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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does anyone suffer from depression and if so how do you motivate yourself to get out on your bike.Somedays it will take a couple of hours of riding before the negative thoughts go away and other days i cannot face it and have to turn round and go home.It does seem like a constant battle but on the plus side the aggression that it causes drives me to ride really hard and helps my fitness.Trouble is on a bad day other trail users do seem to get my bad feelings.Wrong i know but i cannot help it.
 

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Hmmm, this is a hard one. Q; Have I suffered from depression? A; Yes. Q; How do I motivate myself? A; Time, patience & understanding.

To be somewhat discreet, I found myself in a situation where a suspected underlying depressive attitude was aggravated by a set of circumstances over which I had absolutely no control.
After which, I found myself occasionally midway through a ride when the "darkness" (for want of a better term) would descend upon me, and I'd wonder "why the f*ck am I doing this?"

My pop. psychology answer to your question is you need to find what works for you...be it medicinal or rethinking the way you view life. Depression is a personal, one cure does not fit all.
 

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I try to ride every day when I am home, but sometimes that id just not possible, and when I don't for whatever reason, I feel terrible,I missed a day,and that is one less day that I have to ride and now it is over.
Sometimes I don't feel so good, either something is bothering me and I am dwelling on it too much and I go out to the trails for a ride, I feel much better after the ride,knowing that I had some time out on the trails and had a blast riding,and since I am fairly new to the sport,I feel even better when I can get up that hill that I always used to walk up, or negotiate that part of one of the trails that I never could ride through before and always walked the bike through.
That makes my day no matter what else,at a soon to be 53 years old I am having the time of my life and love the sport,gotten to know some great people connected with the sport,feel much better physically and mentally, and lost a few pounds in the process.
If you feel depressed, just ride your favourite trails and after, you will feel much better.
 

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one of the tricks to beating depression is doing those things that used to be fun and making them fun. you must keep riding, try riding with others and see if adding a social aspect helps. as silly as it sounds, PLAN to have fun and ACT like you are having fun.
other thoughts: medication really can help, i recommend lexapro, find a good shrink; make sure you are sleeping at least 9 hours per night; be as social as possible; eat right; and correct your thoughts - when the negativity creeps in actively assess whether it is valid or not, the more you practice this more it will become automatic and you will have less negativity. good luck.
 

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Steel is real.
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Serious questions need serious answers. Having witnessed the affects of depression on two different folks I know I think it’s something that you should try and seek professional help with if it is affecting you this much. First I should say that it is a huge deal that you recognize it and are willing to admit there is something to it. That is awesome. Personally though, again, I think you should talk to a professional to help guide you through this.

They’ll help you figure out what’s going on and/or sometimes medicine is the answer. Someone I know was suffering badly from depression – very badly. It took a couple of tries but they finally found the right medication. It has been unbelievable for them. It’s been great!

In the mean time, eat right, get lots of sleep and try to stay positive (with good thoughts).

Good luck.
 

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I agree that one thing that may help is trying to add a social aspect to your riding if possible. Also that sometimes if you go out and pretend to have fun, the fun can have a way of slipping up on you. I have battled with depression for a long time. Medication can help, there is nothing wrong with that. Lexapro is good, I personally prefer Wellbutrin as it had less side effect for me and I noticed any type of addictive behavior like the desire to drink was gone. Because you start meds doesn't mean you will always be on them. If you have the ability to see a doc then I think it might be a great step. Otherwise just like most of the advise said, there are different ways we all combat it.
 

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Don't worry, be happy!
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I force myself out, because I KNOW I will feel better. It's difficult at times. But I have also addressed the issue in a number of ways ( counseling, medication etc) and part of my life plan is to be as proactive as possible, knowing I have this problem.

edit, I force myself to do it for at least 20-30 minutes. That is when the endorphins kick in. Now, If you've got a serious depression, this may not work but I as I said above, for me it's a "tool in the kit" for dealing with it.
 

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I am experiencing the same thing as well. I have no motivation to ride or go to the gym. When I do, halfway through, I end up just wanting to stop the activity that I am doing. It is terrible.
 

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Regular exercise can really help with depression. As was mentioned previously, endorphins are a great way to naturally improve your mood/attitude/feelings/etc. So make yourself get out there and ride, as long as you aren't making it a chore and are still enjoying it. Hook up with some people who will bug the hell out of you to come ride untill you finally do. I find it much easier to get out and ride when I'm feeling lazy if someone else asks me to go (peer pressure). Try long trails, so if you get that feeling that you want to quit half way through, you have to keep going, or at least hike it out. The great outdoors has a way of elevating one's mood. If you can't ride, do something productive. Clean (bleh), do some home improvement projects (change is good), or bake me a cake. I'm a wannabe artist and I know that when I don't work on anything for a while I start feeling really crappy mentally and physically without that outlet. And I agree with the earlier statement about eating right. I blame a lot of our societies mental and physical issues on poor diet. Whatever it is, find something active/productive that you enjoy and try to get as involved in it as you can. For milder forms of depression these can really help. If its more serious then it might be time to see the Dr. But I thinks meds should be a last resort. Too many people are over medicated, and the side effects can be pretty nasty. Plus its just another dependency. When in doubt.....BEER!
 

