Is there a connection? I've been vegetarian for a decade and transitioned as I hit my teen years, the most important development years. About the same time I developed depression, anxiety, panic attacks and a lack of appetite that left me malnourished and underweight.

I recently attempted to go vegan. It did not go down well with my family. Worried about my 'extremism', they called out doctors, who attempted to force me into a mental hospital. I avoided it by a small margin. To avoid further trouble, I have abandoned the strict vegan diet, though I will continue to minimise the dairy I consume and avoid things such as leather where possible and practicable. I'm afraid to stand by my morals and refuse food with animal products in it because it turns my whole family against me.

Having seen shocking footage such as Earthlings and having become aware of the environmental and health related damage animal based diets cause, I've become deeply upset by the majority of humanity's attitudes and their arguments to defend their carnism. I'm often misanthropic. I'm asocial - I avoid socialising with other humans where possible because I can't abide the common ignorance people have concerning their diets. I feel I'm a failure because though I've been a vegetarian for a whole decade, my family still has no intention of making that change themselves and would rather label me mentally ill than compassionate. I'm afraid, because I see that people can act without conscience and cause horrific cruelty without remorse if they profit by it.

All in all, veg*ism has opened my eyes to the extent of barbarism in our world and I despair of it. If I had never become aware, and had remained an omnivore, would I be happy instead of suicidal?

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Yes,but you have to let them make their choices as you make yours. And if they get sick eating animals they deserve it anyway.

Profound ideas can have all sorts of effects on people so who knows, maybe chemicals in your brain altered and that contributed to your illness when you went veggie or something. My OCD started at the same age that I went veggie but a lot of other significant stuff happened around that time. I wonder if this was also the case for you.

Yours seems a difficult situation being situated where you are. Is ordering food online an option? The anti-depressant I take is vegan, as is the anti-psychotic. I know others have commented below on the benefits of a good diet but my illness stops me from eating many healthy things. Does that then leave you, like me, putting all your hope in medicine/psychological treatment?

I can completely sympathise with the fact that people interperet your views and actions as extremism. Most of my OCD is related to contamination from meat and meat eaters so everyone thinks I've taken it too far as well. But when your veg*nism begins to adversly effect your health and you don't want to compromise on your dietry choices, then I think psychological intervention should be an option if you're leading a shadow of a life. I went into hospital once and have had good psychology treatment since and it has helped me a lot to cope with the OCD and, by extension, the injustices of the world and start to live a life that puts me in a position to do something about them rather than just dwell on them.

It's better to live poorly in the light than to live well in the darkness, in my opinion. I'm glad I can see how messed up so much of the world is. Ignorance is for poo heads and all you can do is use the toilet paper of education.

I would just say to do something about the appetite loss.  There are herbs available to increase appetite.  Tibetan and Chinese and Ayurvedic doctors have great things for your condition.  The loss of appetite might be related to your mood or any other mental pattern,but it doesn't mean that it must be solved mentally first.  It could be but you also have a body to deal with and a spirit.  As they say, body, mind, and soul.  So any disease or difficulty can be dealt with on a number of levels and at least those three there.  So brother, get some grub to eat!!!!  Do something to get yerself the munchies!!!

I know this feeling exactly. Since I started doing proper research on animal welfare (many years after I had become veggie), I went vegan and suffered from depression for about a year - that was the time I needed to get used to the diet and cooking, learn answer stupid questions of ignorant people, and also meet (at least on-line) other vegans. I still feel very lonely sometimes, I did manage to influence my sister and my mother, however, other people -very close friends avoid the topic and I feel like a failure at times. Other times, however, I meet people who tell me they admire me etc. You need to think that you're not alone and that there are more and more of us. In London there are over 20 vegan restaurants right now (2 years ago there were only 2, I think)... the world will change, just do what your heart tells you. I read once somewhere that By fighting for animal rights you may lose your mind but you will definitely find your soul. Best of luck:-)

I was actually in the psych ward and the only thing they were concerned with was my B-12/folate levels (which came back normal) as well as my low HDL cholesterol levels (because i was a smoker at the time).  My last bloodwork came back wonderful so no problems there.  If anything, i would bet the reason you are vegetarian is BECAUSE you have mental illness. I think it makes us more empathetic and makes it harder for us to ignore the atrocities of the world.  I hope this helps <3  ps. i also had mental illness develop around late teenage (which is common) and it was right around the time i decided to go vegan.  remember, correlation does not prove causation! <3

Completely agree.

