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  Topic Review (Newest First)
07-23-2017 06:48 PM
poivron David: thank you so much for your considerate comment. I've seen psychiatrists and psychologists on and off over the years. I was on Celexa and, later, Wellbutrin for a several years but stopped about nine years ago when I was working abroad. I've been getting weekly therapy for the last four years. I feel like I'm doing well, but it's true that my lows are pretty awful. I'm a scientist-turned-artist (i.e., I was a grad student in the physical sciences when I was on medication, but I'm now a full-time artist), so I'm a little reluctant to go back on medication that might moderate my highs; I feel like the lows are the price I pay for the highs. But I will talk to my therapist this week about possibly seeing a psychiatrist and getting back on medication.

Nietzscha: I was talking to my husband about how your symptoms are somewhat similar to mine, and he wanted me to tell you that he thinks you can feel justifiably proud of yourself. He says it speaks to what a good person you are that when you're feeling totally on top of things, your instinct is to be vegan and save animals.
07-23-2017 04:50 PM
David3
Quote:
Originally Posted by poivron View Post
What you do with food when you're depressed is very similar to what I do with work. When I'm on a high, I work hard, and I work long hours. I go through my to-do list, taking care of all the little things I normally dread doing. I get huge amounts of work done and feel great. I try to maintain that level of productivity for as long as possible, but then I go into a low and can't work at all. I procrastinate, and I fear never being able to work again. I can't take care of the smallest things like going to the dry cleaner's. I can't even go out to a store to buy something. I feel horribly guilty about not being productive, which makes it even harder to work and get things done. Then, after what seems like a very long time, I suddenly start feeling better and the whole cycle starts over again.

I'm able to stay vegan and eat well during my lows because my husband is the one who takes care of shopping and cooking. Your post got me thinking that if I didn't have him, I would probably be in the same situation you're in with respect to food. Before I moved in with him, I used to go through periods when I was able to shop and cook for myself, and periods when I couldn't shop or cook and ate out all the time. I didn't pay much attention to it because I was an omnivore and not very health-conscious back then.

(I'm pretty sure I'm not bipolar, since my highs don't seem manic. I just work harder and have a lot more energy. It's my lows that cause the most dysfunction.)

.

The low periods really sound crippling. Have you discussed your symptoms with a psychologist or LCSW (licensed clinical social worker)?

I have lifelong depression. I get a low dose prescription of Zoloft (an antidepressant and anti-anxiety medication) during the winter months. I've been taking it off-and-on this way for 20 years. It helps to smooth things out.
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07-23-2017 02:13 PM
poivron What you do with food when you're depressed is very similar to what I do with work. When I'm on a high, I work hard, and I work long hours. I go through my to-do list, taking care of all the little things I normally dread doing. I get huge amounts of work done and feel great. I try to maintain that level of productivity for as long as possible, but then I go into a low and can't work at all. I procrastinate, and I fear never being able to work again. I can't take care of the smallest things like going to the dry cleaner's. I can't even go out to a store to buy something. I feel horribly guilty about not being productive, which makes it even harder to work and get things done. Then, after what seems like a very long time, I suddenly start feeling better and the whole cycle starts over again.

I'm able to stay vegan and eat well during my lows because my husband is the one who takes care of shopping and cooking. Your post got me thinking that if I didn't have him, I would probably be in the same situation you're in with respect to food. Before I moved in with him, I used to go through periods when I was able to shop and cook for myself, and periods when I couldn't shop or cook and ate out all the time. I didn't pay much attention to it because I was an omnivore and not very health-conscious back then.

(I'm pretty sure I'm not bipolar, since my highs don't seem manic. I just work harder and have a lot more energy. It's my lows that cause the most dysfunction.)

Anyway, I'm just posting this because I was moved to see that someone else out there goes through the same sort of cycle I go through. Please know that you're not the only one struggling with this kind of thing. And please try to go easy on yourself. It's really hard to fight one's brain chemistry. It's almost like trying to lift yourself off the ground by pulling your shoelaces.
07-23-2017 11:43 AM
Nietzscha You bring up a good point about calories. When I am more on the manic side of things I eat perfectly. I weigh my food, I make sure that I get enough calories, protein, fat, and carbs, etc. I take vitamins including B-12. I run almost every day and even lift weights some days. I play with my dog in the backyard and get a lot of work done in the house. THEN when I get depressed I let that horrid cycle start where I stop exercising. Then I stop going in the yard. When I haven't yet switched back to dairy, eggs, and fish, all I want to eat are boiled peanuts and garbanzo beans. Then I realize I can't eat like that, and instead of adjusting to eat healthier, I just throw in the towel. I think if I just allow myself to not be a "perfect" eater or exerciser when I'm depressed, I might do a lot better. I have a mantra that Hannah Hart, a Youtuber and author who is open about her own depression, says just to do SOMETHING every day. It doesn't have to be perfect or big, just something. Wish I actually followed it X-D.

