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Recovering from a mood disorder

Aux1Aux1 Posts: 865
I'm feeling kinda blue right now so I decided to tell my problem here, maybe someone had a similar experience, or someone will read it and see that recovery does come after a little while, although you might feel it never will.

Last summer, due to some very hard circumstances in life, I was constantly under an immense amount of stress for a long time, and it messed up my brain chemistry balance a little and triggered a mild to moderate depressive/anxious disorder. In the meantime, i still managed to graduate from college but i felt like censored even when they handed me my diploma. I took psychotherapy once a month and SSRI medications (all covered by medical insurance). The psychiatrist said to 1) get a job 2) engage in a sport activity and 3) find a girlfriend [:)]. So, I managed to accomplish 2.5 of those 3, soon to be a full 3 I hope! [:)] She also taught me how to reduce worry, react better to bad things etc., and I did a lot of work about that on myself. I also thought a lot about the meaning of things, God and stuff, wondered if I can really, really believe in what I was taught from my early years, searched and found my answers. I read C.S.Lewis, listened to his philosophical books in mp3 while walking along my river Sava, and during that time, although feeling bad, I was aware that I was doing good things and I feel I really matured... Maybe this is a start of my full adulthood.

So, although not feeling all that good, I decided to move my censored (I couldn't just sit still and wait because then it'd never pass). So I found a great job as an engineer in an electronics factory, I have really great colleagues and boss and a decent pay, I'm doing pretty good there and the boss is pleased, then I bought my KTM from the 1st pay and started riding to and from work and on weekends, almost every day (in a few weeks, I feel I'll be in shape to take on the mountains too), and I also met someone special [:X] and I feel something nice will happen soon! So, in the last 2 and a half months, my condition improved greatly. I can enjoy watching a movie again (even alone), play computer games and have fun doing that, I again started listening to music all the time, again I started to enjoy walking, sitting in the sun or having a drink in a bar even when I'm alone, although I still have some remaining effects from that condition...
I sometimes have some anxiety-related chest and/or stomach pain or feel blue for no apparent reason (but not when I ride my bike!) so I take Xanax and it helps. I also started to try and understand why I have the pain, when I can't see an obvious reason. To try to see what's troubling me subconsciously. That helps too.
I also read a study by a dr. Blumenthal which showed that regular exercise eliminates depression and anxiety and keeps them from coming back. They had patients doing exercise and patients doing medication, and after 16 weeks 65% of them improved considerably, but after one year many of those on medication relapsed but almost nobody who continued to exercise got depressed again.

Because of that, I really feel good about this MTBing thing, I always loved that, I started riding my crappy regular bike in the woods when I was 14, and now I think, with a good job, with this great sport as a hobby, and with good friends, that I'm having a sure ticket to a complete recovery in 2-3 months...

I already feel less sad after typing this. I'd like to hear similar experiences, and I'll be happy if I showed someone who's suffering right now that you can be your old self again in just a little time, if you keep doing the right things. [:)]

Bad English - ze most spoken lengwidz in ze werld!

KTM Ultra Flite 2007
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Posts

  • lm_treklm_trek Posts: 1,470
    I had a bout of anxiety about 20 months ago, i was working during the safeway/morrisons conversions i was in a store miles away from home and having to put up with a morrisons area manager on my back all the time just because i was a safeway manager!! my store manager went sick which left me in charge of a store where i hardly knew the proceedures and had the added pressure of being answerable to a complete idiot of an area manager who basically didnt respect me or my experience of ten years in retail.

    So getting back to what happened, my dad (who later passed away) was ill and i was working 80miles away from home with the commute and stress of running the store, and not being close enough to help out at home or even support my family during my dads illness, i had a panic attack and threw up in the car park at work one morning, i could get myself to go through the front doors at work, i couldnt do it, i managed to call the night manager to give him my alarm code to deactivate the alarms and then told him i was sick and couldnt come in, luckily or unlucky he was looking out the window and saw my car and me chucking my breakfast up on the carpark!!

