Last week in my article on thankfulness, I touched on the struggles many of us face during the holidays. It can be a depressing time for a number of people who would prefer to sleep through these jolly times. I feel compelled to share, again, on another avenue to depression that is a major part of this holiday – what we eat.
I know I have shared numerous times in the past about the power of sugar and how it causes depression in me. Last week I discovered another food that gives me the same reaction – so it’s not just sugar. I’ve known that any foods causing sensitivities or allergies can create inflammation in your body - the whole reason I started this food journey. What I didn’t know was that inflammation depletes your serotonin levels which causes depression.
I’ve been aware that nuts upset my stomach, so I eat them in very small amounts. Last Sunday I bought some fresh-off-the-tree pecans that I couldn’t keep my hands off of. I ate way too many for two days in a row. My digestive system went crazy, and I found myself in my “funk” for two days and couldn’t figure out why. I hadn’t had any sugary treats!
After some major denial as I wanted to continue my pecan binge, I started investigating nut allergies and sensitivities and low and behold, depression can be a symptom. (I still love you Brandi Hill and will STILL buy pecans next year!) I may not be allergic, per se, but I have a sensitivity where I can eat a little, but too much will cause a reaction. There are numerous foods that do this to me.
I wonder how many people are on depression medications and dealing with side effects when it may be from some food they shouldn’t be eating?
If you are interested in knowing more, check out this website: www.alternativementalhealth.com.
This article starts out talking about a young woman diagnosed with manic depression. She was given three different medications which settled her manic states, but the depression still occurred. She went to a nutrition counsellor and discovered she had a wheat sensitivity. When she stayed away from it, she had no depression. She gradually came off all her medications.
I am not telling you that food is the cure-all for all depression (although I believe it’s high up there on the list). It is worth a try, though, to discover if food is the culprit for this debilitating problem.
I may reiterate this discovery too often for many of you, but if I can save one person the devastation of dealing with depression, it’s worth the repetition. I struggled with depression for 31 out of my 33½ years of marriage. I blamed it on hormones, my husband, circumstances, moving around with the Air Force, the divorce of my parents, etc., etc. I hid it from everyone but my husband; he took the brunt of it. I wonder how many couples divorce because of a depressed person who never figures out that their spouse is not the reason for their depression.
Once I turned my life over to God, at about the 10 year point of my marriage, I tried to deal with it spiritually. I could never overcome it completely, though, and would only feel guilty that I must not have enough faith. Good Christians shouldn’t struggle with depression, right? Nothing I could do, no fasting or praying, would pull me out of my funk. I didn't realize it was a physical issue and not a spiritual one. Sure, God could have healed me, but He obviously had greater plans by allowing me to figure it out.
Discovering the foods that I’m sensitive to or allergic to has changed my life – and my marriage. I no longer blame Rick – for everything! We now understand that the problem is food related and will pass quickly if I stay away from the culprit.
I feel such freedom from not struggling with depression anymore (as long as I carefully watch what I eat.) If you silently struggle with this issue, start paying attention to what you eat. The main foods that cause problems are wheat, sugar, nuts, eggs. There could be many others too – if I eat too many carrots I have issues. Figure it out and change your life!
Now that I’ve probably added to your depression by telling you not to eat all the amazing treats we indulge in over the holidays, maybe you should wait until the New Year to make these changes. Let it be your resolution to feel better and have a happier marriage in 2015!