Please help. Anxiety and depression

(Becca Anne) #1

Hello everyone, this is my second post now, my first one was about not losing weight. I’ve ditched the scales but I have embarked on a different ,much darker issue.

I have a history of mental health issues, I had a manic episode 4 years ago and was sectioned and diagnosed with Bipolar. I’ve had alot of issues with depression pretty much my whole life but I’ve worked really hard to get myself well and off medication, been 2 years now med free, however it has taken a tole on my waistline, the more content and happy I’ve felt, the more I’ve eaten. I now have about 80lbs to lose.

Keto seemed to be perfect for me. I love the food. I love the control it gives over appetite, this is my third attempt now but I hit this wall every single time, the anxiety and depression that sets in about a week after cutting the carbs down. I feel rotten, I know keto flu is a thing but this isn’t fixed with electrolytes. Ive managed roughly 3 weeks this time and this last week has been hell. I am exhausted, constantly anxious and restless, my heart races, I can’t sleep, I feel like I’m going to start hearing voices (very minimal and something I can deal with however I would rather not) and I have that dark feeling creeping back in that I worked so hard to clear myself from these last few years. This afternoon I made the mistake of going too long without eating , I then dosed off, I woke up ravenous and ate half a pack of biscuits. I’m okay with that, part of my recovery was to forgive myself and move on, I’m a pro at letting go of guilt and i was happy to just get back onto it but suddenly it’s like the sunshine has come out. I feel great (physically) have energy and I feel really peaceful and my heart is not racing.
It’s like night and day compared to how I felt just this morning.

Maybe keto just isn’t for me, I read so much about it helping with mental health. I’m so disappointed, I desperately want to lose this weight , become healthy, I was so convinced I would be able to push through this time. I’ve ordered some motherwort as it’s meant to really help with anxiety especially for women. I will still probably continue with keto though as I’m not wasting the food I’ve bought for the week but I’m losing confidence.

Please does anyone have any advice or experience, this is so serious I’m desperate to continue this WOE, diabetes runs in my family, but I can’t keep fighting my own mind because I’m exhausted :frowning:

Thanks for reading

(Vic) #2

1st I want to say I had a rough 1st month, Lethargic and cloudy, but after the 1st couple weeks it started to lif a little and a lot after the 4 week mark

2nd I have recently been going down a rabbit hole with carnivor info just by chance, I haven’t done it I am more keto that is heavy in meats

However I just saw this you might be intrested in

(Shanda) #3

Hello there. I hesitate to offer any advice on so serious of an issue. I’m just not qualified. I do, however, want to let you know that you are not alone. I’ve suffered with depression for decades though not as serious as what you seem to be going through. I think it is partially to blame for staying off keto for as long as I did (over a year). Personally I had a lot I was dealing with and the “feel good foods” i.e. high carb / high sugar were a comfort in a way to me.
I made the decision to go back to keto because what was going on with me physically was more dangerous than what was going on mentally. I plan to start taking L-Theanine soon. It is said to help with anxiety, restlessness, and mental clarity. We will see how that goes. I also meditate to help control my anxiety and depression. I believe that helps me a ton! Helps me refocus my mind.

(Becca Anne) #4

Thank you. I don’t think I will ever become as poorly as I was, ive been through a very deep healing process and came out a totally different person.
I do wonder if there is just a huge emotional aspect to giving up these foods that have comforted me my whole life and also some physical dependency there. My heart tells me to power through and it may pass. My dream is to be happily eating a keto diet whilst feeling calm and happy.
I will continue keto for now, I have a lovely Ribeye in the fridge for tonight !

(Becca Anne) #5

Thank you, I’ll have a watch x

(Joey) #6

@Becca_Anne I admire your perseverance in making serious efforts to improve your life situation. You’re to be commended for staying focused on regaining control of the choices you’re making.

I know this is a “keto” forum, and so most of us are inclined to offer you keto-oriented advice - which is fine as far as it goes. But I would encourage you to focus first and primarily on the “state of mind” issues. The dieting/eating is related, but likely secondary.

Without getting metaphysical (or spiritual) on you, I’ll recommend that - if you haven’t already - you seriously explore simple daily meditation practices. There are plenty of materials out there and you should find ones that speak best to your own personal sensitivities and impressions about such things. [One highly respected author who tends to have wide appeal is Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn - as a professor emeritus at UMass medical school; his books are serious sources of info, well-written and worth a look.]

