Depression and training

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by tomUK, Aug 9, 2004.

  1. tomUK

    tomUK New Member

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    Apparently people who are depressed have higher levels of cortisol and lower levels of serotonin which helps keep 'pain gates' closed, a lack of it can make you feel more pain.

    I would be interested to hear from people who have used anti-depressants. How has it effected your performance? Do you have more energy and drive to train? Are you able to perform at a better level now?

    If there is anyone willing to answer my question, if not in response to this post then please send me a private message, I would appreciate it.

    Many thanks.
     
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  2. tomUK

    tomUK New Member

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    A quick side note: while I am aware that heavy levels of training can cause depression, I am referring to depression that is caused by factors other than overtraining.
     
  3. Carrera

    Carrera New Member

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    On the contrary, high levels of training should help a person beat depression.
    I suffered from depression mainly during my twenties and started sports training as a means of combating the problem. The depression problem didn't go away immediately but within time it subsided. These days I feel good constantly and don't get depressed.
    Intense training is a far better remedy for depression than drugs. When you train very hard, the brain releases natural pain-killers into the brain and these have a positive effect on mood.

     
  4. wavydavy

    wavydavy New Member

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    Graeme Obree links his top flite performances to depression in his book The Flying Scotsman. More recently he came off his medication during preparation for another tilt at the hour record although he ended up binning it & going back on his medication.
     
  5. Carrera

    Carrera New Member

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    To add to that, there can be manifold causes for depression. These include upbringing, chemical factors within the body (i.e. post natal depression), social/external factors or illness. In fact, in many cases, depression is an illness just like any other illness.
    Myself I would advise anyone who suffers depression to see a therapist who can hopefully diagnose the reason behind the depression. However, a progressive exercise program should make a significant contribution towards some kind of a recovery.
    During my twenties I took anti-depressants but don't think they helped me. I eventually found, though, that intense exercise did make me feel a lot better. As I continued to exercise, I began to improve as the years went by. It's also said that as you mature and develop better coping skills, depression becomes less of a factor.
    These days I virtually never get depressed. I put it down to good nutrition, very hard exercise and adopting a more positive attitude. Often you can be afflicted by depression for quite some time but it doesn't last for ever and drugs are only useful in the short term.


     
  6. Roadie_scum

    Roadie_scum New Member

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    I think training can be a help or a hindrance in overcoming depression - it depends how the depressed individual views it. Cognitive behavioural therapy is the gold standard...
     
  7. tomUK

    tomUK New Member

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    I agree CBT is a very useful method, however, it doesn't take into account the 'deeper issues' For example, you may have a job you hate, CBT would recommend you take a look at your thoughts and 're-frame' them. Whereas probably the best solution to this problem would be to go out and quit your job and find something more exciting!
     
  8. Carrera

    Carrera New Member

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    I think if there's an underlying problem then any benefit of exercise would be cancelled to some degree. Somehow the causes of depression must be addressed by a psychologist. Once an individual begins to discover where the cause of depression lies, the next step is to decide you want to get better and then incorporate an exercise and diet program.
    Personally I find very intense exercise has an amazing uplifiting effect. The reason for this is, I guess, the suffering involved tends to put everything else into perspective. Getting into the pain barrier every so often causes chemicals such as dopamine to be released into the brain and many of these chemicals act as anti-depressants.
    However, if the underlying, psychological cause of low-esteem and depression isn't weeded out via therapy, exercise won't solve everything.


     
  9. Roadie_scum

    Roadie_scum New Member

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    Yeah, but I tend to think that there are a lot of people who don't love/maybe even hate their jobs who aren't clinically depressed. Reframing can give somone enough perspective to get out of the situation, as well as giving them a more positive attitude towards it. I do agree there are other things that come into play though.
     
  10. trekchic

    trekchic New Member

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    I was on Effexor last Fall and early Spring. I went off because I wanted to see if I was ready to face life without medication (situational depression). Well, I have paid for it! I am going to go back on the meds due to the inability to shake the blues! I can honestly tell a big difference in my riding and working out since going off meds.

    People ignore the symptoms until they have a meltdown! It took a huge loss in my life to make me face the fact that I didn't feel good most of the time. I was crying and couldn't stop for days.
     
  11. tanggoman

    tanggoman New Member

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    If one of the causes of your depression is you hate your current job, just look at it this way--there are lots out there that have no job and are dying to find one... If that doesnt make you, then I dont know what will. If not, just quit your job and go look for a new one, plain and simple!!! :)
     
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