Is Your Diet Making You Depressed?

Marcia Purse Health Guide
  • What do you eat? If you're like me, you crave Cheetos, Dunkin' Donuts (old fashioned, really dunked in milk), ice cream, Frappucino, brownies (made from a mix is far less expensive than purchased) ... okay my list goes on. I used to eat red velvet cake (for the frosting) for breakfast. Now I don't have breakfast, just a bottle of Frappucino (unless I've bought a dozen donuts). Lunch is often nonexistent, and dinner is generally some frozen high-carb thing from the freezer.


    A couple of insidious things are at work here. The first is that depression is caused, at least in part, by low serotonin levels in the brain. One of the effects of carbohydrates is that the sharp increase in blood sugar helps increase serotonin levels, which may ease depression. Serotonin also has an effect on hunger, so when it's low, some researchers believe this causes you to want more food.

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    The other is that these empty carbs only give you a temporary fix. Blood sugar spikes after eating them, but then drops badly. The result: the cravings return swiftly, and depression can worsen.


    Adding to this is that many psychiatric meds - especially antipsychotics - have side effects that can lead to uncontrolled blood sugar, metabolic syndrome and even diabetes.


    I got diabetes this way. The more weight I gained from psych meds, the worse the problem became. Then my depression became worse and worse as my blood sugar went out and control. Bang - diabetes.


    The sad thing is, I know how well doing the opposite works. I lost almost 35 pounds - and felt much happier - when I ate a really good diet for a year. Then circumstances triggered a dark depression, and it all went to hell. That was five  years ago, and I've never gotten back to that good diet. Now, even with my blood sugar improved by meds, I'm depressed most of the time.


    Does this sound like you? Then believe me, I know how hard it is to eat nutritionally. Even though I know how much good it would do me, I'm not doing it. That's why I'm sharing this. I'm hoping it will inspire me to make the changes I need to make.


    So I ask again - what do you eat?

Published On: September 30, 2012