View Full Version : Overcoming depression and incredible cooked food addiction
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10-31-2008, 07:30 AM
You sound like a wonderfully loving and supportive husband. But it sounds to me as though your wife's problems are eventually going to exhaust your energies and ruin your marriage if she can't recover from the worst of them. So I think you should start beating the bushes for a wise and successful counselor who has helped someone with similar problems. Try to find some smart and savvy people who recommend their "shrink" highly.
I'm sure that good food will help, too, but the things you describe probably need some extra help.
Sorry, I just noticed the "rather die than go to a psychologist paragraph". I think you could still benefit from the shrink search. Either for you, or if she eventually changes her mind.
10-31-2008, 07:51 AM
Sounds like you are super patient and supportive of your wife. Also remember your children and how the things she is saying are really affecting them in the long run. Your wife has to want to help herself and to try to realize the impact of the things she is saying in front of the kids. I have a daughter who was diagnosed bipolar but who I suspect is boderline and I have tried everything in the book to suggest a better diet to her to no avail. Just remember it isn't all about your wife. She is one person in the family and You and your children deserve some peace and care too. I spent nine years as a single mother of three and my oldest daughter sucked all the energy out of everyone in the household with her illness. My son distanced himself and was gone alot and my youngest daughter was used by her sister all the time as a sounding board for her misery. Your wife needs to realize that it isn't all about her all the time but if she truly is borderline then it would be great if she could see her need to get someone professional to help her with it. I do hope she can realize what a supportive person she has in you but we all have limits. Even therapists can get burned out with borderlines so take it easy on yourself and bravo for you staying raw. Best of luck to you.
10-31-2008, 09:25 AM
You sound like a wonderful patient husband. I feel bad for your wife. But she needs to see a Dr for her moods. Your children should come first the things she is saying to them will scar them for life. if she can she should do a juice fast. Your children deserve a childhood with a mother that is not mentally abusive toward them and you need a partner that can learn to control her outburst. I wish you luck.
10-31-2008, 10:37 AM
Yes, JA, there are success stories.
I remembered seeing a couple of threads elsewhere that had some information you might be interested in:
From that second link:
Bean, I used to be diagnosed Bipolar Type I, have been hospitalized, suicidal, the works, but curiously all my symptoms basically stopped when I quit medications and drastically changed my diet several years ago.
I probably have this in common with most anyone who has mental illness in their past: there is nothing more terrifying to me than the prospect of losing control of my mind again, and that includes plain old, normal-sounding “negative thinking.” I remember how quickly and powerfully things have spun out of control in a terribly negative way and it all started with my just feeling slightly grumpy one day, slightly caustic, slightly cynical, but then fighting against it or else trying to ignore it, which I do not recommend under any circumstance. It helps if you can find something positive about your mindset, I think. It’s especially hard if you’re constantly surrounded by people who are all peace and love (hey not that I’m not!) and allergic to darkness. I got that feeling at the Raw Spirit Fest last year a bit, found it sadly artificial. Nobody has never been angry, sad, hopeless, indignant, jealous, fearful, resentful. It’s called being human. Those who really get to understand these emotions, by exploring their feelings when they feel this way, are more in touch with humanity. As a composer, I strive to write music that understands and explores all aspects of the human emotional spectrum, no matter how taboo or “ugly”, this way, I feel, more people will relate to it and feel validated; and validated-feeling angry people get less angry, and start fewer wars. That’s my contribution plan. But back to self-management:
The first thing I now do when I’m feeling emotionally sub-par is isolate myself. If I don’t like myself, chances are my friends won’t either, I figure, and I don’t want to put the onus on anyone else whether or not I feel better later. I take a nap, or a bath, or go for a run, take a yoga class. I practically drag myself, like a mother to a spoiled child, since my self-destructive instinct in such times is often to treat myself poorly and ignore my real needs. Excercise is amazing. I’m a musician. I used to do anything to get out of any physical exertion that wasn’t violin-playing. But I have to say, there’s no better anti-depressant.
