Dealing with Depression

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I've been dealing with some pretty strong bouts of depression this past week. Monday was the worst, I couldn't even muster the strength to wash the dishes. It's never been that bad before. I started doing some research and some studies suggest that increased consumption of preprocessed foods, especially sugars can cause mood swings, anxiety, depression and more. That's basically all I've eaten for the past week, if not the past month. Sugary foods are my favorite but now they're not only destroying my body but my mind. I used to think I could learn to only eat sugary foods in moderation. I may just have to give them up all together. I don't know what the solution is gonna be yet, I have more research to do but right now I'm seriously considering saying goodbye to anything thays not a natural sugar and that's gonna be crazy hard to do.

I'm literally thinking I'm crazy and I know I'm depressed. Am I that far off in thinking that removing sugar from my life for good is possible? That it will even help?

Replies

  • mbaker566
    mbaker566 Posts: 11,233 Member
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    you want to make a change. this is a good thing :)
    i would recommend the change as seeing a professional. they might recommend medication or a change in lifestyle or therapy.
  • Luke_rabbit
    Luke_rabbit Posts: 1,031 Member
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    If the study you saw was the one done fairly recently with teens/young adults, then it might make you feel better to know that the study was scientifically poorly done. So the results are actually not to be believed.

    Now, I am a firm believer in getting good nutrition for good health. Slowly working towards that is a great goal for everyone. But trying to avoid all the foods you enjoy the most is counterproductive.

    Please seek out help for your depression. Therapy and possibly meds are both effective. They are also a great way to care for yourself.

    Any of us living with depression have days when dishes don't get done, showers never happen, teeth don't get cared for, etc. And that's okay. Be kind to yourself.

    Hugs.
  • shaumom
    shaumom Posts: 1,003 Member
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    I'm gonna say the opposite of Womona, LOL.

    Before you see a therapist, I'd check for physical health, if at all possible. The mind is part of the body, so if there's anything going wrong in the body, it can impact the brain, you know? And when you start having extreme fatigue, which can be indicative of a lot of physical problems but which is usually ignored in patients known to have depression (unfortunately), then you may need to be proactive to make sure there is nothing that is being missed.

    Some thoughts on things you can check over (and potentially help with now, a little).
    1. Vitamin deficiencies - a number of these are known to play a big role in depression. Getting tested for them ASAP, and taking a multivitamin (and checking to see if any others need to be added, as most are low in calcium and iron) might be of use.

    2. Food allergies - mild food allergies may cause things like fatigue (that feels pretty much identical to depression fatigue) and inflammation, even when rashes or hives are not present. Studies have linked inflammation with increased (or possible the direct cause of) depression. Many folks I know who had mild allergies also had depression, and the depression was significantly improved when they dropped the allergies.

    3. Celiac disease - a blood test needed for this (without changing your diet before any of the testing needed for it). This can cause nutrient deficiencies and, like food allergies, extreme fatigue and inflammation. Depression can be caused by this too. This was me. I was diagnosed, started treating it, and within I think 2-3 months, depression literally just melted away, bam. I'd had it for well over a decade before that. It was crazy. And the only reason I got diagnosed was because I asked to be tested - I had none of the gut symptoms most people had. Found out later that a good % of celiacs don't have the 'traditional' symptoms, but instead have fatigue as the major issue.

    4. Any family diseases or diseases for your location - if you have certain auto-immune disorders or other hereditary diseases in the family, or diseases that are prevalent where you live (like lyme disease) many can cause extreme fatigue and would be worth exploring.

    5. food intolerances - Aside from breath tests for lactose intolerance and fructose malabsorption (a fructose intolerance), we have not a single known-to-be-accurate test for food intolerances. Partly because doctors do not go out of their way to study them, typically, and there is no specialty that is solely for intolerances. Gluten intolerance, which everyone hears about now, has only had one study prove it exists, and even with that, doctors quite literally only have speculation as to what's really happening, because they haven't been able to prove it yet (and this is complicated by the fact that celiac disease USED to be called gluten intolerance, but no longer is, and some docs use the old term and some the new. :-P).

    So for this, people stopping one particular food for an elimination diet, and keeping track of how they feel, and then doing a challenge later, can be very helpful. and many people have found that they do not feel well when they eat a certain food, even if it tests negative as an allergy, so food intolerance is presumed.

