Diet and depression

A couple of years ago, I experienced my lowest point so far. When I finally climbed out of this hole, I asked myself: What can I do that something like that doesn’t happen to me again? After my experience from the second half of last year and the time it took me (probably still takes me) to recover, I am now at a point where I want to ask that question again. That is why tragic stories about depression hit a nerve. It is also why I want to understand more about depression, its roots, symptoms, and how to become more resilient.

Let’s start that I have never been diagnosed with depression. Maybe because I never went to a doctor. If that was smart? I don’t know. Maybe it was hubris and the thought that I am strong enough to get through it myself, because I already climbed out of a hole in the past. I think this is a question I still need to think about, as the answer to it might affect my future actions. It was a humbling experience and I know now more than ever that I might never be completely ready to deal with everything that is thrown at me.

Life really is a walk through nature. You can stay on the most travelled path which is the most secure, but maybe also the most boring one. And, you will climb peaks and go through valleys. You will be speechless by its beauty and you will cry because of its ruthlessness. But you will never stop learning. Or be presented with learning opportunities. If you learn or not is an individual decision.

Let’s get back to the topic. When I started my research about depression and how to handle it, I stumbled about something interesting. Something that is so obvious that I neglected it myself for a long time. The relationship between our emotional state and our diet. Since I observe this relationship more closely in myself, I realize that often, when I didn’t eat properly my thoughts turn darker and more help- and hopeless. When I eat something right after, I can observe how my mood improves and my thoughts are more positive.

That was also what many people said when they spoke about their depression and how they handle it. A big part is diet. Maybe you are allergic to certain types of food and that is what causes your depression. Maybe you don’t eat regularly or too little. Or maybe your diet is just not diverse enough. It almost sounds ridiculous that something simple like food can have such an effect on us. But maybe try to observe your eating habits and how they affect your emotional state and responses. I don’t say that is the only reason, but maybe it has an influence on you. I think it is so easy to overlook and neglect the effect of our diets.

They say that we have a second brain in our gut, a network of neurons lining or guts. Scientists found out that it partly determines our mental state. In an article from the Scientific American they wrote that:

Although gastrointestinal (GI) turmoil can sour one’s moods, everyday emotional well-being may rely on messages from the brain below to the brain above.

Everything is connected. This is not only true for the outside-world, but also our own bodies. Depression and anxiety are terrible things. Maybe we can improve the situation and help ourselves and others by taking better care of our diets.

 

Love and hugs, Stephan

 

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