Depression is Infectious


I’m working on a new book. A chunk of it will be about depression and inflammation. Why? Because we need to feel good to finally believe we deserve better. Because this is my story. Because it’s a whole lot of other people’s stories too. Because depression is a big deal. Mental health is huge deal. Most of us have been depressed at one or many points in our lives. And, we probably know someone who is dealing with mental health issues right now. It affects more than 18 million of us. And, I think it’s something we need to talk about, handle with care, treat, and hopefully transcend. 

Depression sucks. Feeling sad, abandoned, hopeless, alone, and stuck is dreadful. Feeling annoyed and frustrated because you can’t figure out how to change things is no fun. But we can feel better. For me, three things happened that helped. I slowly, slowly learned to have a little patience. I finally let go of expectations. And most importantly, I changed my lifestyle. The last one was actually the easiest. I made a few changes, and now I have a lifestyle that fully supports me. It works. Because even right now, dealing with something situational, you know a betrayal, a loss, or an injustice, I can still thrive. Yeah, I’m crying into my superfood smoothie, but I’m still good. I’m down but not out. I’m bruised but not broken. 

Expectations. These are bad news. I was swamped by expectations in my 20s. I was supposed to be a rich, famous, awesome human. Instead I couldn’t get a restaurant gig. Plus, I felt pressure from everyone’s expectations for me. There were a lot resources spent to make me a success story, and then… I just wasn’t. I wish someone had said: “Hey, relax, it’s ok to not know what you’re doing or where you’re going.” I thought I had to be great right from the start. And, I wasn’t. The contrast between my expectations for who I should be and where I actually was made me feel like a failure. I was angry, frustrated, and then despair settled in for a long stay. Until I learned to release expectations for how life should be and just live. I guess I’m just trying to say don’t drown in your own or other people’s expectations for how you should be. And, this is key, have a little (actually a lot) of patience for who and where you are right now. 

Inflammation. I’m talking chronic low-grade inflammation caused by toxins in our diet and lifestyle. This leads to depression. I can testify to this! I was a failing, and to comfort myself I turned to booze, fast foods, sugar, cigarettes, and a numbing sedentary life. We feel bad, sad, embarrassed, and we turn to things (food, drugs, sugar) to make us feel better, give us a dopamine rush, and then we feel worse. And this leads to chronic inflammation, which can turn our run-of-the-mill sadness into depression. We flood our body with toxins, cigarettes, booze, junk food, sweets, diet drinks, pharmaceuticals, pain pills, sedentary activities, etc., etc., and this leads to an infection in the body and brain. 


“Turhan Canli of Stony Brook University in New York thinks infections are the most likely culprit, and even goes as far as to say that we should rebrand depression as an infectious – but not contagious – disease. A diet rich in trans fats and sugar has been shown to promote inflammation, while a healthy one full of fruit, veg and oily fish helps keep it at bay. Add this to the fact that stress, particularly the kind that follows social rejection or loneliness, also causes inflammation, and it starts to look as if depression is a kind of allergy to modern life…” (from an article in The Guardian by Caroline Williams.)

This is what happened with me; the inflammation from the toxins in my diet and lifestyle infected me with depression. We feel bad because of a number of reasons and then we do things that end up making us feel worse. I wish I hadn’t wasted years on depression. I wish I had made a few, easy changes in my diet: more plants, good fats, anti-inflammatory supplements… And, I wish I had given up those ridiculous expectations and been a lot more patient with myself. 

If you’re having a tough time, let’s change that. Because feeling good is the path to better things. Because it’s all about the foundation. And that I can help you with.  Maybe what’s made a difference in my life can help you transform yours. xo Tania

A few of the tools I use to help stay healthy, emotionally, mentally, and physically, are supplements that cool down inflammation and support a strong gut, heart, and brain. You can find 3 of my favorites here on the site, and I know they are the highest, best quality, and I can say from personal experience they are effective. They help me, maybe they’ll also help you. Essential Omega-3s, Curcumin, and UltraProbiotics