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formica said:
I hope you are joking. That is really terrible, inappropriate advice for someone that is struggling with depressive issues.
Sorry, I tend to forget that you can't detect my sarcasm through my posts. Yes, I was joking. Although beer does make me happy (just not the next morning).
 

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Just a punk in the street
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Some good advice here but please remember that this may require some professional help. Do not be afraid to seek it out.

Depression can be hereditary. Some people are just prone to it. There is depression/mental illness (I hate that denotation) within my family. I am prone to it. In my younger days I suffered greatly from it. I found that there were environmental factors that contributed to it. Family issues, religion issues, etc. But I also found that much of it was a self imposed "poor me" syndrome. I wanted to feel sorry for myself and was wanting others to do the same. Only to find out that people didn't want to hang with me because I was always going on the "poor me" bus. Which in turn only makes matters worse. Giving me yet another reason for me to feel even more sorry for myself. I also found that I was be torn between living my life and trying to please other people at the same time.

It took me a long time to figure that out. Once I dealt with the underlying issues (family, religion, etc.) I felt much better but I had to make decisions that were good for me. I basically had to say [email protected]*% you all and do what I felt was in my best interest and not worry about others. That helped immensely. I was basically depression free. But I was still having issues with personal relationships. It then took me another 20 years to figure out that I was still hanging on the the "poor me" thing. Once I figured that out and how annoying that is and stopped it my life has been WONDERFUL.

I do know though that I am still prone to depression. I have to keep things in check and not get sucked into old habits.

You have to figure out what it is that is causing the depression and fix it. Sometimes its not an easy thing to do. The main thing is DO WHAT IS BEST FOR YOU! And if you are like me and are prone to the poor me syndrome. Realize it, acknowledge it, admit it and then stop it.

Also Eat well and stay away from sugars and unhealthy foods. Exercise. Force yourself to if you have to. And don't be afraid to seek professional help if need be. A lot of this can be helped if a person is willing to ADMIT that there is a problem. Sometimes we don't want to admit to what the "REAL" problem is. It could be a chemical imbalance in the body. God, there are so many things can contribute to depression. A big part of fixing it though is honestly admitting to yourself what the problem is. Alcohol and drug "Abuse" can be a factor or a sign that there is something wrong too. A person can learn great things about themselves and self help through a 12 step program. Even if there isn't that type of problem, administering that type of program can help a person find and deal with underlying issues.

Another thing...try not to get lost within your own thoughts. Too much thinking will most definitely bring on the poor me syndrome. This is a very hard thing for depressed people to do. I know, I have been there.

Good luck man! Go out and kick some depression ass!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks for all the advice.Feeling sorry for yourself is a cry for help sometimes but being around people who moan all the time isnt nice.I know that you have to help yourself at the end of the day.If that isnt happening then i will get nowhere.Best get out and RIDE!:thumbsup:
 

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I recommend seeing a psychologist and just talking things out. This really worked for myself. I'm on meds and they seem to work.

One of the best things you can do is figure out what 'caused' the thoughts you are having. Not the fact that you are having negative thoughts, but the root of them. What's the trigger? Find the trigger thought and work on re-adjusting your response to that thought.

If you are looking for a great sports psychologist. Look up Kristen Dieffenbach. She is awesome!
 

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the biggest way i get over depression is figuring out why i am depressed .. normally once i 'know' why ... i can do things that either remove that thought from my mind ... or try to alter the reason i am depressed ...
 

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This seems to have sifted out pretty well for you lifecycle, right down SP9's reply and searching out a root cause. Depression is often just the symptom (i.e. anxiety caused by depression, or depression caused by anxiety). This has has to be determined, and your understanding increased.
I read your inquiry last night, and I am glad so many people are suggesting help, or better where to seek help. When you say you sometimes turn around after you have started riding, and that you also ride hard, which seems to help, but are in an angry mood, I started to see depression as a symptom.
NOTHING is more important than addressing what ails you ASAP. And see more than one person. If you don't feel a good connection right away with the professional you are seeing, then make an appt. to see another, no matter how much the person suggests otherwise. In the world of determining one's mental health, this advice has proven to be some of the very very best. The brain is the least understood organ of our body, and we are still on the frontier of how it works.
Seek the help you deserve, and with diligence, you've suffered enough not knowing.
 

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There's a new book out by Dr. James Gordon called Stuck. It's about the mind body connection. He's really not into pharmaceuticals but other physical ways to treat it. He sounds really good, Harvard trained, currently teaches at Georgetown Univ. Diet, breathing, imagery stuff. You might give it a looksee.

c
 

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Yeah, depression can need medical attention. However regular exercise can overcome many of the symptoms. So if you can't get yourself on the bike, maybe a visit to the doc is in order and once you're on a regular regimen you can look at tapering off the meds if need be.

The bottom line is can you get yourself exercising regularly without meds? And if you're having negative thoughts, does riding harder get you so worked up physically that your mind no longer has time to wonder about the bad? If neither of these things are doable on your own I'd say you need medical treatment.
 

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I am impressed

with everyone's ability to talk about this issue.
Been there, am there, in some cases meds. help.
I have a much harder time in the winter, IMHO, because I don't get as much exercise.
This time of year, and living in Durango, I ride 4-5 days a week. It really helps keep my chemicals in balance.

Lots of folks who have their head on straight get depressed. See your family doc., depression can really be from simple chemical imbalances.
 
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