Gluten-Free Simplicity

Useful Info, Tasty Anecdotes and Simple Recipes for Attaining Gluten-Free Simplicity

Posts Tagged ‘Depression’

#45: Keep that Isolation in Check on the Way Toward Gluten-Free Simplicity

Posted by nepeht on October 6, 2009

#45: Keep that Isolation in Check on the Way Toward Gluten-Free Simplicity

  Ever just wish you could be alone?  Of course you do.  Probably everyone does here and there.  But…… what if it is more often than one thinks is normal?  “Maintaining a strictly gluten-free diet can cause feelings of isolation” according to an article about Gluten Free Online Social Communities by Marissa Carter (Sept. 29, 2009).  She writes,

“It is hard for these people to adjust to the food culture in America, knowing that every bite of food they eat may cause them to get sick. Ordering at restaurants becomes a chore and attending dinner parties becomes a major challenge. Often, they begin feeling like they are a burden to others. Even people who have very supportive parents, spouses and friends feel the need to reach out to others who will really understand them.”  Read More.

  All I can say directly to her opinion is, “I heard that!!!”  This is one good reason for my present posting.  Watch out for that tendency to isolate.  Yes, some isolation is probably very good for the soul.  But, too much can be dangerous.    And do I isolate on purpose when I do isolate?  No…. not always…

An Isolated Bump on a Far Away Planet (c.2009, WTB)

Sometimes, I Just Feel Like an Isolated Bump on a Far Away Planet (c.2009, WTB)

  But I do (I really really do) sometimes feel like I am a lone bump on a far away planet.  Once in a while,  I get a feeling that I am all alone.  The metamessages at almost any social meal time, grocery trip, and other times and places are often seeming to beckon me into an isolative state where it no longer feels strange or hurtful to have to be so different when it comes to one of almost every human being’s most basic functions — eating.

  The problem though… isolation can lead to lots of other problems. (eg., depression, feeling left out, getting behind etc…).  Just think about it this way…   If a person is isolated then they can begin to think things and form habits that are all wrong.  The reality checks inherent in social interaction can often be very healing.  Like if I am feeling really down on myself for something that I did and I am wondering if I did THE WRONG THING….  I can  often turn to a trusted friend or colleague and ask for their take on it.  It is soooooo wonderful for me when I do so after wringing my hands for hours… only to find that I actually did the right thing afterall.

  Also… there can be lots of good healing energy out there in public with loved ones, friends, family and colleagues for those of us with Celiac Disease.  NOT ALWAYS… of course…  there are unfortunately times when either due to one of their comments or one of my inferences, I feel like being alone instead.  But still in all, yes, sometimes, it just feels so good to be alive and around good people.

  So if you are one of us who is often finding yourself alone and feeling lonely… do something about it!  Here are a few ideas:

  • Go online as Carter suggests and seek out information or just chat.
  • Try to prepare a Gluten-Free recipe, then offer a review to the author.
  • Take a walk and make a point to say hello to a person.
  • Call an old friend or family member and ask them how they are doing.
  • Stop by a restaurant, health food or grocery store and politely ask responsive staff members about their Gluten-Free selection.
  • Write a letter to a manufacturer, a publication or a friend about something that you feel passionate about (i.e., Celiac Disease or Gluten-Free Living).

I am sure you can probably come up with even better ideas.  Go ahead and do something.  And just so I don’t get too lonely, Please let me know how it turns out.


Posted in 100 Ways to G-F Simplicity | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Way #40: Awareness of one’s Celiac-Related Painful Feelings might help one move toward Simplicity

Posted by nepeht on June 22, 2009

Way #40: Awareness of one’s Celiac-Related Painful Feelings might help one move toward Simplicity

  Life is not easy.  It is just that simple.  And for people with Celiac Disease, one could argue, that life is a bit more complicated, thus LESS easy that it is for many others.

  And I truly believe that not one of us deserves the Extra Pain that Celiac Disease provides for us.  I really do.

  With these assorted and abundant extra pains of ours naturally come emotions…  I mean it would be normal if we actually felt some emotions in their wake.  It is these emotions that I am writing about here.

  I get depressed, shamed, angry, wanna isolate, feel rage, serious bouts of loss, etc….. etc….. etc…..

  And that is probably a lot like many other people — with or without Celiac Disease.

  What is different though, is that we tend to get a whole lot of it and on a pretty consistent basis.  Sure, I find that the more I am able to live in a Gluten-Free way, the better I feel….  But there seems always to still be that train in that tunnel that is heading straight for me when ever I decide to acknowledge it.

  So I am just saying here that when we have such feelings, they tend to show on us… no matter what we do to hide them.  So then, rather than denying them, why not allow ourselves to feel them (within reason and safety limits)?

