Junk food, comfort food, high calorie foods - they could be contributing not only to your waistline but also to your depression. Many mental health conditions occur or are made worse through the foods we eat. Yet, most people do not make this connection. Not doing so could mean the risk of missing the health improvements that foods can bring. In fact, the right diet could easily help encourage improvement of some of your symptoms.
What's the Link?
According to some reports, a poor diet can make you more susceptible to depression. In a study conducted in the UK, more than 3000 middle-aged workers were monitored for a period of five years. They looked at both depression and diet during the study. The study indicated that those who ate junk food were more likely to have depression symptoms.
Is that good or bad news?
What is junk food? In short, this particular study looked at foods that were highly processed, including meats, sweets, fried foods, foods with refined sugars such as cereals, high fat dairy and chocolate. How many of those are in your must-have list in any given day? If you are struggling with depression, there could be a link here.
That's Good News
For those who suffer from depression, the understanding of this link could be incredibly helpful. The study also found that those who had a diet that was rich in fruits and vegetables, as well as fish, had fewer reported symptoms of depression. A healthy diet can help protect against depression. For those who suffer from debilitating depression or other mood disorders, it is critical to investigate all types of links to your condition, including your diet.
A Diet that Fights Depression
What can you do about it? If you want to fight off the depression symptoms you have, do continue to follow your doctor's direction in taking medications. However, boost the effectiveness and your overall health by consuming a diet that is going to help you to fight off ailments. Here are some tips to help you fight depression with food - that is a great way to do it - from WebMD.
Does this mean you have to give up those foods you love? Comfort foods and decadent deserts need to be eaten on a limited basis. Use them as a reward once a week, not an everyday must-have menu item. You can love food and use it to your advantage if you simply know how.
For those with depression, having access to a nutrient-rich diet is not only good for you but it can help to improve your quality of life. Dive in to new foods you have not tried. Boost the nutrition your body needs and your brain may just like it, too. Depression does not have to be just about medications.
The article has been written by Aishwarya Vohra. She advocates the use natural products and organic foods for a healthy body and mind.
Wide awake. Without sleep for over 24 hours, yet for some reason both my body and mind are restless.
I’ve been thinking.
Reconsidering everything I’ve ever though or decided. In a state of unease, almost terrified at my predictions of what the day will bring me.
Sometimes this happens— no, correction: This often happens. My thoughts become a never-ending labyrinth. Usually, this comes when I have woken in terror, and I am left in a haze of emotions and possibilities. Emotions that I have not yet learned to control. Possibilities in my life that I haven’t the strength to reach out and snatch.
Everything I could potentially wonder, I do. I sit there and wonder, frustrated with my usual lack of answers. Do I even need answers? Are there really puzzles I need to solve, or is this confusion an illusion? All I can ever come up with is a big, “MAYBE.”
It can be a battle. Never can I stick with simple contentedness, and especially with life cascading toward me as if I am facing a blizzard head-on. There is a smile reserved to put forth the facade that everything is fine, but when has it ever been? With all honesty, I’m always in misery for one reason or another. How do I make it stop?
I cannot find the solution.
Occasionally I fear I will search to fix myself my whole life; that the journey will be unbearable and impossible like reaching the end of a rainbow. The rest of the time, I worry my emotions will never be in check.
One would claim me depressed. Socially anxious. An introvert. Impulsive. In my mind, I figure as long as I make myself function, how can that be said? Some days I choose to stay in a mental fog by myself, left to my thoughts despite the misery that comes with them. Often I’ll just wait until I’m allowed those hours of lonesomeness, and really sit there and think.
My biggest fear is that I will be alone in life because of my issues. Friends have come and gone, proving only to me how quiet I should keep my problems. Because who really cares besides myself how fucked up it is to be in my head? Nobody. Doctors feign sincerity with a prescription to make me manageable. People will promise their confidence to abandon it for something interesting to talk about. It’s been hard for me to truly open up to another because I don’t know who and who not to trust. I constantly wish I had a trust detector that would allow me to pass someone and it would tell me how trustworthy they are.
I want to be freed from this cage of distrust and fear. I’m nearly sick to the thought of possibility. Going insane in attempt to mask my sadness day by say. Wide awake, and no hope of sleep until tomorrow.