Second best for me is immersing myself in some activity, no matter how mundane. Cutting out pictures from newspapers. Knitting. Organizing my closet. Cleaning my computer desktop. Preferably something productive, so afterwards I’ll feel good about having done it, and that will start an upwards spiral of “I can” feelings to counteract the earlier “I can’t” downwards spiral. Talking to animals is nice too, being in nature, going to the zoo, something to get me focused on something outside of myself.
Third (and this is also in an order of decreasing severity, ie when I’m really depressed, I’ll put myself to sleep, take a bath, etc.) I’ll call a non-judgmental friend and right off the bat say “I’m feeling like crap,”, NOT try to sound normal and talk about the weather because inevitably I will sound like less than my usual exuberant self and they May take it as my having something against them… Sometimes they’ll be comforting, sometimes not, but at least it will have felt good to have told someone.
Note: These days, I generally feel the beginnings of would-be depressions: 1) when I haven’t been getting enough sleep, exercise, and have been stressed out from work/school/life 2) the day after eating any form of cacao, or coffee (I drank some to help make my character super-edgy-angsty in a play last summer…that’s method-acting for you!) 3) 2-10 hours after eating more than 2 dates I have a scary blood-sugar spike then crash, sometimes to the point where I can barely move, then I feel really off-balance for about a day.
Funny how because of my scary past, I’ve learned to self-manage extremely well to the point where most people say I’m the sanest person they’ve ever met. But no one is immune to upheavals, and this is what makes life as an earthling such a great adventure.
I know this doesn't provide definitive answers but it does, I think, provide hope.
I'm sure if you search around you can find even more, and better, information.
I have struggled with depression all my life, so this is a subject of great interest to me.
I'm really sorry for what you're all going through.
Kudos to you for supporting your wife.
Sending good thoughts to you all and praying you find your way through this soon.
Your wife is very lucky to have you.
10-31-2008, 11:09 AM
There will probably be some strong disagreement here, but please hear me out. Have you thought about going to a doctor and getting her on some anti-depressants, just for now? I couldn't stay raw when I was depressed. After some medications, I became less depressed and was then able to take a bit more control over my eating and lifestyle. I was calmer, a bit more motivated, not living in hopeless desperation, knowing I was a mess and not being able to do anything about it.
Aside from the obvious emotional problems, depression is most often a real, physicial chemical imbalance. Medication provides you with the chemicals you need and helps brings you more into balance. Much like a diabetic needs insulin. However, once she starts feeling better, she may really be able to go more with the raw lifestyle. And her body will start coming into balance on its own. Just like many diabetics who have gone raw have been able to decrease or stop taking insulin.
In my very, very humble opinion, and because I've been there, I think you may need to address the immediate problem of getting her some very immediate relief. And then, once it become more manageble, be able to go forward. She probably wouldn't have to say much more to an MD other than I'm depressed, I can't sleep, I have no energy, I'm unmotivated, etc. and he'll prescribe something. Not that I agree with that approach, but she at least wouldn't have to open up emotionally to any one.
Hang in there. There is hope.
10-31-2008, 11:29 AM
Is she bi-polar by chance. Seems like a lots of ups and downs.
10-31-2008, 02:09 PM
JA, I would like to suggest a book that helped me with some issues. I wasn't depressed, but depression is covered in this book. It is called the "Triple Whammy Cure". Don't be put off by the funny title. It is a very good book regarding health issues that effect women. On of the things that the author points out is the women often have low seratonin levels which can contribute to various illnesses including depression. He has a all natural approach to the cure which includes some supplements, excercise and diet. He points out that getting enough carbohydrates is important for seratonin production. That is probably why your wife craves bread. Try to encourage her to eat some high carb raw foods in the morning. I would strongly suggest you get this book. It is really worth it. While most raw foodists don't use many supplements, I think it is better than pharmaceuticals.
