Posted by utopizen on December 30, 2005, at 8:15:28
In reply to depression and inability to exercise, posted by zuma on December 20, 2005, at 17:20:49
I will not comment, or judge you, because, that's the last thing I would have listened to back when I was depressed.
I will merely say what I did when I was at my deepest level of depression ever. I am grateful for having entered remission. I no longer crave sleep, etc.
I loved riding my Cannondale racing bike. So, they say you're suppose to do something when you exercise you love. Whether that's paddling a canoe, or playing basketball, or whatever, do not confine exercise to something that you associate to as tedious. Think of something you loved doing physically as a kid, and do that.
Anyhow, here's what I did, happening to love the high I'd get riding my Cannondale road bike fast:
At 5 A.M., I got out of bed. I didn't let myself think. I didn't deliberate. An alarm far away from my bed went off, and I didn't let myself think, "aw, me tired, me depressed, sad me." Of course I already knew all those things. I rolled out of bed in DEFIANCE of all that. I treated depression like it was a punk kid trying to mess me up.
It wasn't me, and it's never anyone. It was just a stupid punk kid I had to ignore when I needed to do anything.
So the alarm went off, I jumped out of bed, literally, and ran to my Cannondale across the room. I through my bike garb on, my cycling shoes, helmet, and carried my bike down the steps, in a frenzy, and rolled out onto the road.
I was happy, even if it only was for an hour or two. I was going fast, I was happy. I achieved something.
Is it hard to do stuff when you're depressed? Did my biking cure me? No. Months later I still was depressed, after biking for months. It was Lexapro and the combination of lots of things that ultimately did it.
But that didn't mean I let the punk kid others call depression tell me I wasn't going to be able to do something I loved as a teenager. No one would get in-between me and my bike. Not even a punk kid.
I would be tired, of course, having just 5 hours of sleep. But that returned only after riding, because the riding woke me up like lightning wakes up the dark overcast sky.
Exercise isn't a cure, but it makes SSRI's and other meds work, and, it at least helps you feel better, healthier, and proud of yourself.
So could I have read studies from doctors writing about arm movements or stuff like that instead of riding my bike? Of course!
If I read those studies, um, I probably wouldn't have loved cycling so much, wouldn't have met my girlfriend, on my college cycling team, wouldn't have met my friends on the team, wouldn't have anything to do on the weekends, or in the mornings.
Don't listen to studies. Don't wait for drugs to "kick in." These things are only pills, they can help, if you help them out by trying your best.
And most of all, do something you love. I doubt it'll help your depression to do tedious exercise alone.