Fasting and Mental Health

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Fasting and Mental Health

This topic contains 12 replies, has 15 voices, and was last updated by  Braklin 6 years ago.

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  • Has anyone noticed changes in their mental health as result of fasting. I’m particularly curious for people who, like myself, have been diagnosed with depression and anxiety disorders, etc.

    I’ve only completed my first week but I’ve definitely felt better this week. I’ve been in my longest bout of depression for years leading up to this, so hopefully this is a good sign!

    i have been diagnosed with bipolar and have daily medication for depression.Been on the diet for one week now and feel fantastic.More alert and happier in myself.I would love to see and hear from anyone else who is on the diet and has mental health issues just to compare results.

    Hi all,
    Thanks for asking the question and answers so far. I’ve suffered from depression and anxiety most of my life.

    While I can’t be 100% certain on cause and effect, my experience started similarly to the above posts- ellivated moods in the first week.

    However from week two I think it’s kicked me into one of the most severe depressive episodes I’ve experienced to date. I’ve stuck with the diet now for nearly month (cause it not always straight forward to know the cause of these things). While I don’t feel too hungry, I do get tired and have low energy. However, disappointingly my mood and sense of well being drops significantly on fast days. It seems to be exasperating and prolonging the low mood state.

    I just wondered if any of the previous posts could provide an update? Did you stay on the diet? What happen to mood over time?

    Thanks in advance for sharing.

    I would be interested to hear how you continue to get on, as I myself have quite debilitating anxiety and OCD mental health issues. How are you getting on this week? x

    I suffer from depression and anxiety and have noticed a change in my state of mind since i started this. I’ve reduced my meds for now too and i’ll see how i go. Not sure if its psychological or not.

    I have Type 2 diabetes and have suffered through what I call Diabetression – the feelings of hopelessness, sadness, why me-ness, ineffectiveness (both myself and the treatment of the disease), no energy-ness and general why bother-ness.

    Since fasting my whole attitude has changed. Those feelings have gone. I have more energy and am not as “lazy” as I was, getting more accomplished. My thinking process though muggy before is sharp as a tack. I especially notice this when I play Bridge. My game has definitely improved! (Do you think my fasting has improved my partner’s thinking too?!?!)

    I have read that fasting helps depression. Whether or not it will help the major mental illnesses of BiPolar and Schizophrenic diseases I have heard nothing. Can it hurt? ? ? I do not know, but, I think if it helps a chronic physical disease with accompanying depression, it will improve that depression tool


    There is some evidence that a ketogenic diet helps depression, epilepsy and other neurodegenerative disorders. See, ‘Other Applications’ section.

    Fasting can help or impose a ketogenic state, depending on the length of time of the fast and the rest of the diet.

    My thoughts are that for me, the diet is helpful when I’m feeling depressed, because it is one stable, constructive thing I have control over and am in charge of. Losing weight shows you numerical, objective progress, showing that at least in one respect my life is changing for the better all because of me. And so I find it to be a glimmer of hope on the darker days.

    Having said that, I have had one or two low episodes which I am not yet sure are related to 5:2, as personal circumstances have been difficult too. Something to keep an eye on, and I’d be interested to hear what others have felt.

    I think using the right language in your thoughts helps – fast days shouldn’t feel like punishment but like a triumph of your will and strength. Try and congratulate yourself and genuinely thank yourself for the gift of weight loss and better health. When you look and feel better, surely the mind will catch up. Fingers crossed, anyway.

    Best of luck to you.

    I have a kind of bi-polar disorder called seasonal affective disorder. I was doing great for a few weeks but now I’m horribly depressed. My husband is saying quit the fasting or go to the hospital. I’m going to sleep and see the if I feel better when I wake up. I hope I do , because until a few days ago I was feeling great. This thread is mostly encouraging. Of corse we all participate more when we are not depressed, so I’m not sure if this might read differently if depressed fasters felt up there responding

    So glad to read that people are seeing some improvement in their mental health. Be sure not to disregard it and seek assistance if necessary – but definitely enjoy the benefits of improved health overall as well.

    Just to add that I’ve suffered bouts of depression and anxiety all my adult life (now in my fifties). I’ve only been fasting a fortnight, but it occurred to me yesterday that I hadn’t had the moments of self-doubt, and occasional despair that have seemed to be part of me.
    Obviously its very early days, but its an added incentive for me to keep trying these fasts.

    Just for the record, I have avoided the meds, always tried to have a healthy diet, and incorporated lots of exercise into my life so far.

    We shall see what happens

    @mrh_buk that is very inspiring!

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    The law of one, the RA material is a very interesting read. It spans 5 books but if you have the time to read, and have an open mind, I have found it has helped with my depression no end. Plus the 5 books can be downloaded as PDF for free! It sinks in a lot more the second read.

    I have a friend of mine who is under bipolar depression. She is undergoing the treatment for it. For her, the doctor has adviced a diet to be followed. After following the diet a great change was noticed in her behavior.

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