  FOr us with Celiac Disease, it seems these pains and their emotions are gonna come and go…. but probably come again, more often than any of our non-CD folks can really understand.

  So I am suggesting that the first step to dealing with all of that will be to accept them as part of our normal daily life… and then try to be aware of them as we learn more and more constructive ways of channelling the enormous bounty of energy they tend to generate into increasingly positive outcomes…

  Try it.  I am trying to try it… my self.

Posted in 100 Ways to G-F Simplicity | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Way #31: Grieve the Loss of those Gluten-Contaminated Dietary Favorites and Move On In A Healthy Way Toward Gluten-Free Simplicity

Posted by nepeht on December 19, 2008

Way #31: Grieve the Loss of those Gluten-Contaminated Dietary Favorites and Move On In A Healthy Way Toward Gluten-Free Simplicity.

  Does anyone remember the movie, “M*A*S*H“?  Well there was a scene in which one of the characters claimed he wanted to kill himself, so in order to vanquish that ambivalent desire, his friends cooperated in a staged fake-suicide before which he fully grieved his reasons for suicide, then after which he found reasons to live and then he moved on from there.

  The point is that sometimes, regardless of the subject matter or reasons, sincerely grieving a loss can help one move on in a healthier way.

  Call me a wimp if you want, but when I had to give up Gluten, I was at a loss.  And as time went on and over the years I realized one-by-one just how many of my favorite foods I would have to give up, I was totally depressed.  I needed to grieve.  I have been a pizza lover since I made pizzas back in the early 1970s and I have always been the one at the table who asked for more bread… please.

  There is a great model to use for this task:

“The Kübler-Ross model first introduced by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross in her 1969 book “On Death and Dying”, describes, in five discrete stages, a process by which people allegedly deal with grief and tragedy, especially when diagnosed with a terminal illness. The stages are known as the Five Stages of Grief.”” from Wikipedia.

  These stages do not really have to go in a fixed order, nor are they like a course where you complete stage One, then move on to stage Two — never again visiting stage One.  While the stages may go in the suggested progression, this is a very flexible model and in my experience tends to go in cycles, occasionally revisiting elements of earlier stages as I need to.  These stages are:

“Denial: “This can’t be happening to me.”
Anger: “Why is this happening? Who is to blame?”
Bargaining: “Make this not happen, and in return I will ____.”
Depression: “I’m too sad to do anything.”
Acceptance: “I’m at peace with what is going to happen/has happened.”  from Helpguide.

  All I am suggesting is that people who have been diagnosed with Gluten-Related health problems can possibly help themselves (and those around them) if they grieve their losses in a healthy way.  And furthermore, for Gluten-Sensitive people, this might mean grieving each item (i.e., pizzas, birthday cakes, French bread and pancakes) separately or in lumps.

  How does one grieve?  Go0d question.  It is probably different for each of us.  Some of the ideas that can help with grieving according to HelpGuide are:

“– Express your feelings in a tangible or creative way.  Write about, talk about it, cry if you need to.

 — Take care of yourself physically. 

  — Don’t let other people tell you how to feel, and don’t tell yourself how to feel either.

  — Plan ahead. ” 

  As you go through it, learn to recognize the stages you are in as they occur.  Here are some examples of what might show up:

  • Denial Stage:“Oh I can eat egg-rolls because the Chinese use rice flour, rather than wheat flour.”  Sometimes, this might not be true.” 
  • Anger Stage: “I am going to go ahead and drink a few beers because I am fighting with my girlfriend and it doesn’t matter anyway.”  “If those *&*%^(&()@@^&*(& manufacturers and retailers would charge a fair price for Gluten-Free foods then I could eat a healthy diet.”
  • Bargaining Stage:“Maybe if I get extra sauce on that spaghetti, the volume of the sauce will outweigh the volume of the pasta such that I won’t get sick.”  “I would have had the Gluten-Free pizza but it cost more.”  “Oh, it’s OK, I can eat white bread.  I just can’t eat wheat bread.”
  • Depression Stage: “It is just best if I stop eating all together because there is nothing that I can eat and I am withering away anyway.”
  • Acceptance Stage: “Maybe I should make a list of foods that are definitely safe to eat and start buying only those foods for the house.”

  Each of us can probably recognize something of ourselves in this. 

  The key however, is that we keep gradually moving toward Gluten-Free lifestyles.

  And of course, relapse might happen.  But that is really just another part of recovery because this process is non-linear.  It could help to recognize which stage of this process I was in as I relapsed.  And it will probably be even more beneficial if I also explore some of my feelings and circumstances around this stage and the relapse that occurred.

