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Re: Exercise and Depression

Posted by Elizabeth on April 23, 1999, at 22:14:51

In reply to Exercise and Depression, posted by William Leatherwood on April 22, 1999, at 13:14:27

Bill, you do bring up an interesting point. Here's my take on it.

I'm moderately active and eat moderately well - not super-healthy or super-fit, but reasonable for a person my age (f, 23). Being active, taking long walks, eating healthy meals, etc. helps me to feel good about myself.

However, when I become depressed, I lose the will to do this sort of thing. I feel fatigued rather than energetic, and food (even junk food :-) no longer has much appeal. This probably makes the depression even worse, and I do try to eat anyway and get out when I am able. But it's *very* difficult, because I'm doing it not out of a conviction that it will make me feel better (it doesn't), but because I'm supposed to (thus sayeth my doctor)).

Another issue for me is the side effects of antidepressants. I have chronic, refractory insomnia (perhaps resulting from repeated episodes of major depression in which my sleep became disturbed, and also exacerbated by poorly controlled chronic pain), and the antidepressant that seems to be best suited for me has the side effect of exacerbating this. It also tends to decrease my appetite, so I keep losing weight rather than regaining what I've lost. However, I am more energetic and more up to exercising, always a plus - as I said above, taking long walks gives me a nice feeling, and things like swimming can be very relaxing.

So in short, antidepressants do improve my mood *when I'm depressed*, while taking care of my health gives me pleasant feelings when my depression is remitted or controlled.




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