The Gray Cloud of Depression

Didja ever hear of Joe Btsfplk? Btsfplk (pronounced to sound like a Bronx Cheer) walked–or should we say dragged dejectedly–through the comic strip, “Lil Abner” by Al Capp. Poor old Joe lived every day of his life in a cloud of misery and woe.

Sometimes life is like that. Times when life is no fun at all, just gloom and worry. It can seem like you have to reach up to touch bottom. We’re not exactly sure how we got there, but we’re absolutely sure we don’t want to stay.

It’s depression, one of the ways your body begs for help. Happily, there’s a lot you can do to chase the gloom away.

A few common causes of depression symptoms:

  • An inadequate diet. A low fat diet, for one instance, doesn’t give your body the pep and vitality it needs. And I could go on (and on, and on); there’s much to learn–and lots of money that’s trying to make sure you don’t learn it.
  • A wonky endocrine system. This complicated, misunderstood system has a zillion ways to get into trouble, and every health problem, known or unknown, involves the endocrine system.
  • The thyroid is an endocrine gland, and low thyroid function looks like depression. Standard-issue thyroid treatments don’t work, so here come antidepressants. Yes, you’re tired like you can’t believe, and life seems very gloomy, but don’t make things worse.
  • Research shows that most concussions damage the pituitary gland, the king of the endocrine system; some concussions heal, but some don’t. When the king goes down, life gets hard. Doctors order brain scans, but throw up their hands when the brains look okay; they don’t know about the endocrine connection. That explains why football players wait in vain for answers, and why it took 25 years to get my panhypopituitarism diagnosed.
  • A mold (or any other fungus) allergy saps your mojo even if you don’t realize you have an allergy. Fungi cause many, many health problems, including depression, but medicine isn’t accepting the research–yet. My mold allergy sucked my energy away with daily headaches, even “pink eye” once–both eyes swollen almost shut and leaking rivers of tears–before I saw the connection.

What you can do about depression:

  • Meet your nutritional needs with a strong diet and supplements–both customized to your body’s specific needs. Since the Bible says we are all unique, there’s no such thing as a good, one-size-fits-all diet in a world of custom-made people. Nutrition is always a huge part of dealing with depression–and everything else endocrine.
  • If you have a mold allergy, don’t eat moldy foods, even if they’re touted as healthful. No mushrooms. No grapes. Probably no citrus fruits. No fermented foods, such as sauerkraut, nor beverages, such as kombucha and alcohol. Cut waaay back on sugar, which feeds any kind of fungus.

    Your nose can help a lot; avoid anything that smells bad. Back when everybody and their cousin added sherry to their cooking, one whiff announced its presence to me: The delicious-looking dish smelled like a dumpster in summer. Try explaining that to your hostess! Especially since nobody else noticed a problem! Better to just push your food around the plate the way kids do when they don’t want to eat something; not eating is better than throwing up.

And if you’re already on antidepressants?

Stopping antidepressants abruptly creates chaos. Even though the drugs don’t do anything good, and actually cause harm, your body has become addicted to them. This isn’t the time for “tough love.”

Instead, improve your diet and start adding supplements that match the symptoms your body keeps coming up with. Start slowly. (There’s a lot to learn about customizing nutrition, so the “slowly” part is automatic.)

As your energy and mood improve, start cutting back on the antidepressants–and keep building your nutrition. It’s nice to have medical direction during this weaning process, but that may not be possible. Learn to listen to your body as it points to the direction to take and how fast to go.

Nutrition gives your body the ammunition it needs to fight for you. And win for you.

God is good,
Bette Dowdell

About the author: Bette is all about determination. A month before her first birthday, a drunk driver smashed into her parents’ car, and she ended up with a concussion. The concussion put her endocrine system (the thyroid and the rest of the gang) pretty much out of business. Well, that system controls all of health, life was a mess, but doctors didn’t help. So, she got her Oh-Yeah! attitude in gear and researched her way out. Now she writes about how your body works and what you can do to make it work better. Good, eh? Subscribe to her free health e-mails at

The content of the Too Pooped To Participate blog is provided as general information only.

© by Bette Dowdell. All rights reserved

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