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Old 03-28-14, 02:23 AM   #51
roadandmountain
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At 53 and having already had a heart attack, depression is getting to me. Even though I know getting old beats the alternative, it still depresses me. I got back into riding to get back in shape, but it seems it just shows me how I can't do what I used to rather than showing me what I can do at my age, if that makes sense. There must be some words of wisdom from the older generation here? How do you handle not being able to do what you used to be able to do? Did any of you go through this? Do you ever get over it?
If I may ask, are you eating healthy?

Also, are you getting back to being physically active, within your current constraints?

Do you have a social support network?

Do you enjoy your work?

Do you have a spiritual belief system?

Are you interested in self help literatures?

Are you willing to invest in or learn about cognitive behavioral therapy?
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Old 03-28-14, 06:32 AM   #52
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Here's my words of wisdom. Last, and first: I have to put this out there - pray, read Scripture, find a couple good Faith radio stations to listen to in the car that have more than feel-good music and messages. There is as much wisdom in the Bible as anywhere in the secular Psy book shelves.
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Old 03-28-14, 08:49 AM   #53
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I try and eat healthy.

LOL, this and FB is my social network.

No! After 30 something years in architecture it's a job and a good living but I cannot say I still enjoy it. But I am not sure I would like anything being in it that long. To much invested to change this late in life.

yes. I am a Christian.

I read a lot and a good bit of it is self help stuff.

not sure about the Therapy. I have never met a therapist that did not need therapy. No disrespect intended, just my personal experiences.
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Old 03-28-14, 08:50 AM   #54
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Very interesting and timely topic as a couple of touring cyclists are visiting our town right now on a tour to raise awareness about depression. Their RAD - Ride Above Depression tour is their effort to share their total wellness approach to handling depression.
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Old 03-28-14, 09:26 AM   #55
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All great advice here (above)!

Exercise and eat well go to bed at bedtime and get a full nights sleep. Make yourself look good... even if your not leaving the house (that's your physical side/needs).

Read a good book(s), have intellectual conversations, or even just watch the history channel. (that's your intellectual side/needs)

Go to church, read your bible, pray, meditate, be thankful. (This is your spiritual side/needs people are NOT two dimensional. Like it or not humans are spiritual beings. If your intellectual side tells you don't need to eat, sleep, or care for your spiritual side... then your intellectual side is screwing you)

Set aside the non-prescribed drugs! (Booze, pot, chocolate.... are all fine in moderation. Most people have long forgot what moderate might mean. All addicts suffer from depression.... because their addictions cause depression. Take a little time off from feeding your brains pleasure zones).

See your doctor! Depression isn't something to fool with. You don't need to live like this.
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Old 03-28-14, 09:31 AM   #56
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Buy a new bike!!
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Old 03-28-14, 10:45 AM   #57
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Buy a new bike!!
I don't know . . . when I look at the prices of new bikes, really, it's kind of depressing.

On the other hand, when I get to feeling depressed I go for a bike ride and the depression goes away and I feel fine again!

Rick / OCRR
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Old 03-28-14, 10:56 AM   #58
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Last, and first: I have to put this out there - pray, read Scripture, find a couple good Faith radio stations to listen to in the car that have more than feel-good music and messages. There is as much wisdom in the Bible as anywhere in the secular Psy book shelves.



So there is. Everything I've learned and struggled with for the last couple+ decades in a nutshell.
Your entire post was excellent but wanted to post the most dynamic portion of it. Help comes from above. He is the glory and the LIFTER OF MY HEAD. Amen.

Good stuff I'm reading here.
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Old 03-28-14, 11:16 AM   #59
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Seriously considering this but....I have 4 now that between them can do most anything. I guess I could use a full suspension mountain bike...lol
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Old 03-28-14, 11:36 AM   #60
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I have two friends who have been taking zoloft and xanax for years (I mean 20 years+) ... he still suffers from OCD and depression and she still suffers from depression so I don't see why they continue to take medication. I've counseled both to instead get therapy and work through problems/issues. With any medication, excluding life sustaining drugs, it should be used for short periods of time; to get over a acute issue in order to deal then with a chronic problem.
The episode that led me into medication involved a series of life events happening in short order in 2003/04. Loss of a job over whistle blowing that saw me and the other whistle blowers getting screwed, and the crooks laughing all the way to the bank, The death in quick succession of a brother to cancer, and a good friend in an auto accident, followed by a move to rural Nevada to "Sort things out" (i.e. stew in my juices).

