Noahsteelers34

my 21 day fast lead to psychotic episode.

32 posts in this topic

This post is very vulnerable and embarrassing for me to share. In December I fasted for 21 days eating no food and drinking over a gallon of water per day with no supplements or electrolytes. I did this through Loren Lockmen at the Tanglewood wellness center. They guided me through zoom and monitored my vitals.

It all started when I fell into the raw vegan ideology, and believed fasting and eating raw was the magical solution, and would bring me perfect health and vitality. naturally being very driven towards personal growth I risked everything for it---All my savings, going against my family, friends, and girlfriend, and spent my entire winter break from college in pure hell.

The fast was pure torture. I was encouraged to not distract myself with reading, writing, talking, or technology... so basically stared at a wall with my mind. I ended my fast at 6ft 122 pounds, with an extremely low body temp, zero sex drive, weak, and cold.

Refeeding was even worse. I was promised that by the end of the week of refeeding, I would feel superhuman, yet after 8 days of refeeding, I was up all night, vomiting continuously, unable to fall asleep because I was so nauseous... A level of suffering I have never experienced before. I continued to lose weight, and felt depressed and terrible yet was told it was critical to continue eating nothing but fruit. I got skin rashes, and was told by Loren "it's just your body detoxifying", and "everything you're going through is normal".

There was one night when I lied in bed all night unable to fall asleep. I felt an incredible surge of energy I had never felt before and became convinced god was sending me messages, and had what I would call a total psychotic episode. I lost complete touch with reality... when I'm normally very grounded. 

after 2 weeks of eating raw vegan, I didn't feel any better than I did before the fast, and all of Loren Lockmen's promises were empty. My back pain wasn't gone, and I felt more depressed than ever.

on top of this, I felt like a fraction of myself... I felt totally isolated, unable to feel emotions and be in a relationship. This ultimately led to the destruction of my relationship. Me and my girlfriend then separated as a result of the fast.

It's now almost 2 months after the fast and I have had the strongest "ego backlash" going from 122 to 154. I dropped raw vegan and went 180 degrees. I binge eat like crazy. I feel like I have no self-control with food. When I eat I feel like I don't want to stop. I'm like a ravenous animal. I will eat until I feel sick every week... As I said this post is hard for me to share. 

Initially, I was prepared to give up everything to be a raw vegan, then after seeing it wasn't the answer, I ate all the junk foods I had been craving and pretty much went into a "fuck it" mentality. After being so disillusioned I felt a sense of giving up.

I am now trying to bounce back from this... Trying to get back to a state of having an incredible relationship with food. I want to be healthy again, but its hard when I emotionally binge eat every night after this traumatic experience.

All and all I'm still glad I did it because I feel like I can endure anything... when I put my mind to it I can do incredible things.

ps. thanks for reading and I included a pic from the end of my fast

 

 

 

IMG-7044.jpg

Edited by Noahsteelers34

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Thanks for sharing, I'm wanting to do a fast like that and never considered that problem, nice for the heads up.

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My mom used to say:"A little bit of everything in moderation." there are problems with that line of reasoning but also a lot of wisdom. She loved me very much and wanted the best for me. 

You'll get back up champ. 


Sailing on the ceiling 

 

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Thanks for sharing your story.

The key lesson here is that you need to listen to your body more than human experts. There is no one diet that works best for everyone. You need to listen to what your body is telling you to find what is suitable to it. This is often counter-intuitive because dogma will say stuff like veggies and fruits are the healthiest, but that doesn't mean anything if your body has problems processing that food for whatever reasons.

122 lbs for 6'2" is extremely under weight. Of course your body should have problems with that.

The #1 rule when it comes to health is: no health advice is suitable for everyone. Therefore you must empirically determine what works best for you.

Edited by Leo Gura

You are God. You are Truth. You are Love. You are Infinity.

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@Noahsteelers34

Why on earth would they tell you not to take electrolytes? The whole thing just sounds reckless to me.

For the record, I also had a bad experience with a water fast. Mine was not 21 days but I definitely felt like shit afterwards. I bounced back though, and I bet you will too.


 

 

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Not taking electrolytes and drinking huge amounts of water defenitely caused low sodium or potassium which could result in all the things you experienced inclusing psychosis and depression.


How would you like to die, Tyrion son of Tywin?”

“In my own bed, with a belly full of wine and a maiden’s mouth around my cock, at the age of eighty,” he replied.

