Anxiety, and Depression
Editor's Note: Anxiety and
depression can be big problems for many people and often result in
the taking of medications to relieve the symptoms of anxiety and
depression, without necessarily understanding the causes.
There are many reasons why people
have anxiety or depression, most of which are blamed on
circumstances in our lives. Could food be a contributor?
Dr. Paul believes for many people food could lead to inflammatory
conditions, which could contribute to either anxiety, depression, or
Food, Anxiety, and Depression
Margaret Paul, Ph.D.
In our current society, there are
many factors that can cause or contribute to anxiety and depression.
Certainly money and work problems, relationship and family issues,
as well as illness and loss of loved ones are major contributors to
anxiety and depression. Also, how we feel about ourselves and treat
ourselves contribute greatly to how we feel.
Even in the worst of times, if we
are treating ourselves with compassion instead of self-judgment, we
may be able to manage big challenges without anxiety or depression.
In addition, being able to turn to an inner source of spiritual
guidance and comfort is vital to weathering the hard times.
Food is another major factor that
greatly affects how we feel. Most people don’t really notice that
what they put into their bodies affects how they feel. They might
know that if they “sugar out” they may crash emotionally, or if
they drink too much they will feel hung over, but they are often
unaware of how other foods may be creating anxiety and depression.
In the over 35 years that I’ve
been a counselor, I have frequently encountered individuals whose
anxiety and depression completely cleared up by tuning into how food
was affecting them.
For example, Marnie discovered that
dairy, wheat and sugar kept her up at night. She would wake up at
around 3:00 in the morning with intense anxiety, and would be tired
and depressed the next day. By experimenting around and cutting out
different foods, she discovered that she slept fine when she stopped
eating dairy, wheat and sugar. All her nighttime anxiety vanished
and she was no longer tired and depressed.
Joel discovered that his
sleeplessness and resulting depression was a direct result of
caffeine from coffee, tea, chocolate and soft drinks. He had not
realized how much caffeine he was actually consuming until I
suggested that he cut out all caffeine and see what happened to his
sleep. After a week of headaches from caffeine withdrawal, he was
sleeping soundly for the first time in years and no longer felt
Adrienne discovered that her
feelings of anxiety and depression, that had been with her most of
her life, disappeared after she started eating only organic foods.
Her system was so sensitive to the pesticides and food additives in
non-organic food that she could not eat them without feeling anxious
Alex, who periodically struggled
with depression, inadvertently discovered that drinking raw milk
from an organic dairy had a completely different effect on him than
pasteurized milk. He was visiting Los Angeles and went into a health
food store where he discovered that he could buy raw dairy products
(which are outlawed in most other states). He found that the raw
milk gave him more energy and elevated his mood. He also found that,
while he was lactose intolerant with pasteurized milk, he had no
problems with raw milk. Now he has his raw milk, cheese, and butter
shipped frozen to Wyoming, and no longer struggles with depression.
Over and over again my clients, who
have chosen to tune into how food was affecting them, have
discovered how much their feelings were being affected by
Many of my clients have learned
that even a little sugar brings them down. Sugar consumes so many
vital nutrients as the body attempts to process it that it can
actually be considered a poison. How many people really take
“Sugar Blues” seriously?
A hundred years ago, when people
naturally ate non-processed and organically grown food, they were
getting all the nutrients they needed. Now, most fruits, vegetables
and grains are being grown on devitalized soil and over-processed on
top of it. Cows and sheep that were once grass fed are being fed
pesticide-sprayed grains and given hormones to fatten them up.
As a result, much of our food not
only contains little nutrients, but has many toxins as well. Without
the vitamins, minerals, and many other factors that natural, organic
and grass-fed food contains, many people suffer deficiencies that
can cause anxiety and depression, as well a many other illnesses.
I recently found out that the fat
of raw organic dairy products, especially butter, contains natural
anti-inflammatory nutrients. I wonder if the huge rise in arthritis
and other inflammatory conditions is related to the pasteurizing of
milk. Any inflammatory condition can certainly contribute to anxiety
Food is certainly a major factor in
the rise of anxiety, depression and illness. Only you can do
something about this by learning how you are being affected by the
foods you eat.
About The Author
Paul, Ph.D. is the best-selling author and co-author of eight books,
including "Do I Have To Give Up Me To Be Loved By You?"
and “Healing Your Aloneness.” She is the co-creator of the
powerful Inner Bonding healing process. Learn Inner Bonding now!
Visit her web site for a FREE Inner Bonding course: http://www.innerbonding.com
Phone sessions are available.