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situational depression

Bipolar Disorder and Exercise

Does Exercise Help with Bipolar Disorder?

Everyone knows that exercise is good for your health.  It is a no-brainer, and it is repeated so often that you have probably gotten tired of it.  I know I should do some physical activity. It is good for my heart, my bones… blah, blah, blah.

Bipolar DepressionOn the other hand, aside from needing to exercise because I am getting old and tired – the idea, that exercise might be good for my Bipolar Disorder, might just motivate me to do it.
Nothing else has.

A research study conducted in 2012 showed that exercise may have positive benefits for people with Bipolar Disorder.  I should have thought of that – but I didn’t (probably because I am bipolar and tend to ignore obvious things that might help me).

When asked – I have given advice to those who have depression (major depressive disorder, clinical depression, situational depression – or even bipolar depression).  What I tell those people is in addition to taking their meds, they should get up.  Get out of bed, get outside, and get some exercise – even if it is just around the kitchen.  Exercise increases the blood supply to your brain and helps to rise your energy levels – even if you don’t want to, it will do you some good.

Bipolar Disorder ShadowI give that advice to people when they are depressed, but I am not usually depressed.  My disorder tends toward mania or at least a mixed mood state.  So I don’t think about the need to increase my energy level.

Evidence has shown that exercise has some positive effects for people with Bipolar Disorder – even those that are not depressed.  In addition to the obvious health benefits, it can help to regulate your mood levels and “bring structure to chaos”.

As “bipolar“, we are often subject to disorderDisordered mind, disordered days, disordered environment.  One of the biggest tools for a bipolar patient to get and keep their body and mind regulated is the establishment of a schedule.

Go to bed at bedtime (and not at 2 am when you fall asleep in front of the TV). Get up in the morning, go to work on time, eat on a schedule – and take your meds when you should.
Establishing a routine does, in fact, help to keep from extreme ups and downs.

Exercise can be a big part of this – and physically reinforce a schedule on your body – that then affects your brain.  Just like getting up at the same time and going to sleep at the same time helps to establish a normal circadian rhythmexercise can reinforce that in a big way.

There are other benefits to exercise as well.  Physical activity naturally increases blood flow to the brain, which gives it the best chance of functioning at optimum level. It also helps to “clear out the cobwebs” that can be especially important if you are teetering on the edge.
Bipolar ExerciseExercise can increase your self-esteem that may have taken many blows in the past.  It can also increase social activity – that is apparently good for you, even if you don’t like people.  I don’t.

In my opinion, the biggest benefit may be “getting in touch” with your body.  When you exercise, you are more likely to stay within yourself.  One of the greatest problems in people with any mental disorder, and one of the reasons why people abuse drugs or perform any other risky behavior is the inability to be comfortable within your skin.  If you are exercising, you don’t really have a choice; you have to stay there.  Over time, you feel better about yourself, you feel more comfortable there, and you learn what is and isn’t “normal” within your body.

Perhaps this can lead you to better response when something is going amiss – when you may be slipping into disorder.

I tend to disregard the advice given by those who are not bipolar experts… either those with Bipolar Disorder or those who know the disease intimately, but this advice looks pretty solid to me.

Exercise and take your medicines!

Melissa Lind

Bipolar Disorder and Exercise as text to speech article

(Mental health video for blind and partially sighted people)

When is Depression Treatment Necessary?

We may wonder when depression treatment is needed

Depression and LonelinessThere is a variety of forms for depression treatment, and they can be used in a wide range of circumstances. All of us, from time to time, have periods where we are “low” emotionally. In some cases, these “blue periods” may be sufficiently intense to make us wonder whether or not we should avail ourselves to medical interventions.

There is no clear answer to the query. All of us have unique emotional compositions, and depression strikes different people in different ways. However, there are a few solid indicators we can reference in order to determine if our sense of sadness is a normal part of our healthy emotional range or an incident of depression warranting medical advice.

The first consideration is the severity of primary symptoms. If one is feeling a bit glum, that is a far cry from experiencing the sense of utter hopelessness often associated with cases of clinical depression. A mild twinge of the “blues” is significantly different in severity to having lost one`s zest for life and the ability to appreciate previously enjoyed activities. If symptoms are out of the ordinary, depression treatment may be required. Stated in clear terms: bad moods are normal. Depression is not.

Another factor to evaluate is the presence of additional symptoms. Rarely does depression only influence one`s moods. Those suffer from a diagnosable case of this mental illness, usually experiencing other symptoms. If feeling down is accompanied by changes in appetite or sleeping habits, a heightened sense of anxiety, or other commonly experienced depression symptoms, depression treatment may be justified.