I think you should be very careful about accepting an attitude of defeatism.  Psychiatrists and psychologists sling labels around, and I have have found that very few of them understand that of which they speak.  If one, in a weakened psychological state begins to accept an attitude of self-defeat, things become worse and the labeling can grow worse.  This, in my opinion, becomes a downward spiral of self-annihilation which can result in all kinds of problems.  Be certain to maintain your self-respect and understand that you are merely trying to do the "right thing," as I'm sure many of your opponents, including the status quo, believe about themselves.  You must remember that many people feel specifically that they are supposed to eat animals and to relent from them is equivalent to faithlessness in Jesus and/or God.  The "right thing" is to a large degree a matter of perspective, even if you yourself feel devoted to your compassion for other animals.

Additionally, there are psychological costs for abandoning the status quo and/or the religion, you should go into these types of things knowing that you will be forced to navigate more difficult water.  In order to do this, you must not accept self-defeat, in my opinion.  You may want to accept, also, that we are all ignorant and all have differing perspectives, many times based upon imperceptible ideas and ideals

Hi Mel....I really feel for your situation - there is nothing worse than feeling alone.  Your family just doesn't 'get it' and won't until they are ready.  Why not forget trying to change them and just enjoy who you are and what you believe in - you are certainly not alone in this!  Please take some time to watch these videos - they are inspiring!  Get strong and simply with lots of veg, fruit, nuts and seeds, avoid at all costs any processed foods and SUGAR!! (eeeek!).  Most of all, believe in are a champion and very precious to us all xx Shelley has made some amazing vids and well worth a look.

.....After finding and reading your 'rant' (good for you!!) - I now realise that you've probably already seen most of these videos (long before I did!) :)

I've actually heard your brain has fully developed by the age of 5. (I may be wrong, but worth a check). I'm sorry you've had a rough time. Maybe if you found a supportive doctor or dietician, that could guide you through your journey, your family could see that what your really doing is becomming they healthiest person you can be.

"It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society." Dont let them affect you. You did not go into depression because you became a vegetarian, you went through depression because you were a TEENAGER. People will criticize what they dont understand because it is just easier than admitting they were wrong. I too feel alienated but I dont let it get the best of me because I know I am doing it for all the right reasons: people call me the crazy cat lady, the shit-arian, make fun of me by saying that all i eat is lettuce, I just ignore them and feel sorry for them. Note that I live in a 3rd world country where even people do not have their full rights and so to root for animals is just delusional to many. i avoid being around people who criticize me because often times they are the unhealthiest, most selfish, uneducated people. I am the only vegan i know and I will never ever go back to using animals just to please my taste buds or to fit into the sick society i live in or any other one

Many people get mentally ill at some point, and I believe it has little to do with being vegetarian, and a lot to do with the way our societies work nowadays. They are concentrated on materialism and making profit instead of taking animals - and even humans - into consideration. We have been forcefully disconnected from spirituality (I don't necessarily mean religion) and Mother Earth, and we are completely, utterly lost. This is a sick planet, and a sick world we live in. That's why so many people suffer from more mental problems than ever before. And especially since you opened your eyes to see this it must have been even more difficult for you.

I have also suffered from the "weight of the world" on my shoulders. And sometimes you don't have to be strong, because there are professional people out there who can help you, and who are good at it. They will be able to change your attitude and make you feel more positive about the world around yourself. And take long walks in the woods, hug trees, listen to the silence and let it tell you its tales. Be in touch with Nature.

If you think you might have vitamin deficiency, go get yourself checked, and improve your diet likewise. Exercise more, do yoga for instance, and running, and swimming - they will do you good! Strength! You will be alright :)


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