I've suffered from anxiety most of my life. My mother withdrew me from preschool when I was 4 because of anxiety. It wasn't until I was in college in the 90's, when anxiety started to become understood in the general medical community, that I received treatment for the condition. I have been taking Paxil for approximately 15 years to help control the condition.
Recently, I took a cholesterol test. I have always had really low cholesterol despite any real effort to maintain a highly healthy diet. The recent test returned a total cholesterol level of 158 mg/dl. On a whim, I googled low cholesterol and discovered that quite a bit of research is being conducted on the relation of cholesterol to psychological health. Specifically, the impact of low cholesterol on cellular membrane structures and how this impacts the serotonin receptors. Most of the research that I have found uses 160 mg/dl as the point where they start to see a correlation to anxiety and depression. However, as far as I can tell, the researchers have not come to a consensus in the matter. There are some other circumstances that further my curiosity regarding the relationship:
1. My sister recently had a baby and experienced severe anxiety afterwards. She also has low cholesterol levels. Some of the papers I have read suggest that a cholesterol drop that occurs after childbirth could be a factor in postpartum issues.
2. I have a couple spots under my eyes which were diagnosed as xanthelasma or lipid storage disorder.
I'm not sure if either of these have much bearing.
I would like to get an opinion on the relationship between cholesterol and anxiety/depression. Also, If you think the effort is warranted, I would like to investigate the matter further and possibly experiment a little with cholesterol levels. I'm not really sure how I would go about this. What kinds of doctors should I talk to? What kinds of tests should be done? etc...