Depression and how exercise and working out can help you manage and/or overcome your Depression.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 24, 2007 6:20 PM GMT
    I've been going through alot of depression off and on since 2003 and I'm hoping that the aggressive exercising I'm doing will help me not have the depression anymore or at least manage it better.

    I'm also on Zoloft which I want to get off of eventually.

    Anyone dealing with this and want to talk about ways to use exercise and getting fit to deal with it.
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    Jun 25, 2007 11:25 AM GMT
    I went through a bout of depression recently. Can't put my finger on one particular thing or incident that set it off. Was a combination of things that all happened at the same time. Depression is a physical condition. Our chemicals just go our of whack. After several months of overwhelming sadness, I said a therapist and was put on Lexapro. It took a while but I wasn't as sad. Problem with antidepressants is the sexual side effects. Getting the erection wasn't the problem. Not being able to cum was. And that was depressing in itself. Finally put on a cocktail of Lexapro and Wellburtin. Would skip a dose of the Lexapro when anticipating sex and things starting working better.

    Throught this whole time, I was exercising hard and regularly. Almost manic. I lost 55 lbs. and felt great about it. I look at picturs of me then and now realize I lost too much weight for me. Exercising and losing weight made me feel better and gave me purpose. I'm sure the endorphins helped that feeling.

    I was on the meds for a year and then one day driving home from the gym after a great workout, I physically felt the depression lift off me. I wasn't sad anymore. It was like an actual weight being lifted off me. Can't explain it. I went off the meds. (Do it gradually when the time comes.) I've been off meds completely for over a year now.

    This whole time off the meds has been an onslaught on my emotions that you would think I would slide right back into depression. But I guess my chemical are in balance. In that year, I lost my job, my two sons left for Iraq (they are back home, safe and sound) my dad died, my mom was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer, and I was diagnosed with prostate cancer and had surgery 7 weeks ago. Through all that, I don't have that overwhelming sadness that I have no control over. I have put on weight but I still exercise and will lose it but not like before.

    I wish you luck. Exercise is good, just keep it within reason. Don't be manic or exercise too hard that you injure yourself. Not being able to exercise will add to your depression.

    Remember, you are not alone. This, too, shall pass.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 25, 2007 12:21 PM GMT
    Depression runs in my family....my dad is plagued with it unfortunately. I have some of the same tendencies that my dad has. I've never been on antidepressants before, but I have largely learned to manage lingering depression through diet and exercise...

    I think diet plays a big role in depression too. I have trigger foods that will lead to depressive thoughts if not kept in check (some are psychological, some are biochemical). Excessive alcohol, or sugars, or foods heavy in fat are all things I have to have in moderation...

    As i've become older, I've listened to my body, and I've learned a lot about what makes it tick, and what it doesn't like. This has helped me tremendously in not only overcoming depression, but in boosting other areas as well...

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 26, 2007 2:54 AM GMT
    The short-term effect of exercise is about equal to taking an anti-depressant drug. But in the long-term, exercise is much more effective, with a signficantly lower relapse rate.
  • UStriathlete

    Posts: 320

    Jun 26, 2007 2:25 PM GMT
    a book recommedation. "The Mood Cure" by Julia Ross.
    Yes exercise is great, but the combination for exercise, healthy foods, supplementation and sometimes meds, however you must go to Therapy. Study have proven that, many times over. Depression is a very serious illness, DO NOT stop taking your medication/therapy just because you feel better. ALWAYS get professionl advice. Just like any illness, getting the right combination of therapy takes time to see results and even chosing you doctors/therapist. I've been on the other end of depression, The Caretaker. It's a hard place to be and can be depressing as well. www.depressionfallout.com

    Depression is a very ugly disease. I very happy for those that aren't in denial about depression and being pro active in getting better. Those that are your Caretakers appreciate it ALOT!!!
    I am hoping to create awearness by fundraising for National mental Health Association by racing in Triathlons and for the HRC as well.

    Many blessing to being WELL!!!
    joey
  • Lincsbear

    Posts: 2605

    Jul 03, 2007 2:47 AM GMT
    In the winter of 2005/6 I became depressed without really realizing it.About March,2006,my sisters told me they were worried aboutme as my "eyes had gone dull"I went to see my doctor and he gave me a course of anti-depressants.They didn`t work as I had bad side effects from them.I think I was recovering by the summer,but what really lifted my depression was taking up running and weight training.It gave me a mood lift every time I worked out,but better than that,it seemed to give me an extended one,lasting a day or more.It also reduced my mood variations,helped me to be more balanced about life,it`s downs,etc.I think the best advice I can give you,gayReebokguy,is to get out there and do it:pant,strain,gasp,feel energized,inconnection with the world again.Hope you get off Zoloft.Best wishes!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 06, 2007 3:43 PM GMT
    Many, many thanks guys for your friendly thoughtful, and insightful responses. I appriciate them.