    I had 4 months off work where i was advised by my doctor and a depression specialist to enjoy life a bit and get out and about, it was there and then i rediscovered the joy of biking and the countryside, on return to work i was transferred to a bigger store but closer to home, where my stress levels could be assess by the companies Occupational health, things got better and work was bearable, but since the initial attack ive had a couple and have been told to expect this when i get stressed, so to help i left safeway/morrisons and demoted myself to a dept manager and joined sainsbury where my job is just a job i get to go home after each shift and not worry about work and live life each day


    ride it hard and keep it fun!!!
    My Rides: Trek 6500 and Trek Fuel Ex 7and My Blog - Try it out!!
  • Some great posts there, and I think the message is the same: stay positive. As you might know I have been ill for a while and still waiting tests, and have being diagnosed for the time being with severe ME and depression. Unfortunately the ME means exercise is very hard, a double whammy! But I am getting there, slowly but surely and feel more positive then ever after becoming stuck in a rut.

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  • sazsaz Posts: 2,189
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by Aux1</i>

    I'm feeling kinda blue right
    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">
    I can identify with that. You just get a big black cloud that sits over your head for no reason and just makes you sad. [:(]
    Suffered from that aaaaall my life and discovered there is actually no better cure for it than mountainbiking![:D]
    I know several people who suffer from fairly bad depression (all of them are artists like I <s>am</s>..er...was (lol!)) and I actually think you can also turn it round by appreciating that to feel that bad you have to be a very sensitive person, and being a sensitive person is a really nice thing to be in many situations in your life. One friend in particular is a fantastic artist and I honestly think if she wasn't so emotional she wouldn't produce such amazing work. It's all part and parcel of who she is.

    <center><font color="violet"><b>ME AND MY BIKE</b></font id="violet"></center>
  • For someone who has never been depressed, or had a long-term illness, I really empathise with what you are all saying here. This is possibly the most touching thread I've ever read, and I really hope you all pull through all the difficulties and trials that you have in life.

    Aux, I'm so glad you searched and found the answers to your questions; just as I have done. [:)]

    <font color="blue">Giant XTC SX '06</font id="blue">
  • This forum has helped me a lot! When I have unable to do anything physical, I can still share my passion with others. Sounds corny, but its true. Somedays I can't even leave the house, so the computer is essential.

    <center><font size="1"><font color="red">GT Zaskar LE</font id="red">
    <font color="red">GT Ruckus</font id="red">
    <font color="red">Me!</font id="red">
    <font color="red">Supersonic</font id="red"><hr noshade size="1"><font color="red">Park Tools - help and instructions for all general bike fixes</font id="red">
    <font color="red">Sheldon Brown - info about anything and everything</font id="red"></font id="size1"></center>
  • guillianoguilliano Posts: 5,495
    Kazoo is a huge help to me. OK, I get irritated with her sometimes, but that's not her fault, it's just part of depression, but just doing the little things like shopping at Tesco's would be impossible on my own so having her there (and Saskia who I have to continually tell to stop dancing at people) makes is much less of an ordeal. Riding my bike also helps and I really need to make sure I do it more often as I always feel a little better afterwards. Strangely it also helps having people on here who have been through, or are going through, similar problems as we can talk about things with others who understand and don't get impatient

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/guilliano/
  • Marky Mark.Marky Mark. Posts: 646
    I got signed off last September with depression caused by the stress of my job, I sometimes feel that I went back to soon as I still get those dark days, unfortunately stress and depression can manifest themselves in an agressive way with me so I have to be careful. Part of the reason I went back was boredom and the feeling of guilt despite the fact that I would have been paid in full for 6 months before any reduction of salary to cause any financial worries.

    One good thing that came out of my period of absence is that my employers realised that one of the 6 customers (big global banks, inestment houses, etc.) I'd worked with as a project manager for 18 months took two people to manage whilst I was off and another person looked after the other 5.

    My workload is now manageable, I'm not working ridiculous hours (don't get over-time anyway) and family life has improved no end as I'm no longer a moody barsteward.

    The problem only really came to the surface last year but I've suffered on and off with bouts of depression since my teenage years which was not helped with alocohol and drug abuse during my wild and irresponsible years whilst trying to be a rock star.