  And then I can move along until I find another acute space in my process where I feel a natural and all-too-normal painful twinge of the grief it takes to let go of yet another Gluten-Contaminated dietary fave.

Posted in 100 Ways to G-F Simplicity, G-F PsychoBabble | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Way #27. Survivor versus Victim and Gluten-Relapse: Ending Blame can help One Attain Gluten-Free Simplicity

Posted by nepeht on December 8, 2008

27. Survivor versus Victim and Gluten-Relapse: Ending Blame can help One Attain Gluten-Free Simplicity.

  The Blame Game is, “accusations exchanged among people who refuse to accept sole responsibility for some undesirable event”, according to the Free Dictionary by Farlex.  Playing the Blame Game is generally discouraged as it tends to cause more problems than it solves. 

  According to, “This game is driven by our need to explain and effects such as the Self-Serving Bias. Attribution Theory generally explains much of how and why we like to blame.”

  OK, so what does this have to do with Gluten-Sensitivity or Celiac Disease?  Good question. 

  For the most part, bringing the Blame Game to the fore is intended to encourage personal responsibility around issues related to Gluten Relapse.  So NO!!! this is not about either Blaming someone or accepting 100% responsibility for the fact that one has either a Gluten-Sensitivity or Celiac Disease.  The evidence about genetic properties of same as well as documentation of their hereditary natures has convinced me that no person gets either problem due to anything they have done other than being born.  And I don’t think that this is their fault.  So no blame there…. right?

  This is about me (and/or any of us) finding excuses for the reasons why we relapse with Gluten.

  Probably, the most acceptable blame for a relapse — other than blaming ones self — would be when one relapses by consuming something that contains a hidden and undisclosed form of gluten.  Enough said.  If one does not know and is not informed about gluten content, then one consumes at their.  So it is shared responsibility right. 

  The  producer or provider could possibly have given notice of Gluten content AND the consumer could possibly have refused to consume the product without some sort of prior knowledge about Gluten content.

  But what about those days when I have relapsed and I already had a good idea that the object of my relapse contained gluten?  Who is responsible then?  Well I guess I am.  And then there are other days where I am just angry and feeling more like a victim than a survivor.  On these days, the blame game can get dangerous.  My hostility can lead to a blindness about my responsibility and then onto a relapse or binge where  just like with other forms of violence, someone gets hurt.  And that is typically me.

  Sure, people with Celiac Disease and Gluten-Sensitivity are “victims” in the strictest sense of the word in that they did not ask for these medical problems nor did they do anything to deserve them.  But then the question is, “where does one go from there?”

  One can be a career “victim” and passively more on with very little productive energy.  The victim can take but so much pain, then she or he might become hostile or agressive and very difficult to be around. 

  Or one can be a “survivor” with an active sense of productive energy.  One can more along assertively and recognize those positive rewards as they materialize.  And these people are probably more easy to get along with.

  There are lots of resources on the internet about Victimhood-versus-Surviorship.  There are blogs and many others.  One source speaks of the idea of resiliance and the ability to adapt to and overcome challenges.  One blogger recently discussed the links between Celiac Disease, Gluten and Depression.  And which sort  would “Depression” be most related to… the “Victim” or the “Survivor”?  Or would it be related to both, but either would deal with it differently???  Yes.. perhaps.

  In looking over various internet postings concerning victims, survivors and relapse, I was unable to find one that was specifically addressing the issue of Gluten-Relapse.  The principles of the post however, are the same. 

  The principle proposition that I am making is that if one feels more like a victim than they are more likely to relapse with Gluten (or anything) than if they are primarily in the survivor mode.

  What do you think?

Posted in 100 Ways to G-F Simplicity, G-F PsychoBabble, G-F Simp. Philosophy | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Are Gluten and Depression Related?

Posted by nepeht on November 26, 2008

Posted in G-F PsychoBabble, References | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Pain and Gluten Relapse

Posted by nepeht on October 23, 2008

 Gluten Relapse can be painful indeed.

  By “pain”, I speak of a pain with three distinct but probably related dimensions — Physical,  Emotional and Social:

Physical Pain: Pain may be sharp or dull. It may come and go, or it may be constant. You may feel pain in one area of your body, such as your back, abdomen or chest or you may feel pain all over, such as when your muscles ache from the flu.

   and Emotional Pain: The feeling that I have failed in my attempt to stay Gluten-Free.  This feeling can be pretty awful when one considers that one is well aware of the damage being done during a relapse.  It is common during such episodes for one to question whether or not and/or just how one loves ones self.

  finally, Social Pain: What do others think of a person who is known to be allergic to gluten, yet she/he purposely ingests it?  What would you think?  Would it effect the way you see a person.  Might this lead to more isolation, more depression and more disease?

  So why am I writing this?