    If we could just get to a point where we treat each other with the respect and dignity we all deserve as fellow human beings maybe the world would be a better place. Maybe there wouldn't be that MESS over there in the MIDDLE EAST. Well I wasn't gonna say this much and I don't want to get off topic. ONCE AGAIN THANKS GUYS. I LOVE YOU ALL.
  • code_joe

    Posts: 107

    Jul 19, 2007 9:00 PM GMT
    I have been dealing with depression for pretty much as long as I can remember. I have also been on various anti-depressants. Mine is like Rythem's and runs in the family. Only this case it is on my Mother's side. I have now been on Lexapro now for 4-5 years and have come to the conclusion that I will be on some sort of medication indefinatly.

    With that being said, I think excersise is one of the best mood elevating experiences out there. I know when I am perticualarly depressed, angered, or otherwise emotional if I just force myself to go to lift some weights, swim a few laps, or take my mtn bike out for a ride I find it much easeier to deal with my da. It is even to the point that when I am moody my BF will make me go work out for a while so I am in a more tolerable mood.

    I think as some said on here the answer relies in excersise, healthy eating, stress managment, and sometimes the extra help of medication is needed (As in my case).
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 23, 2008 9:29 PM GMT
    The neurotransmitter seratonin is the "feel-good" neurotransmitter that is oftentimes a key player in depression. It seems that when a person is depressed, instead of seratonin being absorbed when it is secreted, it is just taken back up and its effects are never felt. (The anti-depressant Prozac is an SSRI--a selective seratonin re-uptake inhibitor--which prevents seratonin from being taken back up so its effects can actually be felt and the depression can start to subside.)

    But exercise also seems to increase sensitivity to seratonin, thus doing much the same thing Prozac would do--but without the adverse side-effects.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 23, 2008 9:35 PM GMT
    I've been suffering from depression since I was 10.. I was on meds off and on all my life. But back to your question.. I, myself, didn't get into working out/exercising up until a couple of months ago. I think it does help, it's a great way to just get your mind of things, use it as an outlet, if you know what I mean. Running/jogging really helps to.. also pumpin some iron, always listening to rock while I do. Each person is different, though. If you think you're doing something right, and it makes you feel better, keep at it. I'd like to eventually get out of therapy and all the meds I'm on.. but yea, exercising is a great release.
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    Mar 23, 2008 10:04 PM GMT
    A fascinating meta-analysis was published recently, claiming that in cases of mild depression, a placebo is usually as effective as an antidepressant. The analysis is based on unpublished data from the drug companies themselves. The scientists used the Freedom of Information Act to get the data from the FDA.

    There are some questions about the study, such as the duration, but I think it's probably accurate. I have wondered if the comparable effectiveness of aerobic exercise isn't a placebo effect too.

    Here's a link to an essay about the study:

    http://www.abcnews.go.com/Health/MindMoodNews/story?id=4366440&page=1

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 29, 2008 1:09 AM GMT
    i find my mood elevates when i do cardio exercise. i feel healthy and seratonin levels goto normal. i am less stressed and less depressed, i also sleep better.

    why am i typing i should be exercising?

    http://www.queersunited.blogspot.com
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 29, 2008 1:29 PM GMT
    Interesting...

    /me starts concocting nefarious plans of starting a line of antidepressants from snakeskin, pulverized M&M's, tea leaves, with a dash of sugar all encased in a shiny yellow capsule.

    I'll call it HAPPY PILL!

    (Take twice daily in cases of dates standing you up, rejecting you, or humiliating you in public)

    icon_biggrin.gif

    $_$
  • sjmplus1

    Posts: 19

    May 15, 2011 6:47 PM GMT
    I find I dont have the energy (or motivation) to exercise and medications have not helped in the least- they usually have caused numerous side effects. Although right now Im sometimes taking a med to get some sleep - Its not a sleep med but has sleepiness as a side effect...Im damned if I do and dont. If I take it, I may get some hours of sleep but then feel drugged; if I dont take it, Im up all night or tossing and turning with no sleep. Ive tried exercising in the past and never noticed any positive effects but its been virtually impossible to try to start it up again. I just have no energy
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    May 15, 2011 6:50 PM GMT
    You know, this is extremely true, and why I got into weight training in the first place. I used to be depressed about my looks and such, and then I started weight training, and exercising, and now I am confident and happier in general as a person. icon_smile.gif
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    Jun 02, 2011 2:51 AM GMT
    I exercise but I think that effect is only temporary. Not to say I am depressed or on meds or anything...but I just don't understand how exercise suddenly makes all the issues go away. Exercise is more of a temporary thing.

