Soylent and Depression


#1

I’m not a chemistry or a math person. I don’t profess to having an intimate knowledge of human biology. All I know is, I have no appetite, and I no longer derive pleasure from eating food. It’s not just food, either. Whatever robbed me of my appetite also took its toll on my libido (which is now entirely absent), my sleeping habits (it takes me up to an hour to get to sleep, and I often wake up in the middle of the night), and my emotional well-being (I haven’t experienced joy or happiness in anything for awhile.)

On top of chemical depression issues, I’ve also been having dramatic weight loss (sometimes up to twenty pounds in under two weeks) and fainting episodes due to low blood sugar. I’m almost completely certain my issues are primarily dietary; I’m malnourished because I have no appetite, and I have no appetite because I’m malnourished.

I’m very interested in the Soylent project – not just as a dietary supplement, but a dietary replacement. I could easily motivate myself to chug a Soylent shake in the morning and evening, but I can’t seem to convince myself firing up the stove or even hopping in the car to get food elsewhere is worth the effort.

In layman’s terms – do you think a diet of Soylent would also help me combat my depression by addressing my nutrient deficiencies?

Also, when it is available for purchase instead of just pre-order, is there a way it can be bought pre-sorted into a general amount, for people who consider reading numbers like reading a foreign language?


#2

I’ll let someone with experience using a DIY Soylent address the majority of your post, but as for availability, it should be available for general market sometime toward the end of April or start of June, if all goes as planned. Granted, all has not gone as planned in the past, but we’re getting there. And Soylent is already shipped in packs of “a day’s supply” – mix that up each morning, and go through roughly one pack each day (or, assuming your appetite comes back, go by that)


#3

Yes, I think it will probably help considerably. At the very least it will remove most of the non-chemical side-effects of your depression, and should probably make it a bit easier to manage.

Although I’ll warn you, Soylent is not a foolproof cure for lack of appetite. I’ve struggled with lack of appetite to varying degrees all my life, and it was one of the major reasons Soylent appealed to me. I’ve been on DIY Soylent for about a month now, and still struggle a little. I’ll make up a batch and have a glass sitting next to my hand for hours while I procrastinate and THINK about how I should really drink it, because I know I’m hungry, but I still have trouble actually picking up the glass. I have no problem finishing it once I’ve picked up to glass, it’s just that sometimes starting is hard.

Appetite is a funny thing.

If you run into that problem, I’ve found it helps to bribe myself. I put a piece of chocolate or cup of coffee or something next to the glass, and promise myself I can have it once I’ve finished the Soylent. Sometimes if it’s really bad I’ll tell myself I can’t get up for a bathroom break until I’ve had it.


#4

Yes I do. The benefit of complete nutrition should definitely improve your mental and physical state. I have seen a my own mental and physical well being improve since starting my recipe of DIY soylent.

Providing, as you said, that you are willing to motivate yourself to finish it daily. Not just the Soylent though, if your not already drinking sufficient water you should make a point to get enough water daily as well. I personally drink 1-1.5 gallons of water a day, including what is mixed with my soylent. If you have difficulty getting or tracking your water try getting a 1 gallon jug/pitcher to fill every morning with water. Use the water from this jug for your Soylent mix, and then make sure you finish drinking whatever water is left in the jug every day.


#5

1-1.5 gallons per day? I think I would have problems physically consuming that much.


#6

The typical Soylent mix will use about a half gallon a day, which is not enough. Drinking another half gallon should be easily doable throughout the day.


#7

I think I drink more like 1/3-1/2 gallon per day.


#8

Try this little experiment: next time, don’t think about why you should start – instead think of the negative consequences. List them to yourself. Oddly, you may find yourself having started before you realize it.


#9

One meal I can always eat even if I’m stressed and not hungry (even though I know my body needs food) is oatmeal, brown sugar, and milk (lactose free). Then I lift weights or do some other form of exercise to stimulate the appetite.


#10

There’s a whole host of essential nutrients that help prevent depression, including a lot of the B-vitamins. Look up the deficiency symptoms of the essential vitamins and you’ll see depression and anxiety listed again and again.

It’s going to be at least a month, maybe more, before Soylent is available for purchase, and then who knows how long that will take to deliver. In the meantime, I’d suggest get a good multivitamin, or at least a B-complex vitamin, to help you start to solve your nutrient deficiencies. Multivitamins aren’t perfect, but they’re better than nothing.


