Originally Posted by WereBear
Are we tired because we are depressed or depressed because we are tired? I think it's both.
I stumbled across some support for my thesis above by reading the memoir The Valedictorian of Being Dead: The True Story of Dying Ten Times to Live
by Heather Armstrong. After years of successful treatment for a rampant family tendency towards depression, she fell into such a deep pit she was willing to try an experimental treatment, a safer version of ECT which uses anesthesia instead of electricity. (Because of the well-known severe side effects of ECT. About time!)
It's a good read, a gutsy move, and I wish her all the best. What is pertinent to this discussion is how her lifestyle unfolded in the book.
-----------here there be spoilers--------------------------------------------
She pinpoints the start of this severe depression from her agreeing to run a marathon for excellent, altruistic reasons... except she'd never run a marathon before. So she immediately did what any sensible person does in this day and age.
She becomes a vegan.
So it's miles of training on top of full-time mom and full-time work, all on the dubious fuel of "mung beans and kale" as she herself says. Also, shortly before the treatment began, she was adding "a little bit of meat to her diet," which actually cleared up some digestive issues. Doh!
So, did veganism and overtraining (and I bet I could throw a banana in an urban environment and hit a dozen women who do this) contribute to her terrible depression? Studies are not definitive, but I think that depends on whether the lightening of depression symptoms are reported early in the process (the honeymoon period) or after a period of years (as what happened in the book.)
I think too many of us experienced mood improvement on low carb/sensitivity awarenesss to think diet has nothing to do with mental health.