Help Conquer Depression with 'Exercise'

in psychology •  11 months ago  (edited)

Most people, suffering from depression also suffer from a tremendous loss of energy. Any suggestion to them during those horrid periods to get up, and start moving to help, is usually met with negative reception; sometimes great animosity.

"What do ya mean, exercise??? Are you nuts? I don't even have enough energy to make myself a friggin sandwich...creep..."

I guess you can tell by the attempt at humor above, that I've been around quite a number of depressed people in the past. Yes, including being around 'me' when I wasn't feeling so good about me; or the world for that matter.

One thing I do know though, is that whenever I've been able to force myself out of bed when I'm depressed, and into the Gym, hiking or biking on a trail out in nature, I begin to feel much better; most people do.

So as much as we hate to hear the advice that 'exercise helps alleviate depression' it most certainly does.

What I've encountered repeatedly in my many years of being a regular Gym or Fitness Center member is, that no matter how exhausted I may have felt going into the Gym, shortly into some moderate exercise, my energy level goes up; soon enough, I'm not feeling the least bit tired.

Upon leaving the Gym, I feel much better about myself for having simply gone to the Gym. My serotonin, dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin, and endorphin levels are all pumped up and doing a remarkable job at keeping me happy again. I don't get depressed again till I'm on the road heading home and encountering all those people and things that made me depressed in the first place (just kidding)

The reason a post like this came to mind is because I read a few posts by others recently on Steemit about being depressed, and I was beginning to experience those 'Winter Blues' as I often do about this time of the year; less sun = less vitamin 'D' which aids depressive episodes.

I better end this post here, while I'm thinking about that little bottle of vitamin 'D' I have laying around here somewhere; probably buried beneath that pile of Twinkies I got stacked up on the kitchen counter???


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I'm glad that it works for you, but it has never worked for me. Trying it just makes me more exhausted to the point of collapse (that being said, I do also have other issues going on besides my depression).
I've tried all the DIY helps - sun lamp, exercise, meditation, diet, etc. - and none of them have budged the depression that I've had solidly since I was 18 years old (I'm now 40). I think the difference is between chronic depression folks and people who go into remission. I hear people say "I had depression for two years" or something and I'm always like, "IT GOES AWAY?? WHEN?? HOW?!" LOL. So I think it's different for everybody, not only in severity and how long it lasts, but in what helps - just like some folks get help from some meds, some others, and some get no help from any meds at all.
I read every sliver of hopeful advice out there, the only thing that annoys me is one-size-fits-all "cures," which just don't exist.

I have to ask - Have you ever had professional help from a real therapist? Exercising and meditating and all that stuff does work, but not for everyone. Each person has their own way of dealing with it. What works for one might not work for another and that's why it's important to ask for professional help. I really hope you get better. Please get help.

I've done years of therapy. That's not a magic cure-all, either.

Hey Phoenix, I suspect that you may have misread a portion of my post as well as it's intent? Generally, I would usually respond in cases like that with perhaps only a 'short' comment; but for you...because I've come to 'care' about you and your struggles, you'deserve' a more in depth response.

I'm actually inclined to write another post as a result of your multiple statements, addressing them from my perspective; and probably will, but here are a few remarks I feel the need to clarify, in case their are others as well who may stumble across my post and have a similar reaction as you.

the only thing that annoys me is one-size-fits-all "cures," which just don't exist.

I never used the term 'cures', if you are making reference to me. What I did use, where the words 'conquer' and 'alleviate'...neither are synonyms for the word 'cure'.

I'm glad that it works for you, but it has never worked for me. Trying it just makes me more exhausted to the point of collapse (that being said, I do also have other issues going on besides my depression).

Well, I'm glad that you're glad exercise works for me..."that being said" the type, and intensity of the exercise which didn't work for you may have been 'wrong' for you at the time. There are so many factors that can be addressed with that consideration in mind that it would probably take a whole book to completely cover.

Additionally, since you have "other issues going on" as is perhaps, those other issues which diminished the positive effect of the exercises you performed. You also may have undertaken an exercise regimen at a time 'not right' for you (nutritionally hampered; dehydrated; sleep deprived...etc.) These are negatives that even a really fit and healthy person can experience during or after exercise.

There is some indication that you might feel 'I and others' can't relate to your experience/suffering from your mentioning being plagued by depression (chronic) from the age of eighteen to present age of forty..?

I'm almost 70 years of age and can go back in my mind to the age of about '10' attempting to
remember the onset of 'my' depression (chronic too)...I 'CAN' very well relate, through experience. Of course our symptoms may vary, and the root causes of the illness may be different...along with the 'triggers', the devastating effect/affects are probably very similar.

Anyway...Just wanted to respond to show you that I appreciate and care about you, and only wish to be a positive connection for you in a world that certainly can be cold and callous much of the time.

Do not loose may never find the cure, but maybe you 'will'? Meanwhile, symptom relief is what helps keep us from totally giving up as you probably already know.

Your little feline babies need you...what would they do without you? They 'love' you too for 'just who you are' is my suspicion...

Totally agree with you here.

A couple of years ago, when I was at the peak of my depression, I remember I used to feel as if I don't even have the energy to get off the bed. All I wanted to was to lay down and just.. be. But at some point, I knew I had to do something about it. I realized I can't live like this.

Surprisingly enough, exercising helped. It didn't completely erase off depression, but it slowly became more bearable. The fun part is, I didn't even exercise regularly. Just whenever I felt like it or had free time on my hand. Even a little bit of physical activity gives you that adrenaline boost you need to feel better about yourself.