How Positive Thinking and Real Food Healed My Chronic Depression

I used to have many demons in my mind. They controlled my life, my emotions, my every being.

As a child, life was pretty normal for me. Once I became a teenager, that is when everything came crashing down. My stepfather (32 years old at the time) died of brain cancer the summer going into 8th grade. The year before his death was one of the most miserable times I’ve ever dealt with.

My brain sorta erased most of my memories during this horrifying year, but if I could sum it up in a few words it would be: hate, anger, sadness, yelling, resentment, loneliness, unforgiving, and terrifying.

After his death, things did not turn around. My high school years are also mostly a blur to me as I have forced my brain to wipe most of my memories and recollections of things that went down. It seemed like all the negative feelings I felt were amplified though. The only person that I had in my life was my mom and she was supposed to be my rock but she was far from that. I hardly remember her being around because she really wasn’t — physically and emotionally.

The few vivid memories I remember are of being scared, alone, and cold in my mom’s empty 7 bedroom house. The house that used to be filled with love, happiness, family was now filled with distant memories, unnerving spirits, and coldness.

I was alone and all that I had were my thoughts.

Why me? Why did Farid die? Why is my mom not here? Why am I fending for myself? Why is my sister no longer with me? What did I do to deserve this? How come my biological father is not more of a father to me? Why does my mom let her boyfriend hit her? Why does it seem like she picks him over me? Why am I so different than the people I go to school with? Why?

With no one to truly open up to, I dwelled in my thoughts. My thoughts consumed me, and the more I let my thoughts consume me, the more control they had. Those demons.

Every year around the same time, I’d go through incredibly low, scary periods. I believed because the women on my mom’s side suffered from chronic depression, that I was a prisoner to those demons in my head, as well. My junior year was the worst for me and although my senior year was bad too, it wasn’t nearly as bad as the previous. It’s safe to say that my “rock bottom” was my junior year.

However, through the painful lows, there was a light in me. The real Loriel in me knew that this was not the way life was supposed to be and I held onto that. I’m not sure what my driving force was but it kept me alive through those really hard years. I had no idea how I was going to achieve the mental peace I knew I was supposed to have, other than I just knew.

Turns out, I didn’t have to be a prisoner to those demons and that I could heal myself. It took eight long, incredibly difficult years to rid the demons from my mind but now at 24 years old, I feel confident in saying that the demons no longer control me. I didn’t go to counseling and I never took anti-depressants. I hold two things accountable for this: the power of positive thought and real food.

I was first introduced to the power of positive thought through a relationship I was in. I was given a book called The Secret and I was immediately consumed. “You’re telling me that I have control over my mind, and when I radiate positive thoughts, it’s easier to eliminate the bad and attract good things to my life?” I told myself after I read the book. I was hooked.

For the first time in a very long time, the fog started to clear. After I finished reading The Secret, I continued my search for self-growth and self-help books and read the following: The Four Agreements, Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff for Women, Maximum Achievement, Flight Plan.

Positive thinking was certainly not easy. I struggled every day and experienced many highs and lows. It’s incredibly hard to retrain your brain when it is so used to thinking of angry, sad, and lonesome thoughts. But, I was on a mission to break the cycle of being a prisoner to chronic depression.

That relationship ended, and eventually a new one began. And then I got pregnant and married. I slipped back into my depression the few months after I had Andrew but then real food entered my life because of Andrew.

I began to research and ask questions, and research some more. Although all the things I was reading about angered me, it gave my mind something to do and I began to feel better with each small success I had in sourcing good food or making something from scratch. I finally felt like I had purpose in my life.

When I began to eliminate things like really-bad-for-you processed foods, industrialized oils, and GMOs and became more conscious of my food choices, I truly believe that was the icing on my cake. And you know I love cake. My body felt better, I was able to concentrate on things much easier, and my mind felt better knowing that I was putting good food in my belly and the bellies of my loved ones.

I think positive thinking accounted for the biggest part in my healing but I feel like real food really made it easier. My mind became clear, I allowed myself to love unconditionally, and as each day passed, the demons started floating away and never came back.

Changing to real food was a slow and gradual process, just like my positive thinking journey. I think these journeys are slow for a reason: to give you time to grow with them. If you’re in this journey yourself, keep your head up high and believe in yourself that one day you will be healed.

It’s been almost four years since I last let the demons take control of me and I have no intentions of letting that happen ever again!


