It would seem like a no-brainer that the foods you eat can affect your mood. It might also seem obvious that someone with a drug or alcohol problem would be the first to understand how substances they put into their body can affect their mental and physical health — but that isn’t always the case when it comes to healthy food and nutrition. Many people enter rehab with little to no knowledge about proper nutrition and how important it is to the treatment and recovery process.
Therefore, one of the most important components to look for in any prospective drug or alcohol rehab program should be the meal plans they offer and the foods they include in their daily menu. Here are some tips about nutrition during early recovery, as well as a sample rehab meal plan. more
Knowing what foods we should and shouldn’t be eating can be really confusing, especially when it feels like the advice changes regularly. However, evidence suggests that as well as affecting our physical health, what we eat may also affect the way we feel.
Improving your diet may help to:
- improve your mood
- give you more energy
- help you think more clearly.
Science agrees that food can be a powerful tool for people dealing with depression and anxiety.
When Jane Green was 14 years old, she was walking offstage from a tap dance competition when she collapsed.
She couldn’t feel her arms, her legs, or her feet. She was hysterically crying, and her whole body was hot. She was gasping for breath. She blacked out for 10 minutes and when she came to, her mom was holding her. It took 30 minutes for her heart rate to calm down enough so she could breathe.
Green was having a panic attack — her first one, but not her last. Her parents took her to the doctor, who diagnosed her with anxiety and depression, and handed her a prescription for an antidepressant. more
Think about it. Your brain is always “on.” It takes care of your thoughts and movements, your breathing and heartbeat, your senses — it works hard 24/7, even while you’re asleep. This means your brain requires a constant supply of fuel. That “fuel” comes from the foods you eat — and what’s in that fuel makes all the difference. Put simply, what you eat directly affects the structure and function of your brain and, ultimately, your mood.
Like an expensive car, your brain functions best when it gets only premium fuel. Eating high-quality foods that contain lots of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants nourishes the brain and protects it from oxidative stress — the “waste” (free radicals) produced when the body uses oxygen, which can damage cells. more
When a friend or family member has been hospitalized for a mental-health related difficulty, sometimes loved ones may feel at a loss of what to bring when they visit. While it’s important to remember people who’ve been hospitalized for a mental illness often appreciate many of the same gifts you might give to someone hospitalized for a “physical” condition, restrictions on items brought into the psych ward can making choosing a gift a little trickier. A good rule of thumb is to avoid items with sharp edges (like scissors or shaving razors) and strings (on hoodies or drawstrings on pants). Mental hospitals have different rules and restrictions, so before you bring anything with you, it’s a good idea to check out the hospital policy online.
In addition to these restrictions, every person is different, so what one person wants might be different than what another wants. Keep your loved one in mind, and think about what they might find useful or comforting while in the hospital. more
One may assume that following the incredibly romanticized trope of psych wards in popular films, patients are too assuaged with the pain of self-hatred or insane medicinal cocktails to care about eating. False.
What they don’t tell you in the goddamn admitting office is that you won’t sleep your first night, or your last, and that the sum of days wedged between it will begin to seep into one another until they collectively become a turgid hunk of days into night into day again.
This is sundered only by mealtimes, of which there are three. They are spaced incredibly close, and are completely unaccommodating to the insomniac, the manic, the psychotic, the orally fixated, addicts, the depressed. All of which were being housed at M——— Hospital’s psych ward, myself included. We’re directed by the staff to shuffle in at 8 AM, 12 PM, and 5 PM, though the time of service often depended on the whim of the worker serving. (The fourth day I’m there, the food attendant does not serve us until his basketball team scores.) more