Take the Day off from Anxiety
Sounds great doesn't it? My idea with this is instead of trying to solve all of our issues as the big picture, let just tackle today. I am declaring that today, I am taking a break from my anxiety and depression because I need a vacation from it. It won't be easy but I think it's a step in the right direction. Who wants to join me?
I am deciding to really enjoy my coffee this morning, to write my diary entry and feel good about it, I'm going to have a great day at work....everyone else can have a bad day if they'd like but it's not going to affect me. I'm going to blast my favorite music in my car and when I get home today, I'm going to really enjoy my kids and PLAY with them. Not just go through the motions. I might relax this evening and have a fire and a really nice glass of wine and read my book. Things that feed my soul. Who wants to join me?
I'm going to go to bed tonight and sleep really well for the first time in a long time. Who wants to join me? (Uhh, not in bed, just the taking the day off part).
Maybe it will feel so good that we'll try to do it again tomorrow. Maybe not....but wouldn't we all like to start with just one day?
Who wants to join me?
Yea, I'm pretty sure if I could just stop worrying and relax (We'll call this the SWAR), I probably wouldn't be searching out sites like this in order to try and help myself deal with my anxiety.
So, pick your typical response in this situation:
A) I know, I know
B) I wish it was that easy
C) Gee, you're right! Why didn't I think of that??
D) [email protected]#K You!
It's really not their fault. They simply just don't understand and guess what? We're not weak because we feel this way. I say this knowing full well that I feel severely weak when I have my daily anxiety attacks and I can give the best advice in the world but can't seem to take it for myself all of the time. Do we educate these people who seem to have absolutely everything under control? Hmm, great question. I don't personally care as much about that as I do getting better and helping other people know that they are not alone.
The question I get asked the most - Why did you decide to become a therapist? This is a completely acceptable, normal question for pretty much any therapist but I know I am extra mysterious and confusing because my bachelor's degree is from the Hartt School of Music and has absolutely nothing to do with my current (and correct) occupation.
Hartt = fun. Period. I was 17, had visited a friend there and met kids who were doing a major in music business. Perfect! I get to play piano and sing and get business training! Yay!
So I started in there and absolutely loved it. I loved my ear training classes and being in a master choir and having a great roommate who was a music theater major. Freshman year was amazing.
Sophomore year? Not so much.
I did manage to land another excellent roommate who was also a music theater major so that was cool. And I managed to live in the same suite as my best friend and have easy access at all times to see friends because dorms are cool like that. I lived in RCA - Residential Complex of the Arts - so I was surrounded by amazing artists and musicians and basically given the experience of living in an artist colony that so happened to require walking up four flights of stairs because two years in a row, I managed to be on the 4th floor. I had thighs of steel from those steps I tell you.
Sophomore year was looking like it was going to be just as awesome as freshman year, if not more so. Sadly, however, that was not meant to be. You see, going back a little ways to high school, I met Shannon when I was a high school senior. Shannon was a boy btw. With a very Celtic name. And he was The One. We literally met at a friends house and that was it. From that moment on I loved that boy. It was the first time I'd been seriously deep down in the trenches of love and it was intense.
To provide a little background info - he was the perfect broken baby bird for me. I have always been a rescuer. It's encoded in my DNA I swear to you. His parents were divorced. He technically lived in Mass but he went to school in Manchester, CT hence how I met him. His mother was awful, I literally saw her twice in the entire three years we spent together. His father was very wealthy but never showed it and preferred the friend role, he was also a cheater who was more concerned with his girlfriend and the effort of cheating on his wife to really give a shit about what his son was up to. Shannon had zero parental supervision unless you counted my parents and you probably should seeing as how they let him stay over for at least one night most weekends. This was largely so I wouldn't have to drive him home to Mass more than because of their interest or concern for him. I don't think my parents ever liked him and that hurt. It hurts to have your parents dislike the person you're head over heels for.
It's also a basic guarantee you will fight like hell to stay with that person rather than be proven wrong.
