That La Kid

wishin' an' hopin'!

niacin

on February 7, 2014

It’s a lot.  You don’t have to read it.

I’ve watched “Food Matters,” “Forks Over Knives,” “Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead,” and “Hungry for Change” ad nauseam (on Netflix, and I highly recommend them).  However, the last time I watched “Food Matters,” I picked up something I’d never really paid attention to before.

You can treat depression with high doses of niacin.

How have I never seen this?

So, lots of questions arose.  Will niacin help my depression?  Wait.  Am I depressed?  How do I know where to draw the line between sad or in a bad mood and clinical depression?  I’m just sensitive, right?  Just an artist?  We’re all a little emotional sometimes, right?

More questions: do normal people …phew, this is so hard to write… do normal people wonder why they had a baby in the first place?  Do healthy people wonder what’s the point?  When I ask myself, “what if we lost Bruce?” my immediate response is that my mom would be devastated.  WHAT ABOUT BRUCE’S MOM?!  How come my own gut reaction isn’t devastation?  Who even thinks like that?!

It’s so interesting, because I thought about things, like death, that now I put out of my mind before I can even really finish the thought, and certainly before I can post them here.  I wish I could explain it.  I wish I could put it into words.  I can only write about these thought topics as I remember struggling with them, because today I dismiss them as soon as they cross my mind.  Today I am taking niacin.

I’ve never been diagnosed with depression.  Do I actually have any problem for niacin to treat?  I don’t know, well, I don’t want to put that word, “depression,” on it.  But let’s see, I don’t like to get out of bed, rarely leave the house, have severe anxiety, feelings of guilt, feelings of worthlessness, loss of interest in my husband, very high emotional highs and ridiculously low emotional lows…

I mean, it really does interfere with my day to day life.  But being sick, I don’t think I knew any better.  It just felt normal.

It felt normal, but it didn’t feel right.

I started looking into foods that ease anxiety.  Two handfuls of cashews should have the same neurological effects as a dose of Prozac.  Well, okay, I can get on that train.  I started nibbling on cashews every day and having uneventful days.  Blueberries are supposed to help, so I’m eating blueberries in my smoothie every day.

Of course I was sick, my diet consisted of fried, processed, man-made food.  There’s no nutrition in that.  So, we’re changing things.  Spinach smoothies.  Soy milk.  Natural foods.  Minimal processing.  Minimal refined sugars.  Minimal Chickfila.

Well, okay, so I finally listened to that part of “Food Matters” that I’d watched about 12 times and never noticed before and I decided to take 3000 mg of niacin a day.  (Eventually, I went up to 5000 mg, but I think I might take it back down a notch.)  I feel new.  I keep asking Tom, “is this what normal feels like?”  And the thing is, I’m still getting better.  I’m still feeling better every day than I did the day before – and I didn’t even know anything was wrong!  I think the reason I can define my past experience as depression is because I’m seeing it through healthy niacin lenses.  It’s amazing, it’s like when I got my glasses in 6th grade and suddenly saw leaves on the trees.  Everything feels clear.  Everything feels decisive and deliberate.  I didn’t know I could feel this good.  I’ve turned it around and it only took about a week.

I wonder if it’s all in my head, if a placebo would have the same effects.  I wonder if I should be treated under the direction of a doctor.  Will the doctor think this crack-pot scheme is just pseudoscience propaganda?

But no one knows me like me, right?  I guess, rather than “is this depression? Is this real?” I should ask, “am I better?”  And I am.  It’s such an amazing difference.  So amazing.  I WANT my baby.  I couldn’t put him down yesterday because we were having such a good time playing and watching tv.  Lunch is play time, a month ago it was a chore.  I WANT my husband.  I am actually in the middle of a big emotional “event” right now and I’m handling it.  It’s kind of nice. I’m getting work done.  Is this how normal feels?  I like it.

——————————————————————————————————–

That’s really all I can think to say about niacin.  Remember when I said that I could feel my bones in my face? Similarly, I’ve had a lump on my throat that has dried up and disappeared.  I just noticed it missing a couple of days ago, it had been there since high school.  I just wanted to make a note of it somewhere.  A doctor looked at it back then.  I remember the conversation exactly:

Dad: She thinks she has something here, on her throat.
Doctor Shah: Oh, yes.  There is something there.

That’s as far as we went with it.  I suspect it was a cyst of some kind, because I am prone to cysts.

My weight is in about the same place as my last report, but I’m drinking lots of water, eating lots of plants and feeling lots of awesome.

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