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Sorry you went through that. Binge eating afterwards is normal, it's the same thing that happens with people in the biggest loser TV program, they go on big caloric deficit lose a lot of weight and then rebound afterwards.

Any big caloric deficit will lower your metabolism which is why your body went cold, and will put your body in starvation mode. Your hormones like cortisol will increase and you will eat a lot as a consequence, your body is trying to put on fat to prepare itset for a potential similar situation in the future.

I believe listening to your body and eating as much as it wants is good, your body is healing from the fast by doing this and changing its metabolism and hormones. When your body is reassured you're not going to starve anymore cortisol levels will go down. High cortisol also makes you more prone to psychosis as it stresses the body and puts you in a constant fight or flight head high. But you need to eat the things that help your body. Fruits & vegetables are healthy but I'm going to guess you didn't get enough calories eating only that. Nor did you probably get enough minerals. It's the problem with a long fast like that, when you come back from it you can't eat just anything. Fruit makes sense as it digests quickly and doesn't tax the digestive system much. However this also means that the refeed period is essentially a continuation of the fast, you're not fasting but you're on a big caloric deficit with limited nutritional intake.

My advice to you would be to continue eating fruit if you experience no issues eating that but to also eat a lot of healthy cooked foods that are higher in calories like a lot of rice, lentils, potatoes. You can make something like a big batch of lentil daal with a lot of spices and have that last 3 days and serve with different carbs and eat as much as you want from that. You can keep eating a lot but eating a lot of fast food is going to potentially harm your body. You need to eat as much as you want, no restriction but eat real food and minimize oil if you become too heavy so you get more space for carbs.

Personally something that helped me stabilize my mind was to increase sugar intake by adding sugar on my fruit and cereal. As well as eating big amounts of rice, potatoes, lentils, pasta (no more pasta anymore though because turns out I'm sensitive to gluten). I believe eating sufficient amounts of sugar with no restriction lets your body know it's safe because blood sugar spikes lower cortisol levels and help you relax. It's why back in the day children in my country were given a spoonful of sugar before bed if they couldn't sleep. The key is to avoid foods with both a lot of sugar and fat such as donuts and pizza as fat decreases the body's ability to handle blood sugar spikes by increasing insulin resistance. The body really wants a sufficient sugar/carb intake to help regulate cortisol levels. A big rice & lentil meal before bed helps you sleep like a child again.

Edited by Asayake

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Woah man you went Jesus mode. Longest I've done was 72 hours only drinking water and it felt like I was living my last moments and tomorrow didn't exist. Im naturally very skinny and don't have much body fat to pull it through very long. ( i'm 1m79 and weight around 65kg) 

You definitely need to have some electrolytes while fasting, period. 

Good to hear you've made it out alive and have learned a good lesson. 

 

I have also struggled with binge eating disorder. My cause was a 1 year OMAD diet ( one meal a day) 

As you can imagine it's not possible to cram in 2.5k calories  in a single meal without bingeing.

I think your body may be screaming at you to get more calories in. 

I recommend you specifically have multiple PLANNED meals with specific quantities throughout the day and avoid postponing it all to late night. 

You may have to train your body and hormones ( look up Grehlin ) for a month and then it should be good, unless you also happen to have some mental trauma with food which would need further addressing. 

Good luck! 

 

Edited by mmKay

Feral Buddhist Critter 

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Sorry bro. Hang in there. And look more into self love and self nurture. Aesthetic path is wack 

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@Noahsteelers34 It's better to fast during summer. Being able to lay out in nature instead of in a cold box is so much better. It's vital that you are able to relax, mentally and physically. Were you able to?

Personally, I did a 2 week fast Loran Lockman style last summer without supervision. My health problems that have ruined my last 6 years got cured. After 2 months when I started eating ramen instead of just fruits and leafy greens, the illness slowly crept up on me again. I also had cravings. They will pass with time. After 2 weeks of refeeding, I had better vitality than before the fast and I jogged longer than I ever had. I also was just naturally joyful in a way I've never been. It was miraculous. I'm gonna do another fast this summer but I won't stop eating fruits afterward like I did last time.

I also got rashes during refeeding. I think it's called keto rash. 

I think over 95% of the people who've done what u did experience tremendous results. I think you made all the right moves and got unlucky. I feel for you and I'm confident that your body will get back into equilibrium and with that, your mind. Thanks for sharing this.