The biggest difference between Shannon and I, was that he loved to party. With drugs. And alcohol. And I...didn't. But I put up with it because I loved him and because he was a brilliant liar. Truly, he should be on the NY Times bestseller list because he had an amazing imagination when it came to lying. And I had an amazing ability to not see anything I didn't want to see or didn't know to look for. One of my clients read through my blog entries and he said he thinks I am a person who loves too much and he is right.
So even when he did coke at a party and I threw a fit, or when he did 8 hits of acid at my senior prom, I pretended not to notice he was a zombie and ruined everyone's night. I refused to see he was on the thinnest of ice with his drug use. Until he discovered heroin. That freaked the shit out of me. Because, of course, he loved it. He loved it so much I didn't realize he loved it more than he loved me until I had no choice but to see it and accept it. I had many opportunities to get away but I never had the heart to keep to it. I broke up with him at least three times but each time he said he was going to die without me and I was the only person in the world who loved him. And, honestly, he was kind of right. His parents sucked, he had no extended family, and friends aren't the same kind of love as what he was searching for. What made him impossible for me to quit was knowing he was completely alone and needed love. (Love addict? Pathological rescuer? Yes to both.)
I definitely had denial. Like, superhero strong denial. All my friends tried to tell me he sucked and I should move on. I wish I had realized at the time how bad things were but even when presented with glaringly disturbing evidence I stuck by him. Like the time he decided to break into his dad and step-moms house with me and he stole a bunch of silverware. Like, a lot of it. Because apparently it was real silver and worth money. I can't remember how he sold me on that one. I don't think he told me the plan prior to getting there. Or the time we went to this terrifying motel so he could buy heroin and he told me it was too dangerous for me inside so I had to wait in the car. Alone. In an extremely bad section of town. Until I couldn't take it anymore and went to the room door and knocked. Only to have it opened by a spaced out junkie who was panicked because his friend had just OD'd in the bathroom and they were all running away after calling 911.
Or even the awesome time a girlfriend of mine and I went to pick Shannon up to go play pool when I SAW needles on the floor with my own eyes. And I pointed them out to Shannon and he insisted he was just selling clean needles to junkies for the money. And I believed him. That was about a month before sophomore year began.
It was about a month into the new semester when I got the call. That he couldn't hide it from me anymore, my friend from the night of the needle sightings knew because she had hung out with him after I'd gone home that night and he'd confessed everything to her. But she didn't tell me. Because she fell for his bullshit as well. I cannot express in words how good at lying an addict is. It is their entire life. Everything an addict has is built on lies, they have no choice but to be brilliant at it.
But I was then 19 and still naive. After everything I had seen. So when the phone call came from Shannon when he said "I'm a junkie. I've been lying to you. I've been shooting up for months and months and I can't stop. My dad is sending me to rehab" I just went into a kind of shock/coma thing.
Ah rehab. That he ran away from. And then tested positive for cocaine in. The last time I spoke to or saw him was at his father's apartment where his dad gave me the money he owed me. (It would be 10 years before I saw him again.) His dad, had actually come to see me at school while looking for Shannon when he was missing. He accused me time and time again of hiding him in my dorm but I think he was just hoping that was the truth. It upset and traumatized me to have someone else's dad leaning on me so heavily. We went for car rides and talked about what to do. He'd call me to check to see if Shannon had shown up and would get angry and frustrated when time after time I would have to tell him I hadn't heard from or seen him. I think his dad cared about me and maybe I haven't been fair to him. He loved his son, he just didn't know how to be a parent. He was much better at being a friend.
Essentially, that phone call from Shannon, where he confessed to being a junkie who shot up so hey, I should probably get tested for HIV and Hep C...that broke me. I was terrified, traumatized, and had absolutely no idea what to do. My friends did the best they could but at that point I was unreachable. I just wanted to go to bed and never wake up.
And then it got worse.
Shannon's dad had been cheating on his wife with a woman named (I shit you not) Candy. And because it's a tiny fucking world we live in, Candy knew my mom's entire family because she'd grown up across the street from them. So, Candy, in all her wisdom, purposely told my aunt about Shannon (at least it was the best aunt possible). Because she knew who I was and I think she hated my mom because when she asked about her she got this look on her face like something smelled bad. Bitch. And, of course, my aunt told my mother. (Apparently she took her for a car ride and gave her a cigarette which, according to my mom, made her nauseous.)
