Sim improved autism, depression and anxiety on a carnivore diet

My Experience With Autism Spectrum Disorder




Love the incentive and want to share my story. There are not that many who discussed Autism, so I want to do my part! You can share my name: Sim Van Daele, and all the pictures.


I was born with Autism Spectrum Disorder which in the ’90s was still kind of uncharted territory. I had my mother compile some of her experiences with me as a baby. She noticed straight away that I was different from my siblings.


I was inconsolable for long periods, so much so that she had to take me to the ER once because I hadn’t stopped crying for hours. Throughout my entire childhood, I had sleep issues. Falling asleep was a major issue.


When I did fall asleep, it was either very light sleep or I had intense night terrors, which ranged from 3-5 times each night. Like most autistic kids, I had a very low tolerance for all external stimuli: light, sound, textiles, and smell.


I couldn’t wear clothes that weren’t soft. The labels had to be cut. My eyes couldn’t stand the fluorescent light at school, which frequently gave me headaches. Loud noises startled or scared me.


If there was too much noise, I couldn’t concentrate. There were major gut dysbiosis issues as well that led me to have over 12 antibiotic courses. My mother also remarked I had severe hypochondriac tendencies, which is probably due to the dysbiosis to begin with.


Signs Of Autism Spectrum Disorder


There were typical signs of the inability to cope with changes. Like a wrapper or food package changing, I would refuse to eat it. Any type of surprise tended to overwhelm or scare me.


Whenever we went somewhere, my parents had to prepare me with information and explanations of what to expect. My moods were extremely volatile, mainly leaning towards depression/depressive thoughts.


My thought patterns always went straight to the worst-case scenarios, couldn’t sleep from worry when my parents were out. When we moved houses, I feared being alone in the new house, following my mother everywhere she went.


Challenges With Autism Spectrum Disorder


The other very common autistic traits were that I got easily overwhelmed: blocking, freezing, crying, yelling, and self-harm. This could be from something that surprised me, didn’t go my way, or anything that happened differently than I thought would set me off. Anytime


I didn’t understand something, I would break down. On top of that, there was severe anxiety, which would make me freeze like I was glued to the floor, which came in the form of things that overwhelmed heights, trucks (or anything bigger than me, like horses), unknown environments, and fireworks.


There were many instances where my anxiety was so present it caused me psychosomatic stress. In elementary school, my teacher prepped me for the fire drill in a few days. We caused me to become nauseous from the stress of fear, and I had to be excused from classes for the rest of the day.


The Struggles Of Adolescence


This was my life and the general trend of my life throughout my adolescence. There were better periods in between in regard to my mood, where I had a few good days without any breakdowns or aggression.


The Impact Of Mental Health Diagnoses


At age nine, things started getting worse mentally, which led to me being diagnosed with Major Depression Disorder. It wasn’t until they tested me for Autism in 2002 at age eleven that I got my official clinical diagnosis. By that time, I had already gone through various therapies, and the guidance at my disposal at high school was mental torture.


Finding Refuge In Books, Media, And Food


It was a bulls-eye on my back that turned the bullies on to me really fast. The bullying, plus my father abandoning my sister and me, drove me over the edge, deeper into depression at age 12.


The subsequent years of high school were the worst years of my life. The anxiety from being bullied at different schools kept me from wanting to go to sleep, knowing I would have severe night terrors anyway. They became so severe I tried to escape my room and house on multiple occasions.


Attempting to escape through the window or the backdoor. My only refuge for those years was books, TV shows, movies, gaming, and food. I ate my feelings away. I tried to escape reality daily.


Daily Thoughts Of Suicide


In my early teens, I was already thinking a lot about suicide, but those years in high school from 12-18 made it a daily occurrence. The suffering of the overwhelming nature of Autism coupled with the depression was just too much to bear, and I didn’t see a way out.


All the doctors and experts told me the same things that I couldn’t get rid of Autism or even depression, just manage it. I resented and rebelled that because if that was really the case, life wouldn’t be worth continuing. Thankfully I had a supporting mother and stepfather, which kept me from making a decision that would end my life.


Turning Things Around With Dietary Changes


Confronted with my weight gain, which reflected the way I felt, I gathered my courage and determination to make an effort to turn things around. I changed my diet, which was mainly cutting out all processed crap, as I was eating a lot of chips, nuts, processed cheese, bread, and sugary drinks, which was stressful eating. I lost 16kgs over six months, and my moods started improving.


Discovering The Benefits Of Low-Carb And Intermittent Fasting


The real monumental and life-changing improvements started happening when I went low carb alongside an Intermittent Fasting protocol of the Warrior Diet (2010, age 19).


At the same time, I started doing body-weight movements outside in nature, which boosted my mood and energy. By the following year, my depression was completely gone. My autistic tendencies dropped more and more each month.


Going Strict Paleo And Discovering Carnivore Style


By the end of 2013, I was going out to musical events, clubs, and social gatherings without any issues, doing some events all on my own. In the years after 2013, the diet varied, but it was clear that too much-processed foods and carbs cause irritability, drops in mood (negativity), and drops in cognition and mental stability in general.


Looking back, it’s notable that every time I was strict with what I ate, fasting and largely consuming animal products, I felt better. All my best periods in between weight and body fat fluctuations were periods marked by those factors. As soon as I wasn’t strict, the cognitive and mood ups and downs returned.


In August 2018, I went strict Paleo, which helped a lot with my cognition. It wasn’t until February 2019 that I got into ancestral/carnivore style through Dominic Rapson, who helped my girlfriend with her psoriasis. Going carnivore really kicked my cognition into high gear. Feeling consistently better.


All the stomach, digestive and intestinal issues have been getting better or resolved since. There’s still some healing to be done gut-wise, as I have a host of intolerances. However, I feel like now I’ve got far better control over cravings, mood, and energy than I ever did before.


So it’s a worthwhile trade-off even if some foods will never be in the cards for my everyday consumption wise.

Results are not typical. All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement or lifestyle program.

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