batter bowl of a batch of brownies could turn me into Wasp Woman. Unfortunately, wine can cause me to feel the things you describe. Sad, listless, goal-less. We call it going to the Bad Place. (yes, it happened so often, we gave it a name!) Since these reactions often manifested as many as 12 hours later, it took a very long time to figure out what was going on. (there are more triggers, but I think you get the idea) Until we did figure it all out, I really thought I was losing my marbles. It has changed the way I think about 'crazy'. Crazy isn't fun or funny and it certainly isn't a synonym for eccentric or daring.

You haven't mentioned what you do eat now, but I'd have to say, yes, cleaning up your diet can make a huge difference in your mind function. Additionally, if you've been taking anti-biotics and/or cortisone, you might want to look into the possibility of systemic candida.

2
Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25472)

on June 06, 2011
at 09:29 PM

Changing you omega 6/3 ratio is the first thing you must do to fix this problem. Every cell is surrounded by a cell membrane. Within this cell membrane resides all your protein signaling receptors. When the neurons are recycled if your CM are omega 6's they break down by a process known as autophagy and the byproducts of the omega sixes become inflammatory eicanosoids that increase your highly sensitive CRP to cause neuronal damage and lead to depression. You must increase the omega 3's, add 1200 mgs of Mg malate, and three B complex vitamins when you go paleo. Paleo will help tremendously

Read Emily Deans blog too.....she is a real resource for a person like you. It's called Evolutionary Psychiatry.

Good Luck and keep us informed to how you fair.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 06, 2011
at 10:14 PM

Props here on Dean's blog.

5113df7e1c5a7e9c7555b6b59144de24

(920)

on June 07, 2011
at 12:39 PM

Not only increase the omega 3's but eliminate some of the omega 6's by getting rid of seed oils.

2
1568416ef28477d1fa29046218d83ddd

(6235)

on June 06, 2011
at 05:00 PM

At least for me I find that depression is more correlated for me in not believing in what I am doing than anything at all to do with diet.

I need to feel like other actual humans need me to do a job to be happy, once I realized that and stopped reacting to depression with indulgence and isolation things got much easier for me.

B4e1fa6a8cf43d2b69d97a99dfca262c

(10255)

on June 06, 2011
at 05:31 PM

said so much better than i did

76f3ead3aa977d876bcf3331d35a36e9

(4620)

on June 06, 2011
at 10:43 PM

Great answers, both of you!

2
B4e1fa6a8cf43d2b69d97a99dfca262c

(10255)

on June 06, 2011
at 04:57 PM

i think your symptoms are not uncommon to your age. i am no expert, but i believe it has to do with hormones and brain growth combined with a lack of purpose. so you are not alone and you are not going to stay this way.

this is just my opinion, so take it for what its worth. your reality is what you believe it is. and you can decide what you believe.

decide what you want to believe and behave as if it is the truth.

E4ea912bb525efc4e392821120cfb8a6

(450)

on June 06, 2011
at 05:02 PM

Hormones definitely.. I am trying to increase my testosterone as well!

2
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 06, 2011
at 04:49 PM

I'm the same age, same situation. No grain, high animal fat should cure you. I'd be surprised if I don't hear back from you with good results.

E4ea912bb525efc4e392821120cfb8a6

(450)

on June 06, 2011
at 08:25 PM

Dude that is funny because I was happy and popular in highschool.. I became depressed after as well... I feel like we have a lot in common man.

E4ea912bb525efc4e392821120cfb8a6

(450)

on June 06, 2011
at 04:56 PM

Definitely man.. I have been eating zero carb for 3 days now and I feel really good!

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 07, 2011
at 03:11 AM

Hey Derek, I have a question. Do you get really uptight when around other people, even your close friends or people you know well. And second, what happens when you drink alcohol?

65430e39d7e9e9322718d016fe668051

(2944)

on June 07, 2011
at 08:11 AM

You guys just basically described me. It's nice to feel not so alone!

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 06, 2011
at 08:01 PM

I was a happy, popular, guy in college, then suddenly after my 20th birthday, major depression symptoms hit me like nothing I'd ever experienced. I'm almost 23 now, and haven't been able to go to school or work since. And it's amazing how it's all F*ing! diet!! ....I wasted so much time trying conventional methods of healing...Anyway, write back and tell me what happens. Your're gonna have a lot to say I bet!