Also see if you can get her to try Green Smoothies.
10-31-2008, 02:17 PM
Thanks for your replies.
She won't go to a shrink and that's it. She went to one, once, and it was one of the most humbling and unfriendly experiences she's had. Never will go, period.
As to myself, thanks for your concern but I'm fine, in fact a lot better now I'm raw and got rid of that sugar/chocolate addicion I've had all my life. Sure, it's affecting the kids, especially the older one. That's one of the things that worries my wife the most when she's fine. Maybe she'll agree to some kind of therapy in the future, but until then, we need to try all other means at our disposal - and I think raw food is the single best thing that's happened to us. I really hope it'll give me new energy, though I'll probably need to start excercising to see that happen.
I think there's plenty of hope, see - this raw thing was her initiative and she's constantly looking for new ways to improve her condition. As long as it doesn't include going to anyone she doesn't know and trust. She finds it extremely difficult to trust people, including very close ones. And if she doesn't trust, she doesn't talk. Simple as that.
It seems, too, that we need to exclude socializing till she's strong enough to face bread/cooked food; we do have a few friends who eat some raw (though only one who's 100% raw and even her family eats cooked food). As soon as we visit friends, she'll be back to eating bread/cooked food as that's what we're offered everywhere. I'm anti-social enough that I never had problems with it, just smile and say no thanks, but she just can't handle it.
No, what I was thinking is, with all the success stories out there of people curing all kinds of diseases with raw food, is there anyone out there with a success story of curing mental diseases? I'd love to hear from you.
Thank you for sharing so openly about what's happening in your life:)
I believe there can be success in this situation- as I have experienced this- but the process is ongoing.
I wouldn't mind sharing with you off line about this, if you think it might be useful to you.
My email is email@example.com
Good luck to you:)
10-31-2008, 03:15 PM
My God you're an amazing man and spirit. You and your wife have a very strong agreement. It's obvious you love her tremendously and want the best for her. I think if you cannot convince her to seek professional help, perhaps it would be better if you recommended someone who's into alternative health. Like a Reiki healer or osteopath or ayurvedic healer. Would she be open to this do you think? I think there is something burning on the surface for her right now. She's ready to heal but there's a lot of fear keeping her back. It's encouraging that she's seeking to heal herself and researching ways to heal her body. She has the information to do so it's simply that she needs some help to do it and get where she wants to be. What she's grapling with is extremely intense (obviously you know this) and I agree that eventually you may find it exhausting. I don't think there's any danger in your marriage ending because you have already stuck with your wife and vice versa. I think most people would've left by now so this is not even anything to consider with you guys. But what I think she's dealing with from what you've shared and what I'm picking up intuitively are abandonment issues. Abandonment at it's core. If you start here then I think you may find more answers.
I was a preemie and was in a hospital, in an incubator for 2 months in the 60's and I did a lot of regression/birth therapy to overcome my own abandonment issues that ran deep. I mean really deep. It's not something you can work through alone generally. I would really encourage you to ask her to maybe seek help through a healer. It doesn't have to be a psychiatrist or therapist in the traditional sense. There are many ways to heal. But she definately needs help if she wants to get through this. Bottom line.
As far as raw food prep, do you have the tools to prepare meals? Blender, dehydrator, juicer? All you need is a blender, but if it's bread that is her trigger & comfort food then definately you need a dehydrator to make raw crackers, breads etc. There are a million raw recipes out there that are wonderful and easy to prepare that you both will find satisfying. Get Alissa Cohen's book and I recommend also Matt Amsden's RAWvolution. Also check out Dr Gabriel Cousens' Rainbow Green Live-Food Cuisine. I'm guessing your wife probably has some of these books already.