So as I was tucked away in my dorm trying to find the ground beneath my feet, I received a totally unexpected phone call from my mom. "We know about Shannon. When were you going to tell us? Were you going to ever tell us? You know your father doesn't know yet. I'm going to have to take him out to a restaurant so he can't totally freak out in public." She probably said she loved me and attempted some words of comfort but I don't remember them because I was shattered. I was barely keeping it together with Shannon being missing and my thinking I was going to die from some horrible needle disease. I could not do this. I could not comfort my parents and I was completely humiliated and broken. Lost. Traumatized.
And Candy? To this day, if I ever see that bitch I will punch her in the face. I have yet to forgive her because I knew then and I know it today, she did that to fuck with me because of her weird issue with my mom. Psycho. Bitch. Life ruiner.
My poor roommate. She thought she was getting a fun roomie. She put up with the crazy phone calls and with me literally being in my bed as much as humanly possible giving her virtually no privacy in the room because I was always there, usually sleeping. Classes were not my priority anymore. Everything lost its meaning. I was clinically depressed and had been changed on a cellular level. I was not the same girl any more.
I attempted to use the on-campus counseling service, I think my friends recommended it. The intake lady was amazing and if she'd been my therapist I probably would have been about a million times better off. But she wasn't. My therapist was an intern and when I told her what was going on she basically fell out of her chair. Not exactly helpful. But for the first time, I was exposed to therapy land. A seed was planted.
I made it through sophomore year by the skin of my teeth grades-wise. Piano was no longer fun but a necessary evil. I met a new boy and he was amazing and just what the doctor ordered. A complete distraction from the suck that was my life. It was at that time I began experiencing panic attacks. I didn't know what they were. That's also when my anxiety started. I remember running to the campus store to buy Immodium because my digestive system had shut down and I was constantly dealing with what can only be described as ass-plosions. For what would be the next 14 years.
By junior year I was a completely different person. I barely cared about my major. I did my work because I had to but that was about it. My required internship was a plum job at Sony Music in Boston - just what I had wanted. That internship was so good in so many ways and so awful in so many ways. I liked doing the work but I couldn't stand most of the people I had to deal with and I think it showed. The extreme extroversion required to work in the music industry went against my core make-up and I didn't really connect with anyone that strongly. They were nice and it was fun to meet artists and get tons of free stuff but it was also frustrating to not really enjoy something I knew my classmates would kill for. The music industry is an ego-fest. I couldn't keep up and barely tried. I knew by the end of summer I needed to do something meaningful with my life. This shallow world held no appeal for me anymore.
Senior year I was hit with another bomb that someone else in my life was addicted. To heroin. And it knocked me down. Again. But it was almost over. I was almost free of school. I kept plugging away as best I could. I sucked it up to graduate because I just wanted to be done. I wanted the degree so I could move on and start my life. I had been working with special needs children for years by that point and knew I loved it. I knew I didn't want to be with kids who had physical special needs but I was extremely drawn to the trouble-makers. The outsiders. So upon graduation I took a job as a special ed paraprofessional in an alternative middle/high school. I loved it. I decided to get my masters in special ed. But then I hated the classes and realized I didn't want to teach kids math, I wanted to help them survive life and channel their hurt into positive things. While at St. Joseph College one day I noticed a pamphlet for their Marriage and Family Therapy program. I was instantly hooked. I got in without problem despite my music background.
Some shit is just meant to be. Because despite all of that, I wouldn't trade the life I have now for anything. There's even more to the story but frankly, I'm tired and this post is redonkulous long.