My larger point is that, the more you become comfortable and in touch with how your mind is working - and how you can gain more control over when/where it wanders - the more you’ll become the pilot of your own journey.

Things like diet, exercise, relationships, and everything else in your life will be more likely to “go your way” when you begin to better tame your mind, rather than be at its mercy.

With best wishes! :vulcan_salute:

(Becca Anne) #7

Thank you for this, it’s the metaphysical and spirituality that saved me actually. It came into my life around the time I totally broke down, it was a miracle I recovered as well as I have, I can’t ever deny I have been guided through every challenge and twist and turn back to myself. I am generally a really happy and calm person now. I have a huge amount of faith which I never had before. I had suffered alot up until I broke down, then the healing started but it wasn’t easy in itself. I’ve faced alot of fear and pain to become well.

I actually felt I was guided to keto. I keep coming back to it when trying to face my weight issues. It makes so much sense to me. It’s real food, I’ve never eaten fish, vegetables , eggs etc like I have been recently and my body does feel alot stronger. I know the diet isn’t bad for me but it does seem to be triggering anxiety and I’m not too sure wether it’s physical or mental. I know the science would say I’m releasing cortisol, or that carbs help create seretonin and so that’s low, or they stimulate dopamine and I’m basically withdrawing. And most people who are more interested in spirituality would say ’ we have all the answers within us already’ which I think I do. I think I have a deeper addiction to sugar and junk food than I could have imagined and my body and mind are going a bit crazy. I’m going to keep trying. I’m lucky enough to have awareness and I’m pretty diligent with my mental health and will stop if becomes apparent that it won’t pass. Really hoping it doesn’t come to that!

(Bacon is a many-splendoured thing) #8

There is quite a bit in the Ketogenic Forums on the effect of a ketogenic diet on clinical depression. most of it in the Health forum. If you are too new, you may not yet be able to see the Health forum, because it is locked against Internet searches, but once it becomes visible to you, you should find a wealth of experience. Many forum members find that they no longer need their antidepressants once they become fat-adapted, whereas others find that they still need their medications, though often at a reduced level.

If you are finding that eating ketogenically is stimulating your depression, you would probably benefit from talking things over with your physician. I can tell you that some researchers are enthusiastic about the benefits of a ketogenic diet for various mental conditions, but every case is unique, so that we are unable to provide specific medical advice for your situation.

(Prancing Pony) #9

Have you had your hormones checked? I have had depression and anxiety episodes triggered by my thyroid hormone levels. And since there are a boat load of hormones that can make you feel horrendous it might be an easy fix.

Second I would recommend looking into cyclical ketosis. Dave Asprey’s Bulletproof diet is keto but with a more technical self assessment approach and I remember he points out that some people (especially women) do better eating slightly higher carbs every 9 days or so. I think he recommended adding in sweet potato that day.

I hope you feel better :sparkling_heart:


@Becca_Anne, I too have experienced this. Like you I am new at this and only starting my third month. At around the two month mark I felt very anxious one Sunday and no matter what I ate that was “keto” I was still hungry and just did not feel full. I had consumed all my macros and it was before noon! As a life long sugar addicted, depression/anxiety sufferer, and binge eater, I realized this was a “mind hunger” not real hunger. Keto has helped me to differentiate the two. That being said, I consciously decided to have pizza for lunch. Ate three small pieces, went to grab the fourth realized that my tummy and mind were finally full, the anxious feeling was gone and threw the fourth piece out! I had a sense of calm and well being after that. Since then when I start too feel that way, I relax knowing that I have the choice to eat what I want and if one meal I am off plan, I can easily get back on. You will still lose weight regardless and you will gain a sense of control, at least I have.

I wish you luck, you’ve got this!

(Becca Anne) #11

Thank you for your replies,
No I haven’t had a blood test in years, I’m a bit scared if the doctors to be honest and tend to only go when absolutely necessary, I’ve always been a bit of a hormonal mess but for all my lows, I do feel alot of happiness and joy most of the time. I generally have alot of energy and motivation and I sleep pretty well too usually. I don’t think it’s a health issue but last time I did see a nurse and mentioned i was thinking of doing keto she raised an eyebrow and shook her head and said all that fat is not good for you. I don’t believe her of course but I just know if I go and see the doc he will suggest coming off keto or if i don’t mention it, because of my history, he will just want to put me back on SSRI’s, no thank you doc. Not for me.

