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Forums / Depression / Depression and the timing of motivation

Topic: Depression and the timing of motivation

19 posts, 0 answered
  1. white knight
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    2 April 2016

    Speaking from experience, if your depression has an obvious cycle to you, timing of your motivation could be in vain. It could be counter-productive when you don't reach your basic goals of fitness. Ever done some jogging when depressed and fallen into an emotional heap?

    Often we read in these pages sufferers that try everything known to man in motivating themselves while in a mental down time. But isn’t this a similar concept to that old and common saying “just snap out of it”? We cant just do that, we know that, then why would we try the same in a physical sense?

    Accepting our illness is essential as the thread talks about (google) “Topic: Acceptance- is this our biggest challenge- beyondblue” and motivation is another step we need to gather an inner strength, as part of our good management. How do we do this.?

    Recent studies suggest that that annoying depressive cycle when it arrives is best left to run its course however long that might take. So fighting it is a waste of time. Going for a walk might well help but not intense exercise thinking you'll break that cycle. Considering this revelation, motivation strategies are best placed on hold.

    My wife and I go to the gym 3 times a week for over 45 minutes of intense training. I was 131kg 9 months ago and unfit with a poor diet. We’d arrive and hop on the treadmill for minimum 20 minutes. This time period I was told allows the heart to get fit. Any less time and it’s a waste of effort as the blood pressure drops then rises again before 20 minutes, thus its good cardio training. Then weights for the rest of the time. However, several times I’ve arrived to get on the treadmill and only lasted 2-3 minutes. My mind was depressed maybe stressed…it has to be clear and content to do that machine. I think this is a reflection of what I’m talking about.

    When we attend the gym and I’m not depressed at all, I accelerate my training, stay for over an hour and really put in. Furthermore I’m capable of lowering my food intake and eat healthier foods. I've lost 9kg. Based on this, it could be advisable to commit yourself more to your motivation regime when not depressed. Whatever you choose in terms of exercise, it is well known that physical exercise, like adequate sleep and relaxation is essential to the well being of the sufferer of the black dog.

    Cant motivate yourself? Relax, do some muscle tensioning exercises and don't worry. Wait for that cycle to go by then run like the wind…

    Tony WK

    9 people found this helpful
  2. Starwolf
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    2 April 2016 in reply to white knight

    Thanks Tony for yet another wise and helpful post.

    You are quite right, timing is an essential element of success. Attempting anything in adverse conditions, if we're not ready and don't have the necessary resources- only adds a feeling of failure and hopelessness to the load of already existing stress. The last thing we need. It's like trying to win a card game when we've been dealt a lousy hand !

    Timely withdrawal has nothing to do with giving up. It means regrouping the exhausted troops and gathering renewed strength. A brave and wise alternative to pointless defeat.

    5 people found this helpful
  3. topsy_
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    2 April 2016 in reply to Starwolf

    Thanks for that Tony. When I'm really down I bash myself up for not doing anything. I know I can't but I tend to internalise everyone else's expectations. I need to remember what you have said. And give myself permission to wait until I recover to do the things that need doing.

    Thank you very much, Lyn.

    4 people found this helpful
  4. white knight
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    2 April 2016 in reply to topsy_

    Hi Starwolf, thankyou. Nice to get such feedback.

    Yellownanna, guilt can be such a negative impact on our lives. Try not to be so hard on yourself. A lot of my theories come from experience but I must say I decided a long time ago to ditch my emotional rationale for logic.

    It just isn't logical to have high expectations of yourself when unwell.

    Be kind to yourself. Google "Topic: the best praise you'll ever get-beyondblue"

    Regards Tony WK

    2 people found this helpful
  5. Ruby 2
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    6 April 2016 in reply to white knight
    Hi White Knight . I am new to this but have been exploring this community and have felt better by realizing that I am not alone in this and the advice and support you all give each other is fabulous so to you and all the 'others 'I want to express my thanks and gratitude . I find it helpful just reading posts and hope to contribute more once I get a handle on my situation . Thanks
    1 person found this helpful
  6. white knight
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    6 April 2016 in reply to Ruby 2

    Hi Ruby2

    Wow, that is a wonderful reply. I know I can talk for all the Community Champions here, members and staff that spend time helping others purely with their own experiences and wisdom, that its really nice receiving replies like yours.

    In this world of mental illness we have GP's, Psychologists, psychiatrists, therapists, counsellors, other members here and friends all of which we can gather n to help us along. I'd suggest that this forum with posts answered from those that have "been there done that" is almost as valuable as professional help. This forum is open 24 hours a day 7 days a week with replies often only minutes away, far better than weeks away for an appointment in the city.

    Cheers Tony WK

    3 people found this helpful
  7. Elizabeth CP
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    6 April 2016 in reply to Starwolf

    Tony, You have made some really good points & your example o the gym illustrated it well. I also agree totally with Starwolf. Her point about the negative impact of trying to do things when you are not ready is very true. The last thing I need is failure to confirm all my negative feelings.

