Over the last month, I have had a pretty rough time of life. I'm battling depression again, and while it's not particularly fun, I am learning a lot about it and about myself.
I don't like talking about depression: it's just such a downer. But on the other hand, there are so many people dealing with it (something like 1 in 5 Americans), that I really can't just sweep it under the rug.
My mom keeps telling me to keep it positive, but this is positive, I promise.
I've talked a little about my past before, so I really don't want to re-hash it all again for you. Cliff Notes' version: I was bullied, very badly for 3 years and it raised all my defenses so I high that I haven't been able see out of them for a very long time.
I received an email last week from one of my favorite blogs, Nourished Kitchen, about how she has an ongoing struggle with depression. I love her blog because it's all traditional recipes and healthy eating from a traditional foods perspective rather than a modern, fast food, secretly toxic perspective.
In her post she mentioned ways that she's used personally to combat the issue, and linked to a summit called the Depression Sessions which is ending in the next day or so. I watched a couple of the videos (you get certain ones for free for specific days or you can buy a lifetime pass), and I was blown away by what I heard. I was also shocked that I hadn't thought of some of this myself.
For me, my depression drives me to eat emotionally, which usually starts with sugar and sweets. Then, the guilt from eating all the processed foods makes me more depressed, which in turn leads me towards even more sugar. It's a vicious cycle that I've been trying to break.
I know the sugar is addictive, I've discussed that in a previous post. What I should have realized is that sugar causes chemical changes in the brain, as do all the other highly processed foods that we eat these days.
What the video I watched said was that all the toxins building up in the brain can cause people who are otherwise predisposed to depression to advance in the disease more quickly.
In other words, processed foods, including white sugar, can cause depression. Or at least make it worse.
Now, obviously, I'm not a doctor, or a therapist or even a nutritionist (yet), but I do know that eating sugar does not help my illness. I do know that the incidence of depression has skyrocketed with the consumption of processed foods.
Yet another reason I want to go back to Almost Paleo eating.