A consistent theme I notice (which for me started with my personal experience) when I read in blogs/forums about personal nutrition experience is that people with anxiety problems, who go Paleo/Atkins/Lutz/VLC/whatever diet, is that they get rid of their anxiety problems after a change in nutrition.
People talk a lot about nutrition in the context of obesity and diabetes and cardiovascular disease and what not – the elephant in the room is to which mental/psychological problems/diseases does nutrition contribute, and by how much?
E.g. Wolfgang Lutz mentioned in the german edition of his book that he got rid of anxiety. However it is only one short paragraph and it is hidden in the back of the book. As this passage is only in the german edition of Wolfgang Lutz's book, I think it is important to translate the passage into english.
It is a bit difficult to translate, as he uses an older idiom for his psychological ailments, which tends to be a bit ornate and flowery. In addition there were (due to the pre-scientific nature of psychology) a few changes in meaning of words, both in german and in english, and I am not really intimate with the history of each term – how do you translate "seelisch" in the context of that short passage? As emotional, psychological, mental? What were the "Komplexe" that plagued him? I have a vague idea what he meant, but unfortunately he choose not to elaborate on that topic and did not deliver a more precise description (I guess the social stigma of not being able to handle your psychological problems…).
So take my translation with some grains of salt.
… I was [before my change in nutrition] in a constant state of emotional agitation and imbalance, which might have not been visible by others though. Somehow I was always plagued by complexes, anxious about something, expected bad news, and had the feeling to be constantly driven/pushed.He makes good observation about obesity ("male" obesity pattern vs. "female" obesity pattern), he fails to record his (and his patients!) improvement on the "psychological front" in more detail however. Getting rid of anxiety and increasing energy was – at least for me – by far me more important than getting rid of a few (or even many) pounds. Was this "mental energy" he couldn't spare for his hobbies, or was this full blown fatigue (or even CFS?) that dragged him down? We'll never know.
[After the change in nutrition] … Generally, my mood was much more balanced, and I could enjoy my life more than before; the feeling of inner arousal was gone. Only now I could recognize that palpitations in dangerous situations were gone – such as in traffic – and that I no longer broke out in sweat so easily. Making decisions was now much easier for me, which especially benefited the time I spent on radiology and giving dictations. Suddenly I had time for my hobbies, which I had to abandon because I had no energy left to spare for them.
Wolfgang Lutz – "Leben ohne Brot" ("Life without bread"), page 247
Here is the passage in the german original, for all you kraut-speaking schweinhunde :-)
… Schließlich befand ich mich [vor der Kostumstellung], gemessen an heutigen Maßstäben, in einem ständigen seelischen Erregungszustand und Ungleichgewicht, was allerdings nach außen vielleicht nicht so sehr in Erscheinung trat. Ich war immer irgendwie geplagt von Komplexen, hatte vor irgendetwas Angst, erwartete eine unangenehme Nachricht, und hatte das Gefühl ständig angetrieben zu sein.
[Nach der Kostumstellung] … Überhaupt war meine Stimmung viel ausgeglichener, und ich konnte mein Leben nun mehr als früher genießen; das Gefühl der inneren Erregung war verschwunden. Jetzt erst merkte ich, dass ich in gefährlichen Situation, z.B. im Straßenverkehr, kein Herzklopfen mehr bekam und dass ich nicht mehr so leicht schwitzte. Ich konnte mich viel schneller entschließen als vorher, was sich besonders in einer Verkürzung der Durchleuchtungs- und Diktatzeiten äußerte. Plötzlich hatte ich wieder Zeit für meine alten Hobbies, die ich vorher eines nach dem anderen aufgegeben hatte, weil ich hierfür keine Energien mehr erübrigen konnte.
Wolfgang Lutz – "Leben ohne Brot", Seite 247