Hi, I'm currently reading about and hoping to implement a paleo diet/lifestyle for mental health benefits. I understand that many people have healed themselves of their Mental disorders and those who are healthy claim they can handle stress/life better. But I wanted to know if paleo would put counselors out of business. Just how stable is someone on a paleo diet? Is a person no longer sensitive? What's it like? I ask because I've been battling clinical depression for years and do not know what to expect. I also want to know if applying to grad school to study mental health counseling is necessary?
I think that's a bit of a stretch. Diet may be one factor in mental illness, but it is one of many.
Jesus this is an awful idea.
Has Paleo anecdotally helped my mental health? definitely. Would I ever suggest that psychologists are obsolete? God no.
That is ball-ridiculously irresponsible.
Being someone who has been absolutely dependent on therapy and counseling, I wouldn't imagine taking away that resource, or suggesting that paleo is a blanket replacement. Diet and exercise isn't the only factor in mental health, and it's hard to express how much of detriment this kind of thinking is to people who would be in danger without these systems.
Do I think Paleo is a helpful method to good health? Yes. But it is not a cure-all.
Wow... Ok, so while there's n=1 evidence that diet might help with depression, it's hardly a cure-all. Eating paleo/primal will most likely help you to feel better, but it most likely will not help with clinical depression.
Best advice? If you can go for a paleo/primal diet, then by all means, do it! But make sure you do what you need to to maintain a healthy attitude. Get the help you might need and, if it's not necessary after a few months, so much the better.
Don't roll dice with depression.
It depends on the severity of mental illness! Even Paleo docs know if someone is suicidal they're not going to say hey take some fish oil and go Paleo, and tomorrow you'll feel 100% better!
Paleo is not a panacea -that's a naive view. Some conditions require surgery, drugs, and/or counseling. Ex: Appendicitis, OCD, etc. Paleo just makes the process smoother and makes it easier to return to normal but some people may never return to normal.
Nobody should go cold turkey off meds - they should slowly wean off and cut their dosage under supervision while their health improves (if it does under Paleo)!
From what you said it sounds like you're scared, and you really want to make a change to help yourself to not feel so bad. I think it's a good idea to change your diet, I know I felt much less depressed and anxious after eliminating grains and sugars and adding fats, but it could be different for you, or, changing your diet might have no effect.
Either way, suffering from clinical depression, you really should be seeing a psychologist, as they are trained to help you deal with your issues. Diet and exercise might, or might not help, but having someone to talk to, who's trained to recognize the symptoms of your illness and knows how to treat it, is very important for you to recover.
I doubt that counselors will be put out of business because of people eating a paleo diet. People will always have issues that healthy living (diet, exercise, and stress management) cannot solve, and that they need help to cope with. There is, I believe, a difference in the process of thinking and mood regulation for people with depression or other mental illnesses, that can be helped with lifestyle changes, but not erased. Counselors are supposed to help people with mental illnesses learn how to manage their lives in spite of their problems. Again, lifestyle changes may help regulate these problems, but they will not teach you how to deal with the underlying issues, which is necessary for being able to live your life fully.
How stable someone is on a paleo diet depends on the person. For example, I am rapid-cycling bi-polar. I am much more stable eating a paleo diet than I was eating SAD, with less depression, no thoughts of suicide or harming myself, and much less anxiety, but I am NOWHERE NEAR 'normal' as far as my mood swings go. Without other changes I have made in my life to help manage my stress, anxiety, self-destructive and suicidal impulses, I would probably still have to consciously battle those parts of myself, despite the increase in stability.
As for sensitivity, some people are just more sensitive than others. You can read about communication improvement techniques, or ask your counselor for help with that, to make sure you are not taking someone's words in a way they do not intend. You'll still be sensitive, I know I still am, because I am still insecure. So I have to remind myself that this is my problem, and that whatever I am reacting to has not been said to intentionally harm me. Also, if you can improve the way you communicate with people, you might find that they say less hurtful things, even unintentionally.
If you want to study mental health counseling, then go for it. But, it would be good for you to know exactly why you want to study it. If it's because you want to help yourself, I'm sure it would help, but, again, you really should see a counselor, because it's very difficult for us to be objective with ourselves. If it's due to a genuine desire to help others in a situation similar to yours, then I think that's very admirable, but you need to make sure you take care of yourself, first, or you'll find it very difficult to help anyone else, and you might even do some damage to them.
Finally, I didn't see anything wrong with this question, though I can understand why other people might. I'm glad it was asked. I know, a lot of the time, when I am depressed, it feels like I could just 'cure' myself, if I can change something that's bothering me. But it turns out whatever I think I need to change is not the real problem, I am. Again, this is why you need a counselor to help you.
The progress to transitioning mental illness therapy to a paleo diet is extremely slow. It may never happen because there is simply no money in it. Go ahead and become a counselor. Put all of your patients on a paleo diet with some targeted supplements and you'll have an amazingly successful career.
For me personally, I see going paleo as taking medication, but with counselling still definitely needed. And that's only once most of the effects of paleo nutrition have "kicked in" and have started to heal my brain and body.
It helps, but it doesn't help the psychological problems concerning deeply ingrained thought patterns & behaviours and other habits that keep me mentally and emotionally unstable. For those kinds of things, you definitely would benefit from some kind of psychological counselling.
Maybe it's like if you're thrashing in the ocean and no boat in sight, then paleo would be what gives you the strength and health to swim and stay above the surface. However if you don't have some kind of psychological counselling, you may just thrash around forever, or start swimming towards a teem of sharks, or do some other unhealthy thing and never really get out of the water. You may, or you may not get out on your own.
So I think psychologists and counselours will always be needed.
This is a tendency I see many, many times when dealing with illnesses. People want to reduce everything to one single cause, and then have their own eureka moment. It's almost always based on anecdotal evidence (this diet/supplement saved my life!). People have a strong tendency to want to reduce everything to one single principle and deduce everything from there, but that simply doesn't work. Diet is needed, psychologists are needed too. It's as simple as that.
There's been quite a few studies done on nutrition, sleep, and exercise on a person's mental well-being, but if my wife leaves me, I get fired from my job, and my dog gets run over by my sixteen year old kid coked out of his mind, eating bacon isn't going to make me reconsider putting a grain-free bullet between my eyes.
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