Have you ever healed yourself from positive thinking and/or real food? I’d love to hear your story below!



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Aside from being a wannabe backyard homesteader who wrangles chickens and free-range kids, Loriel is the owner/creator of the professional natural lifestyle blog Naturally Loriel, owner of the organic spice blend business Naturally Free, and freelance professional food photographer.

'How Positive Thinking and Real Food Healed My Chronic Depression' has 13 comments

  1. December 5, 2014 @ 4:15 pm Amanda

    Posts like this are exactly what I love to read, and coming from you (whom I admire), it means alot. I still deal with depression, but am thankful to have gotten off my medications (about 4 months now). We need more real bloggers like you – ones that are not afraid to bare their soul and risk judgement in their quest to help others. This helped me, so thank you. You inspire me to be more up-front and truthful in my writing. Much love xoxo


    • December 5, 2014 @ 6:58 pm Loriel

      I need to start writing more of these because I have a ton of them up my sleeve. That’s so wonderful that you stopped taking medications. I hope the transition has been as smooth going as it could be. <3


  2. December 5, 2014 @ 7:07 pm Myrhanda

    Thank you for sharing this, speaking about your painful past can be difficult…and to put it out there for anyone to read takes guts.
    I grew up with 3 father’s, one of them supposedly molested me as a baby, the other beat my mother and I (leaving my younger sister and brother alone) and he raped me repeatedly when I turned 16. My newest “daddy” is no better, luckily I was older and wiser and nothing terrible like before happened to me and both him and my mother moved to the other side of the country.
    I too tried to forget everything, some comes back in little bits, and some doesn’t. The ones that don’t I can live with, but it’s the looks from relatives that can’t understand why I can’t remember a particular moment from when back then. I get embarrassed about it, but I think it’s my minds way of protecting itself. I have struggled with self identity and confidence… I have a wonderful man by my side, and he takes good care of me. We have a beautiful house and now are looking to expand our family.
    Right now I am currently struggling through a pretty bad bought of depression, it feels like I know what I need to do – but any minor thing sends me spiraling backwards. I’m tired of feeling negative, of feeling like I have no self worth. Especially with the holidays coming up, and my oh so lovely mother in law texting me every five minutes (not literally just feels like it) about Christmas supper, and basically wanting to take control of my home, she can’t even organize her life!! — I’ll stop here, I could go on for hours…
    I know I need to snap out of it but it’s hard.
    Thank you for showing me there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, I can’t wait to see it!


    • December 5, 2014 @ 7:13 pm Loriel

      I have someone very close to me whose father raped them multiple times throughout their young childhood and early teens. I can not even imagine the long term pain that has been inflicted. She now has a 5 month old baby with a supportive daddy and she is the happiest she’s ever been in your life.

      There IS the light at the end of the tunnel. Sometimes we need to fall back on our sadness so we can force ourselves to look at the positive. And sometimes, I believe we are dealt the same things in life because we’re not ready to move on. I understand how hard it is and it is something that constantly needs to be worked on. I feel for you Myrhanda and I really hope you find the light sooner than later.

      Sending you all kinds of positive vibes. This too, shall pass.


      • December 6, 2014 @ 11:04 pm Myrhanda

        Thanks Loriel, your words are very encouraging. Believe it or not, your phrase “this to shall pass” was something I hung onto so many years ago. I had completely forgot it till now. And your right; it will pass, it will get better…I just have to look towards that light.
        Thank you


  3. December 10, 2014 @ 3:45 pm Kylie

    Thank you for sharing your story. <3 Shifting your thoughts is so healing. Along with just taking care of your body in general. It's when I succumb to the "downward spiral" that things get ugly for me. Which is easy to do when your body and life are all out of whack. Few episodes for me since realizing this.


  4. December 10, 2014 @ 11:47 pm Amanda

    beautiful post, and such a cute picture at the bottom there!


  5. December 19, 2014 @ 6:37 pm Sandrine Love

    Be gone, demons! I appreciate what I experienced as your courage in writing this post. Loriel. I also have experienced a fair amount of deep depression in my life. In my case, it resolved when I moved from a vegetarian and at times vegan diet … and away from the soy imitation foods that comprised of most of my diet and re-introduced animal products and traditional foods in their place. I had been in therapy for years and didn’t feel compelled to continue. While I haven’t read The Secret, I saw it on DVD, and I have found that The Four Agreements has had a positive impact on me as well. In my case, I think food was the key but, I definitely support the power of positive thinking as well, of course. I have never again reached the depths of despair I had experienced during the years I had eliminated animal foods from my diet. I am emotionally stable, and I join you in the celebration!


