Many of you might be asking "how in the world can a bagel make you sad?" Well, I have done a great deal of research about this and will do my best to explain the two theories that made the most sense to me.
The first theory came from Dr. Richard Hedaya at Whole Psychiatry in Bethesda, Maryland. He has a wonderful book The Antidepressant Survival Guide and a great website. From him, I learned that when you have a food sensitivity, your body views that food as a foreign substance and attacks it. The body’s main defense is its army of white blood cells. In order to create white blood cells, the body pulls the necessary amino acids from the most easily accessible source — the brain. The resulting feeling is light headedness, difficulty concentrating, flatness in feelings, and headaches. The same feeling you get when you begin coming down with the flu. This is exactly what happens to me when I eat wheat. This feeling is what I mislabeled as depression.
The second theory is from Wheat Belly by Dr. William Davis, From this very informative and very frightening book, I learned that the wheat we eat today is very different from the wheat that grew on the Earth a few hundred years ago. Wheat has been genetically modified to such a degree that is almost indigestible by many humans. This explaines my stomach aches. In his book, Dr. Davis relays case studies of the many health issues he feels are directly related to wheat consumption.
One fact that I found truly frightening is that this "new wheat" is one of the only foods that crosses the blood-brain barrier and bonds, in the brain, with the same receptors as morphine. This means that wheat creates a high and an addiction. It makes sense why it took me a year and a half to go gluten-free.
These books and the accompanying blogs and websites are wonderful resources to learn more about depression and wheat sensitivity. I always urge my clients to take charge of their own treatments, as only you really know what is going on in your body and mind. Gather information from many sources. See more than one “expert” so that you are comfortable with your treatment goals and progress. Explore alternative medicines: acupuncture, energy healing, herbalists as well as psychiatry and psychotherapy. And always speak with your psychiatrist before coming off any medication.
You'll find that once you are feeling better and less depressed (or not depressed at all!), your personal relationships will flourish.
Ashley Seeger, LICSW is a psychotherapist practicing out of her sunny office in Washington, DC. She specializes in couples counseling and can be reached via her website at www.DCCouplesCounseling.com.