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Member Comments for the Article:
Using Exercise to Relieve Depression
Walk Away from the Blues
3/10/2013 1:39:38 AM
While exercise does make a huge difference to my mood there's the counterproductive side if you are naturally competitive - I'm not as fast, have less stamina, less skilled than other people my age doing the same activity. Rather than being inspired by those who can do what I can't I get dispirited. I have to deliberately dumb down my activities so that I don't get overwhelmed by what I can't do - it helps if I'm on an equal footing with those around me. It's cheating but it seems to have a less negative effect.
I will say that exercise did help me get through a MAJOR depression last winter. The problem is that it is hard to make yourself to it when deeply depressed. Heck, it's hard to brush my teeth when derpressed. Still, if I can manage to convince myself to do it, it really does help.
Great article. I 'm a person that have to deal with mu depression and my son's and he is bipolar and other mental health condition. First what help me dealing with depression is my family. I don't get a lot of episodes of depression now. With my son it's very difficult to help him because he has others conditions. We try to do the best for him. I'm the one who give him the medications; but he tried to kill himself a lot of time and that is the real dealing.
This article is very well written and points out all of the different levels that affect a person dealing with depression. I must say that your circle of friends and family need to support you through this difficult time. It does get better with time.
Great article! As someone who has struggled with depression for most of my life, I know that every sentence in this article is dead on. I'm lucky enough to have a psychotherapist for a mom, and a good friend who is a psychiatrist. They have both helped me to treat my depression medically, mentally, emotionally and physically. I've recently started a walking routine with a neighbor, and have paid for yoga classes ahead of time so that I will be more motivated to go. One of the hardest things about depression is making yourself get up and do things. It really helps to have family and friends to support and encourage you. I'm now making a real effort to use exercise as a tool for mood enhancement.
Thank you, Dean, for this excellent article. At last something which tells me something I haven't heard before about depression. I knew about the exercise but I had never thought of depression as being the enemy, a separate entity, not just me being grumpy. I do walk a lot but allow negative thoughts to take over far too often during those walks. Taking my camera has helped enormously - a diversion.
Now I shall focus on defeating this monster. It's stolen my self respect and my joy in the things I used to love. It puts destructive words in my mind and mouth and has been winning for far too long. I am very good at covering it up to others and sometimes think I have a split personality: happy, capable public face, miserable, disorganised private face. Dean's article has made me realise that the latter isn't me, it's the monster taking over. Well, I'm glad to have this challenge (makes a change!) and will make sure I take my side in future.
Good luck to everyone on this battle with depression.
I have dealing with chronic depression for 11 years. My goal is to cut down my medication for sleep and anxiety. I am going to start walking the dog and see what happens. Thannx for the support.
1/16/2010 4:37:54 PM
I have been dealing with depression since I was a child and have been on anti-depressants for 13 years. I was diagnosed with major depression when I was 16 and shortly thereafter was put on medicine. It has always been a battle to stay on an exercise program but this year has been better than ever. With support from people online and keeping track of my exercise i've been more motivated to get out there. I also realized that I have to change my lifestyle in order to survive. I have a condition that in order to keep under control I have to make exercise my life. It has been hard but I am slowly getting off my medicine. I just want to see if I can do this with a more holistic approach. if anyone is interested there is a sight called AlternativeDepressionTherapy.com which has some good insight on what you can do naturally. I wish my doctor talked about alternative ways I could heal myself, instead like most doctors I have met they just put you on pills which can help but don't solve everything.You also need to talk to someone, join a support group, journal, exercise, eat healthy. It has been a major battle but i have the tools to win. It's still really difficult but I won't give up. Fight for your life!!! take charge and tell yourself you can do this. It took me 13 years of fighting and you know what makes it easiest, exercise.
Right on target! I've been dealing with depression for 8 years and I know how discouraging it can be when people say "just go exercise!" They make it sound so simple, when it really is a huge internal battle. Dean Anderson does a great job expressing the difficulty involved with starting, as well as the benefits of exercising.
Something that my current counselor has encouraged - and it really works - is to get dressed, get on your shoes, get in your car and drive to the gym. If, once you are parked and sitting in the parking lot, you still cannot fathom going in and exercising... then and only then are you allowed to turn around, go home and try again tomorrow.
It works with everything. My dogs would be begging for a walk, and I'd follow my counselor's advice - as much as I did NOT want to go for a walk - I put on my walking clothes, tied my shoes, gathered up the dogs' things and by that time - I was not necessarily excited about the idea, but at least okay with it.
So, the next time you would rather get in your pj's, cuddle up on the couch and not move until bedtime, try this advice. It may not work the first time, or the second and it might work great until the 30th time... but the key is to keep setting yourself up to succeed and be compassionate with yourself if you just cannot do it. Then - try again tomorrow. :-)
Exercise is how my dad managed his depression for decades. He eventually ended up needing an anti-depressant because a series of accidental injuries (broke both elbows falling on an icy driveway, etc.) kept him from his intense exercise sessions. He would do things like 30-mile bike rides and hour-long weight-lifting sessions alternate days 5-6 days/week.
I finally had an "Ah-ha!" moment a few weeks ago that exercise helps me manage my mild depression, too. For me it takes at least 60 minutes of moderate to intense effort 5-6 days per week. I can space the 60 minutes over two sessions, but less time doesn't work.
Loved to see an article on exercise and depressiong. It's such a relatively simple thing to do, with the only side effects being better overall health (as long as you don't overdo it) and self-confidence, that I wonder why more doctors don't prescribe it outright, instead of just suggesting it.
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