Deficiencies and Mental Health - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 02-04-2013, 02:34 PM
 
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Hi all. I found your forum while trying to assist someone recently changed to a vegetarian diet. I was curious if anyone had experienced mental health issues when switching to a vegetarian diet. Brief history, 27 y/o w/ male, 13 mo.s veg. Previously largely organic diet for about two years. Moderately active (work, gym, and some yoga) Almost entirely pharmaceutical free (exception of cough syrup/ NyQuil in severe circumstances. 1/2 pack a day smoker, social drinker (avg 5-6 beers/ week) and the occasional recreational use of a natural herb (avg once/ week) Previous history of mild acute depression/ anxiety. Moderate to high external stress (work/ family) After 42days being veg had a complete "psychotic break" and has suffered from chronic anxiety, acute paranoia, and disturbed sleep since. The stress has been removed, so I don't really attribute it to that. The only other thing different is patients diet. No other physical signs (about 5 lbs lighter then as an omnivore), skin, hair, digestive, etc all seem fine, if not better. Blood work shows no signs of deficiencies. Etc. But again, the only thing I can point my finger at is the diet change. Patient is adamant against using pharmaceuticals as treatment. I was curious if anyone else has experienced similar symptoms, and if so possible natural/ holistic treatment approaches taken. Acupuncture and yoga have assisted in reduction of symptoms, but symptoms remain chronic and persistent. Any advice or guidance would be greatly appreciated.
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#2 Old 02-04-2013, 02:52 PM
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You said he was vegetarian for 42 days or 13 months?
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#3 Old 02-04-2013, 02:58 PM
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Oh I see, he had the psychotic episode after 42 days of not eating meat but is still vegetarian months later.

I have never heard of this being related to vegetarianism, especially since it was just for a few weeks he stopped the meat.

I would suggest he stops smoking the weed, due to its possible link to psychosis. And does he have an eating disorder do you think, where he just wasn't eating much at all?
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#4 Old 02-04-2013, 02:59 PM
 
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He's currently 13 months vegetarian. His psychotic break occurred at 42 days with chronic symptoms since.
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#5 Old 02-04-2013, 03:04 PM
 
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I've suggested that he quit smoking as well. He has for up to a month to my knowledge, but with little change goes back as it "helps him sleep". The eating disorder is possible. No signs of bulimia, but possible anorexia as I have seen him binge eat, though again it seems whenever food is available that meets his criteria (he won't eat fish either) he eats healthy portions.
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#6 Old 02-04-2013, 03:11 PM
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Originally Posted by endmonsanto View Post

I've suggested that he quit smoking as well. He has for up to a month to my knowledge, but with little change goes back as it "helps him sleep". The eating disorder is possible. No signs of bulimia, but possible anorexia as I have seen him binge eat, though again it seems whenever food is available that meets his criteria (he won't eat fish either) he eats healthy portions.
It just doesn't seem likely for someone to come down with a major issue like that from a diet change of only a few weeks. Have his Vitamin D levels been checked though? It is such a common deficiency in veg and non-veg alike.

Sometimes people make big changes in their lives thinking they will help in other areas. Perhaps he went veg because he was feeling different, and just progressed to the situation he now is in. I hope you find answers.
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#7 Old 02-05-2013, 07:45 AM
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Age is a factor, 27 is a common age to experience a decline in mental health. Alcohol doesn't help either.
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#8 Old 02-08-2013, 12:14 PM
 
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Going vegan helped my mental health. I think much clearer now
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#9 Old 04-04-2013, 08:10 AM
 
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I'm glad someone started this thread - I wanted to ask the same question myself!

I mentioned in my intro that sudden dietary overhauls are really bad news for me. I have bipolar disorder, and with it the occasional tendency to "save the world" (or myself?) by suddenly going completely sugar-free, or vegan, or some wacky fad diet overnight. Without exception I launch into a psychotic mania in a couple of days tjat can take several weeks of healing

I think its irrelevant which comes.first, but I am curious to hear from other peoe with psychiatric issues as to their experiences with the vegan transition. For me I think the problem is not the dietary change itself, but the whiplash effect of doing it all at once. Thats why Im deliberately being very timid and slow this time.
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#10 Old 04-13-2013, 06:54 AM
 
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Definitely, there is a decline in mental health as you are getting older and older, but there are some ways to keep your self health fit and mentally strong, which would just require eating some healthy food and regular physical activities like walk, running and exercise.

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#11 Old 04-13-2013, 08:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LedBoots View Post

I would suggest he stops smoking the weed, due to its possible link to psychosis. 

 

THIS! Though he should also supplement his diet with Omega 3. Many web articles will suggest fish oil supplements to help with a range of serious mental health disorders including those you're describing, but other members here will be able to recommend vegetarian sources. I don't use branded supplements, so can't offer suggestions other than cold-pressed flaxseed oil taken by the spoonful. I believe hemp oil and seed is also a good source.


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#12 Old 04-13-2013, 05:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 'IckenNoodleSoup View Post

 

THIS! Though he should also supplement his diet with Omega 3. Many web articles will suggest fish oil supplements to help with a range of serious mental health disorders including those you're describing, but other members here will be able to recommend vegetarian sources. I don't use branded supplements, so can't offer suggestions other than cold-pressed flaxseed oil taken by the spoonful. I believe hemp oil and seed is also a good source.

Algae oil is a better source of omega DHA. Flaxseed and hemp are omega-3 that needs to be converted to the usable DHA.

I noticed enough of a difference when taking algae oil to keep taking it daily. I found Ovega-3 and V-mega(?) to be the best. Deva has one I haven't tried, but it seems to be a lesser dose.

 

Has the type of blood work been questioned?

Is he on B12?

Is the "natural herb" marijuana or another herb like sativa?


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