One can easily search for a list of the many possible symptoms associated with depressive disorders online. If you are trying to fix your health or that of another, such information will not serve as a replacement for a professional opinion, but can provide you with valuable background information.

Finally, we should consider not only at symptoms and their severity, but also at their longevity. Many people will experience intense periods of situational depression that tend to dissipate over the course of a few weeks. Life`s challenges can be difficult, and shameful feelings in response to them are perfectly normal. However, if those feelings don`t begin to wane in a few weeks, one may want to consider depression treatment options.

The decision to seek professional help can be difficult. If you have any doubt in whether or not you or someone you know is experiencing actual depression, as opposed to a simple “bad mood,” you should act by caution and explore the possibility of treatment before simply assuming the situation will pass “on its own.”

Deciding whether or not seek medical guidance should be informed but must be cautious. Depression is an extremely serious medical disorder and should not be taken lightly. If any warning signs occur, it is perfectly reasonable to make an appointment to investigate depression treatment.

Clinical Depression vs. Situational Depression

Clinical depression is a serious health problem that warrants immediate professional intervention.

Depression is one of the world’s most frequently encountered maladies, and recent United Nations World Health Organization research indicates that the problem will continue to increase and will soon be the second most dangerous global medical problem, following only heart disease.

Not allbipolar banner depression is the same, however. A passing sense of sadness is normal for all of us. Depression exists when normal emotions are experienced without sufficient motivation, or if that sadness remain after it should have passed. Clinical depression is the most severe form of the problem. Others suffer from situational depression or chronic low-grade depression (dysthymia). All incidences of depression deserve careful attention, but those experiencing clinical depression should seek treatment immediately from a qualified physician.

Situational depression is fetched from some specific event in life, and normally it will dissipate within a few weeks. Although it may share many of the same features of clinical depression such as agitation, nervousness, changes in appetite or sleeping habits, it is not as severe or long-lasting.

One may be experiencing clinical depression when their “down mood” lasts for over two weeks. Those suffering from the illness are virtually unable to enjoy any part of their life. Suicidal ideation and a sense of complete hopelessness are common.

Clinical instances of depression do not necessarily require any specific trigger. However, events in a person’s life can precipitate the onset of the condition. This indicates that episodes of depression which can seemingly be easily linked to a specific happening, should not be automatically presumed to be situational in nature.

Whereas, situational depression may disappear as the sufferer finds ways to cope with the problem`s triggers. Clinically depressed individuals require professional assistance to deal with the condition. Frequently, antidepressant medications and/or therapeutic solutions are prescribed for the treatment of clinical depression. Those who fail to seek out help for their depression may experience an escalation in the severity of symptoms. This will certainly undermine one`s quality of life, and that can even be fatal.

All forms of depression adversely impact the quality of life for sufferers and should be taken seriously. However, clinical episodes of depression are of such tremendous potential severity that one must take action to stave off a worsening of the situation.

If you or someone you know is experiencing common symptoms associated with depression and has been in that rut for more than a few weeks, medical intervention should be immediately sought. The age-old stigma regarding mental illness in our society should not be an excuse to avoid seeking treatment. Not only are those biases beginning to disappear as the extent of the depression epidemic becomes more widely known, the stakes are simply too high to justify such behavior.

The condition can be successfully treated. Thousands of people recover from illness and go on to live happy, well-adjusted lives, after dealing with clinical depression.

This might be a helpful resource for someone: When Going Through Hell… Don’t Stop! A Survivor’s Guide to Overcoming Anxiety and Clinical Depression

clinical depression

Description:

In this groundbreaking book, self-help author Douglas Bloch shares his struggle with and ultimate recovery from a life-threatening depressive illness. Although the managed care mental health system failed to provide him with adequate treatment, Mr. Bloch devised a daily survival plan for living in hell which he adopted until the power of spirit, acting through a group of committed, loving people, brought about his recovery.

In addition to his compelling story, Mr. Bloch outlines a fourteen point brain maintenance program holistic approach to the treatment of anxiety and depression that includes: diet; nutrition; exercise; stress-reduction; medication; vitamin, mineral and herbal supplements; and the importance of creating strong bonds of social support (social isolation is both a cause and consequence of depression).

The book also includes a comprehensive 130 page self-help section on treating depression, including a 10 page listing of Internet sites for on-line healing assistance.

Moreover, the narrative is complemented by paintings from history’s great artists that visually depict the various states of mind that the author experienced. In receiving words and images that stimulate both sides of the brain, the reader is given a complete picture of the journey from depression to recovery.