  6. December 29, 2014 @ 9:21 am Naturally Loriel / 6 Must Read, Life-Changing Books on Real Food - Naturally Loriel

    […] few years ago, though, my choice in reading had changed. When I was self-healing myself from chronic depression, I immersed myself in self-growth and positive thinking books. Then, once I had Andrew and […]


  7. May 18, 2015 @ 8:46 pm Sophie

    Hey Loriel,

    As a fellow sufferer of chronic depression, I must say I was so touched by your post. My heart is filled with empathy for your long struggle, and joy for your strength. I’m so happy that at 24 you’ve recovered. What a life you have ahead of you, then!
    I can share as well that it was a cold, empty, lonely house after the parental departure of my stepfather that let my illness fester. Like you, I’m finally coming out of depression, but simultaneously I’m investigating the infectious roots of my illness, all of which would only make sense in context of my heavy antibiotic use and sushi consumption around the time that my illness long ago began, at age 7. The healing powers that you described of your diet improvement are the reason I thought I should share this:

    Heavy antibiotic use, for any reason, leads to an overgrowth of Candida albicans bacteria in the intestine, whose toxins cause depression. The yeast/fungus weakens the immune system, leaving you vulnerable to viruses, bacteria, and parasites, and creates a biofilm that houses and protects both these organisms and takes in toxic heavy metals. While the biofilm coats your intestinal wall, it prevents proper absorption of nutrients; meanwhile, the Candida releases a substance that eats holes in your intestine, causing leaky gut. Leaky gut allows toxins from these organisms to enter your bloodstream and poison all organ systems, including the nervous system. Not only does the nutrient malabsorption lead to depression; the organisms and their toxins tire and poison the body, leading to depression as well. The immune system overworks; the liver is overloaded and can’t properly do its job. This disorder creates chronic inflammation, which leads to depression.
    My failure to respond to antidepressants and my inexplicable chronic fatigue led me to begin a journey of healing my digestive tract and optimizing my health. It’s way too early–only 2 days in–to report results, but after reading about people who have eliminated their chronic depression by flushing out their liver or going on an anti-Candida diet, I thought that this information was way too important to keep to myself. Hypothyroidism and adrenal fatigue, which also cause depression, are caused by this digestive dysfunction as well.
    If you’re going through chronic depression, consider additional causes beyond trauma and stress. Never mind that stress, digestion, and immunity are all interrelated… If you consider that 95% of serotonin, the brain chemical that prescription antidepressants try to stimulate, are made by beneficial gut bacteria, how could you not make the link?
    The pharmaceutical industry, however, cannot patent and therefore can’t make money from all the foods, herbal supplements, and probiotics that nourish and heal the digestive system, so it makes sense that many mainstream doctors would overlook this most obvious link. A lot of studies promoting pharmaceuticals are funded, in fact, by pharmaceutical companies.

    Anyways, I think your strength is amazing, and I wish you and everyone here the most fulfilling journeys to health. I’m no doctor, but if this information would help at least one more person, that would be enough for me.

    Best wishes,


    • May 18, 2015 @ 8:47 pm Sophie

      P.S. Candida causes allergies, intolerances, and sensitivities like soy, dairy, and gluten.


    • May 30, 2016 @ 11:19 pm Buffy

      Hi Sophie, Have you tried consuming coconut oil on a daily basis of about 1-2 tsp? It is a good saturated fat, contrary to popular medical beliefs. It contains lauric acid, as does breast milk and will start healing you from the inside out. I’ve been doing some research on it and it’s really good for a lot of things. (People who live along the equator have used coconut oil for thousands of years and never had heart disease. Heart disease is caused by trans fatty acids, BTW, like margarine). Getting back to the subject, sometimes you may need to work up to 2-3 tablespoons for it to be effective. I had major problems with yeast infections for years and I was also taking 5-HTP and melatonin for sleep, but once I quit taking those pills, my yeast infections went away. Good luck to you.


  8. January 30, 2017 @ 2:28 pm daniela

    thank for have shared all this…i feel less alone and desperate and will try to work on the two subjects
    thanks again


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