Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Depression and Food

Sooooooo, we have all seen on TV that depression is biological, right? And all of that stuff about how therefore you need pills to fix it. What if it IS biological--a natural response of the system to things not being right, whether inside or out......BUT there is no magic pill that cures it?
One of the first things I want to know from all clients is how they eat. Now this might seem rather odd for a psychologist to ask, but I have a purpose. If depression is biological. because after all, you are a biological entity, then it has biological causes and effects. In fact, I liken depression to hibernation. A hibernating bear eats a lot before going into that log for the winter. He eats a lot now and then when the sun comes out. He puts on a lot of fat and wakes up rather thinner one sunny morning. He is not discriminating about what he eats when nature instructs him to fatten up or when he is skinny and starved (ask those folks who think they can outsmart bears and hang out in Alaska prior to hibernation season!) .
When you are depressed, your eating patterns change--some of us eat too much, others too little, but few of us eat well when our mood is slumping. We may eat lazily as well, choosing faster, less nourishing items over slower, healthier foods.
What this has led me to conclude over years of observing clients is that if I can help them to eat better, at least some portion of that depression will lift without me ever applying all those brilliant psychotherapeutic techniques I learned in school. Simple, elegant, and cheap. (Well, except for the cost of real food over chips.)
I have also discovered that most of my clients are like I was when I first got out of college: they know a lot of stuff from TV and government ads and high school health class about food, but not really very much about actual nutrition. Hence, I have taken numerous classes in nutrition and obtained a certification in fitness nutrition so that I can better serve clients who are confused about food. Learn to make better choices in eating as well as better choices in living as YOU overcome depression now.
There is joy after depression. And there is an after........

No comments:

Post a Comment