I began a low-sugar diet when I was sixteen, after I was hospitalized for clinical depression.
I had know for a while that I was sensitive to sugar. Such problems are often genetic, and my father had been diagnosed with hypoglycemia a few years before. A low-sugar lifestyle change helped him get over his own severe depression.
We knew that I probably had the same blood sugar disorder, but I didn’t seriously consider changing my diet until a fellow patient saw the way I acted around sugar and compared me to a crack head.
Moving to a low-sugar diet and frequent (every three hours) intakes of protein got me out of depression when none of the drugs that the doctors prescribed for me did. I continued to have problems with anxiety, though, until I finally cut way down on white carbohydrates (rice, flour, potatoes, etc.) in my early thirties. (White carbohydrates turn to sugar quickly in the bloodstream.)
At that point I was able to finally pull my life together and live a normal, healthy, happy life. (I’m now forty-three, happily married, with a healthy toddler, two Masters Degrees, and 15 years at a full-time library job.) I had to do some hard work on myself to get over the psychological damage caused by frequent bouts of extreme anxiety, but maintaining my diet helped me find the strength and head-space to do so.
I’ve been told by doctors that my particular blood sugar disorder (sometimes called “reactive hypoglycemia,”) is rare. There is a trend right now of books and articles about how sugar can affect people, though, saying that cutting down on sugar can help with things like weight loss, depression, anxiety, and memory problems. (See David Sack’s September 2, 2013 article 4 Ways Sugar Could Be Harming Your Mental Health in Psychology Today, for example,) I assume that this is not true for everyone (one has to be careful of large-sweeping diet pronouncements) but when one is having psychological and/or weight problems and other methods aren’t working, cutting down on sugar consumption could at least be worth a shot.