Of special note: You cannot heal your wife. She has to heal herself. This is the most important aspect of all of this. Thus far you've been healing her, but you're going to have to let go, be firm and maybe research other healers to work with her to facilitate healing from within. It is not easy work, but you can both do it. Emotional detox consuming raw foods will probably be difficult and this is why she should seek help from someone who can monitor her and understands the healing process. We are all capable of healing. I had a challenging upbringing myself. It took some work, but I found balance and peace. But I needed to finally seek external help to get there. Raw foods has contributed to this as well. If I can do it and other people can do it, I know your wife can too!
Bless you. Your post touched my heart - I can feel the love you have for your wife and your family. This in itself is keeping you guys going. Stay strong and I wish you the very, very best. :)
10-31-2008, 04:20 PM
JA, sounds like you're both on your way and know a lot about healing. If I can be blunt, she is emersed in victim mentality which comes with the territory of the whole abandonment cycle. Until the day arrives that she is able to ascend this the game will continue. You are her protector which is beautiful but you're also enabling her to continue on the same path. There is no judgement, it's simply why I think you were called to put up your post to seek other opinions or advice. This is why I'm being direct. I spent close to 20 years literally traveling all over the world working with amazing healers and shamans and still I was sitting in that victim energy. I thought I could do it all by myself. I wasn't able to make progress until I let go and let others help me. It is not released until you realize there is no one to blame and you've got to finally look the stuff right in the face. Your wife will continue to swim in this victim energy until she works with someone, be it with you or someone else. But it's not going to change until she makes the commitment to get out there. Otherwise whatever you do, read as many books as you may and know all of this in theory it's not gonna change until you take action. I learned the hard way...just passing this along.
I no longer see myself as a victim or blame my parents for anything. They did the best they could and actually I feel blessed for the experience. I am strong because of it and have a great deal of awareness and clairvoyance as a result. We are not given anything that we cannot handle in this world, in this life. Your wife will figure it out. Even though you know that she has to heal herself, you are healing her because you're a healer. :) It's kind of impossible for you to not heal her. It's a victim-enabler kind of set up you've got going on now, but you're about to change this. Both of you. You're both amazing spirits and you will both do a lot to help many people in this world. You guys have got it going on. :D
I'm glad you're feeling better. I hope that you both find some light and a lot of answers and peace regarding this blessing that has come into both of your lives to heal on a very deep level.
Feel free to send me an email if you have any questions. I hesitate to share more because I don't want to overstep my bounds in sharing information as this is a public board.
Have a good weekend.
10-31-2008, 04:48 PM
I agree with Raw Joy. Until I was on antidepressants, I had a hard time going raw. Nothing seemed "worth the effort" to me. She'll ween herself off them when she's done detoxing. Try to get her to take a daily green smoothie so at least she gets the minerals she needs.
10-31-2008, 04:50 PM
Wheatgrass, carrot juice, and beat juice all give me a nice buzz when I'm down. You might want to get a wheatgrass juicer and try her on that. You'd be surprised what a high concentration of minerals can do for one's mood. Try to experiment a little...it's fun mixing up different vegetables and fruits and coming up with new recipes.
10-31-2008, 08:36 PM
You marriage reminds me much of my own. Your wife is blessed indeed to have you in her life. Like your wife, my mother abandoned me at the age of 1. My father was a rather stern and distant Norwegian who, while he loved me very much, didn't show it at all. My husband and my family suffered through my inability to love them because I really couldn't love myself - I didn't derserve it after all because otherwise my parents would have loved me right?
Three things happened that helped. Two books: Get out of that pit by Beth Moore and Honestly by Shelia Walsh. I read them and realized I wasn't alone. I wasn't the only was who felt this way. I was given the incredible gift of hope. Like your wife, I was completely opposed to any kind of professional help and you couldn't have gotten me on meds for all the tea in china.
The second major breakthrough came after my father's sudden death and here is maybe where you can help your wife is that one night my husband took me in his arms and told me all the things my parents should have, the things they would have said if they had been whole and able to completely love themselves and me. He told me I was beautiful, I was loved, I was meant to be, I was strong. He told me what an incredible woman I was in every way through the eyes of my mother and father. The words my soul had longed to hear but didn't even have the courage to ask or consider being a reality. That time changed my life.