E4ea912bb525efc4e392821120cfb8a6

(450)

on June 07, 2011
at 04:00 AM

What do you mean uptight? I get insecure and nervous a lot. I basically don't feel relaxed around new people or people who I percieve as more confident than me. When I drink it's not like I don't think about my insecurities.. that's all I think about. In highschool (yeah I drank in highschool) I was FUN and funny when I drank. Now I am two extremes.. either really crazy (opposite of my sobe self) or I am REALLY depressed because of the no confidence thing.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 07, 2011
at 04:52 PM

You two want to drop off your emails? Mine is cloudffvii88@gmail.com, better to talk there than here

13c5a9f1678d75b93f269cdcf69f14d5

(2339)

on June 07, 2011
at 02:57 AM

Be careful. And systematic when you start to add carbs back in. Give each new addition at least 72 hours, although you may see the effect much more quickly.

2
Medium avatar

on June 06, 2011
at 03:55 PM

I WISH I had found Paleo in college. I was in the same boat as you man! My family history includes Manic Depression, or Bi-Polar if you're PC, and I definitely have tendencies. I struggled with it for a long long time, dropped out of college after failing miserably, drinking way too much, doing lots and lots of drugs, blasting through a chunk of inheritance money insanely (ha, pun intended I guess) fast.

Making a long story short, I continued to struggle with self-esteem issues, depression, bouts of mania and insane (there it is again) and irresponsible money-spending until very recently, I'd say about a year and a half or 2 years ago.

I cut back on my drinking, started correcting my late late late night owl sleep patterns with Melatonin, started supplementing with high doses of fish oil "for my brain," I quit smoking, quit all drugs and began eating what I thought was a healthy diet. I got a little better. I now have a wonderful girlfriend, I'm not desperately alone and despairing of life all the time. But I wasn't motivated to DO anything! I know how you feel.

Then I started going to the gym. I had read that exercise can balance moods. It helped a little bit too. Because of the gym I started to read about IF, minimal running and better diets. I found Paleo and never looked back.

Maybe if I'd started with Paleo, I would've noticed a revolutionary change, but on top of everything else, I still do notice that my motivation has gone through the roof. It's an uphill battle, and no ONE thing is the answer. It sure helps to be healthy though!

So far I haven't had any bouts of depression, or extremely manic behavior (although my spending habits will probably never be healthy...I don't have a credit card though, thank the gods!) and I feel great.

E4ea912bb525efc4e392821120cfb8a6

(450)

on June 06, 2011
at 04:57 PM

Good to hear man! Gives me some encouragement for sure!

2
3eb3f79868b24b3df4450ea2d4f9a5d5

(2387)

on June 06, 2011
at 03:48 PM

Changing my lifestyle (including my diet) had a huge effect on my moods. i could not pin one special aspect of my "clean" diet to the mood changes except for the fact that I now eat regularly which keeps me from getting brittle. There seem to be a huge number of connections between nutrition and psyche, though. Vitamin D, tryptophan, saturated fat...

I would not rely on your diet to solve your problems, though. In your situation I would just try to find something that makes you happy. No matter whether that's playing an instrument, diving into videogames or watching every TED (www.ted.com) video there is (make sure to watch Ken Robinsons talk). Try to get yourself inspired.

E4ea912bb525efc4e392821120cfb8a6

(450)

on September 07, 2013
at 01:28 AM

hahaha I love TED!

1
26b7615ef542394102785a67a2786867

on June 08, 2011
at 09:59 PM

A low-carb paleo-style diet made my depression/ADD symptoms worse. A paleo-style diet including plenty of starch has been good for my body, mind, and emotional state.

1
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 06, 2011
at 10:27 PM

There are a ton of great discussions on this forum and I really recommend you read all of them. If nothing else, you'll find the many ways people have self-treated depression.

I've been self-treating and I use Paleo as one component. It has helped and totally listen to what Quilt said about the 6/3's. However, Paleo is not a cure-all despite what a lot of people say. It was working well for me but I slipped into a depression despite being as close to paleo as possible. I am bi-polar II and can say that combined with Paleo, Magnesium, taurine, fish oil, and sunlight (sometimes I do a tanning bed too), I have not had one hypomanic episode but still getting the blues.

I'm a huge believer in self-experimentation so what I mentioned about supp's above was done over months and with care in tracking. I know I can't go w/o the magnesium but I can go without the taurine. So really track what you're doing/taking including your sleep, exercise, time of day you eat as well as your moods throughout the day. This has helped me discover patterns and to change things up. It also helped me identify optimal times of the day for me to eat. For instance, I found after months of IF I don't do well on one huge meal but do better (mood-wise) eating a few small meals.