@aurum I think you get electrolytes from the muscles and fat you burn. The arguments against using electrolytes is: one, that the body doesn't fully go into fasting mode if it gets nutrients. Two, if you supplement the 10 most common electrolytes the other electrolytes you are not supplementing can become imbalanced. 
 

13 hours ago, Leo Gura said:

122 lbs for 6'2" is extremely under weight. Of course your body should have problems with that.

During fasting, the body breaks down fat and muscles. During a fast, if you do it right, meaning you are not doing anything at all, not even thinking too much, you would not be hungry and you'd feel at ease. There is a distinction between fasting and starving. When you start starving, I've heard, you start feeling different. You get hungry and you feel wrong. As long as you are not starving during a fast I don't logically see how thinness would cause a problem. We don't need muscles or much fat for our organs to work. I and many others have gotten as thin as this guy, if not thinner, during fasting and experienced tremendous health benefits. I think when people get that thin outside of a relaxed fast the problem comes from the organs and muscles getting torn through use and it doesn't have enough building blocks to rebuild themselves. The thinness here is only a correlation with the real problem, not the root cause. When the body doesn't get torn during a fast the root problem doesn't exist.

 

Also, I've been meaning to tell you this for a while: The fast you did a while back you did wrong. The reason we get benefits from fasting is that the body gets a chance to heal. But you only get the benefits when you are relaxing, meaning you lay down and don't use your brain. Otherwise, the body is not comfortable going into healing mode. When you relax you will feel that you get less energy and feel worse than if you're active. This is because healing makes you feel sick because the toxins that are stored in your organs start to get released into the bloodstream for the kidneys to filter out. If getting up to pee isn't a challenge you are not healing. You were productive and active during the fast and it killed your results. Counter-intuitively being productive was the least productive thing you could have done.


The road to God is paved with bliss.

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21 minutes ago, martins name said:

The arguments against using electrolytes is: one, that the body doesn't fully go into fasting mode if it gets nutrients.

There is nothing I’ve seen that suggests such a thing when it comes to electrolytes.

https://healthreporter.com/does-salt-break-a-fast/

https://healthinsider.news/electrolytes-while-fasting-diet-en/

21 minutes ago, martins name said:

Two, if you supplement the 10 most common electrolytes the other electrolytes you are not supplementing can become imbalanced. 

Considering that the consensus seems to be that you will rip through your electrolytes in the first couple of days, you are still likely better off.

21 minutes ago, martins name said:

Personally, I did a 2 week fast Loran Lockman style last summer without supervision. My health problems that have ruined my last 6 years got cured

Then I’m happy for you. I’m willing to say that whatever Loren is doing is probably working for him. And it may even work for a number of people.

But in the case of OP, it sounds like a disaster. 


 

 

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45 minutes ago, martins name said:

During a fast, if you do it right, meaning you are not doing anything at all, not even thinking too much, you would not be hungry and you'd feel at ease.

I've done a 12 day water fast. I never felt at ease or not hungry. There is a lot of BS out there about fasting. Lots of myths that people use to sell their books.

I got nothing positive out of fasting. It was miserable from day 1 and it only got worse each day. By day 10 I could barely stand up from a chair without fainting.

Listen to YOUR BODY! Not "experts" selling books. Your body has a lot of intelligence to it. Learn to listen to the messages it sends you.

Edited by Leo Gura

You are God. You are Truth. You are Love. You are Infinity.

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52 minutes ago, Leo Gura said:

I've done a 12 day water fast. I never felt at ease or not hungry. There is a lot of BS out there about fasting. Lots of myths that people use to sell their books.

I got nothing positive out of fasting. It was miserable from day 1 and it only got worse each day. By day 10 I could barely stand up from a chair without fainting.

Listen to YOUR BODY! Not "experts" selling books. Your body has a lot of intelligence to it. Learn to listen to the messages it sends you.

Skinny people should not fast. At least not for extended time.

I only did a 4 day fast and it was amazing.

Amazing mental clarity, a lot of energy (there were some low points too), deepened meditation, deepened siddhis, long term better habits etc. 

I did supplement himalayan pink salt though. I dont know exactly what you did but getting close to fainting sounds like not having enough electrolytes to me.

I do 2 - 3 day fasts pretty frequently and it gets a bit better each time.

I think that like 90% of the good effects are from autophagy. Skinny people dont have enough tissue that would be beneficial to get rid off, so they should not expect it to lead to anything good.

Edited by Michal__

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I took electrolytes every day.

Edited by Leo Gura

You are God. You are Truth. You are Love. You are Infinity.

