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Other Emotional Issues


Louella: Depression, pesticides and low blood sugar

Important Note: This article was written prior to 2010 and is now outdated. Please use my newest advancement, Optimal EFT. It is more efficient, more powerful and clearly explained in my free e-book, The Unseen Therapist™.  Best wishes, Gary

Hi Everyone,

This is an involved case of depression that I am pleased to have been a part of. It is worthy of study because it points out the values of persistence as well as the vital role nutrition sometimes plays. As you will see, what someone eats or drinks can literally cause depression.

Hugs, Gary

Louella, age 41, had suffered major bouts of depression since age 9. When she first walked in my door, she was suicidal. Tears came easily and "hopeless" seemed to be her favorite word. After a few rounds of EFT, the tears subsided and the depression dropped from a 10 to a 6. There was even a smile or two. But that was all we could do. She said she was exhausted (this turned out to be a clue to her problem since substance sensitivities tend to sap one's energy) and went to sleep for 4 hours. She usually slept 15 hours or so per day, partly because she was so exhausted and partly because it was an escape from the world.

When Louella awoke she was feeling "a little better". She lives 2 hours away and I invited her to use a spare bedroom so we could do more EFT that night and again the next day. She accepted and we began applying EFT to her back pain (which subsided) and her asthma (which went away and never came back, even though it formerly required daily medication). Also, we applied EFT to 3 traumatic memories which were clear candidates as underlying causes for her depression. EFT handled them rather routinely and they, too, never came back. As the ensuing weeks unfolded, and even in her most depressed moments, she could still discuss these events without tears or emotional disturbance. She left that first session at a SUDs [0-10 intensity] level of 4 or 5 which she thought was a great improvement. I was less than delighted, however, because I had expected the whole thing to lift. Such had been my previous experience.

We talked on the phone 2 days later and her depression had come back full scale. The traumatic memories and the asthma, however, remained non problems. She came back weekly for 5 more 24 hour sessions and, on each visit, we applied EFT to more traumatic memories and other events in her life (15 or 20 altogether - I lost count) and ALL of them went to zero and didn't come back. Nonetheless, each time she would arrive with her depression at an 8-10 level and leave with it at 4-6. The tapping was, apparently, only a temporary help for the main issue - depression.

After hundreds of cases with EFT, I can safely say that my expectations for success are usually met UNLESS there is toxic interference with the energy system. Once the sensitivity is located and eliminated, then the problem becomes easy to handle with EFT. Louella, as it turns out, had a known sensitivity to sugar. Also, she had some inherited tendencies along these lines since her mother and other relatives were sensitive to a variety of foods and other substances.

In Louella's case, I asked her to pay attention to her emotions and, when they became particularly acute, to notice what may have just happened in her world. Did she just change clothes, use soap or brush her teeth? What did she just eat or drink that may have contributed to her emotional state? She kept a meticulous journal of everything going on in this regard but was unable to identify anything. The depression persisted. Finally, during our 6th weekly session, she was feeling relatively good one afternoon (about a 4) but then ate a commercially grown (non-organic) apple. Within moments she experienced extreme anxiety (bordering on panic) and her depression was at a 10. She became very tired and went to her room and slept for 4 or 5 hours. To me, she acted like she had taken a drug.

When she awoke, she felt better and we spent the evening talking and applying EFT. At about 8 am the next morning, I woke her up to find that she was feeling "OK" (about a 6). Since I didn't know for sure if that apple was the real culprit, I asked her to eat another one. She reluctantly agreed and I fetched an apple out of the same bag as the original apple. Within minutes, she was anxious again. She then became drowsy (drugged?) and slept for another 4 or 5 hours.

While it was apparent that something in that apple was bothering her, we didn't know if it was the apple itself or some pesticide(s) that might be in it. So we established a "Detective Diet" (my name) to establish which foods might be contributing to her problem. She was to eat ONLY ORGANIC FOODS (to eliminate pesticides from the equation) and could only eat ONE FOOD AT A TIME and had to WAIT ONE HOUR BETWEEN FOODS. She then kept a journal of the foods she ate and any reaction she had to them. The beauty of this diet is that it isolates foods so that you can look back and notice if there was any link between what one eats and their emotional reactions.

Interestingly enough, none of the foods seemed to bother her except whole wheat. It tended to make her a bit drowsy, but nothing serious. Nonetheless, FROM THE MOMENT SHE STARTED THE DIET THE DEPRESSION BEGAN TO LIFT AND WITHIN 24 HOURS IT WAS GONE. That was 5 weeks ago. Since then she has slept normally, gone on long hikes with friends, enjoyed dancing AND she just got back from kicking up her heels for two weeks in Spain. THERE HAS BEEN NO SIGN OF DEPRESSION SINCE. It has been a flat out zero.

We can suspicion, of course, that pesticides are the culprit here. After all, that was the only thing conspicuously absent from her diet. If so, we don't know which pesticides get the finger of blame, at least not yet. But that's OK. We can discover those by a similar process of elimination. However, unless there is some big need to know, why bother? Why not just stay on the pure diet and quit poisoning oneself with pesticides and other foreign residues? We have more detective work to do here. This is still a case in progress and more will be done in time. But, for now, Louella is perfectly happy to keep things as they are.

Now here's a fascinating point. WHAT Louella ate may not have been the only thing causing her depressed state. HOW OFTEN SHE ATE may also have been important. In the process of doing all this, Louella's sister (who has hypoglycemia, a blood sugar problem) loaned her a device to self test her blood sugar levels. She tested her blood repeatedly throughout the day and found that, when depressed, her blood sugar level would often get dangerously low. As it turns out, Louella was hypoglycemic. Since the "Detective Diet" had her eating small amounts consistently throughout the day, her blood sugar was maintained at acceptable levels and thus the hypoglycemic symptoms (depression?) were kept at bay.

I am an engineer by academic training and don't pretend to be an expert in medicine or nutrition. However, I know scientific evidence when I see it. It is clear to me that hypoglycemia, pesticides or both deserve a round of boo's & hisses regarding Louella's depressed state. The exhaustion she felt was consistent with someone who had been drugged (by pesticides?) and/or suffered from low blood sugar. With these two offenders out of the way, the depression is nowhere to be seen. However, it is also scientific nonsense to generalize from one instance like this and say that all depression is due to pesticides and/or low blood sugar. It takes many case histories to support such a conclusion.

As it turns out, there is already support for the link between diet and emotional disorders. The phenomenon has been known for over 20 years and thus is hardly new. Louella has been studying this subject avidly and has brought to my attention several books which point to diet (particularly pesticides and low blood sugar) as the cause of many emotional disorders (including schizophrenia). One such book, PsychoNutrition, was written in 1976 by Carlton Fredericks, Ph.D. If you are interested, the copy I have gives the Library of Congress catalog card number as 75-16863, ISBN: 0-448-12000-3.

You should also know that Louella was at all times advised that I am not a therapist nor doctor and, where she deemed necessary, her professionals should be consulted.

Hugs to all, Gary

Two year follow-up

Louella called me two years later to say that her depression has stayed away except for a couple of brief occasions when she had "boy friend problems." Even then, it wasn't really depression. Just a case of the "temporary downs."


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