Sunday, November 29, 2015

Motherhood, Depression, Anxiety, Stress, Weight Loss and Nutrition.



Anxiety and depression seem to be at almost epidemic proportions among the moms I know.  Whether it is bloggers who write about it, or just friends who  mention it, it seems that more moms than not suffer from some sort of anxiety or depressive disorder.  

Whether it's  professionally-diagnosed or self-diagnosed.  Whether it's treated medically or naturally or not at all, it is seems to be super common.

Why is that I wonder?

Actually, I don't have to wonder that long.   It's actually fairly obvious.  Moms have a HUGE amount of pressure and stress and responsibility load. 

Dad do too, of course.  But, in my experience, moms tends to be the mangers. 

They don't necessarily do all the work, they direct all the work.  And sometimes that is even more stressful. There is a reason why CEO's get paid so much, they have a super stressful job. 

Mothers tend to have an even more stressful job, because the people they are in charge of are childish, unreasonable, illogical, demanding, and unpredictable.  And you can't fire them. 

There are about a million and one things we need to worry about, stress about and take care of on a daily basis. 

Money, finances, health, behavior, child care, pet care, home care, how much kids eat, what they sleep, where they are, what they are doing, what they are learning, who they are friends with, clean clothes, brushed hair, breakfast, lunch, snack, dinner, carpool, gift buying, doctors appointments, vitamins, homework, schooling, electronic use, car issues, house issues, children's chores, baths, brushing teeth, bedtime, diapers, 

While we don't always do all the work, oftentimes we direct all of it, make arrangements for it or delegate it.  If you send your children to school, you are still ultimately responsible for their education, helping with homework and making sure their educational needs are met.   Whether you stay at home or work outside the home, you still have the ultimate responsibility for childcare. You have to provide it or you have to arrange it. 

From worrying about the minutiae (what is for dinner) to major problems....health issues and money issues and world peace issues....there is a lot of things that cause stress and anxiety out there.

But, that's only part of the puzzle. 

I think another large part of it that so many of us are nutritionally depleted.  I'm a big fan of nutritional cures for many health ailments.  This isn't because I'm against pharmaceuticals.  It's because I believe that many ailments are in large part due to our poor diets and lack of sleep, sunshine, fresh air and exercise. 

If magnesium supplementation or omega-3 fatty acids or amino acids help anxiety or depression, then it likely means that the anxiety or depression was caused by a deficiency in those nutrients.  That makes sense to me, anyway.  I haven't been able to find any confirmed studies on this, but I do believe that anxiety and depression frequently follow periods of weight loss. That has been my experience anyway.  Why?  Because losing weight....no matter how healthy one is eating, involves a caloric deficit which leads to a nutritional deficit.  It is super, super hard to get all the nutrients one needs on less than 1800-2000 calories a day.  Especially because the gist of most diets is generally to either cut fat or cut carbohydrates....both of which are essential to good health. 

The bottom line is, we have to eat enough of the good stuff.  And, if we don't, no matter how healthy what we DO eat it, it's still not enough. 

So what can we do about it?  Stay tuned for my next post which addresses nutritional cures for anxiety, depression and stress.   Again, this is not to say that pharmaceuticals are bad.  Sometimes they are needed.  However, I do believe that if a health issue is caused by a nutritional deficiency than the cure is to correct that deficiency...and that nutritional deficiencies are way more common that we like to think in our land of plentiful food.
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