When I was a little kid, I didn't feel shy. I was always very reserved and soft-spoken, but I didn't feel any awkwardness. When I was six, another kid once asked me why I was so shy. I remember responding with, "I just don't have anything to say." So much of the time, I still feel that I'm not a shy person, and that I never have anything to add to a conversation. Back to history though. Growing up, I had so many opportunities. I was always doing so many extracurricular activities like dance and art classes, but my parents never, and I mean NEVER forced me to do anything I didn't want to. Little me learned that I never had to do anything that made me uncomfortable, and things started to get uncomfortable. The more I was told my voice was too quiet, the more I was called tiny, the more I was told I looked so young, the more I didn't have to do anything I didn't want to...the more anxiety seemed to plant its seeds. I went to private school until I was 14. Most of the kids there had known each other since at least second or third grade. The first half of the year at my new public school was fantastic. I had so much to learn, I was well-liked by most everyone, and I had my first boyfriend. The day he broke up with me was one of the first major turning point in my life. I learned what depression was. Other than school, I did not leave my house for two months. When I was at school, I was a ghost. My friends stopped calling, and I stopped caring. I lost interest in all the things I used to love. People started to see me differently. I was no longer the bright and happy girl. I was odd. To odd even for the outcasts. People would approach me, but quickly lose interest. And eventually, no one approached me. Even depressed, I was enthusiastic about my new appearance. I started wearing make-up, dying my hair, and dressing creatively. To others, I guess I looked as depressed as I acted. Needless to say, they were less enthusiastic than I. I can't really say what the next few years were like, because I don't remember much. I found new friends, and new hobbies that mostly included drugs and alcohol and boys. My only anxiety I remember back then came from wanting so badly to express myself creatively in ways my parents didn't approve of, and from school which became increasingly difficult. I started having health problems and eating disorders. School became a nightmare. I couldn't keep up with my friends, drugs, health problems, eating disorders, family problems, and school. I started having panic attacks. They would start the instant I laid out my homework on the table. My work wouldn't get completed, and I was terrified of going to class empty handed. I stopped going to class because I was always either sick or panicking about being empty handed. It was a vicious cycle. Whenever things got tough or uncomfortable, I would run away from them. I didn't have to deal with anything I didn't want to. The one thing that was always comfortable was relationships. I was always in one, never single for more than a week. They always ended in one of two ways; I got bored, or I had smothered them so much that someone ended the unhealthy relationship. The more I was in relationships, the less time I spent with friends or focusing on myself at all. When my significant other wanted space, I was terrified because I had no life outside of them. Another vicious cycle. I think that's when my social interaction got really uncomfortable. And of course, I never had to do anything that made me uncomfortable. All I cared about and thought about was my boyfriend. And who wants to hear someone blab on and on about their significant other? I tried to make friends, but no one stuck around for long. I was always the one initiating plans. I wasn't involved at school or work or anywhere for that matter, so I didn't have a place to connect to anyone. I went through periods of giving up. When I got to the point of feeling like a circus freak from how socially awkward I felt when I'd go to the grocery store, I'd throw myself into social situations like parties. (but never without Jack, Jim, or Jerry to help me endure the dreaded introductions and small talk.) It was magic! I'd wake up in the morning with pictures on my camera, and new friends. And it seemed to cost me no effort. Well most functioning people can't always spend time with Jack, Jim, or Jerry. I didn't feel comfortable when they weren't around. I tried to be a productive functioning member of society, but that included going out and talking to people. it seemed I had to choose; be a non-functioning lonely recluse, or be a non-functioning social drunk. The choice seemed logical enough to me....until of course, I hit that "rock bottom." This was no way to be. Surely, I thought, therapy will help me. Well it did, but only because I had fun learning about psychology and how awesomely screwed up I was, and it helped me to be a little less lonely. Someone not only listened to all my bullshit, but they gave me compliments too! Drugs didn't help much either. I was on them for depression, and they made me feel like shit. What was a 16 year old doing on Prozac anyway? So now, I'm 20 years old and I'm terrified of people. I've never had a job because I'm terrified of being interviewed. I avoid every day responsibilities that require me to talk to someone. I rarely approach strangers, no matter how badly I want to say something to them. I spend all of my time alone when I'm not at the doctors office. I spend hours every day on social networks wishing I had friends, doing the things I love. My personality is so confident, happy, and even social. So why can't I show it? When I'm faced with showing it, I turn into a spineless jellyfish. I'm suddenly unsure of myself. When I'm approached in public, my brain instinctively says "Oh God. Please go away." I don't really want the person to go away most of the time. The longer I have to stand there, the more ridiculous my thoughts become. The anxiety grows from "I'm nervous" to "I feel awkward" to "I wonder what she thinks of me." to "She probably thinks I'm an idiot." to "Brain, shut up and focus on the conversation" to "She can see that I'm nervous." My mouth becomes dry. My eyes dart around the room. I even say things I don't agree with just because they're more convenient at the time, and my brain is so busy racing that I don't have any room to think about how I actually feel about what's being said. And once I think the other person can sense my nervousness, any fraction of feeling content is demolished. Will this be the model for the rest of my life? Time will tell.