One final note: looking into cognitive therapy and doing some kaizen exercises (small steps) has been huge benefits to me. Based on what I'm tracking I think the improved nutrition helped me find these last two components. Look at triggers of depression are huge - not just saying you're depressed.

Depression usually can't be cured by one thing and sometimes it is a factor of several small issues. Paleo has really proved to assist me in clearing my head enough to find smaller issues. You're on the right track, man. Good Luck!!!

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 07, 2011
at 04:01 PM

Big believer in Kaizen. Before adopting it I always felt justified in not doing things if I thought I couldn't do them well. Learning to take small steps towards a goal is extremely helpful to quell anxiety, perfectionism and helplessness.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 07, 2011
at 06:06 PM

Damned perfectionism. Amen sister!

1
Fe29f6658ce67c1ecc4a22e960be7498

(2997)

on June 06, 2011
at 07:21 PM

I'm Mr. Zero Motivation to a 'T', and obsessed about it constantly for freaking decades. To be honest I've simply come to peace with it a little bit, and perhaps changed it a little too. But I do have a little advice:

1) Come to peace with it. Worrying about it too much will just add guilt and regret on top of everything else which never seems to change. I found meditation to be VERY helpful - frankly it almost saved my life in high school and even if you don't become a swami it can help immensely with shifting things around, almost like magic.

2) Like Futureboy I also wish I had discovered all this much much sooner. It not only has changed my overall health dramatically but has sparked new areas of interest and reading. It's better because it's aligned with how we really function as human beings - and not having to fight myself in that way makes other things simpler.

3) Check out your Thyroid (something I've been dealing with lately). You're probably too young for anything to show up but it'll be a good baseline anyway. Ask your doctor to include T3, T4 and ferritin (anemia sometimes is related); All the forums I'm been following ask about these and few doctors or even endocrinologists order them - very frustrating, since my thyroid stuff could have been identified a decade ago!

Good luck!!

1
1f8384be58052b6b96f476e475abdc74

(2231)

on June 06, 2011
at 05:23 PM

ACCEPTANCE OMEGA 3 RICH FOOD DR. KRUSE'S NEW BLOG :)

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on June 06, 2011
at 11:44 PM

Voted back up because I didn't think this should be downvoted. Mallory's making three recommendations: Acceptance, Omega 3s, and TheQuilt's blog. Maybe the downvoter saw the lack of punctuation and thought it was spam...?

1f8384be58052b6b96f476e475abdc74

(2231)

on June 08, 2011
at 04:03 PM

haha regardless i dont care :) i write as i think and dont pay much attention

1
0dbd7154d909b97fe774d1655754f195

(16131)

on June 06, 2011
at 04:42 PM

Read this blog: link text

E4ea912bb525efc4e392821120cfb8a6

(450)

on June 06, 2011
at 04:57 PM

Perfect, thanks!

0
Ccde5a8936b400a752c45fb91d427432

on March 20, 2012
at 05:08 PM

This is another area the popular and commercialized paleo movements have not kept up with. The gap between continuing scientific research and publication continues widening. And with that, some individuals now proclaim a 'don't rock the boat' ethos, no doubt supporting protecting commercial paleo from the harsh realities unveiled by science.

Key to psychological and neurological conditions is basic genetics. Commercialized Paleo is largely a dietary approach; changing to the best quality fuel, lubricants, etc., for you auto while never driving it will result in a badly deteriorated, disabled vehicle. Same with our genes. We're formed and adapted to millions of years of activity aimed at survival. optimal genomic expression occurs only with activity our genes expect. When we're sedentary, our genes are NOT signalled to sequence or produce a host of proteins needed for wellness. A primary beneficiary of exercise activity is the nervous system. Within 20 minutes of exercise you're producing health volumes of neurotransmitters and neuropeptides, and those enhance learning and memory; other neurological metabolic pathways bring about peace and tranquility.

The dietary aspect of Paleo is of tremendous importance to neurological/psychological well being. Those micronutrients need to be in place and available for supporting myriad biochemical responses to exercise.

In general, 30-60 minutes of largely resistance exercise, 5-6 days per week. Beware of schemes attempting to sell you on under-training.

best

Ken

0
1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on June 07, 2011
at 06:08 AM

THe 6:3 thing for sure. and Vitamin D. Perhaps some exercise.

Best Wishes - Eric

0
43415e864447504fb7e659e58abdc309

on June 06, 2011
at 09:07 PM

You might have depleted intestinal flora. Please check out my blog for more info: http://www.holisticchineseherbs.com/blog/

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