Sue's Blog

The suicide report: “This diet is FREAKING AMAZING…”


“A silent killer”, said the headline in our local paper last week, because suicide figures in our community have more than doubled recently. Despite this, they wrote, suicide is often not spoken about.

So I had a look at the success stories in our database and thought: right, let’s talk about suicide.

What the science says about food and suicidal thoughts 

In a big study of patients at the RPAH (Royal Prince Alfred Hospital) allergy clinic back in 1986, researchers acknowledged that food reactions could include depression that is sometimes “sufficiently intense to provoke suicidal thoughts” .

“The diet that saved my life”

Our readers agree. “I have been suicidal for the past two years  …” wrote a young woman from the UK:

“But today, ONE FREAKING DAY ON THIS WONDER DIET, I got up, showered and got dressed (a genuine achievement)…I had the best day in months and months…I wasn't in a bad headspace, I wasn't anxious, I was sensible, productive and most of all – HAPPY …– Ffion from the UK

Ffion isn’t the only one. In our database there are more than 50 reports from people whose suicidal thoughts, actions or self-harm have improved on diet.

All ages

Not only adults are affected.  “I’m really concerned; we’ve had some suicides of some very young kids this year” – the Coffs-Clarence Local Area Command Crime Manager, Detective Inspector Darren Jameson said in our local newspaper.

The people in our database stories range from very young to seniors. Here is the one about suicidal thoughts in an 8 year old:

“Before diet, my eight year old daughter was mildly depressed, as well as lethargic, pale, anxious, dizzy and "spacy". Her amine challenge resulted in severe depression including bouts of suicidal thoughts and almost psychotic agitation. Based on pre-diet behaviours, she was classified as having a highly anxious temperament. A number of health professionals have told us they expect to see her back during her teenage years, meaning so they can give her antidepressants. However after two years failsafe she shows no signs of mental illness in any form and no longer seems a candidate for anxiety and depression“ – read more story [341]

And you can see for yourself a video message from this teenager for whom medication didn’t work, and diet was a miraculous cure:

“I’m 17 years old. I was diagnosed with depression…at the age of six. I tried to kill myself 3 times. My mum found the failsafe diet. She put me on it and within a week we saw a change. I wasn’t as sick…my depression basically vanished…I’ve been really happy ever since. It basically saved my life…”


Diet as a last resort

Food intolerance is NOT commonly understood, so most people come to us as a last resort – sometimes too late, as in this story:

“It is a shame that [my family] didn't know the links between their symptoms and food intolerances.…there have been two suicides and one diagnosed schizophrenic who tried many times to take his own life. I read your book as soon as I could get my hands on it. If only my family had been aware of these things years ago there may have been a few lives saved as well as a lot of sanity! “– read more story [042] 

Most doctors don’t know anything about diet …

Doctors don’t usually know anything about the RPAH elimination diet.  So anyone who sees a doctor is likely to end up on antidepressants.

Antidepressants increase the risk of suicide

Most people don’t realise that antidepressant medication such as Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil and other SSRIs - with different names in different countries – are not as safe and effective as thought at first.

SSRI antidepressants:

  • can double the risk of self harm, suicide or murder
  • are no more effective than placebo in treating mild to moderate depression
  • can cause a side effect called akathisia – a state of severe can’t-sit-down restlessness associated with thoughts of death and violence, combined with emotional blunting that can lead to out-of-character actions such as suicide, mass shootings, and plane crashes due to pilot suicide
  • have been overhyped regarding benefits and underreported regarding dangers by the pharmaceutical industry that has worked systematically to deceive doctors, regulators and the public and to discredit whistleblowers
  • can be dangerous for people can't metabolise them due to common genetic mutations of the CYP450 system of enzymes. Some doctors now suggest that people could be genetically tested before taking antidepressants – like have your blood type tested before having a blood transfusion
  • can cause severe withdrawal symptoms

People for whom antidepressants don’t work can do extremely well on diet (Parker & Watkins 2002, and our reader stories). It has been shown that children with food intolerance are slow or null metabolisers of cysteine dioxygenase which is one of the CYP450 enzymes (Breakey 2004), the same enzyme system that cause problems with psychiatric drug intolerance.  It is possible that intolerance to antidepressants and food chemicals may be due to the same mechanism. 

What are the alternatives to antidepressants?

Antidepressants should only be used as a last resort, and psychological therapies should be used as the first-line treatment, according to latest NHS guidelines in the UK.  Unsurprisingly, diet doesn’t get a mention, because most people don’t realise how effective the RPAH elimination diet can be compared to other dietary treatments.

Update from Ffion (“this diet is FREAKING AMAZING”)

[one month later]…Before this diet I was surviving, and now I am genuinely, for the first time in my whole life, living life to the full. “ – Ffion from the UK, read full story [1395]

Read more

Our Factsheets:
Suicide prevention by diet

Depression and food intolerance

Our list of experienced, sympathetic dietitians who can supervise the RPAH elimination diet


A Silent Killer, Coffs Coast Advocate, 6/7/2016,

Loblay RH and Swain AR "'Food intolerance'. In Wahlqvist ML, Truswell AS, Recent Advances in Clinical Nutrition. London: John Libbey, 1986, pages 169-177.

The Pill that Steals Lives by Katinka Blackford Newman: this book provides the science while telling the author’s own extraordinary story

Professor Peter Gotzsche’s powerful book Deadly Psychiatry and Organised Denial, chapter 3, and article Psychiatry gone astray by Peter Gotzsche

Drugwatch: suicide and antidepressants

Antidepressants ‘no better than placebo”

Whistleblower in Coventry by Peter King

The relevance of cytochrome P450 polymorphism in forensic medicine and akathisia-related violence and suicide.

Treatment-resistant depression: When antidepressant drug intolerance may indicate food intolerance. (Parker and Watkins, 2002) 

This article documents the case of a 25 year old patient with a history of attention deficit disorder without hyperactivity, motor tics, generalised anxiety, social phobia, panic attacks, obsessive-compulsive disorder and five years of severe depressive episodes which were non-responsive to a range of psychotropic drugs. After four weeks on the RPAH elimination diet, his mood and other symptoms had improved considerably. Double blind placebo controlled testing revealed that the patient was severely affected by salicylates and later tests showed effects of food additives. While staying on the diet, the patient was able to remain symptom free. When reviewed after a year, he had been able to return to full time work. Conclusion:  “The prevalence of food intolerance as a contributing factor to depressive disorders requires clarification. Clinicians should be aware of the possible syndrome and that it may be worsened by psychotropic medication.”

Is food intolerance an inborn error of metabolism? Breakey J, 2004

“This diet is FREAKING AMAZING” and 50 more reader success stories

Dr David Healy’s guide to dependence and withdrawal 

WARNING: people who have been prescribed antidepressants should not suddenly stop taking their medication. Gradual tapering is advisable. Anyone considering altering the dosage of their medication, or withdrawing from it, needs to seek medical advice first.