Decided to stop taking my medication a few weeks ago.
I don't dare tell people that I suffer with Depression and Anxiety in case they treat me differently.
Eleventh grade year. What makes this year different? I'm being more social. I'm more scare about it than anything. I should be jumping for joy that I am improving but I'm so use to being alone and depending solely on myself. But now, I have friends...
My notes for working through cognitive behavioral therapy for depression, in case that helps anyone here!
I hate talking about myself
Usually when I do i find anything to slip past the situation
I have a troubled past amongst many others and more then three quarters of the worlds population
Mine consists of rape on numerous occasions that consisted of men and women, both old and young, by people I thought i could trust who had either sold me, used me, or gave me to someone else
Physical and emotional abuse from my peers and those elders we were taught to respect
Growing up i have met gay people, they were either disowned, beaten or killed. I don't really understand what it's like to remember the faces like many others do when they lose friends or family, for it didn't take long before even in my dreams, their faces became blurs, but the events still find it's way back into my mind.
I choose to care for those around me, not to be the kind soul or gental hearted person that wants to save the world. No i choose to care, because I can at least make someones life that much better just by smiling or doing a simple act of kindness. It isn't so hard, but it isn't done often enough.
I choose to put others before myself, because i have a habit of disreguarding myself and it is easier to focus on others problems then my own. I don't know how many times i had to take credit for a crime I never commited. I know i am going about it all wrong, but in the moment, even though your mind tells you to just tell the truth and all will be alright, maybe there will be a strain in trust or the relationship someway, somehow, my meart chooses to cover it up in hopes the person doesn't get upset with me and chooses to stay my friend. Sad because the reality of it just makes me a loser in many ways.
In Elementary school i was a bright kid, i could have accomplished so much, but i chose to dumb myself down in hopes of having the bullies back off and everyone else stop taking advantage of me. I guess i didn't realize until after i graduated high school and having helped so many others graduate and go to college that if i had focused on myself and just got my work done normally i could have actually gotten to a good college and escape these awful people that i would never have to see again.
I have a mother who cares and loves me with all her heart, but i can't give a single phone call once a day, instead it seems i can't wait for the conversation to end after three minutes and call once either once every couple of days and sometimes a week.
I have a father who doesn't need to be in my life, but tries. Our conversations consist of the "Hellos" and "How was your day" followed with a "be safe, I love you" short and not even a minute long. nothing straining the relationship just my own sense of time as though i have something better to do than talk to the man who has made an effort to be in my life.
I am married to a man I used to be unable to stand. Met in high school, became friends after my bestfriend had moved in with him. They hung out everywhere and a bit of envy set in for the one person keeping me sane in my life was taken from me, although it sounds silly, it is still how i felt. Now we are best of friends and married as equals, free to flirt and do what ever with whoever. It sounds like the perfect relationship, when it isn't a relationship at all. Who would have thought my first marriage was without the love you'd see in the movies, it is more a relationship of siblings than lovers. Sad really, it is the only relationship i've ever known other than being used as a sexual object for anyone to use, because maybe just maybe it's all i am actually good for.
What am i good at, i'm not sure, I really don't know, I am good at talking to people and making friends, actually holding the conversation or keeping interst i am not too good at and actually keeping a friendship that lasts more than a few days is close to impossible considering no one has "time" for anything. Work, school, volunteer, family, friends, etc. there is always something I have to do, although this truly is not the case, i just tend to find staring at the four walls of my bedroom more entertaining than attempting to embarress myself anymroe than i should.
I can't sleep at night, there are unwanted memories that like to slither their way into them. I am terrified to sleep. I barely take my small naps just so i don't have to dream. just darkness, somewhere i find comfort. unhealthy, but it's what gets me through each and every day i suppose.