The food we eat has a great impact on us and during psych meds withdrawal we are even more sensitive. And yet we are all individuals. Here is my story about nutrition during withdrawal.
From the age of 12-27 years I had anorexia and bulimia. I have now been in recovery from my eating disorder for 11 years. And yet the way I eat today is influenced by this. So what I find works for me is to eat intuitively with gratitude a wide range of foods. This means I give myself unconditional permission to eat what I feel, while listening to my hunger and satiety cues. This means I bless my food and say a prayer of thanks before I eat. This also means that I eat sugar and processed food as I feel to. Yet as I listen to my body I find I eat a wide variety of nutritious food also.
When I’m going through withdrawal I tend to lose my appetite. At this time what I feel is most important for me is to stay hydrated and to eat something regularly. I find it helpful to eat comforting foods and foods I enjoyed during my childhood. To stay hydrated I enjoy drinking water with apple cider vinegar and calming teas. I also find it can be helpful and comforting if I ask others to prepare me some food. During withdrawal the need for self nurturing and to ask others for help is heightened.
I also practice body positivity. I feel this is related to nutrition in that it allows me to trust my body and eat intuitively and have a positive and grateful relationship with food. So I am currently in the process of slowly coming off Clozapine. I was on it for nearly 2 years before I began reducing. In the first year I gained 20kgs. This was very confronting for me. Yet I found I needed to accept and love and trust my body no matter what weight I was. I now exercise and eat moderately, normally and intuitively and I love my body as it is. I went through a period of counting calories and fasting to try to control my weight yet this wasn’t helpful physically, emotionally, mentally or spiritually. Then as I prepared myself for coming off medication I realised how important it was to be adequately nourished to help me meet any challenges that arise. And I also trust my body to find its natural weight as I withdraw. I know weight gain from medication can be a big issue for many. I recommend being kind to yourself, practicing body positivity, intuitive eating and having gratitude for food.
Choosing what we eat is individual and sometimes we need to try different things to really find what is best for us. I went through many periods in my life where I tried being a vegan or vegetarian, for ethical and spiritual reasons. Last year I was vegan and I just didn’t feel quite right and my intuition was telling me to eat an omnivore diet. I was scared to make this change and I resisted, wondering what other people like my yoga teacher would think. Then I decided to be brave and follow my intuition. I am now an omnivore and I feel better on many levels. For some people it will be the opposite experience. So I recommend you do your research about nutrition yet in the end trust and love yourself.
The routine I have with food is to mostly eat 3 meals and 3 snacks, sometimes less snacks. This was the routine that was given to me in my eating disorder treatment and it seems to serve me well. As I am in the process of withdrawing from psych meds now what I find is most helpful is for me to eat simple foods and foods I very much enjoy. This is what my current meal routine is like:-
Breakfast- cereal with yogurt and a glass of strawberry juice
Morning tea- coffee and cake
Lunch- pasta and salad
Afternoon tea- organic honey and cinnamon yogurt and a portion of chips
Dinner- sandwich and salad
Supper- glass of organic milk and a handful of lollies
I see a doctor who specialises in nutritional therapy for the treatment of mental health issues and to support me in coming off psych meds. Here is what I take- vitamin c, vitamin b6, pyridoxal-5-phosphate, vitamin e, vitamin b12, methionine, zinc, biotin, magnesium. I find this affordable by buying online via iherb.
Nutrition during psych med withdrawal is to support you when you are going through big changes on the inner plane. Eat abundantly and be gentle with yourself! This is what works for me.
I send you big blessings on your journey!