I was put on lexapro, which worked well, then that insurance ran out and I went to the VA and was put on Welbtrin, which made me sicker. Finally put on Zoloft about the time I was reconnecting with an old friend who is now my companion and life partner. That last thing, and the fact that she got me to leave Pahrump NV, did more good than all of those meds. I started riding the bike more too. I've been off meds. since about 2005.
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Old 03-28-14, 07:21 PM   #61
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Depression

I urge everyone to compliment someone every day. A coworker, friend, store clerk, anyone.
It works for me. Sounds goofy, but giving a compliment to someone makes them feel better about themselves. In turn you feel better by making them feel better. Its changed my life. Try it. It lifts your spirit.
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Old 03-29-14, 01:00 AM   #62
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I'm really struggling with some of what I'm reading here. There is growing evidence that both talk therapy and medication/drug therapy are effective. However, it is likely different for each person. Some will respond well to talk therapy and others will not. Same thing with medications. And some folks respond best to a combination of the two. It troubles me to hear folks tell others to avoid drug therapy. If talk therapy has worked for you, I'm glad you found something that was effective. If talk therapy works for others fine, but what if it doesn't? There is no singular root cause of depression and it would be foolish to treat each individual as if there were. It also seems that the first attempt at treatment fails about 40% of the time, regardless of what that treatment is. Medication or Talk Therapy? PET Scans May Personalize Depression Treatment | Psych Central News

So, to the OP, if it doesn't improve soon, seek help. And if when you seek help you don't get results. Try again. Or as Mark Gold would say, "Try another way."
In many cases, having a doctor well-versed in a subject's entire history is necessary in order to find treatment that works. I am a big believer in discovering the root cause of things, as opposed to masking things with drugs automatically. Dealing with the immediate issue with meds (if necessary), but, diving into the real cause of depression is vital if someone is ever to be "cured" --so to speak.
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Old 03-29-14, 02:36 AM   #63
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Have you ever heard of the Esselstyn Diet? It actually reverses heart disease. Really. It is not a fad - has been around since Dean Ornish Days, more than 30 years. Several good studies, including the HUGE "China Study" (by Colin Campbell). The reason few people are on it is because it eliminates most of the things we like to eat. NO animal products and very little fat. Even olive oil and soy products are not allowed. Yuck. But it DOES work. Bill Clinton credits it with saving his life. My doctor (age 72) has been on it for almost 2 years. He's fitter than ever and off all his blood pressure and cholesterol meds. Check it out.

The place to begin learning about it is a video called "Forks Over Knives." Amazon sells it and you can stream it via Netflix. If you watch it and are still interested, buy and read Esselstyn's book, "Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease." (Under $10 on Amazon, paperback or Kindle versions)

Good luck!
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Old 03-29-14, 05:11 AM   #64
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You do not want to become a meds zombie
Exactly! If you think you're depressed now just wait until you're addicted to the pharmaceutical industry's insidious drug peddling. I know two people who've been addicted to prescription "meds" for decades (one is on Proz*c and the other is on Vicod*n). Both are totally messed up and almost completely dependent on others for their livelihoods. And to top it off, these people are absolute hell to be around. Sure, some people can manage their prescription drug use, but many can not. Ok; Rant over.

Anyway, I myself realized in my early 50s that I just can't do what I used to do. For decades I was a very regular on and off-road motorcyclist, bicyclist, and long distance hiker. But then age caught up with me in the form of Plantar Fasciitis and re-occurring knee problems. Fortunately, neither of these issues kept me from working (I did however change my career from that of a mechanic to an I.T. tech).

Now days I stick to more or less level terrain when I ride my bicycles or engage in short distance hiking (I don't ride motorcycles much anymore).

The good thing is that you're way ahead of the game due to the fact that you understand what you're facing. You're also willing and able to talk about it. Seriously, it took me about 5 years to "accept" my age related physical limits and another 2 to get to point that I could talk about them.

We bid you well Piratebike!
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Old 03-29-14, 04:24 PM   #65
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In many cases, having a doctor well-versed in a subject's entire history is necessary in order to find treatment that works. I am a big believer in discovering the root cause of things, as opposed to masking things with drugs automatically. Dealing with the immediate issue with meds (if necessary), but, diving into the real cause of depression is vital if someone is ever to be "cured" --so to speak.
I hear you. The thing is I personally knew four, no five people who committed suicide, because of depression; all of them were in counseling or talk therapy. Sometimes getting to the "root cause" turns out to be finding a chemical imbalance in the brain for which there is yet no known cause. What we don't know about the causes of depression is considerable. If you've got time, check the following: Depression?s Chemical Imbalance Explained | Psych Central News