    There is light at the end of the tunnel, with me it's my family and the feeling that there's nothing to worry about when I'm out on the bike or 30m under the sea.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/markymarkstuff/

    I'll get some better ones soon! Photos that is, another bike will mean divorce.
  • mudfacemudface Posts: 1,733
    depression is pretty common. sadly getting more common due to how our lives are becoming (work, tv and shopping seem to be this countries main activities. not good for the soul). whenever i get down, i feed my soul. i do that by writing music, drawing or going out for a ride.

    it's rubbish getting really low, but the way i like to think of it when i'm down is that the negative and the positive will always be equal, like a sine wave. i am capable of being as happy as i get sad, and i'd rather be the way i am than give up the big lows and never experience the amazing feelings i get from when i'm really really happy. not sure that makes sense now i've re-read that but hey-ho lol.

    one thing's for sure though - i found that medication had little to no effect unless the problem is being dealt with. docs seem to prescribe them as a cure, which is wrong imo because in most cases of the kind of depression i suffered from, they won't.
  • guillianoguilliano Posts: 5,495
    Medication is an aid, but it's what you do personally that will help. I'm now starting cognitive behavioral therapy and just being positive about it in my own mind is the first step towards recovery. I'm going to be scheduling my days to ensure I have a routine, get some exercise (lots of excuses to ride my bike) and learn to cope with my anxiety and mood swings (which I try to supress to avoid upsetting Kazoo and Saskia).

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/guilliano/
  • sazsaz Posts: 2,189
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by mudface</i>


    it's rubbish getting really low, but the way i like to think of it when i'm down is that the negative and the positive will always be equal, like a sine wave. i am capable of being as happy as i get sad, and i'd rather be the way i am than give up the big lows and never experience the amazing feelings i get from when i'm really really happy. not sure that makes sense now i've re-read that but hey-ho lol.

    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">
    Total sense Mudface. Couldn't have put it better myself. I can sometimes find I'm stupidly happy for no apparent reason just as often as I get down for no apparent reason. Wouldn't give up the black and white in my life for a consistant grey!

    <center><font color="violet"><b>ME AND MY BIKE</b></font id="violet"></center>
  • sazsaz Posts: 2,189
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by guilliano</i>
    I'm now starting cognitive behavioral therapy
    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">
    I had that years ago. It's amazing. A real eye opener!

    <center><font color="violet"><b>ME AND MY BIKE</b></font id="violet"></center>
  • mudfacemudface Posts: 1,733
    ah, i know someone who had that cognitive behavioural therapy. that's meant to be really good.

    i know that when i'm down, something i really try to do is to rationalise and realise that to a certain extent i am choosing to think negatively. it's really hard to pull yourself out of though, although i try.

    exercise is brilliant though. as is doing things for other people. if you're thinking about other people, you're not thinking about yourself and how low you are. keep busy!
  • sazsaz Posts: 2,189
    If I feel down I try to visualise it as a black cloud just above my head which WILL go away. I can't usually make it go away but I know it WILL at some point so I try to fill the time till it does with stuff I know I have to do anyway, or doing stuff for other people. Then, when it does go, you can go mountainbiking and the stupid grin just appears from nowhere![:D]

    <center><font color="violet"><b>ME AND MY BIKE</b></font id="violet"></center>
  • guillianoguilliano Posts: 5,495
    I found that the achievement of fitting new forks and not killing my bike made me feel really good about myself. Just need to convince Kazoo to let me buy another bike to fettle with (oh, and ride) to give me another week or so of happiness!

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/guilliano/
  • mudfacemudface Posts: 1,733
    i find that places like chicksands work for me when i'm down. i ride some jumps or a drop bigger or faster than i'm comfortable with and the 'thank fcuk i survived that' chemicals kick in and override the negative feelings. for a while anyway. i think being an adrenaline junkie helps...
  • sazsaz Posts: 2,189
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by mudface</i>

    i find that places like chicksands work for me when i'm down. i ride some jumps or a drop bigger or faster than i'm comfortable with and the 'thank fcuk i survived that' chemicals kick in and override the negative feelings. for a while anyway. i think being an adrenaline junkie helps...
    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">
    I can identify with that too but less so now I'm older. Turning into more of a wuss thses days.

    <center><font color="violet"><b>ME AND MY BIKE</b></font id="violet"></center>
  • guillianoguilliano Posts: 5,495
    Next time you go to Chicksands let me know, I'm reasonably local to there. Downside is that trains are a nightmare to get there

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/guilliano/
  • Marky Mark.Marky Mark. Posts: 646
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by mudface</i>

    ... as is doing things for other people. if you're thinking about other people, you're not thinking about yourself and how low you are. keep busy!
    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    These days I'm always doing what I can to help others, never really thought about why I do it, always thought it was me subconsciously trying to make up for the bad things I've done in the past but I guess it does make me feel better.

