I have decided to break from the norm with this post and be a little more scientific with my approach to writing. Mental health is something I am very interested in, particularly Depression and Anxiety. For anyone who hasn’t guessed already from the name of my website, I am no neurologist. Instead, this piece comes from my own experience and personal research. As before KatyLostWeighty, KatyLostHerMindy.
According to a leading mental health organisation, cases of recorded depression are on the rise. In 2014 19.7% of people in the UK aged 16 and over showed symptoms of anxiety and depression. That is a 1.5% increase from the preceding year. If we look back even further and broaden our interest to include the USA, the 1% of Americans who complained of depression in 1905 is a tiny percentage when compared to the 1 in 10 people who complain of it today. For me this raises the question, why is depression in western society getting worse.
I have suffered from anxiety and depression. The worst episode I had was just before I started on my journey to lose weight. It was one of the things that led to my urgency and determination to get in the gym and stick to a new healthier lifestyle. I didn’t know much about how the mind works back then. The extent of my knowledge was that exercise makes you feel good and I would have argued that that was a lie considering how much my body ached from finally using it; Bloody Squats!
Depression and anxiety is as scary as it is desperate. Sometimes you can feel a bit blue, sometimes you can feel hopeless and other times you can feel totally separate from yourself and the rest of the world, like you are viewing everything through a bubble. There are loads of symptoms and none are to be dismissed. My desperation forced me to research to try and find a cure for how I was feeling. There was one thing I found that helped me more than anything else; Magnesium.
According to leading researchers, there is a very tangible link between Magnesium deficiencies in the modern world and depression. In the past we would have got our recommended amount of Magnesium from food but with the increase in processed food in the western world and the introduction of refined grain, all we get from food now is fat.
Magnesium has several functions in the body. One of the most interesting uses of Magnesium is that it can suppress the release the stress hormones (Cortisol and Adrenaline). In addition, it can act as a blood/ brain barrier to prevent the entrance of these stress hormones. If our understanding of mental health assumes that people can be predisposed to depression and other mental illness based on the amount of stress they endure (Diathesis-Stress Theory), then Magnesium plays a vital role in reducing the number of us who suffer.
When I started taking Magnesium it took two days for the fog I was living in to clear. In the time since,
I normally suffer from anxiety and to a lesser extent depression during PMS season. A study conducted in 2010 showed that PMS symptoms in women who were treated with B6 and Magnesium dramatically decreased when compared to test groups. who weren’t treated in the same way.  So if you, like me, feel like the world has abandoned you for a week a month, then you might want to take a closer look at your nutrition and supplementation.
The link between Magnesium and your mental health is scientifically proven and yet I for one knew nothing about it until I suffered. It makes me wonder how many of us are suffering from nutrient deficiencies of some kind that we aren’t even aware off. How many people live day to day, tired, lacking in energy, sad, sometimes hopeless and not even realising that it doesn’t have to be this way. That it could potentially be helped, if not fixed, with a little more understanding of our body, mind and the willingness to make changes.
There is a lot more to be said on this topic , so if you found this piece interesting, please subscribe. Like me on Facebook, Follow me on Instagram and Twitter….like me people lol. Thanks xx
Disclaimer- If you are elderly, pregnant or suffer from kidney disease please consult your doc before supplementing with Magnesium. Keep it safe readers.