Thursday, February 25, 2010

Conversations With My GP

Had my annual visit with my doctor yesterday, and we started weaning me off my meds.  I also noticed that he carries a little Macbook with him, so he can reference pretty much anything he needs without having to shuffle through a bunch of files.  Tres cool!
I mentioned that I'm looking to my diet to help with my anxiety and depression issues.  So he talked to me about that.  For an hour!!!!  It was so cool! How many GPs will take an hour out of their busy schedules to talk to a patient about their issues?  He also explained the process for weaning me off the antidepressants, talked about my workout programs WITHOUT nagging, and said "It's a good program, you're not overdoing it."  And my weight gain didn't even warrant a single mention.
At the end, he said something that really hit me: he said that people with anxiety and depression often come to realize that we may not be able to get rid of it entirely, but it becomes simply another facet of who we are and doesn't control us anymore.
For me, this is HUGE!!!!! I always wanted to be a calm, zen-like person.  The kind of chick who lets life's troubles roll over her like water off a duck's back.  But I'm just not engineered that way.  I was so happy to hear my doc talk about the genetic AND environmental causes of anxiety and depression; that it is a complex issue, and that I'm not a failure if I can't blissfully meditate on a pointy rock for 6 days.

As far as diet goes, I'm gonna try and go without some stuff for a while.  I've never liked extreme diets, because I think they usually lead to a binge.  But I remember something from Intuitive Eating, which is about taking care of yourself.  If you are diabetic, you don't eat tons of sugar, even though you may want to.  If you have Celiac, you must stay away from that crusty sourdough, as much as you want to tear into it.  For me, it may well be that sugar, caffeine, and too many starches are exacerbating my issues. I may also have formed a bit of an addiction to them, ESPECIALLY sugar!  He explained to me that the way these foods are absorbed by the body can effect brain chemicals.  I won't go into it, I probably wouldn't explain it very well.  Suffice to say, they are absorbed differently and don't feed the brain as well once they get into the bloodstream.  And they may well inhibit the production of things like Serotonin production, as well as leech calcium from the bones.  I'm gonna be 41 this year, and I need all the calcium I can get.  And  Heaven knows I can't afford to lose anything else from my brain, lol!
The good thing is, there are plenty of carbs I can still eat.  While I will try to avoid flour, I can can still eat beans, oatmeal, cassava, and, of course, non-starchy veggies.  Will I miss my potatoes and corn?  Oh, you betcha!  But it's worth it to see if I can calm down and chill out. 
I wouldn't be doing this if it were all about weight loss.  But, I must say, there is a part of me that's thinking "Yeah!  I'm gonna lose weight!  I'm gonna get a SMOKIN' bod outta this!"
Well, maybe I will, maybe I won't.  I'm going to try to focus on feeling better, getting more sleep, and finally, FINALLY dealing with my anxiety/depression!!!!
Combining diet with therapy (using EMDR, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, which I'm finding VERY helpful! It's all about changing reactions to stress.), I hope to become, if not a Zen master, at least more duck-like.

I LOVE ducks!


Charlotte said...

This is so interesting! I feel like you and I fight a lot of the same battles. Sisters in mental illness so to speak;) I feel the same way about sugar messing up my brain chemicals - a fact I try to remind myself of when I'm tempted to eat it - and yet I still cave way too often. I love that you are using EMDR. Def. post about how this goes for you - I'm following you every step of the way!

azusmom said...

Yeah, the sugar is like a drug, isn't it?
I will absolutely keep updates on the EMDR! I go every other week, so I'll keep you posted.