    Achievements are a huge boost as well although I'm not sure Kazoo will let you get away with another bike....just yet[;)]

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/markymarkstuff/

    I'll get some better ones soon! Photos that is, another bike will mean divorce.
  • mudfacemudface Posts: 1,733
    i'm often down there on a weekend day, guilliano. i'm easy to spot if i am as i'm one of the few girls who rides there. i ride a white heckler. come say hello if you spot me. most likely to be on the dual course or near the ladder drops.
  • AlanCwmbAlanCwmb Posts: 1,194
    I've been looking at this post for a while, wondering whether to reply or not...
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by Aux1</i>

    I'm feeling kinda blue right now so I decided to tell my problem here, maybe someone had a similar experience, or someone will read it and see that recovery does come after a little while, although you might feel it never will.<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">
    I know that feeling. You get into a state where you're just so far down that you can't remember a time when you ever felt happy and you can't conceive of a time when you ever will again.

    Pretty much defines how I feel at the moment, after the death of my father several months back and the sudden and unexpected death of a long time good friend a couple of weeks ago. Oh, and add in the stress of a rotten job that alternates between leaving me with nothing to do and overloading me with about twice what I can cope with, all the while being hounded by management who are more concerned with the fact that you're seen to be doing the right thing than with what you're actually doing.

    I know what's happening; I've been here before. Last time it took two and a half years on an SSRI (Paroxetine) to start to bring me round, but the best anti-depressant of all had 27 gears and fat tyres: learning to ride a bike, getting my Mount Vision and riding the thing every chance I got - upwards of 100 miles a week - made a far bigger difference in a far shorter time than anything else.
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote">...I'll be happy if I showed someone who's suffering right now that you can be your old self again in just a little time, if you keep doing the right things. [:)]<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">
    Yes...

    Perhaps...

    Got to do something before the grey void claims me again....
  • HamishwmbHamishwmb Posts: 4,238
    OK. I'm training as a psychiatrist... I've only just skimmed over this but it looks like people have got the right idea:

    Excercise + trying to make an effort to do the things you enjoy with the people who'll support you + professional help where needed (either problem solving/ counselling/ medication/ medication & CBT/ medication/ECT and CBT depending on the severity). And avoid too much alcohol and/or drugs as they don't help.

    Glad to hear you're all better. Try and keep things up as most people who suffer from depression have more than one recurrence during their lifetimes and keeping the positive stuff going can help protect against it/reduce the severity if it does occur.


    BTW - there was a paper in the BMJ a couple of years ago that showed that swimming with dolphins had an additional benefit in helping mild-moderate depression when compared to just swimming in the same environment without the dolphins. Brilliant. Like we needed a study to tell us that.

    --

    Hamish

    <font color="red"><font size="1">Hamish's bike</font id="size1"></font id="red">
    <font size="1"><font color="black">Hamish's photos</font id="black"></font id="size1">
    <font size="1">Hamish's favourite biking photos</font id="size1">
  • Marky Mark.Marky Mark. Posts: 646
    The thought of captive dolphins is just depressing

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/markymarkstuff/

    I'll get some better ones soon! Photos that is, another bike will mean divorce.
  • mudfacemudface Posts: 1,733
    well the counselling thing is all good and well, except my doctor told me that the NHS couldn't afford it for everyone, and gave me a packet of pills and told me to go away. i'd rather have had the counselling personally. my illness was dragged out for much longer than it needed to because the drugs put me on a plateau where i didn't really care about anything, but nothing got solved. it all came to a head a while later and i managed to sort myself out, but not before i'd got married and left the person who was a massive part of it.

    they should not give you drugs if they don't offer counselling at the same time, because they will not cure anyone by themselves.
  • HamishwmbHamishwmb Posts: 4,238
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by Marky Mark</i>

    The thought of captive dolphins is just depressing<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    I agree that the thought of captive dolphins is depressing.