#11

@allisonprez, if you haven’t done so already, you probably should get checked by a doctor; I’m sure there are plenty of non-dietary medical reasons for your issues. If so, Soylent might simply mask the problem.


#12

I’ve been battling what a doctor told me sounds like SAD (seasonal affective disorder) for a couple of years. My mood, energy, physical aches, happiness, motivation for most things, etc…tanks badly in the Fall/Winter. It was actually a major contributing factor to my own purchase of Soylent. I don’t have a problem maintaining weight but too am hoping that some of my food apathy will be solved w/Soylent. I bought a “light box” this winter that I’ve used on & off for my problem. Plus, I keep my butt in the gym which helps my energy & mood a lot. Obviously, seeing a specialist should be your highest priority though!!


#13

Don’t wait for Soylent. Have you tried any of the available food supplements?
Anything is better than starving like you’re describing.

And get yourself diagnosed. Good luck.


#14

I’ve had almost all the symptoms you describe again and again throughout my life, usually in response to some negative change in my life (boyfriend breaking up with me, moving away from all my friends for a new job, etc.). The only difference is, instead of not sleeping, I’ll sleep all night and then once I get home from work, all afternoon and evening and all night again. It usually lasts 2-8 weeks for me.

On the appetite loss, that is what I notice first. I lose about 10lbs in 2 weeks, probably equivalent to your 20lbs since I am tiny. I have noticed the same thing - once the weight loss sets in, my appetite does not seem to want to come back. Or, I will feel “hungry” but part of it is missing, the part that makes me actually want to consume food. As I slowly recover, my appetite is the last thing to come back. I think Soylent can definitely help with this issue. Of course you’ll want to examine other causes for your depression, but I wouldn’t be surprised if something like Soylent could help people just as much as a pill.


#15

Tiny people with weight issues unite!

I’m 5’3" and (on average) 110 lbs. – although lately I’ve been skirting the 90’s.


#16

I’ve seen lots of doctors. I spent a good three months going to a gastroenterologist to have every test available run, so as to rule out any physical ailments. They discovered nothing abnormal, save for the presence of twice as much amylase and lipase in my bloodstream than the average person. My doctor tells me these pancreatic enzymes are responsible for the digestion of fats, sugars and starches, which makes perfect sense – it means I burn through anything I eat before I have a chance to store it. As for why that’s the case, the doctor suggested it could spike due to the nausea associated with my symptoms, or it could be CAUSING the nausea. Chicken and egg, right?

I’m currently on a prescription of Marinol to recover my appetite, and it does work. But I could still use the nutritional supplement to help me get everything I need out of the meals it helps motivate me to eat.


#17

Haha, yes. I’m 5’3" also, and I used to hold at 115-117. I’m a zookeeper so I’m far more muscular than the average girl. Lately my weight holds at 107-110, since I have been using coconut oil as a supplement. It was intended to help my headaches, which it hasn’t. I’m really ok until I hit 105, which is when I start getting really weak and unable to function well at work.

I feel like doctors usually don’t have any good answers or solutions, but I might be biased since I have chronic migraines and have been to 20+ doctors…


#19

I have been dealing with bipolar (mostly the depressed side of it) for over 10 years…I have only been on DIY soylent for 1.5 weeks…but gotta say i havent had any depressed days all this week…not saying for sure its the soylent…but maybe…also someone recommended taking massive amounts of fish oil instead of anti depressants and I have been for a while…on and off…and generally felt better when constantly taking the fish oil…my current soylent recipe takes into account 16 fish oil pills a day (i take them 3 times a day as my “MEAL”) and just sip soylent all day.

soylent probably wont do you any harm…and its worth a shot if you feel it has a chance to help you.


#20

is there any flavor you still like / crave at all? maybe if you find some flavor you can add to the soylent you still have some desire to taste…like cinnamon…or for em as a special treat sometimes i throw a couple spoonfuls of hot coco mix in my soylent…cant keep myself for drinking the whole thing way too fast…yum…if you can find a flavor you love and can work it into your recipe…maybe it would help with your eating issue? not eating for neutrition…youll be taking sips just for the flavor you love…and the fact that you are getting something good in you will be a natural biproduct…good luck to u


#21

Can I ask if you have continued to use Soylent and if so, what the continuing affects on your bipolar has been?