I do however feel okay today. Yesterday was grim I’m not going to lie, but I’ve continued with keto lastnight and today , I feel a bit silly for saying this but i watched a video about how important salt is, I’ve been taking electrolyte tablets, magnesium and also using lo salt for potassium and Im wondering if I wasn’t actually getting enough, as I got my bag of pink Himalayan salt that i use for my baths (nothing added) and dumped a whole teaspoon of it into a pint of water this morning, plus a bit of the low salt and I do feel better. It’s just one day and I still may not have burned off the biscuits from yesterday but I’m hopeful the pink salt might be the answer and I’ve made a huge fuss over nothing , i hope so! No palpitations so far today and I do have the ‘keto taste’ in the back of my mouth so fingers crossed I’m back in ketosis without the panic. Wish me luck :crossed_fingers:


Hi Becca
It sounds like you are a very thoughtful and determined person, and have already come a long way in your recovery. What I have learned from mental illness is that there are good and bad patches, and they don’t always require a new “fix” or radical change - sometimes the bad patches are just indicators a gentle adjustment is required. For me, lack of sleep is a big one. Getting even a little more sunlight and movement generally helps. Do you drink much coffee by the way? For the anxiety-prone among us it can really escalate symptoms. I used to have 3-4 a day, but now 2 is my absolute max, or my mental health really suffers. But everyone’s different on that front.

Lastly, I wondered if you have a psychologist or therapist you can call and talk through things - not necessarily a prescribing doctor, but a health professional of some other kind? You don’t even have to mention your diet if you are worried about judgement and undermining. But they might be able to help you put things in perspective.

Be gentle with yourself - you deserve to feel good about how far you’ve already come. This too will pass.

(Prancing Pony) #13

I used to be phobic about needles so I feel your pain, you can get a lot tested through finger prick tests in the mail but as you are feeling better today I hope you won’t need them :blush:

(UsedToBeT2D) #18

It seems you may need medical supervision. I am not a doctor or expert in Keto in anyway. But you said that you feel great and full of energy. So why not keep going. Many of us have struggled with weight for decades. Keto is not your magic bullet. But it seems you are carbohydrate addicted. Give it more time.
My weight battle has been since I was a child, it can’t be fixed overnight (I am 56 years old) …I have been Keto for about a year, and still have more weight to lose. I have depression and anxiety every day. The progress I see everyday helps me keep going. Make small steps, and keep moving toward your goal. You’re either moving toward your goal, or moving away from it. Don’t give up, keep moving toward your goal.
Again, if you need more medical help, then get it. But don’t give up if Keto is helping you.
Biscuits are not the answer.
Love you. KCKO!!!

(Robin) #20

There are lots of folks on here who deal with various mental health issues. This thread may be old, but the topic is not. A quick search will connect you to others on the same path.

Since this is first and foremost a keto forum, it would be great if you would share your keto journey and specifics.

(AndysSoncal) #21

I can only imagine how frustrating it must be to feel like you’re hitting a wall with keto, especially when you were hopeful it could help. Forgiveness is such a crucial part of any journey toward wellness. It’s great that you’re considering trying motherwort for anxiety relief; exploring different avenues for support is key. Have you considered seeking support from a therapist or counselor who specializes in mental health and/or eating disorders, like Having someone to talk to who can offer guidance and understanding might be immensely helpful. Regarding keto, it might not be the best fit for everyone, despite the success stories out there.

(B Creighton) #22

Old thread but for anyone reading… I believe in doing keto with a fair amount of carbs - especially soluble fiber. If you think keto is giving you depression, it is worth a try. Soluble fiber feeds the gut bacteria. Most of our serotonin is actually made in our gut rather than our brain. So how does that help? It has been found that the serotonin travels up the vagus nerve to our brain. When I do keto I typically eat a full serving of a buttered cruciferous vegetable with my dinner. I eat a few berries in the morning, and sometimes even a grapefruit. This seems to keep me mentally healthy.

(Robin) #23

Although I don’t personally eat like @scaperdude, this is a good example of each of us must find our best balance. You’ll get there.