    However... I forgot to mention that the study was carried out in Honduras with a treatment group of people swimming regularly with dolphins in the reef and the control group just swimming regularly in the reef without the dolphins. And the control group got to swim with the dolphins after the study was finished so that they got a bit of benefit as well and didn't become depressed when they found out that the others had been with the dolphins.

    Does that make you feel better? [;)]

    --

    Hamish

    <font color="red"><font size="1">Hamish's bike</font id="size1"></font id="red">
    <font size="1"><font color="black">Hamish's photos</font id="black"></font id="size1">
    <font size="1">Hamish's favourite biking photos</font id="size1">
  • HamishwmbHamishwmb Posts: 4,238
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by mudface</i>

    well the counselling thing is all good and well, except my doctor told me that the NHS couldn't afford it for everyone, and gave me a packet of pills and told me to go away. i'd rather have had the counselling personally. ...
    they should not give you drugs if they don't offer counselling at the same time, because they will not cure anyone by themselves.
    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    Oh. That's not good advice*. There are plenty of 'voluntary' organisations (often funded by the social work departments with paid staff as well as volunteers) which usually offer simple advice/listening to problems, more formal counselling, drop-in support as well as advice for solving problems. I would have been surprised if there wasn't something like that where you live and you should have been informed of that. I couldn't agree more, that medication alone will not solve things.

    * I mean as given by your GP.

    --

    Hamish

    <font color="red"><font size="1">Hamish's bike</font id="size1"></font id="red">
    <font size="1"><font color="black">Hamish's photos</font id="black"></font id="size1">
    <font size="1">Hamish's favourite biking photos</font id="size1">
  • There's all sorts of groups out there for all sorts of people. The problem is access and availability and the mere fact that lots of these agencies and orgs don't have the budget to advertise in the right places.

    I read a study that said 49% of people who would benefit from access to mental health crisis teams, didn't actually know the phone number of the team!

    Sonic, have you tried dealing with the ME Association? (www.meassociation.org.uk) or the Sheffield ME Group? (http://www.sheffieldmegroup.co.uk/links.htm)





    Latest pic of the Enduro:
    http://www.flickr.com/photo_zoom.gne?id ... 702&size=l

    Latest Pic of the Zaskar
    http://www.flickr.com/photo_zoom.gne?id ... 265&size=l
  • Ive looked into a few when I was in Newcastle, but will give the Sheffield group a ring. Got some great info from the ME soc. Its kinda hard when I am still waiting for tests for adrenal insufficinecy, sorta in limbo. Cheers!

    <center><font size="1"><font color="red">GT Zaskar LE</font id="red">
    <font color="red">GT Ruckus</font id="red">
    <font color="red">Me!</font id="red">
    <font color="red">Supersonic</font id="red"><hr noshade size="1"><font color="red">Park Tools - help and instructions for all general bike fixes</font id="red">
    <font color="red">Sheldon Brown - info about anything and everything</font id="red"></font id="size1"></center>
  • No probs matey.

    Don't be too harsh on the NHS though. There's loads of user groups - you can't expect the average nurse or doc to know them all. give the newsgroups a butchers too.

    Latest pic of the Enduro:
    http://www.flickr.com/photo_zoom.gne?id ... 702&size=l

    Latest Pic of the Zaskar
    http://www.flickr.com/photo_zoom.gne?id ... 265&size=l
  • mudfacemudface Posts: 1,733
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by Hamish</i>

    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by mudface</i>

    well the counselling thing is all good and well, except my doctor told me that the NHS couldn't afford it for everyone, and gave me a packet of pills and told me to go away. i'd rather have had the counselling personally. ...
    they should not give you drugs if they don't offer counselling at the same time, because they will not cure anyone by themselves.
    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    Oh. That's not good advice*. There are plenty of 'voluntary' organisations (often funded by the social work departments with paid staff as well as volunteers) which usually offer simple advice/listening to problems, more formal counselling, drop-in support as well as advice for solving problems. I would have been surprised if there wasn't something like that where you live and you should have been informed of that. I couldn't agree more, that medication alone will not solve things.

    * I mean as given by your GP.

    --


    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    i'm not being funny, but when you're depressed, the last thing you have energy for is trying to find groups and organisations to talk to etc. i hardly left my house. my own family didn't know what was going on. the GP should ensure that you're getting proper help.
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