I actually do have to get blood tests every year for the insurance that I'm on (it's really good insurance), and it always comes out perfect. Not sure how, since I do sit around and do nothing but eat when depressed, but it is. I guess I eat healthy enough for long enough that my bad eating may not be as bad as I think (yet anyway).

Thanks to everyone's responses so far, I think I have some things to think about!
07-20-2017 12:28 PM
emsan What i know about depression and anxiety is that you may have malnutrition, there's some really important nutrient you have to take if you're vegan.
B12 for example and it is found in animal product and therefore hard for us to get. Studies have found that B12 lower the depression of people and are really important if you're going vegan. B12 however takes a while before it makes progress and it's a life commitment if you care about your health. I've been taking B12 for almost a year now and i can feel the difference, i've more energi in the morning and i don't get bad thoughts, feeling down etc anymore.

Omg 3 should everybody take, there's other alternative then fish oil of course and that's omg 3 made of Algiers, this nutrient have huge benefit with you're health and when we're talking about depression it's have high evidence for reducing depression symtom. However not diagnosed major depressive disorder. BUT i really recommend you take this because it have so many health benefit that i can't see any problem for you to maximise your well being!
This also treat anxiety and you want the highest dose of it, which allow you to stay healthy.

D3 also known the sun, is the only nutrient you'll get from the sun. This is also really important for anybody who dosen't have sun everyday and don't use sun protection. The recommended daily dose of D3 (not D2!!) are 4000 IU, it's really important you check the amount of IU otherwise you'll end up doing nothing for your body.
Studies that shown while you're take D3 you should also take K2, this increase the intake from D3 and has awesome benefit.

I recommend you to take a blood test and really search around about these vitamins and read about it yourself, for example how much of D3 do i really need in my blood and so on...

Running and really push yourself is really anxiety reducing to, it's so hard in the beginning but it's get better!

I hope this really help you!
Take care
07-20-2017 09:13 AM
poivron I've been struggling with depression and anxiety for almost my entire adult life. I often think that at least in my case, being depressed is a lot like being bipolar, except that the swings are milder. I definitely go through cycles in which I feel upbeat for about two months and then feel miserable for about a month.

For some reason, in my case, veganism goes hand-in-hand with depression. In other words, when I'm depressed, I hate humanity and feel closer to animals, so that I'm more passionate about veganism when I'm depressed than when I'm doing well.

Do you live in a house that has a yard? If so, trying to form a rapport with the animals in the yard might help you stay vegan during your depressed periods. I put out a handful of hazelnuts (in the shell) every day for the squirrels. Maintaining a bird bath can also help. It's amazing how much a small amount of water means for the birds, squirrels, and even the bees in the neighborhood. Just buying a birdbath is not enough, though. You have to keep it clean; otherwise the birds won't use it. I keep a watering can and a brush outside our front door. It takes less than five minutes to lightly scrub the birdbath and refill it with fresh water. I do this twice a day, but the birds will be grateful if you just clean and refill it once a day. Also, most of the birdbaths sold by stores are too deep, too steep, or too slippery for birds. A simple clay tray made to go under a flower pot is superior to most birdbaths out there, as far as birds are concerned. If you want a real birdbath, look for something that's shallow (1.5 - 2 inches deep), with a gentle slope, and made out of a neutral-colored material that is not slippery.

Do you get enough exercise? I find that running really helps me. It doesn't cure the depression, but it makes me feel like I'm on top of things.

Finally, it might just be that your vegan diet is not giving you enough calories. I think the idea others have posted of having lots of good vegan junk food in your house is a good one. But also make sure you're eating well enough. I see my down swings as my body needing a rest after a long period of being hyperactive. So just eating more during your depressed periods might solve the problem of staying vegan. Make sure to eat lots of fatty and caloric foods like olive oil and avocadoes, as well as highly nutritious foods like tofu, beans, and lentils. Go out to Lebanese and Egyptian restaurants. I like to go to a Korean restaurant where they serve an amazing vegan bi-bim-bap. (It's not normally vegan, but it becomes vegan when they serve it with tofu and leave out the egg.)

