There are three major lifestyle things that psychiatrists and therapists harp on when it comes to bipolar, depression, and anxiety. Those three things are sleep, exercise, and diet.
There is very little evidence that any of those things can pull you out of a cycle, and the point is moot anyways, as anyone who has ever been depressed can tell you, you can’t control your sleep, you don’t care about your diet if you are even eating, and there is no way you can possibly put in an effective workout.
But that isn’t the point. These three things are viewed as a prophylactic measure that you can employ when you are feeling good to keep you feeling good.
I’ve talked a number of times about sleep. It is a very important factor for me. My sleep dictates what kind of mood I am in on a daily basis but I also find it is very connected to my cycles, both as a predictor/ indicator of, as well as a symptom. For this reason, among a couple of others, I take a sleeping pill at night.
I have spoken a little bit about how my longest period of remission 2007-2011 was also my highest level of physical activity in my entire life. I think regular exercise is a huge part of health, and something I need to focus on for several reasons.
But the one I thing have never explored is diet. Even when I was losing weight and concerned about my diet, I never considered it as a total health thing, just simply a weight loss thing. I recently read an article that gave the stomach the moniker of “second brain”, in that it is the second most important factor in mental health. They have found that people that eat healthy well-balanced diets tend to not be as mentally ill, and they have found some reasons for that. So it isn’t just a correlation, possibly.
My diet is terrible. And it generally has always been pretty bad. However, during that period that I mentioned before about exercising, I was also eating a fairly good diet. Outside of that instance, I have never really noted a connection between what I eat and my cycles. Certainly eating bad doesn’t make me depressed, otherwise I would pretty much always be depressed.
So I am not quite sure what to think of it.
But I am the type of person that hates taking medication. And I firmly believe that if there are things I can do to treat my disease without taking medication, I should do them. And this appears to be at least something.
So I guess as soon as I can get everything started, I am going to start an experiment and eat healthy and blog about how I feel, as well as exercise and weight loss, just to see how this stuff relates to my mood.
Couldn’t hurt, right?