Evolutionary Psychiatry and thoughts on love & cooking


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Welcome to the site! This content is old and may not reflect my current opinions. I keep it up mainly for reference and because I hope at least some of it is still good, but I encourage you to check out more recent posts as well as my Start Here page

I'd like to point the compass to an excellent new blog that I've been reading called Evolutionary Psychiatry. The hot topics in paleo health are diseases like heart disease or diabetes. While this are alarmingly common, the elephant in the room is that mental disorders are just as much of a threat to modern human health. The World Health organization estimates that in twenty years depression will be the world's biggest health burden. Unfortunately, depression has more of a stigma than most other diseases of civilization and...that's saying a lot considering the hatred directed towards people who have more fat on them. Treatment and causes also remain somewhat of a mystery, with many patients opting for expensive methods that remain acceptable despite lack of scientific evidence for their effectiveness. And depression only one of many serious mental health problems that are on the rise.

Dr. Emily Deans of Evolutionary Psychiatry explores these problems with an eye towards evolutionary solutions. The posts are rich with fascinating questions and scientific data, so I definitely recommend checking it out.

My own perspective is that I definitely think that depression is a disease of civilization caused by at least partially by poor social ties, miserable and un-engaging working and living environments, lack of movement, and a highly inflammatory diet. Unfortunately, the paleo diet can only fix the dietary causes, but that can definitely provide a boost. During high school and early on in college there were days when I struggled to rouse myself from bed or shut myself in my room crying. This no longer happens. It stopped happening around the time I got control of my stomach issues and there is a definitely connection between some stomach disorders and depression. I'm often reluctant to blog about problems like this because unlike, let's say GERD, having such a problem tends to warp people's view of you as a person no matter how common those problems are.

Diet might not solve them completely, but it's a little worrying that most mental health professionals either don't address diet at all or advocate a low-fat diet. It's low-hanging fruit that can make a huge difference. Another good blog about food and depression is Rebuild from Depression.

I'm grateful for my process, but would definitely would still like to improve my mood and ability to be resilient, but unfortunately I have found that grass-fed lamb tenderloin doesn't fix broken relationships*, especially if just reminds me of how that used to be his favorite meal and how our food choices had once melded with another's in seamless unbroken domesticity that seemed so permanent at the time. But then I remember that I made that same exact meal for the boyfriend before that and it makes the whole thing a little less romantic, but at least that means perhaps there will be more to enjoy roasted rosemary lamb with black pepper yogurt sauce.

*Ice cream might, but further studies need to be done. It seems like the effect is more about a sugar-induced mirage of happiness than actually mending relationships.