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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 09-25-09, 04:46 PM   #1
cyclefreaksix
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Depression...

Not the economic kind either. Anybody here have problems with it? I've suffered to some degree or another from clinical depression for years. Recently, it's as if the medication that I take just stopped working and I fell into a deep, bottomless pit.

I'm a little better now. I'm fortunate in that I asked for help and got it and the new medication seems to be making a difference in my mood and outlook. My riding has suffered terribly though and my weight has gone up as a result. Well lack of riding and the desire to eat non-stop...

I'm back on the bike, but boy has my strength and endurance been sapped! Frustrating because I was becoming quite strong from commuting on my Fixed Gear.

I did just purchase a "real" road bike in the hope of logging more miles and taking off some of this weight and improving my overall health.

Not looking for sympathy, just wondering if anyone else here has battled with depression. How do you deal with it/what do you do??
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Old 09-25-09, 04:49 PM   #2
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Well, I have chronic depression, and frankly, the endorphins generated by the exercise while I'm cycling does wonders to combat it, as does the sense of accomplishment. We're designed to be active to survive, and this modern world just isn't good for that, all too often.
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Old 09-25-09, 04:57 PM   #3
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Well, I have chronic depression, and frankly, the endorphins generated by the exercise while I'm cycling does wonders to combat it, as does the sense of accomplishment. We're designed to be active to survive, and this modern world just isn't good for that, all too often.
You're right and I agree with you, in that activity is key in overcoming depression. Fresh air, endorphins, sunshine, etc. But I couldn't even get out of bed, much less get on the bike.

I'm working on it though Tom. Thanks for your comment.
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Old 09-25-09, 04:58 PM   #4
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My wife struggled for years with depression until she started talking fish oil. I kid you not. The studies have said that it is very effective. Of course, living in the tropics means she never has to deal with not enough sunlight and we have a very active, full filling life.

Since having salmon fish oil is good for other things as well, you might give it a try.
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Old 09-25-09, 05:00 PM   #5
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It may sound funny but talking about bikes helps too. Any sort of interaction, socialization to get you outside of your own head.
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Old 09-25-09, 05:46 PM   #6
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My wife struggled for years with depression until she started talking fish oil. I kid you not. The studies have said that it is very effective. Of course, living in the tropics means she never has to deal with not enough sunlight and we have a very active, full filling life.

Since having salmon fish oil is good for other things as well, you might give it a try.
I take fish oil currently and have for several years. I think living in Costa Rica would help me out considerably, though. Is it as beautiful there as I think it is?? And secondly, could you put me up for a couple of months? You know, just till I'm feelin' better, and well tanned...

Thanks for your suggestion and your comment!
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Old 09-25-09, 05:48 PM   #7
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It may sound funny but talking about bikes helps too. Any sort of interaction, socialization to get you outside of your own head.
Another great point! I think I'm feelin' better already. Seriously, this place has helped out more than you know. I just need to spend less time on here, and more on da bike
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Old 09-25-09, 06:03 PM   #8
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Another great point! I think I'm feelin' better already. Seriously, this place has helped out more than you know. I just need to spend less time on here, and more on da bike
Yeah, sometimes it helps just knowing that you are not alone and some people understand where your coming from. Believe me I have faught depression throughout my entire adult life.
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Old 09-25-09, 06:14 PM   #9
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Yeah, sometimes it helps just knowing that you are not alone and some people understand where your coming from. Believe me I have faught depression throughout my entire adult life.
Indeed. Even to be able to socialize with people on a similar level of interest helps too. I know for me places like this help when it comes to my bike rides, because everyone around me usually is not involved with cycling and look upon the distances I've done lately (or even in the last year) with a lot of derision. It should go without saying that would eliminate having any support in terms of talking about bike rides, tips, and so forth.
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Old 09-25-09, 06:28 PM   #10
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Cyclefreaksix,

What a coincidence. Just this last few days I have been way down. I've even wondered if my medication is working.

I haven't ridden all week because of the rain. I guess the combination of no riding and no sun is triggering this. If something doesn't turn around by next week I'll be calling the doc.

Best regards,

Mike

PS To illustrate my level of depression, I just receive my new Al/carbon frame and I don't seem to have the desire to start hanging wheels and components on it.
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Old 09-25-09, 06:38 PM   #11
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I take fish oil currently and have for several years. I think living in Costa Rica would help me out considerably, though. Is it as beautiful there as I think it is?? And secondly, could you put me up for a couple of months? You know, just till I'm feelin' better, and well tanned...

Thanks for your suggestion and your comment!
Costa Rica is very beautiful but you would be surprised. I do believe statistically more than half the people who move here, move back. We really love it here, but it isn't for everyone for sure.