Until we know a great deal more, I think it irresponsible to suggest that using medications mask root causes. It may for some, but who here is qualified to make that distinction? And, even if they do, it occurs to me that some "root causes" may be so deeply rooted that it would be years before they could be uncovered and dealt with.
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Old 03-29-14, 10:11 PM   #66
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I hear you. The thing is I personally knew four, no five people who committed suicide, because of depression; all of them were in counseling or talk therapy. Sometimes getting to the "root cause" turns out to be finding a chemical imbalance in the brain for which there is yet no known cause. What we don't know about the causes of depression is considerable. If you've got time, check the following: Depression?s Chemical Imbalance Explained | Psych Central News

Until we know a great deal more, I think it irresponsible to suggest that using medications mask root causes. It may for some, but who here is qualified to make that distinction? And, even if they do, it occurs to me that some "root causes" may be so deeply rooted that it would be years before they could be uncovered and dealt with.
Hear hear.

These types of threads make me want to join Stapfam and Denvfox.
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Old 03-29-14, 10:27 PM   #67
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That last thing, and the fact that she got me to leave Pahrump NV, did more good than all of those meds. I started riding the bike more too. I've been off meds. since about 2005.
Glad that you're in a better space. Taken in isolation (and I guess that's a pun), Pahrump seems like a great place for bike riding.
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Old 03-30-14, 01:37 AM   #68
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Hear hear.

These types of threads make me want to join Stapfam and Denvfox.
But I'm still here...

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Old 03-30-14, 06:48 AM   #69
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I'm 69 and get depressed that I can't do some of the things on the bike that I could do when I was a kid (late 50s). Then (a few minutes later) I get over it after I realize that I'm in better shape than most of my non-cycling friends who are my age or even 10-15 years younger.
Just get on the bike and your worries will just evaporate. As some of the folks on here say, smiles not miles.

Now go have some pie.
Very good points here. I know my wife and I depress our friends who don't ride or exercise much just by telling them all of our accomplishments. Hang in there. Stay busy. Tell the people you care about that you love them.
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Old 03-30-14, 08:01 AM   #70
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Cashews Are A Natural Anti-Depressant
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Old 03-31-14, 09:00 AM   #71
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In many cases, having a doctor well-versed in a subject's entire history is necessary in order to find treatment that works. I am a big believer in discovering the root cause of things, as opposed to masking things with drugs automatically. Dealing with the immediate issue with meds (if necessary), but, diving into the real cause of depression is vital if someone is ever to be "cured" --so to speak.
Agreed. I want to make it clear - I am not saying avoid medication - it clearly has its place and purpose. Medication should be taken along with therapy and doctor supervision. And yes everyone reacts differently. Some people respond well to therapy (thankfully I did) and some, many who have deep rooted issues, avoid therapy or don't use it effectively because they fear the result. Both my brother and brotherinlaw, in a sense, committed suicide, by taking drugs (BIL overdosed and brother succumbed to cancer caused by a drug lifestyle) and refusing therapy... long story... anyway...

Since there is so much clinical depression in my family, including by me, I've studied on it. Clearly I am not a qualified therapist or doctor so this is just my observation, nothing else. Some depression is clearly caused by chemical imbalances and hopefully with proper testing, those imbalances can be addressed. Some depression is mental, in other words self-induced. I think this is hardest to treat. Looking at that root cause of this type of depression, I believe most people suffer a lack of gratitude... in other words, they are disappointed with the bad card hand dealt them... and instead of seeing how strong a person they can be in spite of that, they start to dwell on the "why me" of it all. I think more and more this is the reason for depression as I believe our kids have a sense of entitlement and less a sense of being grateful for what they have. For instance "my parents brought me this lame 2002 Ford Escape... I wanted a new Scion!!! I'm pissed!" (I actually hear a friend's kid say this). Instead of realizing many parents don't buy their kids cars at all, the kid should be grateful for what he got... instead he starts to pout and then starts to compare himself to what others have and he doesn't and the dive deep into depression begins.

Someone suggested complimenting someone every day... I also give thanks every day for at least one thing. I know it sounds very lame and "new agey" (or religious) but it works... for me. It makes me realize how good a life I really have; I truly do. I still find myself slipping into depression so I sit down with myself and have a heart to heart... "Pam do you really want to go there? Do you really want to isolate yourself from others? Do you really want to feel so bad for yourself... Is your life that bad?" Helps me snap out of it.
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Old 03-31-14, 02:03 PM   #72
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At 53 and having already had a heart attack, depression is getting to me. Even though I know getting old beats the alternative, it still depresses me. I got back into riding to get back in shape, ....How do you handle not being able to do what you used to be able to do? Did any of you go through this? Do you ever get over it?
You have to set reasonable goals and focus on what you can do rather than what you can't (or used to be able to). Once you getm passed the initial recovery phase, you should be able to open up the taps, and ride pretty much as well as any person in your age band, which puts you years ahead of those still not exercising.