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I'm sorry you experienced this. Please don't let it stop you from pursuing healthy goals and a healthy relationship with food. You tried it, it wasn't for you but thats ok.

Edited by LoneWonderer

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@Leo Gura I've done a 14 day long water fast no suplements. I'm speaking from experience. After day 3 the thought of putting food in my mouth repelled me.  Being dizzy and not being able to stand up is how it's supposed to be. It doesn't matter when you are lying down and resting. Of course, you didn't get results when you didn't rest, that's my point. You shouldn't even be sitting up. When we get sick we lose our appetite because it's natural for us to fast. I listened to my body during the fast intensely and it felt natural. The only thing that didn't feel natural was eating again. My body wanted to go longer but I didn't feel safe doing so without supervision.


The road to God is paved with bliss.

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@aurum People have gone 60 days+ without electrolytes at Loren Lockman's center. Granted, the springwater they use probably contains more electrolytes than the tap water I'm drinking. Still, it works and it's safe as long as you know what you are doing. Don't sweat basically. I don't see a reason to mess with something that works. 

I'm confident fasting works for most people if it's done right. I think OP is in a small minority. Animals fast when they are sick, this is why we lose our appetite when we get sick. Fasting is a natural thing done by, I'd think, all mammals, not some health fad that works for a couple of people.


The road to God is paved with bliss.

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3 hours ago, Leo Gura said:

I got nothing positive out of fasting. It was miserable from day 1 and it only got worse each day. By day 10 I could barely stand up from a chair without fainting.

I think you went for like a week long water fast once or something, and I recall you saying in one of your blog videos that your energy levels were the best that you've experienced in a while?

Anyways, I did a 40 hour fast once. I already had lots of experience fasting prior, I was able to go 24 hours without any real difficulty. Long story short, without getting into more details, I ended up getting nauseous and vomiting, but immediately afterwards, I felt serious mental clarity for like a month or more. Like some fog or invisible force had been lifted off of my head. My mood was better. I stopped getting angry over stupid things. It fixed my anger issues and made me much more calmer and happier. It almost seemed like it detoxed heavy metals or something. Even my heartbeat was much more stable and less erratic. I am more on the skinny side, btw. I tried looking into why I would've vomited, but no conclusive answers, aside from some ideas about how the liver might have dumped too much toxins into my bile or something. So yeah, fasting is a personal and intuitive thing that you have to be aware of.

Edited by Osaid

Describe a thought.

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@martins name READ WHAT I SAID ABOVE: Everyone's body is different.


You are God. You are Truth. You are Love. You are Infinity.

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32 minutes ago, martins name said:

People have gone 60 days+ without electrolytes at Loren Lockman's center

Didn't dispute that.

There are people who claim to be breatharians and have gone a year + without eating. And I'm tempted to believe some of them may be telling the truth.

32 minutes ago, martins name said:

Granted, the springwater they use probably contains more electrolytes than the tap water I'm drinking.

Of course it does. Springwater absolutely has electrolytes.

32 minutes ago, martins name said:

Still, it works and it's safe as long as you know what you are doing. Don't sweat basically. I don't see a reason to mess with something that works

Worked for you, you mean.

Health is complex. There are many factors.

32 minutes ago, martins name said:

I'm confident fasting works for most people if it's done right. I think OP is in a small minority. Animals fast when they are sick, this is why we lose our appetite when we get sick. Fasting is a natural thing done by, I'd think, all mammals, not some health fad that works for a couple of people.

None of this is in dispute either. I've done lots of fasting and continue to do so even to this day. I don't think fasting in of itself is a hoax

Still, we have to distinguish between people for whom fasting may be indicated or contraindicated. Every trained health care professional understands this. If you just sloppily assume your method will work for everyone, that's often how people get hurt or even killed.

In addition, we have to distinguish between reckless forms of fasting and fasting that is likely safer / healthier. If it's true that OP had never done a fast before and immediately jumped into doing 21 days, I'd generally consider that reckless. I cannot imagine almost any situation where that would be indicated. May be in an extremely small minority of cases. In that case, I'd say Tanglewood is on questionable ethical ground by even allowing him to do such a long fast.

If you really want to do 21 days, a better approach for most people would be to start slow and see how your body responds. Start with even just 24 or 72 hours. Can you even manage that? That alone will be extremely challenging for a lot of people.

Jumping into 21 days is like doing a breakthrough dose of 30mg of 5Meo on your first psychedelic trip. 


 

 

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