It Wasn’t Depression, I Just Had Excessive Yeast In My System

My husband and I always had a great sex life, but then suddenly, we hit a slump. In fact, my whole life hit a slump. I was no longer excited to get out of bed in the morning and the smallest tasks seemed daunting. I thought I must be depressed, but it turned out to be something much different.

  1. It started with a yeast infection. I got a slight yeast infection, but it wasn’t anything horrible. I didn’t think too much of it as it went away when I ate a bunch of yogurt. But over the course of a few months, it came back a couple of times, which wasn’t normal for me. I thought maybe my vagina was depressed too.
  2. I didn’t really sleep. I was up all night watching terrible TV shows on my laptop. Rather than snuggling up with my husband as usual, for months I stared at the glow of my screen for hours every night. I told him that it comforted me and I think I developed a kind of addiction. Again, this kinda made sense if I was depressed, I thought.
  3. I was under a lot of stress. A friend of mine had recently suffered a traumatic brain injury and it impacted my life greatly. I attributed a lot of the depression to this, but I had to notice that I’d been feeling this way before the incident happened too. I tried to blame my busy job and other factors but I couldn’t really pinpoint why I was feeling so low.
  4. I felt like my productivity was suffering. I began to feel really stressed and overwhelmed that there wasn’t enough time to get stuff done. The days seemed to be going by faster than I could keep up with and the nights I spent awake seemed to drag on forever. I felt like I was stuck in this never-ending cycle of stress and anxiety.
  5. My bathroom habits were all out of whack. My poop started looking weird. It had white stuff on it, which I later learned was mucous. I know this is really gross, but it’s what happened! When I first saw it, I naturally assumed the worst and thought I must have some sort of disease. I jumped to conclusions and figured I’d probably be diagnosed with something horrible shortly.
  6. I wanted to be alone. I didn’t want to talk on the phone, I didn’t want to talk to my husband, I just wanted to be alone. Previous to this, I definitely have an appreciation for alone time, but now I was finding myself shutting myself off from my social life and relationships completely. My husband was really worried about me and I couldn’t understand how to pull myself out of it.
  7. I had insane sugar cravings. I mean insane. Once I decided I needed candy, cake, or ice cream, that was it—I needed it. It felt like I was going to lose it on someone if I didn’t get my hands on something sweet fast. I was eating so much candy, I was like a kid on Halloween every single day. People who knew me even made comments about how they couldn’t believe how much candy I’d take down in one sitting.
  8. My toes started blowing up. Sometimes I’d take a bite of something or have a sip of something and my toes would puff up and get super itchy. Sometimes it would be pizza, other times beer, sometimes for no reason at all. It only happened occasionally rather than every time I had gluten, dairy, or alcohol, so it was hard to pinpoint what was causing it.
  9. I went to the gyno to get some help. Upon telling a friend who’s a food scientist about my symptoms, she told me it sounded like Candida, which is an overgrowth of yeast. She said all of my symptoms were in line with the condition. Candida presents itself very differently in each person, so for many people, it never even gets diagnosed. I made an appointment with my gynecologist and sure enough, I had a yeast overgrowth.
  10. I went on the Candida diet… kind of. I had to cut sugar out of my life (well, most of it). It was extremely hard to stop eating all that candy, but after a week or so, my addiction kind of chilled out. I stayed away from alcohol for a few weeks and started eating a lot of foods that were good for people with Candida. I ate leafy greens, lots of veggies, and stayed away from sugary fruits, starchy foods, and most carbs. After about three days, my yeast infection and bowel issues went away, and after about two weeks, I was back on track to my normal self. The best part is that my mood rebounded as well and I was no longer depressed!
  11. I have to be careful in the future. I’ve let myself get caught up with a carb and sugar heavy diet again since this happened, and sure enough, Candida symptoms have come back. For me, it’s something I really need to keep track of. That means eating right, getting exercise, getting enough sleep, and not eating loads of crap. Being an adult is hard.
Lee Woods is a writer, artist, and designer. She tends to have a lot of projects going at once. She loves one-way tickets, and she's been known to pick the next place she'll live out of a hat. Today, she is deep in the woods of beautiful Maine.