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Finding Exercise Motivation When You're Depressed

How to Get Moving When You're Low on Energy


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I needed this today Report
I find that exercise helps me when I'm depressed. Except when I have a headache. Report
Great information! Report
Great article! Report
Depression is so wide spread with many people having problems unknown to others as well as themselves. Good article to help. Report
I also want to thank SUBICK for his/her comment because it says just what I was thinking after reading this article. Even light exercise is very unpleasant and I feel drained or even sick afterward--even though keeping up with my active dog requires me to do so. And after many years of doctor-supervised experimentation, I also found that bupropion works far better for me than SSRIs or tricyclics. Definitely going to check out those links about genetic testing. Report
Exercising does help to relieve depression. It releases those endorphins! Report
I must be one of the lucky ones who is helped along by exercise in mind, body and spirit. It's just that I have a lazy gene that causes me to choose to be sedentary as in a couch potato in front of tv or laptop. Report
thanks without meaning to be-repetitive , this is clearly NOT a one size fits all issue,Having said that at least there are MORE options today than even a few years ago - I can recall being given one med that when I missed a dose I felt like I was getting the flu- NOT PLEASANT,. Report
...the comments of SUBICK were an eye opener...his/her comments rang true for me...i do not feel better after exercising... usually it's fatigue and irritation... but i keep going hoping the next time I'll feel energized!

... enjoyed the article...and the author is correct there is no cookie cutter solution for trying to get in exercise when your depressed... but something is better than nothing... Report
good points Report
I know I usually feel better after exercise. My son, who was diagnosed with clinical depression, says he feels better after exercise. It's just doing it that is the problem. Report
Good information. Report
Just starting helps. Once I do 10 minutes, I'm often willing to do more. Report
I've lived with depression for 50 years - and I have NEVER found that exercise helps when I'm in a depressed stage. But then depression is not a monolithic thing. There are probably as many pathways leading to depression as there are depressed people.

Exercise may be as effective as either antidepressants or placebo for some people with mild to moderate depression, but there is evidence that as the severity of depression increases, the effectiveness of exercise decreases, while the effectiveness of the right antidepressant increases.

The right antidepressant for the individual, just like exercise, depends on the person's genome. For example, I recently ran my DNA results through Promethease. To my amazement, I found that I'm 7.7x as likely to respond positively to Bupropion as the general population as well as 4x less likely to respond to tricyclics or to placebo. This has been my actual experience. Bupropion opened the door to a world I had no idea existed - a world with colour and taste and smells that are sharp and clear.

As to exercise: my geneset is homozygous for AMPD1 deficiency. This means that my skeletal muscles very rapidly run out of oomph. Again, this has been my actual experience. Even as a child, I got tired very quickly, so while my peers were running around, I would get a book and lie on the floor or take a blanket onto the lawn.

Further, I carry one copy of each of two genes that code for low tetrahydrobiopterin production. I'm pasting in a section from World's Healthiest Foods on the role of tetrahydrobiopterin in neurological health:

"In what has come to be named the BH4 Cycle (where is an abbreviation for tetrahydrobiopterin), researchers have verified a close connection between production of multiple neurotransmitters (with special emphasis on serotonin and dopamine) and availability of folate. In fact, part of the molecule for which this BH4 Cycle is named (dihydrobiopterin, or BH2) can itself be readily converted into a form of folate (dihydrofolate). In addition, researchers now know that BH4 cross over the blood brain barrier using the same transport mechanism as folate.

Interest in these nervous system messaging molecules and folate has been fascinating and widespread. Since much of the dopamine produced in our nerve cells begins with conversion of one amino acid (phenylalanine) into another amino acid (tyrosine), folate availability has been shown to be closely connected with this neurotransmitter pathway since BH4 is required for conversion of phenylalanine into tyrosine. Yet broader still are possible connections between two additional neurotransmitters—glutamic acid and GABA—and folate metabolism."

I often think that the people who write these articles have never personally experienced depression. Depression is not simply a matter of feeling sad and lethargic - it's a soul-sucking black hole. One's brain disappears into a freezing fog.

Here's an article showing that blood tests may well help to identify people for whom non-medication therapies may be effective:

Here's one on genetic testing:

Depression is multifactorial. Each person very likely needs a unique combination of protocols. Genetic testing alone isn't enough. Nutritional requirements are also individual. Exercise may help or harm. This article recommends paying attention to how your body feels after exercise, but immediately goes on to imply very strongly that exercise will definitely help you if you can only get over the speedbump in your head. There's no acceptance that, if your body doesn't feel better exercise, that this is a valid feedback response. Report

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