Martial Artists with Depression

How do you handle depression?

  • Martial art training

  • Light therapy

  • Antidepressants (Prozac, Zoloft, etc.)

  • Herbs/aminoacids/minerals (St. John's Wort, Rhodiola Rosea, 5-HTP, Sam-E, etc.)

  • Counseling/therapy

  • Combination of two or more of the above

  • Other (not mentioned abouve)


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Tez3

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I think in my case Carols post seems to fit the case. I'm certainly going to have it investigated.
 

frizzbee

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I browsed onto this forum because I was wondering if there were other martial artists with mood disorders and how they dealt with it. I am bipolar. Karate, definately helps. Actually, I'm not really sure what it was - I started karate about when I started this new med, and either one or the combination helped. I know that it's hard to get the motivation to go to Karate when you are depressed. But, once you're there, the workout and the focus erases it from your mind. It's a little wierder if you're manic, but it's a release for the energy and hyperactivity (for lack of better words) if I've ever had one.
But either way, I wondered how other martial artists handled ups and downs? But since I've been pretty stable for quite a while, I'm not really sure. Anyway; my thoughts.
Sarah
 

JBrainard

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Off topic: How did this thread end up on the "latest threads?"

On topic: I suffer from severe cyclic depression (which is kind of like bipolar disorder without the mania) and some kind of anxiety disorder which has never been clearly diagnosed. Martial Arts training definitely helps with my depression. My school is a place where I can go and leave my troubles at the door.
Training, however, is not enough, at least for me. I take medications for bipolar disorder and anxiety. Unfortunately, I know from personal experience that going off of these medications will lead me into my usual downward spiral, so I will be on them for a while. Medication is probably not for everyone. I figure that it works well for me because heredity plays a part in mental illness, and pretty much everybody on my mother's side of the family had/has clinical depression, nervous breakdowns, bi-polar disorder, or an anxiety disorder.
I also see a therapist once a week. While my medications quite literaly keep me alive, they aren't a cure-all. Therapy is a great way to get into a healthier frame of mind.
One last thing. If you are on prescription medication for a mental illness, consult with your doctor before you take any herbal remedies. Some herbs that are supposed to help with mental illness actually counter-act the effectiveness of prescription drugs.
Have a nice day :)
 
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Ceicei

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Off topic: How did this thread end up on the "latest threads?"

If a person votes on the poll without leaving a post, then this thread will show up on the latest threads.

I find the poll intriguing. It makes me wonder though, if the percentage (of those who voted versus those who view the thread) is really that low for having depression, or if the associated stigma is so strong that some would rather not acknowledge experiencing depression? I think depression is more common than it seems.

- Ceicei
 

Sukerkin

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Depression and related mental disorders is indeed very common. It afflicts about a third of the population at some time or other and at varying degrees of severity.

I'm not too bad at present but a few years ago I was way down in the black gulf of manic depression. It took a long time to regain some semblance of normality. I have no doubt that if I'd been practising iai back then things would've improved much sooner.
 

Tez3

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Actually I'm pleased this has come back and I've re read my post. A few months ago I changed my doctor ( to a female one) and she ordered blood tests which... guess what... proved I have a very under active thryroid! She put me on thyroxine, 100mg a day and I've been bouncing well almost ever since. It's not just the medication, it's having someone actually listen to you and not dismiss your worries. I'm sure I was depressed though the cause was the illness and the lack of treatment for it.
Interestingly in the time between my going to the new doctor the first time and me getting the results my old doctor was saked from the practice! It was very sudden and the reasons given were 'administrative errors' by him. However word got around he was gone and people started like me telling how he treated them. One lady with a lump in her breast was told by him well what do you expect you smoke! I was told that the weight I gained was to be expected at my age and of course I was slow i was old.
The only thing I'm struggling with is trying to lose the weight I gained, I'm finding it hard and that gets me down a lot.
 

newGuy12

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Depression is a potentially life-threatening condition. It's often the result of an organic chemical imbalance in the brain. That sort of thing is best treated by a professional, and nobody should feel guilty or less of him/herself for getting that help.

Thanks, tellner. Remember this: Depression kills people! It is not to be taken lightly! It can kill someone just as dead cold as an attacker in an alley. I have seen it happen!

I would encourage anyone that thinks they might be suffering from depression to seek out a medical doctor, as much as I would someone who had a broken bone!


Robert
 

JBrainard

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Tez3, while this is slightly off topic, I have to say that it is not that surprising that you had a crappy doctor and you are lucky that you found a good one. My wife has a failing thyroid and premature ovarian decline and it took us two years to find a doctor who could/would deal with her problems. Again, I'm glad you found a good doctor.
To bring this back to the topic at hand, I good phsyciatrist and/or therapist is hard to find. I have a very good therapist but I went through a lot of phsyciatrists to find a good one.
For anyone who is looking for a phsyciatrist, try to find one that doesn't want to pigion-hole you into some catagory. Instead find one that will listen to you and try medications based on your symptoms. I took antidepressants for years and they didn't do a damn thing for me. Now that I'm on bipolar medication, my wife says that it's like night and day.
Crazy... (pun intended)
 

tellner

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Tez, a little belated but congratulations on finding the right doctor! It can make all the difference in the world.

And JBrainard, sorry ot to get back to you. Great that they finally found the right way to tune your biochemistry.

Me? I'm about a year old. That's when I finally found a PhD/PNP who actually listened and said "Your friends are right. You're classic ADD. Let's try this."
 

Live True

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Originally Posted by tellner
Depression is a potentially life-threatening condition. It's often the result of an organic chemical imbalance in the brain. That sort of thing is best treated by a professional, and nobody should feel guilty or less of him/herself for getting that help.
Posted by NewGuy12:
I would encourage anyone that thinks they might be suffering from depression to seek out a medical doctor, as much as I would someone who had a broken bone!