    And I say all this because...I can't do sugary foods. Like at all. Massive physical and mental problems when I do. It's either 'don't eat them at all' or 'i'll just eat it in moderation, oh wait, I can't, I just ate three tubs of ice cream because this stuff is like crack as far as I'm concerned.' Weirdly, my mother AND my Granny are the same way. And my granny is not, like, some modern person. She was from this little village in another country where they had no running water or plumbing had all their babies at home and grew a lot of their own food. And even she had to stop eating the sweets that they could get...so this isn't just, like, some modern diet fad issue, you know what I mean?

    I understand that going whole hog seems extreme to some people, but for some of us, that's literally the only thing that works. To do it, I basically got a lot of sweet fruit that I could tolerate so I could snarf that when the 'I need sugars!' urge hit. Like, blending up ripe melons in a blender, mix in a tiny bit of lemon juice, and make it into a slushie with the freezer. That's a good sweet hit that can be fast and easy and helps with the cravings, for me.


    If there's nothing physically wrong, definitely, mental health professionals can be life saving, and I hope you can get help from them if you need it. So can the proper drugs. But the one problem is simply that once you are KNOWN to have a mental health issue, many doctors sadly ignore a lot of physical symptoms as 'this is just the depression.' And for me, that would have literally prevented me from ever NOT being depressed. That's not the issue for everyone, of course, but enough of us that it's probably worth the effort to check, you know?

    Wishing you good luck, and hugs, and hope that you have more energy soon, hon.
  • kshama2001
    kshama2001 Posts: 27,996 Member
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    I've been dealing with some pretty strong bouts of depression this past week. Monday was the worst, I couldn't even muster the strength to wash the dishes. It's never been that bad before. I started doing some research and some studies suggest that increased consumption of preprocessed foods, especially sugars can cause mood swings, anxiety, depression and more. That's basically all I've eaten for the past week, if not the past month. Sugary foods are my favorite but now they're not only destroying my body but my mind. I used to think I could learn to only eat sugary foods in moderation. I may just have to give them up all together. I don't know what the solution is gonna be yet, I have more research to do but right now I'm seriously considering saying goodbye to anything thays not a natural sugar and that's gonna be crazy hard to do.

    I'm literally thinking I'm crazy and I know I'm depressed. Am I that far off in thinking that removing sugar from my life for good is possible? That it will even help?

    Some people are abstainers, and for them, abstinence may indeed be the best plan.

    My emotional state is better when I eat better (and exercise regularly) but I am able to moderate some sugary foods. More specifically, baked goods, which are also high in fat.

    I've found if I work at keeping my protein up (and exercise regularly) I am far less likely to succumb to eating that is not healthy for me. I have to work at it though, and I'm not perfect. Last night I got hungry unexpectedly and the next thing I knew I had polished off a sleeve of Girl Scout cookies that I bought for my brother but was keeping here as my brother is not able to moderate them. If I'd eaten something more balanced I probably could have taken care of my hunger in 300 calories rather than 743.

    But I went back to my normal way of eating this AM and am feeling good again.

    Are you getting treatment for your depression? It can take some trial and error to find both a good therapist and a good anti-depressant. I heard an interesting piece on AD's Monday night. I'm sharing not to suggest that people seek this new brain wave testing, but just to let them know to keep trying until they find an AD that works. I myself tried about 6 before I found Wellbutrin SR, which works great for me.

    I used to think that something major was wrong with me, but eating better (not perfectly :) ), exercising regularly, and Wellbutrin help so much. (When depressed, I have to force myself to start exercising, and am always glad I did.)

    https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2020/02/10/804539572/will-that-antidepressant-work-for-you-the-answer-may-lie-in-your-brain-waves

    ...Right now, "one of our great frustrations is that when a patient comes in with depression we have very little idea what the right treatment for them is," says Dr. Amit Etkin, an author of the study and a professor of psychiatry at Stanford University. "Essentially, the medications are chosen by trial and error."
  • Iamnotasenior
    Iamnotasenior Posts: 234 Member
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    I'll echo shaumom's response and suggest you go get checked out by a physician and get your vitamin levels tested by getting some bloodwork done. Low levels of Vitamin D and other vitamins and minerals can definitely contribute to depression and fatigue. When we are depressed and overly tired our defenses are down and we just want to feel good and we reach for junk food or sugary foods. That makes us feel even worse and a vicious cycle begins. Exercise, sufficient sleep, exposure to sunlight, green vegetables, adequate dietary nutrition are all things that can help lift depression that is physical in origin. If, after your physical health has been addressed, you don't feel any better, talk to a therapist about your depression.