I know someone that was given 6months to a year some 40 years ago. Since then he's made a bit of a hobby counting the doctors he's outlived.

Ride what ever you can, enjoy the riding, and ride more later.

BTW- even those of us in good health and condition can't do what we used to. I routinely come to hills where my brain says, "sprint it, you'll clear the top" and somewhere along the way my legs say not so. I know I can't ride the way I used to, but won't admit it to myself.
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Old 04-01-14, 04:31 PM   #73
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Improv Comedy worked for me! I had a younger friend and co-worker of 20 years whom I absolutely LOVED! He contracted a horrible form of cancer and fought like a champ for 5 years but lost just shy of his 40th birthday. I biked 9 miles round trip to work daily and found it really helped my mental state. Then one month before he passed, I pinched a disc that had bulged in my neck. At first I couldn't sit at a desk for more than a minute without blinding pain, and biking was out completely. After 6 months I could sit for an hour at a time, but life was miserable, having shown itself to be unfair in the most cruel and most horrific ways, and though I have a loving wife and family, I was depressed, like I didn't know I could be. I had put on 35 pounds, my clothes didn't fit, I was out of breath and out of shape, still in pain and discomfort and I missed biking. On a whim (although in my depressed state of mind, 'whim' seems like the wrong word), I answered an ad in the paper for an improv comedy workshop, hoping it would take my mind off things.
Improv saved my life! It's collaborative like sports, and you don't have to be clever. I learned to react to situations in a whole new way that minimized stress. It's a lot like Zen and Buddism, in the sense of learning to let go of pre-conceived notions and old emotional habits. I began to see obstacles as playful challenges. I'm not a theater person, I don't seek the approval of an audience. I don't care if I perform ever again as long as I can practice improv with a troupe. I'm 52 and I'm still 10 years younger than the oldest member of the troup. Playing scenes with others in their 40s, 30s and 20s makes me feel young mentally, and being as fit as the 30 year olds gives me a smug satisfaction. I don't know, but it worked for me. After six months I hit the treadmill and six months after that I returned to biking and felt as if I had fallen in love! It's been 3 years now and I've had other tragedies and depressing episodes in my life; and while I can feel sadness and despair, I seem to be able to handle them and change gears to experience and enjoy life's joys also.
Improv comedy...it worked for me.
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Old 04-01-14, 05:36 PM   #74
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Agreed. I want to make it clear - I am not saying avoid medication - it clearly has its place and purpose. Medication should be taken along with therapy and doctor supervision. And yes everyone reacts differently. Some people respond well to therapy (thankfully I did) and some, many who have deep rooted issues, avoid therapy or don't use it effectively because they fear the result. Both my brother and brotherinlaw, in a sense, committed suicide, by taking drugs (BIL overdosed and brother succumbed to cancer caused by a drug lifestyle) and refusing therapy... long story... anyway...

Since there is so much clinical depression in my family, including by me, I've studied on it. Clearly I am not a qualified therapist or doctor so this is just my observation, nothing else. Some depression is clearly caused by chemical imbalances and hopefully with proper testing, those imbalances can be addressed. Some depression is mental, in other words self-induced. I think this is hardest to treat. Looking at that root cause of this type of depression, I believe most people suffer a lack of gratitude... in other words, they are disappointed with the bad card hand dealt them... and instead of seeing how strong a person they can be in spite of that, they start to dwell on the "why me" of it all. I think more and more this is the reason for depression as I believe our kids have a sense of entitlement and less a sense of being grateful for what they have. For instance "my parents brought me this lame 2002 Ford Escape... I wanted a new Scion!!! I'm pissed!" (I actually hear a friend's kid say this). Instead of realizing many parents don't buy their kids cars at all, the kid should be grateful for what he got... instead he starts to pout and then starts to compare himself to what others have and he doesn't and the dive deep into depression begins.

Someone suggested complimenting someone every day... I also give thanks every day for at least one thing. I know it sounds very lame and "new agey" (or religious) but it works... for me. It makes me realize how good a life I really have; I truly do. I still find myself slipping into depression so I sit down with myself and have a heart to heart... "Pam do you really want to go there? Do you really want to isolate yourself from others? Do you really want to feel so bad for yourself... Is your life that bad?" Helps me snap out of it.
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Old 07-18-15, 12:35 PM   #75
Walter S
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I thought seriously about killing myself a few times. But I was chicken to do anything that might include intense prolonged pain. I could adjust to the idea of jumping off Ceasar's Head Mountain, which has a very high cliff. But darn it every time I set out to do that, I felt much better by the time I reached the top.

Exercise is key.
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