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This is a discussion on Advice for Beginners within the Suicide Prevention forums, part of the Resources category; After having depression for 6 years (I'm 24) and struggling against suicidal thoughts, I've found that working out, in combination ...

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Old 04-22-15, 02:07 AM   #1
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After having depression for 6 years (I'm 24) and struggling against suicidal thoughts, I've found that working out, in combination with the right meds, gives me the fighting chance I was looking for to finally see a way of beating depression. Here's some things I learned along the way that will hopefully help someone in their own battle with depression:

1. If you feel truly lost and don't have hope, you need to get on the right medications or combination of meds. It doesn't have to be perfect, just enough to get you through your day. To have the willpower to even start working out, you need to have a stable mood, and only meds and meditation (just thinking through things) can do this (in my experience).

2. Get proper sleep. I take Trazadone (highly recommend) to help with this, as I've found Ambien and others don't really do anything other than mess with my vision.

3. Once 1 and 2 are at a satisfactory level (perfection isn't going to happen), you'll have a good chance of following through with working out.

4. Prevention and routine is the name of the game. At first, establishing a workout routine is going to be very hard, but it gets much easier after the first week or two. The internet has a ton of resources for beginners and they're easy to find so you can plan your own routine.

5. If you're like me and are very reward-incentivized, give yourself rewards for successfully completing workouts. You'll actually feel better about indulging in whatever you enjoy doing if you construct that as a reward for working out. I.e., I love gaming and extra sleep, so I reward myself in that way.

6. Get a pet or volunteer at a humane society. Pets don't offer the same kind of acceptance that people do, but that's usually a good thing.

Really, success in working out is more about creating the environment in which to succeed rather than having a gratuitous amount of willpower.

Other thoughts:

What helped me initiate actually doing the reps and workout itself was my realization that people around me are pretty much full of shit and have enough problems of their own that I can't really expect them to constructively help other people, much less myself.

It's painful to think that people who should care about you aren't really that interested in helping you, but that's just reality. I asked for help many times, but in the end, it was a failed suicide attempt that taught me that the only person who can and wants to help me is, well, myself.

Not that anyone should pity me, and I don't want them to, I just hope some of these thoughts, while pretty basic, allow people to find a way out of depression without having to get to rock-bottom.
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Old 04-23-15, 08:47 AM   #2
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regit, this is an incredible routine that you've established, and I'm so glad that you found something that helps you. When you've already lost hope, it can be ridiculously draining to put in the effort to do even the things that you know will help you. I'm the same age as you and I've also struggled with depression for years. I really needed to see this advice laid out in such a neat and succinct way this morning, so thank you a lot for that.

That being said, I would really, really, really urge you to try restoring your faith in human beings a bit. People have problems of their own-- that much is definitely true. Everyone gets wrapped up in their own lives and issues. It's impossible not to. And I also think it can be extremely difficult for some people, especially those that haven't grappled with depression or suicidal thoughts before, to understand what it feels like to be in that state of mind. Those people won't come across as very helpful or supportive sometimes, even if they mean the best. And some may come across as very negative. You don't need the negative ones in your life, and you should cut those people out.

But to think that every single person is full of shit is simply not true. There are and there will continue to be people who care about you, really and truly. Don't give up and don't sever the relationships and friendships you have. Or, if you don't feel like you have any good relationships, make the effort to meet people and form new ones, just like you've made the effort to follow this exercise and medicine routine. Coming from someone who tends towards becoming a hermit and distrusting everyone when she's feeling low-- I can promise you that being with people is actually one of the most helpful courses of action, if you find the right ones. We are social creatures and we need each other. Build your own strength, keep following the routines you've already built up, but don't tell yourself that it's because people are all full of shit. Tell yourself it's because you know that getting better and being strong is a choice you can only make for yourself, and you want to be strong enough to be able to share yourself with those people who will love and care for you and who you will care for, people you will love having in your life.
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Old 04-23-15, 06:21 PM   #3
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regit: Congratulations on finding something that worked for you. I wish you continued success.

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Other thoughts:

What helped me initiate actually doing the reps and workout itself was my realization that people around me are pretty much full of shit and have enough problems of their own that I can't really expect them to constructively help other people, much less myself.

It's painful to think that people who should care about you aren't really that interested in helping you, but that's just reality. I asked for help many times, but in the end, it was a failed suicide attempt that taught me that the only person who can and wants to help me is, well, myself.

Not that anyone should pity me, and I don't want them to, I just hope some of these thoughts, while pretty basic, allow people to find a way out of depression without having to get to rock-bottom.
I would like to second CrystalVisions vision of you restoring your faith.
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Old 04-23-15, 06:39 PM   #4
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Those people won't come across as very helpful or supportive sometimes, even if they mean the best. And some may come across as very negative. You don't need the negative ones in your life, and you should cut those people out.
I am fond of the saying: All relationships take energy; invest wisely.

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Originally Posted by CrystalVisions View Post
But to think that every single person is full of shit is simply not true. There are and there will continue to be people who care about you, really and truly. Don't give up and don't sever the relationships and friendships you have. Or, if you don't feel like you have any good relationships, make the effort to meet people and form new ones, just like you've made the effort to follow this exercise and medicine routine. Coming from someone who tends towards becoming a hermit and distrusting everyone when she's feeling low-- I can promise you that being with people is actually one of the most helpful courses of action, if you find the right ones.
I couldn't agree more. I would just add, don't settle.

My wife was in bed with the flu two days ago. Her horse just had surgery though and needed to be exercised, his wound cleaned, etc. It's about an hour and a half work. He's boarded just over an hour away. I am disabled to the point that my wife has to brush my hair in the morning because I don't have the strength.

"You stay here in bed, baby. I've got this," I told her before giving her a kiss and heading for the door. "

"Take my cell phone and call me when you get there," she called after me. I took the phone and promised I would. As I drove, my neck muscles spasmed hard and it brought on a migraine. When I called her, she could hear it in my voice. We're not newlyweds, been together thirty years...can't disguise our voices any more. :) Anyway, told her I loved her and I'd be home in a couple of hours. An hour later, just as I was wrapping up, she showed up with my prescription for the migraines.

"I was on my way home, baby! I'd have been there in an hour." I gently admonished my bedraggled, sick wife. She replied

"You'll never suffer an extra second as long as I draw breathe and can help."

Those are the relationships worth having.
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