Soon after that I found raw and living foods and started on the path to physical healing on a firm foundation of emotional stability. It was a true gift - something I believe only a husband can give, someone who knew everything about me, every terrible thing I'd done and fear I had and spoke words of love and healing to me from that place of knowledge.
I still have down days sometimes. I am still sad or insecure at times but that deep seated core fear, anger, abandoned feeling is gone. There is hope for family. Raw and living foods are a great first step - complete healing is a journey that you and your wife can take together.
May you be blessed in every way.
10-31-2008, 08:45 PM
I was seriously addicted to "comfort food". The only thing that made my transition possible was raw comfort food. Dishes that felt indulgent and decadent and wild. Here is where Alissa was a life saver with her philosophy of eat what you want as long as its raw.
I lived on chocolate cheesecake, strawberry ice cream, pudding, rich caesar salads, olives, guacamole. Everything I craved cooked I had - only raw - and I had as much as I wanted. One day I ate a whole chocolate cheesecake!! :eek: But it was raw and it got me through to the next day and built my confidence day by day.
11-01-2008, 12:39 AM
I understand what your wife is going through. I was not wanted by my mother, I was an "accident" and my parents had to get married when she was two months pregnant with me. I've grown up with alot of emotional neglect, criticism and verbal abuse. In her mind, I was the reason she was unhappy with her life. I also was sexually abused by my father and members of his family and other people into my adult life. ( 8 abusers total) One of my sexual abusers was my therapist!!
Even though a therapist abused me, I did not give up. I found other therapists who were helpful. I have been in therapy for seven years total. It has helped alot. I do have to say though that since doing some of the healing work that RawHeaven has mentioned my healing has come along much faster. Working with a healer and doing raw has brought a complete and miraculous shift in consciousness for me. I am not a victim anymore. Meditation and facing my fears and allowing myself to feel the loneliness has been another thing that has helped with my healing. Overeaters anonymous has also helped. Being with other people and knowing I am not alone made me feel very safe.
Hope some of this helps!
11-01-2008, 08:08 PM
I would like to suggest finding a therapist that specializes in DBT; it is a form of therapy that has been proven in peer reviewed literature to help with borderline personality dx and also individuals that have features/traits of this condition. The beauty of DBT is that it is very structured and has phases, so it is less threatening and more structured than just standard "talk therapy". If your wife is unwilling to go at this point, I would suggest you go for a consult to see what you can learn and it should help you with some coping strategies.
The initial core skill taught in DBT is MINDFULNESS. If your wife is unwilling to go see a therapist who specializes in DBT, then I would suggest finding a structured meditation class for her. There she can begin to acquire some of the basic core skills that are used to treat/heal this condition. Many yoga studios also have mindfulness classes and many studios have specials (i.e. first week free). John Kabat-Zinn has written many books on mindfulness; you can probably find these in the bookstore or online.
My other suggestion for you would be to consult with your local chapter of NAMI; they have wonderful family programs and have resources for your children. It is very important for you to focus on the impact of your wife's moodiness and behaviors on your children; possibly they should be seeing somebody, as I am sure they are frightened by her outbursts and unpredictable behaviors. Verbal abuse is actually much more damaging than physical abuse and the kinds of things that you are reporting she is saying is frankly abusive.
I think it is wonderful that you are so supportive of your wife but at some point support can cross the line into enabling. She is stating that she is refusing to get treatment....well, that is fairly selfish on her part if her condition is having a negative impact on the household and your children. And I think that despite your assertions that "you are fine", your wife's behavior is damaging to the children, whether they are showing it now or not. I think NAMI can help you find your way in terms of what kinds of boundaries you need to be setting. Similar to addiction, often those suffering from mental illness are treatment resistant and sometimes it takes a caring form of intervention to get the "addict" into some form of treatment.
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