I am a Missionary living in Honduras. I was diagnosed with the clinical depression 6 years ago even though I had been struggling with it most of my life. For the last 6 years I have been on either 150mg or 300mg of Welbutrin daily. In the last year it had been very difficult. I struggled with daily fatigue and found it difficult to concentrate for an entire work day. I had headaches each morning 6 out of 7 days per week. These were headaches in the lower back of the head. I also would have migraine headaches mixed in during the week.
About 4 months ago a friend sent me a link to a book on nutrition. Normally I would just delete an e-mail from this health nut but I mistakenly thought it came from someone else. I clicked the link and found information on “The China Study”. Based on the initial information I started eating more fruits and vegetables and cutting back on meat. I ordered the book and had it sent to a lady coming to Honduras a couple of weeks later.
I read “The China Study” and made a decision to stop eating animal protein. I also found the link to Mr. McDougall’s site through this book. Nothing in the book indicated that there would be any help for depression but my blood pressure had been creeping up over the years and I am 5 foot 11 inches weighing 201 pounds. I had eaten for 48 years based on no scientific research. I was stuck in the river of western eating and would have to go wherever it carried me. I figured if I could benefit my health by actually peer-securitized scientific research I would jump ship and start heading the other way.
The first couple of weeks were a bit difficult as I stopped drinking all soda drinks, coffee, sugar and stopped eating all animal protein.
I also decided while cleaning my body out I would not take the anti-depression medication for a couple of weeks unless the depression became too difficult to bear.
After about a week I could tell something was going on in the area of depression. I could not feel the symptoms! I was cautiously optimistic. Another week passed and I found myself with a smile on my face. My friends were making comments about my smile although I was still dealing with headaches from caffeine withdraws. The most impressed person was my wife. She had been dealing with my depression for many years. She recently told me that she was not sure she knew me any more. Normally this would not be good to hear from your wife but in this case she was well pleased.
I had tried to go off of anti-depressants several times. Within a week I would know and so would my friends. I do not know that this would work for anyone else. Depression is a complex brain chemistry issue. I would not recommend going cold-turkey off of any medication.
I am the IT Manager at a mission hospital. My friends are mostly doctors or other medical types. Two of the doctors have read my copy of “The China Study”. Both have made drastic changes in their diet. One had been discouraged with traditional medicine and she is now searching for how she can better help people through nutrition.
There are people that are vegetarians for political or religious reason. I am a Vegan by choice. As a Christian Missionary I do not find a biblical doctrine for not eating meat. In fact a strong argument can be made for eating meat. If you believe the Garden of Eden story of the creation of man then think about the fact that man did not even kill animals until after the fall of Adam and Eve. They were at least Vegetarians if not Vegans. I have heard it said that true science is discovery. I am sure that true religion is discovery. It may be possible that God set us on a path of discovery in the area of human nutrition. This may very well be part of God’s plan for man’s evolution towards His likeness.
It has been 4 months. I have lots of energy. I am jogging again. My weight is down to 193.5 pounds eating based on the McDougall weight-loss plan. My blood pressure has dropped from 150/89 to 143/86. The headaches are gone. I have had maybe four headaches in the last two months and none in the last two weeks. Best of all I am not on any mediation and I have zero symptoms of depression.
I have set a goal to bring my blood pressure below 120/80 and my weight down to 160. I plan to run my fourth Marathon in October of next year. This time I plan to qualify for Boston by running under 3:30. I am also looking for a financially feasible way to study nutrition by distant learning so that I can help the poor people of Honduras to overcome heart disease and diabetes.
Missionary to Honduras
Hospital Loma de Luz