Good luck, and please keep us updated.
07-20-2017 05:02 AM
Militia Ink
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nietzscha View Post
This topic has been difficult for me to talk about, but I was diagnosed with Bipolar II disorder back in January (about 6 months ago). Bipolar II means that I get hypomanic episodes, in which I get super hyper, excitable, racing thoughts, difficulty staying on one subject, etc (but never a full manic episode where I would hallucinate, etc). I am currently pescatarian, but during my "hypomanic" states, I've been much better about being vegan. However, I've only made it for as much as 2 months. When I hit the depression episodes I go back to being pescatarian and eating junk food all over again. I'm not exactly sure what I want out of posting this, but I really want to be vegan for my own values, yet I know that realistically I always stop trying once depression hits. Does anyone else struggle with their own depression and how they are able to actually stay vegan when their minds are really just craving anything to make them feel good? (I can't exactly explain why non-vegan foods make me feel "good" when I'm in a bad mood, but I definitely just want cheese and junk food). My bipolar also comes with anxiety, so it's super hard for me to talk to others about my veganism. I really only rely on my husband who is an omnivore but still cares about/respects my desire to be vegan. It makes going out or going to friends' houses really hard for me. Basically I'm hoping for any advice in this matter?
I've been diagnosed with depression and anxiety, and I know what you mean when you say it's hard telling other people about my veganism. Interesting, in my experience with depression, I didn't feel the need to move away from veganism, but then again, I generally didn't have cravings (except maybe for ice cream but I was able to substitute that ) I wouldn't say veganism has helped my depression, but it hasn't hindered it either. Depression is a difficult thing, and so is its treatment. My short term way of helping me feel better is to do things that relax me, which could mean reading if I want some alone time or talking to someone if something's bothering me. I find talking to someone close, or even online, helpful. The bad thoughts don't go away completely, but they do reduce significantly. Unfortunately, there's not really a 'one-size-fits-all' thing. Hell, there's not even a 'cure'. My suggestion is to slowly wean yourself off non-vegan foods (e.g: avoid eating cheese for a day, then expand it to a week when you're ready, etc). In summary, try replacing comfort foods with some kind of activity you love to do.

About telling people you're vegan, I know it's hard but you just have to push through it. Don't think, just do. The more you do it, the less you feel anxious about it. When someone offers you something non vegan, just say "No thanks, I'm vegan." And that's that. Most people will understand.

Hopefully this has helped.
07-20-2017 01:01 AM
BlueMts I have severe mood swings too and often really want some things that are not vegan but like Jeassandreia I just go for the vegan junk food I always keep vegan biscuits (cookies) potato chips, chocolate, peanut butter, sometimes cake and of course ice cream on hand in case I need to binge- just been eating biscuits and nuts because I feel stressed.

Going out - well I don't go out to eat very often when I'm in one of those moods- because I can get very very angry when I am badly depressed but if I do I go somewhere where I have checked out the menu to make sure they have something vegan to eat.

Going to friends and family, just make something yourself or buy something if you don't cook - plenty of vegan substitutes around these days - and take it with you. Take enough so non-vegans can try if they want to.

It can be done and it gets easier as you go along
07-19-2017 08:29 PM
jessandreia Maybe have vegan versions of the foods you crave? Vegan cheese, vegan fish - Gardein fishless filets for example, vegan junk food - oreos, vegan ice cream, vegan chips, etc.
07-19-2017 06:08 PM
Nietzscha
Mental Disorders and Trying to Stay Vegan

This topic has been difficult for me to talk about, but I was diagnosed with Bipolar II disorder back in January (about 6 months ago). Bipolar II means that I get hypomanic episodes, in which I get super hyper, excitable, racing thoughts, difficulty staying on one subject, etc (but never a full manic episode where I would hallucinate, etc). I am currently pescatarian, but during my "hypomanic" states, I've been much better about being vegan. However, I've only made it for as much as 2 months. When I hit the depression episodes I go back to being pescatarian and eating junk food all over again. I'm not exactly sure what I want out of posting this, but I really want to be vegan for my own values, yet I know that realistically I always stop trying once depression hits. Does anyone else struggle with their own depression and how they are able to actually stay vegan when their minds are really just craving anything to make them feel good? (I can't exactly explain why non-vegan foods make me feel "good" when I'm in a bad mood, but I definitely just want cheese and junk food). My bipolar also comes with anxiety, so it's super hard for me to talk to others about my veganism. I really only rely on my husband who is an omnivore but still cares about/respects my desire to be vegan. It makes going out or going to friends' houses really hard for me. Basically I'm hoping for any advice in this matter?

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