Sorry, no room in the inn currently.
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Old 09-25-09, 06:56 PM   #12
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I've done a bit of research into anti-depressants, and believe finding the right one can be difficult. I tried a couple before I found the currently effective med. Also, some of the meds are more prone to allowing tolerance to build than others. As far as I can tell, checking effectiveness yearly, by chatting with doctor and/or therapist, is the best method for me to make sure I'm staying within "normal" limits.

I agree riding, and exercise in general, is a large part of keeping ourselves moving forward. I also agree with "old and new", and find getting outside myself a bit allows me to refocus on forward progress rather than sitting around.
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Old 09-25-09, 07:01 PM   #13
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Thank you, everyone, for your kind words and your encouragement. I'll get through this as I have in the past. In fact, I'm gonna ride the new road bike into work tomorrow!!
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Old 09-25-09, 07:05 PM   #14
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Cyclefreaksix,

What a coincidence. Just this last few days I have been way down. I've even wondered if my medication is working.

I haven't ridden all week because of the rain. I guess the combination of no riding and no sun is triggering this. If something doesn't turn around by next week I'll be calling the doc.

Best regards,

Mike

PS To illustrate my level of depression, I just receive my new Al/carbon frame and I don't seem to have the desire to start hanging wheels and components on it.
Hey Mike,

The weather certainly seems to play a part in my depression. Although sometimes I think that it's just the last little bit that pushes me over. I hope you do contact your doc if things don't get better. Hang in there friend, the rain does eventually go away.

Why don't you do something small on that frame. Nothing too involved, just something.
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Old 09-25-09, 08:02 PM   #15
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I too struggle with depression (hope it is not caused by bikes) and find that riding helps. Last year, was the first time I kept a riding log. It was really helpful in getting me out on the bike, even if only for a few miles, on days that my mood (or the colder weather for that matter) were drawing me to stay on the couch.

Always remember, that on the bad days, those days end and a better one is around the corner. Maybe not the next corner, but somewhere up on the trail.
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Old 09-25-09, 11:11 PM   #16
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Whether I have a good ride or a bad ride, I find that cycling helps. It takes me away from my usual surroundings and forces me to focus on the moment. If the ride is going well and I am feeling strong then I get such an enormous sense of joy, no doubt enhanced by endorhpins. If the ride is not going so well and I am whipped, I find that the struggle to get home also keeps me in the moment, focused on the task at hand. Either way, when I get home, I really feel like I accomplished something.
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Old 09-26-09, 01:09 AM   #17
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I go through bouts of depression, to be sure. It's interesting...when I was a kid, I'd just run when I felt down. I think before we are "adulterated"... we have a keen sense of what is needed - for both body and mind.

Exercise definitely helps me... but I still do get really stuck...have periods where my head knows if I just get up and move, I'll feel better, but my body remains inert.

Avoiding fats and especially sugar, definitely helps me as well. And yet once I get into a sugar "cycle", it feels sometimes as though only sugar will get me going again - vicous cycle.

When my depression manifests as anxiety... meditation really helps me; if I'm not in a place conducive to doing so... or don't have the time... I try to at least notice my breathing, and try to slow it down.

I have jokingly referred to myself as "manic-depressive" among my friends - but one who is not depressed enough to be clinical, and not manic enough to get stuff done! But lightness aside... the characteristics of my personality very much follow this pattern. And I'm recently noticing that I am almost fearful of feeling too much joy, and thus starts the eating again. ..something to look at.

Finally,...support I've been fortunate enough to be able to share my struggles with loved ones ...and for me this really invites intimacy and lessens the burden.

Good luck to you, and thanks for all the collective support on this thread.
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Old 09-26-09, 02:27 AM   #18
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First of all, hang in there.
Second of all you let yourself get out of shape a bit and now you have to do some of that hard work again.

I can't honestly say I have ever had depression although once upon a time I was a 300 + lb. guy who didn't have the chutzpah to get up off the couch and do anything more strenuous than make a snack. A lot of snacks.

I suppose through the magic of hindsight I was depressed. Bump on a log, trying to eat myself to some satisfaction. I never saw the doc for it and even these days sometimes I'll catch myself just sitting for a long time....too long, accomplishing nothing. And then I get up and do a couple yoga stretches or some push ups, if I'm not feeling too frisky or do something a little more strenuous like full blown exercise or cut the yard or something. After sitting for a while something clicks and I say to myself "this is wrong, gotta get up".

At the very worst I might grab a book but I always make sure it's a non fiction or historical book so I can at least delude myself into thinking I'm learning something.

