I've been fighting depression since I was a teenager. When I was in my 30s, one of the other students in my master's program told me he had been taking antidepressants. I asked a bunch of questions and finally decided that I had suffered long enough, and trying to get rid of it just with natural means and counseling was just not working for me. (It's on both sides of my family, so a big part is likely genetic.) I went on Zoloft, and I've been fine ever since. Sure, exercise, life experience and a generally positive, calm attitude help a lot, too, so I'm trying to do all that in addition to the meds, but I'm realistic. In my case, it's a long-term medical condition, and I'm treating it just like I would any other condition. As an added bonus, I noticed I'm calmer. I used to have panic attacks a lot without realizing what they were, especially in a public place like a store - really silly, since I work with the public, but very real. Since I've been on the Zoloft, I haven't had anxiety problems, either.
Bottom line: Do what works for you. Go ahead and try the exercise/counseling/healthy living approach, it does help, but if it's not enough, don't be afraid to add medication. It may take several tries to get the medication and the dosage right, so be patient. It's time the stigma of depression and other mental illnesses disappears. You'd never tell an asthmatic to just take a deep breath, but people routinely tell people with depression to just have a positive attitude. It takes more than that, so don't be afraid to get help.
The Blues, a form of music. Howlin Wolf, Lazy Lester, BB King, Buddy Guy and the Queen of the Blues KoKo Taylor. Grew up on this music!! It is definitely what I listen to when I'm running, walking or just jammin around the house.
To me, Blues has Nothing to do with depression!!!!
Wild West Kate's comment was even more inspiring than the article. Thank you!
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.
SparkPeople, SparkCoach, SparkPages, SparkPoints, SparkTeams, SparkDiet, SparkAmerica, SparkRecipes, DailySpark, and other marks are trademarks of SparkPeople, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
SPARKPEOPLE is a registered trademark of SparkPeople, Inc. in the United States, European Union, Canada, and Australia. All rights reserved.