Face it: Battling Depression…well, Sucks!
As is evidenced by the number of advertisements for anti-depressants on television, a very large portion of Americans are, indeed, clinically, chronically depressed. Yes, I battle daily with depression—and I’m taking medication for it. And, no, I’m not suicidal. Most of the time, I find that I can ignore my depression until it passes, but other times, like this morning, I wake up and got the day going without any thoughts of being “bummed.
Why is TODAY any different?
This morning, I awoke just after 5 and lay in bed hoping to drift back to sleep until 5:29 when I decided to get up. I rose, went downstairs and got on the Wii Fit to see how much I weighed. We’ve all heard that exercise keeps us from being depressed so much that—at least in my case—we tend to block out the message until it’s just white noise. But this morning, something was a little different: I selected Yoga Training option on the Wii. Most of the time, I don’t like yoga—I’m far too fat and out of shape to be able to hold many poses until I “feel the burn,” so to speak. Plus, my balance is usually so poor that I have a difficult time standing on one leg for any amount of time to speak of. This is a result of my brain injury and having to relearn how to walk.
But today, I thought, “What the hell?” and picked a pose that I thought would be easy. The pose, “Chair,” looked fairly simple, with both feet on the floor, but after holding the pose for about 30-40 seconds, I could really feel the difference in my legs.
The large muscles in my legs were forcing the blood to be pumped around my body, into my heart and lungs, and even into my head! I felt more awake and alert than I often do after a full pot of coffee!
So am I feeling better than usual because I got the blood flowing without having to ingest large amounts of caffeine? Or did I get the blood flowing because I felt better? I think it’s the former—or at least that’s what I’m telling myself.
My point is this: Exercise is a great way to fend off feelings of depression and hopelessness. But that’s not newsworthy.