Keep your communication paths open....friend, spouse, kid, whatever or as someone suggested earlier, hang out here and talk bikes.

This too shall pass.
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Old 09-26-09, 03:49 AM   #19
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Not looking for sympathy, just wondering if anyone else here has battled with depression. How do you deal with it/what do you do??
I went to a therapist, find someone you have a good vibe with and it can really help.
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Old 09-26-09, 08:11 AM   #20
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Depending on your age, you may want to ask your doctor for a referral - preferably Endo. Then get your blood test done for full Testosterone panel. This is a very expensive test, so only do this if your insurance will pay for it. You'll be surprised how many people have stopped taking Anti-Depressant (not saying this will) but you want to turn every stone to find the cause, not just hide it with pills.
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Old 09-26-09, 08:16 AM   #21
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First of all, hang in there.
Second of all you let yourself get out of shape a bit and now you have to do some of that hard work again.

I can't honestly say I have ever had depression although once upon a time I was a 300 + lb. guy who didn't have the chutzpah to get up off the couch and do anything more strenuous than make a snack. A lot of snacks.

I suppose through the magic of hindsight I was depressed. Bump on a log, trying to eat myself to some satisfaction. I never saw the doc for it and even these days sometimes I'll catch myself just sitting for a long time....too long, accomplishing nothing. And then I get up and do a couple yoga stretches or some push ups, if I'm not feeling too frisky or do something a little more strenuous like full blown exercise or cut the yard or something. After sitting for a while something clicks and I say to myself "this is wrong, gotta get up".

At the very worst I might grab a book but I always make sure it's a non fiction or historical book so I can at least delude myself into thinking I'm learning something.

Keep your communication paths open....friend, spouse, kid, whatever or as someone suggested earlier, hang out here and talk bikes.

This too shall pass.
There's no hindsight with depression - you either do or don't. When you have it - either you or someone else will know you are going thought something. Its not getting off the couch so I must of been type. Most people hide their depression well, but it shows in everything they do - there's always a cause, mostly physical, but some are truly mental. Better to get everything tested to make sure. No need to live with all that weight on the shoulder (no pun intended).
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Old 09-26-09, 09:13 AM   #22
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There have been a number of posts on the forums these days and I am wondering if a number of people are suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder.

My wife is Bipolar and after 26 years of marriage, I am well versed in all things depression related. The effectiveness of drugs changes as brain chemicals do and some drugs become totally ineffective while others require a mere change in dosing, even seasonally.

Work with your MD or Phyc Dr. on this and learn the various meds and how they affect you. If you are new to this, you will soon learn that you will be the best at managing your condition and at times will have to guide your MD and push him/her in the right direction.

Try everything non rx related as well including exercise, therapy, light therapy etc. Good health to all who suffer with these disorders.
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Old 09-26-09, 09:28 AM   #23
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I take fish oil currently and have for several years. I think living in Costa Rica would help me out considerably, though. Is it as beautiful there as I think it is?? And secondly, could you put me up for a couple of months? You know, just till I'm feelin' better, and well tanned...

Thanks for your suggestion and your comment!
Fish Oil thoughts....
Purity... make sure it's not the cheap stuff.... or you'll ingest lots of contaminants.... get pharmaceutical or ultra-purified.

For thoughts on fish oil dosage from a proponent, consider reading some articles from Dr Sears.... His book "The OmegaRX Zone" goes into detail.

Many of the CrossFit population also follow Dr. Sears philosophy on diet and fish oil usage.

Personally, I use a brand of fish oil from Kirkland that fits the bill, available at Costco.

Last edited by wb416; 09-26-09 at 09:42 AM. Reason: clarified
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Old 09-26-09, 09:38 AM   #24
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Another great point! I think I'm feelin' better already. Seriously, this place has helped out more than you know. I just need to spend less time on here, and more on da bike
My job leaves me with large blocks of time working by myself. To counter that isolation, I have to "chronically" exercise... cycling, CrossFit, Olympiclifting, whatever will get me off the couch and get the endorphs moving. People tell me I'm always working out and don't understand my compulsion to do so... but it's the negative consequences mentally of NOT doing it that pushes me.... don't even care if I get in better shape or not... I just need for exercise or social interaction to take me to a "happy place"... lol
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Old 09-26-09, 10:08 AM   #25
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I get seasonal depression. XMas time is a drag for me. I love all the family stuff but for some reason I always feel down in the dumps at that time of year, and I don't mind winter. I get over it with no help from anything. REst of the time I'm just a happy go lucky guy. I even make an attempt every year to not let the hoiday stresses get to me but it just creeps up and bam!
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