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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Ah, you're in the UK. In my imagination, I had already established some kind of American ranching family :) I understand your problem with the NHS. They really hate doing anything real until you're in a bad way and then it's not much. Maybe you can demand a full blood test showing all the important things though? If you take a supplement, you shouldn't really have trouble with nutrients, but do you? Do you eat cereal? They have a lot of good stuff added that should give you a boost of nutrients. I love Bran Flakes with Almond milk - yum! Aldi Soya milk is good, but Tesco regularly have offers on their Alpro and Rice/Almond/... Dream products. Don't know whether it's the same everywhere, but mine has got the refrigerated ones at 3 for 3 pounds at the moment. You'll find Coop has a quite good range of healthy food and Tesco sell Tofu for 2 pounds. They've even just started with a vegan cheese that's good. It's actually "Sheeze", but they are selling it under their own Free From brand. Have you heard of Engevita Nutritional Yeast? You can get it online, but my local healthfood shop sells it cheaper. It's great and full of B Vitamins. I add it to loads of things as it gives some extra flavour and loads of health at the same time. Hope some of that helps :)

Sorry to hear that your family is so against you. They are sadly the ones showing ignorance even though they may try to put any blame on you. 

I think malnutrition it is a common problem for teenagers who want to be veggies and have their families against them. Vegetarianism can't be just about leaving out the meat and eating the bit that's left in larger quantities. That's sadly very unhealthy. It needs to be replaced by healthy things that many meat eating families don't even have on their shopping lists. Things as simple as lentils, more beans, seeds, nuts... can be enough to keep you healthy, but without, you are quite likely to get ill. If your body is unhappy, it's hard for your mind to be happy. 

Genetics can have a lot to do with people being unhealthy, but I'd first look in the diet department. Eat lots of fruit, veg, nuts, seeds and pulses and see how you feel in a few weeks or months. It might take longer to have a real effect if you have spent years being malnourished, but you may well feel healthier quickly.  

Re. other people. Yes, it's really hard to see just how ignorant they are. I try to tell people about not eating meat where possible, but have found that it's normally not effective. You can more easily get them where they have real health problems that could be caused by meat or find some of the many lactose intolerant and/or allergic people and convince them to try going without. That's probably more hopeful than convincing a meat lover. Somebody here said "bloodmouth", sounds good, though won't go down well with them :) 

The problem is that it is "tradition" to eat meat and most people truly believe that it is not only good but vital to their health. They even go so far as to quote religion as if we were under some sort of obligation to eat other beings. You don't really stand much chance against such firm - stupid - beliefs, but they have been brainwashed into people all their lives. I don't believe most people want to be bad, they just go through life with blinkers on without even stopping to think where the piece of meat on their plates came from. 

Really sad, isn't it?! Silly traditions can destroy lives. Most farmers you look at are unhealthy and they blame it on hard lives, when their work is probably among the healthiest - fresh air, exercise... gut if you eat rubbish, what can you expect? Wales has record numbers of people with Crohn's disease and that seems to be quite widely blamed on milk, red meat and such.

My Mum spent over a decade suffering from indigestion every day and could do nothing about it but take Rennies. One recommended remedy for it is to drink a glass of milk! Strangely, when she went vegan, it miraculously stopped from one day to the next.

And I get a bad rash on my hands from dairy, spent years going back and forth to the doctor for different creams. He even did an allergy test and found nothing. In the last year I had it, I was using a strong cortisone cream many times more than recommended every day... then decided to go vegan... two weeks later, it was cured! And no doctor ever even thought that it might be dairy... 

I did a trip by horse last year to raise money for Compassion in World Farming and spent most of my time wearing their t-shirt. It was actually surprising how many people, loads of whom were farmers, supported me, let me stay over, gave donations and said it was a good cause... Of course I only stayed with small farmers, but at least they seem to be giving good animal care some thought, but are losing against the big business. :(  

I'm sorry, honey. But, you gotta let stupid people be stupid people. Mother nature is slowly eliminating her from this earth due to her own stupidity.

I think there´s a connection. currently i´m vegan and happy and with peace...But i have know many vegan people bad temperated..i think when you need a lot of energy, you get a shock mentally  and you can´t afford any situation and your brain got blocked especially if you have problems ...sometimes your body not get enough "something"...You get more passive, more tired sometimes and more sick of it all and asocial, apart of all the "common people that don´t understand they suffer they are causing", you are not blind and then you dislikes people in general... But each one has their own character, and its what matters mainly, not the food you are eating... For me is very difficult to have attention in others..sometimes.

I have depression and generalized anxiety. I had this even before I became a vegetarian.

The reason you were malnourished was because your parents  didn't take care of you. I can assume that they use to cook food containing meat/animal product and you were not taking them. This resulted in minimum intake of food resulted in this condition. I think it is your family problem not your..  For time being, just eat what you can because you are dependent on your family for time being.  As soon as you are on your feet.  Then turn vegetarian or vegan. Then you can take care of yourself. With vegan and vegetarian food, you need to take care proper care and eat wisely. You need lot of legumes, fresh fruits, vegetables and eat little more than meat.  This is little bit expensive also, While meat is easy and you don't have to care and you get more and more fat easily.. 

I was vegetarian, but was able to control my BMI and taking care of Hb (which was always better than non-vegetarian ), other stuff by eating proper fresh and in balance diet. Mostly people do mistake of eating only salad for vegan, which is a suicide.. Also, you need to play with food, create different tastes, mix spices and create a magic. Food taste also plays important role in cravings and also in keeping you in a good mood... Good and tasty food is more good  to create positive vibes then alcohol...

IIn short, for time being just don't feel guilty of what you eat. As soon as you are on your own., and have read how to keep the diet fine... Just change to vegetarian then.... Simple and easy solution.... IN this world, if you want people to listen to you first listen them follow them and as soon as you grow strong and reach on top. Shout and then make other listen.... 

Best of Luck

Wonderful advice!

I have also been wondering the same thing as I am now 19 years old and have been a vegetarian/vegan (on and off) since I was 13. Surprisingly, that is the age I started to get depressed and I have been depressed on and off since then and have, to, become asocial and have thought others to be ignorant af. I have very similar issues, except my family doesn't think i'm going crazy and doesn't try and put me into wards & stuff. I do take supplements though. But, because of my depression I sometimes don't care whether I take them or not. & I think you would have been happy instead of suicidal. :/ ignorance is bliss. I hope everything turns out for the better.

It just boggles my mind that your family treats you the way they do about being a vegetarian. They give you hell b/c of a good, healthy, compassionate choice that you make to NOT eat meat? No one close to me would ever do that. As far as the general public, yes, a lot of them are idiots and heartless. But I give the grief back ten times as hard when some meat eater tries to do it to me. It is frustrating, yet it really does seem like there are a lot more vegetarians out there than there used to be. I don't know if I could ever be totally vegan, but I do admire those people. I eat very little cheese, and do not drink milk or eat eggs, etc., so I try. It's funny how many people are still so intrigued as to why someone is a vegetarian. Duh!! Common sense to me. You should just tell your family that if they love you, they will respect your diet and be glad that they have a relative who is so kind and amazing. :)   I think that anyone being veg (if it's mainly for the love of animals), says a lot about their heart and soul. :)

The best way for you to convince your family that you made a wise decision is to keep yourself healthy. Go see a vegetarian-oriented doctor, check your blood levels, adjust your diet. Investigate the source of your depression with a psychiatrist, but have in mind that it is NOT linked to the fact you are vegetarian. There are many happy vegans all over the world and you deserve to be one of them.
All the best for you. =]

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