    I guess my prayer is that if you are a person who needs to be gluten-free and you have experienced relapse, then you experienced one or all three of the above sensations, you can know that you are not alone.  Hopefully, this will contribute to a sense of support for you as you go through this.

Posted in G-F PsychoBabble, The Personal Side | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Celiac Disease and Depression: A Dramatic Tango

Posted by nepeht on October 20, 2008

  Celiac Disease and Depression seem to be present in many of the same people.  Although mental illness and/or its symptoms are still widely misunderstood and even sometimes punished in our culture, there is no proof that either persons with Celiac Disease or persons with Depression should be ashamed of their conditions.

  This is a particularly pressing point when one considers that many of us struggle with the symptoms of both diseases / disorders every day.

  According to the National Institutes of Mental Health, the Symptoms of Depression include:

  • Persistent sad, anxious or “empty” feelings
  • Feelings of hopelessness and/or pessimism
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness and/or helplessness
  • Irritability, restlessness
  • Loss of interest in activities or hobbies once pleasurable, including sex
  • Fatigue and decreased energy
  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering details and making decisions
  • Insomnia, early-morning wakefulness, or excessive sleeping
  • Overeating, or appetite loss
  • Thoughts of suicide, suicide attempts
  • Persistent aches or pains, headaches, cramps or digestive problems that do not ease even with treatment

  According to the Celiac Sprue Association, the Emotional State / Symptoms of Celiac Disease for a patient can be/include:

  • Depression
  • Disinterested in normal activities
  • Irritable
  • Mood changes
  • Unable to concentrate

  According to the Celiac Sprue Association, Physical Symptoms of Celiac Disease include:

  • Abdominal cramping/bloating
  • Feet (Reduced fat padding)
  • Abdominal distention
  • Flatus (Passing gas)
  • Acidosis
  • Gluten ataxia
  • Appetite (Increased to the point of craving)
  • Mouth sores or cracks in the corners
  • Back pain (Such as a result of collapsed lumbar vertebrae)
  • Muscle cramping (Especially in the hands and legs)
  • Constipation
  • Night blindness
  • Decreased ability to clot blood
  • Skin (Very dry)
  • Dehydration
  • Stools (Loose? Hard? Small? Large? Foul smelling? Floating? Clay, Light tan or Gray-colored? Highly rancid? Frothy?)
  • Diarrhea (See Stools below)
  • Tongue (Smooth or geographic – looks like different continents)
  • Edema
  • Tooth enamel defects
  • Electrolyte depletion
  • Weakness
  • Energy loss
  • Weight loss
  • Fatigue

  In the above lists, the symptoms that are common in both disorders / diseases are highlighted.

  Luckily, many people who have either of these diseases do not also have the other.  At the same time, it is possibly common for some people who are diagnosed with Celiac Disease to have symptoms of depression as they are adapting to their new lifestyle.  Follow this link for an article about this very thing:

  Also, the large presence of blogging testimonials on the internet support this possibility as it is unfortunately all too easy to find someone on the Internet revealing their discomfort and emotional challenges in adapting to a diagnosis of Celiac Sprue.

  So it is really difficult to pose a confident recomendation that will suit all involved.  But as they come to view, I will try to share them.  One approach is shared at the following link:

   In the meantime, for all too many of us, the dance between these two diseases can sometimes be a way too dramatic tango.  So, good luck!

Posted in G-F PsychoBabble, The Personal Side | Tagged: | 2 Comments »

Gluten Intolerance by Any Other Name

Posted by nepeht on October 19, 2008

Gluten Intolerance is also known as:

  • Gluten Sensitive Enteropathy,
  • Nontropical Sprue,
  • Celiac Disease,
  • Celiac Sprue

Gluten Intolerance is also found sometimes in people diagnosed with:

  • Down’s Syndrome
  • Anemia
  • Yeast / Candida Infections
  • Osteoporosis
  • Seizure Disorder
  • Hepatitis
  • Depression
  • Lymphoma
  • Schizophrenia

Information about this and other helpful information can be found at:

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Sometimes, A Glass Star Is All I Think I Got

Posted by nepeht on October 15, 2008

  I notice that sometimes, my reaction to eating gluten (intional or not) is a depression so broad and deep that I get really fatigued.  Or is it a sense of fatigue so broad and deep that I get really depressed?  In any case, since I live in an extremely hot climate, I spend lots of this time just sitting in bed.  To the far right, there is a window.  In the center there is a TV.  And toward the mid-left there is an East-facing window. 

Sometimes, A Glass Star Is All I Got... I Think. (c.2008, WTB)

Sometimes, A Glass Star Is All I Got... I Think. (c.2008, WTB)

Posted in G-F PsychoBabble, The Personal Side | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »