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Exercise for Depression?

I have been diagnosed with Depression and ADHD. I was given this diagnosis just a few weeks back. I’ve been suffering from depression on and off for say…around a decade.

I’m on meds- for depression I take Escilatopram Oxalate 10 mg. For ADHD I’m on an Indian generic version of Ritalin. (I live in India.)

About depression- all the articles I’ve found on the web seem to suggest that exercise is a very good anti-depressant. Stuff like walking, steady state aerobics for 20-30 minutes a session 3-5 times/week is generally recommended.

Are aerobics the only way to go as far as
depression is concerned? I find them downright boring and am afraid this’ll bring on more boredom triggering more depression rather than help me.

What about lifting for depression? I couldn’t find anything on the net. For weight training I use Pavel Tsatsoulines methods. The problem is that Pavel methods don’t trigger an emotional release in the gym. He recommends not working to failure, treating every rep as a practice etc. But emotionally I just want to explode with the weights, going to failure and beyond.

Also I have Sciatica, right knee problem and a few ‘dysfunctions’- like one part too tight, strength asymmetry etc. I use dynamic stretching, mobility drills etc. Hence I have to use Pavels methods and concentrate mostly on exercise execution.
I started lifting weights a fortnight ago.

In a nutshell I just want to know this:
1.what is the best form of exercise for depression? Steady state aerobics, HIIT, liftin weights etc…
2.For weight training I want the safety of pavels methods but yet I want to go to failure and beyond. Hell! I dont care if I overtrain as long as it helps my brain.

I want to exercise everyday. Its a part of setting proper habits. Its a part of my therapy- setting proper habits, things I do everyday etc etc.

So guys, any advice? Anything will be helpful. Thanks to everyone who checks out this thread.

[quote]Azrael wrote:

In a nutshell I just want to know this:
1.what is the best form of exercise for depression? Steady state aerobics, HIIT, liftin weights etc…
2.For weight training I want the safety of pavels methods but yet I want to go to failure and beyond. Hell! I dont care if I overtrain as long as it helps my brain.

[/quote]

Thats gonna be very personal, if you asked a powerlifter, they’ll tell you heavy lifting is the best release. If you asked a marathon runner, they’d tell you running is the best release.

If you feel an urge to train heavy and “explode” the weight. I’d suggest giving the olympic lifts a try.

the point is you gotta find what YOU are passionate about.

My husband used to be depressed on a regular basis, and we’ve managed to control it for a year now with two things:

  1. Regular exercise; both cardio AND weights. Exert yourself in whatever way you see fit; just do it intensely enough to make you SWEAT!

  2. Diet; specifically, trying to stabilize his blood sugar levels. We’ve done this by following the basic principles used by most weight-lifters:

Frequent meals, with an emphasis on protein and fiber at each meal.

No more carb-pigouts! My husband used to eat bowl after bowl of Wheaties and ice-cream in the evening. Now he has something like a can of sardines with some crackers and a piece of fruit.

We also found it necessary for him to cut out alcohol, caffeine (some chocolate is OK) and diet soft drinks with phenylalanine in it. (Diet sodas with Splenda are OK)

Your mileage may vary. This is what worked for my husband.

Take Fish Oil…

Go for a minimum of 10 grams per day. Spread out. Flameout would be a great choice.

Fish oil!

Whenever I don’t take my fish oil, I find that I get depressive that much easier. Without fail. Which is not to say I have clinical depression, but I do get depressed fairly often, whenever I’m taking like 10g of fish oil a day, fairly often becomes every so often.

ymmv…

Lifting heavy(like 90% of 1RM) makes me feel better too.

Overtraining is what you want to avoid, particularly avoid killing your CNS. Three things that should help:

1.Solid nutrition plan.
2.Steady low intensity aerobics 20-30 minutes AFTER intense weight training. This will do wonders to help your CNS to recover from weight training sessions.
3.regular sleeping pattern.

Powed Drive should help too.

Thanks for this everyone.

evansmi : I guess evansmi is right.Its different for everyone. I’ll just have to find my own heaven. I like lifting heavy but cant due to my injuries. I’m training only my upper body with weights.

DaMadMonk and Malevolence: Reagrding fish oil-yes! I’ve heard about all the benefits! But unfortunately I’m also in a financial crisis righ now. Anti-depressants and Ritalin cost me lesser than fish oil.

dragonmamma and Finnman:got it. A solid plan with good nutrition, wts and aerobics.
Dragonmamma: good for your hubby! Wish him good luck from me.

I forgot to add one thing. I’m looking into more CW programs- he generally recommends more high frequency training. Does he have anything which revolves mostly around heavy weights?

Also I am looking into AST. Its what skip la cour used to use.

[quote]Malevolence wrote:
Fish oil!

Whenever I don’t take my fish oil, I find that I get depressive that much easier. Without fail. Which is not to say I have clinical depression, but I do get depressed fairly often, whenever I’m taking like 10g of fish oil a day, fairly often becomes every so often.

ymmv…

Lifting heavy(like 90% of 1RM) makes me feel better too. [/quote]

Ditto great advice and there are studies that show this to be true. Personally I have gone threw a bunch of antidepressant meds years ago and nothing worked better than Omega 3’s. I’ve also been diagnosed with ADHD and I’ve taken a bunch of shit for that.

Personally I think ADHD is a bullshit diagnosis, and the meds did nothing for me except get me wired (a ritalin and ECA stack before cardio can burn some fat). As far a exercise goes nothing has ever helped me that much. I’ve been in the best shape of my life and still blue.

I think the best antidepressants are God, omega 3’s and friends.

[quote]Hagar wrote:
Ditto great advice and there are studies that show this to be true. Personally I have gone threw a bunch of antidepressant meds years ago and nothing worked better than Omega 3’s. I’ve also been diagnosed with ADHD and I’ve taken a bunch of shit for that.

Personally I think ADHD is a bullshit diagnosis, and the meds did nothing for me except get me wired (a ritalin and ECA stack before cardio can burn some fat). As far a exercise goes nothing has ever helped me that much. I’ve been in the best shape of my life and still blue.

I think the best antidepressants are God, omega 3’s and friends. [/quote]

ADHD eh? So what do you do for this? You do say " God, omega 3’s and friends." but what specifically do you do?
Apart from meds I’m also in behavior therapy. I’m using this book “Dont say Yes when you want to say No”

[quote]Azrael wrote:
Hagar wrote:

ADHD eh? So what do you do for this? You do say " God, omega 3’s and friends." but what specifically do you do?
Apart from meds I’m also in behavior therapy. I’m using this book “Dont say Yes when you want to say No”
[/quote]

Well I continually try to work on my character and become a better person. I’m not much of a church goer but I do pray and give thanks for what I have. I also think depression is a choice somewhat. Its comfortable to sit in your own shit so to speak.This is important, I firmly believe if you act happy you will be happy. This way people will want to be around you more and you won’t be so lonely.

Most of us have things to be depressed about. For me my love life has sucked for the past 10 years and its been nonexistent for the past 8 years (and I’m a good looking guy), but I choose to not dwell on it. I act like I’m happy and it rubs off on a deeper level. If you do this with a little time you won’t be acting happy you’ll be happy and if not just keep acting happy for everyone else’s sake.

Granted this is harder than it seems but with practice it gets easier. Its human nature to look at what you don’t have and not look at what you do have.

As far a ADHD I don’t believe I have it in fact I don’t believe most people who are diagnosed have it. So my attention wanders when I’m faced with something I have no interest in, big deal. If I’m interested in something I stay focused. I think this is normal. Now a days if you can’t sit still in your cubical or behind a cash register you have ADHD.

Books can give you good knowledge. A classic thats been used for years by all sorts of highly successful people is Dale Carnigie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People”. I would also recommend Dennis Prager’s “Happiness is a Serious Problem.”

I find lifting in general to be a great help when I am depressed. Going in, working out, and being sore the next day are an easily quantifiable success that I find really helps. Also, hitting a PR, even if it’s only by 5lb, is a little something to be proud of that day. It may not sound like much, but all the days in the squat rack help.

I’d say sprinting.

Hey mate,

With my limited experience with depression and the effect of exercise on depression I think the type of exercise you do really isn’t the big deal - what’s important is that you feel good doing it and it takes your mind off things.

Find something you enjoy doing - something that gives you that feeling that “nothing else matters” for the time you spend doing it. Personally I used to find that in sport/athletics but more recently I’ve had that feeling in the gym lifting heavy stuff (heavy for me anyway).

Keep looking into programs, but remember you don’t need to follow a written program down to the T. If what you want is to lift heavy and hard then go for it.

As you have just started lifting, I’d recommend you work on getting your form right before attempting to go for really heavy stuff.

Hope that was of use to you, keep at it!

I’m personally a very competetive person. If I’m not training for/competing against other people in a sport or outdoor activity, my appetite for life diminishes.

You might be like me, or you might enjoy competing with yourself to reach new zeniths.

Research tends to suggest steady state stuff would be the way to go, as the more lactate you accumulate, generally the worse you feel. Bear in mind that research is referring to untrained folks who don’t enjoy feeling exertion during training anyway, so take it for what it’s worth.

Personally, on my off days or when I’m just feeling crappy I take walks. Works especially well when the weather is nice and there are girls out sunbathing.

What is your current diet like?

I find my “mood” has a very high correlation to what I eat.

If I eat lower amounts of carbs (higher protein/fats) during the day, I generally feel more energetic.

WALKING… granted it’s not the most intense form of coditioning but it’s a great mood lifter that can be done frequentlty…

Overall, I’m not really happy with my life, it’s been this way for the past 8-10 years (I’m 22). I know it’s mostly due to the fact I expect too much from myself.

The one thing I do that helps clear my head is biking. Great exercise and it can be a lot of fun. The problem with biking, especially road biking is that the real fun comes when you get more experience and better fitness. That’s why it’s not an easy sport to get into. Mtn biking is more just pure fun from the begining, assuming you have some general fitness and skills.

Running on a treadmill or some indoor cardio crap is hell. Don’t do it. Humans were meant to be active outdoors, do it outside.

[quote]belligerent wrote:
WALKING… granted it’s not the most intense form of coditioning but it’s a great mood lifter that can be done frequentlty… [/quote]

Ya, there is something about walking that can be comforting. Perhaps that you can’t really fail while doing it.