I know this thread is a bit old, but I voted and that will apparently put it on the new thread search, so I thought I'd add my .02.

Several years ago, my husband went through some significant depression related to being diminished and then finally downsized from his job of almost 20 years. That's a significant blow to the ego and heart! When he began to deal with his feelings through alternating rage and depression, I demanded counseling...for both of us. It was the best thing we could have done! As stated earlier, good counseling and/or therapy provides an impartial third party that supports you as you work through various issues and also can validate that you aren't going crazy...things really were that ****ed up.


But to add to what Robert said, our therapist made a very good point:
Very few people think twice about going for a phyiscal check up as commen sense. What's so different about going for a mental check up ocassionally?

Does this mean I support therapy for everyone?...uh...NO....but if you are dealing with depression of any kind, it is imperative to get some professional help, whether you do anything else or not.
 

Yari

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It really depends on what "kind" of depression you have. In Denmark there is a work group working on depression, were they calculate with three degrees of depression: 1) Mild, 2) Minor 3) Critical, were cirtial is life threatning either to your self or others (children) or both. Usally you are handled by the socail authoryties (sp?) if your in category three, until you can decide for yourself on how to handle your self. MEdication is not an option here. you get medication, undtil your set free.

For the two other options psycotherapy and maybe medication (anti depression) is recommended. The combinaiton of the to have shown a greater length between times for the depression being crippeling, also it gives the depresee (dont know if it's called that) tools to handling the depression. the sucess rate of handling the catorogy 1 and 2 like this has been over all sucesful, by the means of not as many tht fall into category 3, and also being able to get back into society.

Alle thres categories are recommended to do physical excerise. The harder the better. But it is usally onlu cat. 1 & 2 that are able to do it, since you have to be able to do it, to do it.

Just my input here.

/yari
 

MarkBarlow

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Going to the Dojo regularly is the only thing that has kept me relatively sane. I know that the training is beneficial but it's also the fellowship and opportunity to focus on something besides whatever problem I'm dealing with at the moment. The Dojo is my sanctuary, my church, my 12 Step Program and my physical/psychological therapy.
 

IcemanSK

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I have suffered from clinical depression in the past & have trained, saught professional help & medication for it. All 3 helped a great deal.
 

TheOriginalName

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I am a martial artist of 9 months now and i have depression.

I have had depression for approximatly 5 years but have only been diagnosed for 2.

I have treated it with a combination of anti-depressents and councilling.

The biggest stigma that depression faces in the english speaking world is that we use the same word for the feeling as for the physical disease.
Let me clarify for those who are not aware of the difference.

Our brains contain a large number of chemicals. When you "feel" an emotion the physical reality is that your brain is stimulated, a chemical reaction occus and you experience the emotion. The "feel good" chemical is called serotonin.
People who have depression usually have a lack of this chemical in their brains. This basically means that they are incapable of feeling good. The side effect of the lack of serotonin is that the brain "re-wires" itself so that it becomes "normal" for their to be a limited supply of serotonin.

The way modern anti-depressents work is that they increase the amount of serotonin level in the brain. Basically they restore "nomality" so that the brain can rewire itself. The modern drugs are non-addictive and do not involve a high and nor do they alter the mental state.

I personally believe the councilling is also an important treatement for depression. Your brain becomes acoustomed to not having the correct chemical balance and rewires itself. To assist the drugs in correcting this the sufferer needs to concously change the way they think. This might sound strange but i'm fairly sure other sufferers will agree with me.

Another great strategy for combatting depression is activity. When we exercise we produce serotonin. That's why you feel awesome after a hard workout at the dojo or the gym. You have increased serotonin levels in your brain so the "feel good" chemical reactions can occur more often.

So the best way to "cure" depression - speak to your doctor and get on an anti-depressent, make an appointment to speak to a councellor and get active.

This is a terrible disease and one that is usually suffered silently because of the stigma associated with mental illness.

If you think you may have depression or a friend may be suffering from this the best thing you can do is talk about it. You'll find heap of information at Beyond Blue (www.beyondblue.org.au).

Fortunately for me i have beaten this disease and am in the process of coming off my drugs. My martial arts training has assisted me with this a lot. Martial arts gets you thinking positive and gets you active.
 

Doc_Jude

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Myself, I use training, Yoga, and meditation (at least an hour a day, usually more if I can help it.)
Shoulder/Headstands, Pranayama, all that good stuff. Also, I rub my own feet. I know it sounds weird, but it's really great. I can't let anyone else do it, I jump through the wall when anyone else touches my feet.

Though, after a tough day, nothing beats coming home, going out to the garage, and beating on the metal & heavy bags for awhile...
Creative Visualization + Unadulterated Violence + Inanimate Object = BLISS!!!
 

bluekey88

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I have recurrent clinical depression. As a day to day treatment I look to keep busy (mentally and physiclly). So, I do martial arts, i excercise, i read a lot, play with my kids. generally try to ward off and push through those icjy periods of "not wanting to do it."

When my mood really starts to tank I may turn to Wellbutrin. If thigs really get painful I have a good therapist I can turn to.

All of these things have been very useful and effective. The best thing is I really have gotten to knwo how my modds cycles (what times of year and types of situations are likely to bring on a bout of depression) and i can be more proactive in minimizing the length and intesity of depressive episodes so as not to be so sidelined by them.

Peace,
Erik
 

TheOriginalName

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I just wanted to post a quick update.

I've managed to beat this disease and am now completely off my anti-depressents. So far i'm holding up well - i'm feeling like a complete person now, i have ups and downs - i have good days and bad days.....in other words, i think i've beaten it.

So if your suffering from this disease there is hope - i think i'm proof of that!!
 

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