    I'm just curious for the people who have come down with depression. What were you depressed about and how did exercise magically cure that? Wouldn't the cure be solving whatever issue you're dealing with? Because no matter how much I exercise I still have to leave the gym and get back into real life.
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    Jun 02, 2011 3:01 AM GMT
    Fit4FitnDenver saidI exercise but I think that effect is only temporary. Not to say I am depressed or on meds or anything...but I just don't understand how exercise suddenly makes all the issues go away. Exercise is more of a temporary thing.

    I'm just curious for the people who have come down with depression. What were you depressed about and how did exercise magically cure that? Wouldn't the cure be solving whatever issue you're dealing with? Because no matter how much I exercise I still have to leave the gym and get back into real life.


    They are not referring to "magic cures" or suggesting that life's problems disappear as a result of push-ups.

    They are discussing very specific chemical imbalances that make it impossible to feel good about ANYTHING. This is not like being depressed because your job is a drag or you really want to move to L.A. and can't afford it.

    There is a large amount of very compelling evidence that regular excercise helps to regulate these chemical imbalances so that people who are living with them are able to cope with day-to-day life.
  • behuur

    Posts: 2

    Jun 02, 2011 3:35 AM GMT
    General depression is a chemical imbalance produced in the brain. I was diagnosed with depression several years ago. My doctor prescribed me lexapro, which worked for a short time. Ultimately, I attempted suicide which I believe was a result of the drug. Not clinically proven, I believe generally depression can be treated by working out and a change of life-style. It boost your serotonin levels which are essential for your self-well being. As for situational depression, it may temporarily make you forget your problem but won't be a permanet solution.
  • Life_Is_Good_...

    Posts: 109

    Jun 02, 2011 3:39 AM GMT
    diet also has a lot to do with depression. see a licensed nutritionist and get an evaluation and food chemical balance
  • Syphon

    Posts: 366

    Jun 02, 2011 3:45 AM GMT
    Working out was probably the number one influence on getting over my depression. It wasn't just the exercise that did it, but also the boost in confidence and self image.
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    Jun 02, 2011 10:51 PM GMT
    Cash said
    They are not referring to "magic cures" or suggesting that life's problems disappear as a result of push-ups.

    They are discussing very specific chemical imbalances that make it impossible to feel good about ANYTHING. This is not like being depressed because your job is a drag or you really want to move to L.A. and can't afford it.

    There is a large amount of very compelling evidence that regular excercise helps to regulate these chemical imbalances so that people who are living with them are able to cope with day-to-day life.


    well...I just got back from the gym earlier today and I don't feel any happier about things than I did before I went. I'm still not quite content with the way things are. A lot of it is reasoning and stuff that I can change, but it's still depressing LOL icon_confused.gif

    So what's the difference between the being depressed about the job and chemical imbalance? How can 1 tell the difference?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 02, 2011 11:05 PM GMT
    See a psychiatrist. That's the proper way
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 03, 2011 1:28 AM GMT
    Fit4FitnDenver said
    Cash said
    They are not referring to "magic cures" or suggesting that life's problems disappear as a result of push-ups.

    They are discussing very specific chemical imbalances that make it impossible to feel good about ANYTHING. This is not like being depressed because your job is a drag or you really want to move to L.A. and can't afford it.

    There is a large amount of very compelling evidence that regular excercise helps to regulate these chemical imbalances so that people who are living with them are able to cope with day-to-day life.


    well...I just got back from the gym earlier today and I don't feel any happier about things than I did before I went. I'm still not quite content with the way things are. A lot of it is reasoning and stuff that I can change, but it's still depressing LOL icon_confused.gif

    So what's the difference between the being depressed about the job and chemical imbalance? How can 1 tell the difference?


    A chemical imbalance, such as what I believe is being referred to here, makes it impossible to feel happy EVER. Even if everything is seemingly perfect, the brain is unable to enjoy the circumstances. Making changes and or logic have no effect. There is a fundemental inability to enjoy life and all it has to offer, big or small.
  • barriehomeboy

    Posts: 2475

    Jun 03, 2011 1:45 AM GMT
    I've been suicidal since I was 13. I'm not really sure how to explain how I lived so long. I guess all I can say is, those days when you're happy and you rule the world outnumber the days when you hope a bus runs you over and your family goes nuts mourning you.
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    Jul 17, 2011 6:14 PM GMT
    After years of suffering on and off i finally got help when I reached my rock bottom. I'm on my 2nd set of meds, first one made me really nauseous that I spent most of the day curled in a ball holding my stomach and not eating. This 2nd one isn't so bad, but still feel sick with it.

    I just can seem to get motivated. I know i need to see a dietiican to help me eat right and get healthier but I can't seem to make that call. The weekends are the worse since I have too much downtime and time to think about my lfe.

    How do you push yourself to go to the gym and put in a full work out? I never used to have a problem needing someone to hold my hand and take me to do things. Now it seems I can't function without a little push and pull. Which is why I seem to be always looking for a workout partner in the area. Someone to motivate me, work out with, and become friends with.