Maggie shared her story with me and gave me permission to share this with you. Please contribute if you can relate. This, my friends, is not uncommon - its just overlooked all too often.
I discovered my gluten sensitivity in my mid-30s. My main symptoms are psychoactive, with annoying, but not threatening physical reactions following.
Leading up to my diagnosis, I had prepared a thorough list of what was wrong with my body/mind -- losing my ability to do arithmetic, extreme moodiness and anxiety, general abdominal discomfort -- for my then-current doctor, who decided that I must be on drugs. That certainly startled me. I told him that I didn't do drugs, but he insisted that my symptoms made it clear that I did. Sigh. I changed doctors, and started keeping formal records of what I ate and how I felt, hour by hour and day by day (I was a graphic illustrator by trade; I knew how to make really effective charts from data <g>).
(Note: This all happened in the mid 1980s, when very few people, including doctors, believed in allergic food reactions other than those that needed an instant injection of adrenaline.)
After three weeks of keeping track of whatever my body was doing and how soon it happened after eating, I strongly suspected wheat. After waiting the necessary days for any residual gluten chemistry to get out of my system, I was stunned the next afternoon at work to find myself feeling as if I had just "woken up" from years of sleeping. I was incredibly alert, alive, and I could reliably add and subtract again (it had gotten so bad that I thought I would have to quit working). That Friday, I tested myself with a sandwich at work, having asked my co-workers to watch and record any changes. About 90 minutes after eating lunch, a co-worker tapped me on the shoulder and told me to go home now, while I still could. That weekend, I tested again (with some delicious lasagna), and within 12 hours, I was hiding under the couch cushions, having a major anxiety attack.
After 8 weeks, I took my data to my new doctor, whose RN assistant believed me and worked her magic on the doctor. I went off wheat at first and began the dance of discovering how much stuff had wheat in it, and how difficult it was to convince people that, no, not even a couple crackers in a party dip could pass muster.
(The gent who had originally tapped me on the shoulder was also training me on the new computers, and, when after the weekend I started acting overly anxious regarding my lessons, he looked at me and said, You had some wheat this weekend, didn't you?)
All these years later, I am so glad to read more articles on the mental effect of gluten. People understand abdominal distress, hives, anaphylaxis, but they still don't get the "all in your head" stuff.