    My question is how do you know when it is right to push through to do something which is difficult & when is it wrong. For me there is a fine line between the 2. Sometimes pushing myself when I feel unmotivated helps to kickstart things. Success leads to increased motivation which may not have come if I just waited till I felt like it. Other times pushing myself leads to further exhaustion & prolongs the negative cycle.

    2 people found this helpful
  8. white knight
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    6 April 2016 in reply to Elizabeth CP

    Hi Elizabeth

    I suppose its purely subjective, depends on the person so often, very often we give account of our own situation that wont apply to you for example. And that theory, waiting for the cycle of depression to end so you can then kickstart your activities was reports about 1-2 years ago in the media.

    My wife for example has depression and sleeping during the day is my sign of her being in a low cycle. I leave her be. This might go on for 2 weeks then she might feel tired in the arvo but not sleep...another sign that she is recovering and so forth.

    I'd imagine your home life would have much effect on you and your own cycle, all sorts of factors, responsibility as in your case with hubby might mean you have to kick start your motivation without much choice.

    I'm clutching at straws though Elizabeth. I cant suggest anything else.

    Tony WK

    2 people found this helpful
  9. Elizabeth CP
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    6 April 2016 in reply to white knight
    Thank you Tony your answer helped put things into perspective for me. If I was just managing depression your method of waiting for the upwards cycle to do things would make sense nut in my case all the other life stresses complicate the situation
    4 people found this helpful
  10. demonblaster
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    9 December 2017 in reply to white knight

    Good thead & thx Tony

    bbl (be back later

  11. demonblaster
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    16 December 2017 in reply to demonblaster
    Hey Tony only got a couple of minutes

    "get on the treadmill and only lasted 2-3 minutes. My mind was depressed maybe stressed…it has to be clear and content to do that machine."

    I think for sure depression takes our motivation away as well as sleep seems mostly to be affected with depression so tiredness as well.

    Reading your original post (op) so does research say or do you know does depression have it's good moments too. I've asked here a bit and others & generally it seems it does lift at times.

    It's those times when we're stronger are the better times to work on getting a mindset like you're saying very difficult during depressive episodes

    Hi all btw
  12. white knight
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    17 December 2017 in reply to demonblaster

    Hi db

    I dont read research. Mmostly ideas are based on my own experiences.

    In this case many times I've tried to motivate myself while depressed especially when I had my ex partner claim I was being negative. Once left without the harassment and recovering slowly, the time came when I could implement my positive frame of mind.

    Hence the post.

    I found it was chalk and cheese in the periods whereby trying to motivate yourself is wasted energy under heavy depression

    Tony WK

    4 people found this helpful
  13. demonblaster
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    12 April 2018 in reply to white knight
    Hey WK I'm trying to read this again but literally can't see through the tears so I'll have another go and saw our amazing SW post read it but same t.y
  14. Ggrand
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    12 April 2018 in reply to demonblaster

    Hello Tony, I'm here at your suggestion and will read tomorrow, I know I've read before but will do again..

    Thank you Tony for your unwavering kindness and thoughtfulness.

    kind thoughts,

    Karen..

  15. white knight
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    12 April 2018 in reply to Ggrand

    Hi deebi and grandy

    Our minds are complex yet its hard to see the reasons for how we are. Triggers, bad hair day, anniversaries, loneliness, even little things like a windy day. Our mind has cycles and yet we are unaware of them.

    So this leads to a problem. If one night you are going to EXPECT the next day to go to work at the op shop, then you wake up in the morning and tears fall and walking out that foor isnt possible. You dont realise your mind, for whatever reason, is in a certain state.

    The secret is to

    • Trick your mind by temporarily doing something like turn the radio music on and have a cuppa.
    • Go do 15 minutes of gardening
    • Wash the car

    You could change your mindset in a short time and make it to work. Allow an extra 20 minutes each morning for this event.

    I once planned vegie gardening for the next day. In the morning I wasnt well. I approached the garden and burst into tears. An hour later I remembered having a nightmare overnight that involved that vegie garden.

    Observing how our mind ticks isnt an easy task but we can help the process by realizing and accepting that our failings and difficult times has a reason often unknown to us. We arent JUST" hopeless. We arent always debilitated. When crap happens the cycle of motivation might be as short as 10 minutes, or while in deep depression, a month.

    Its pointless driving a var on an empty take of fuel...

    Tony WK

    4 people found this helpful
  16. demonblaster
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    12 April 2018 in reply to white knight
    good on you thanks Tony I'm so glad you did that cause I want to re read but ...

    I'll try that and you're right it does swap and change
  17. Ggrand
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    12 April 2018 in reply to white knight

    Hello Tony,

    I think I can see how that would work, it's another form of distraction, I often toss and turn and not get hardly any sleep thinking about having to go out the following day..

    This Morning I had to go out..remembering your words previously to me about Drs appointments etc: and a must to attend..

    Before I left this morning I had to fill the bird baths I have in my yard, and refresh my dogs automatic water drum..that's something that distracted me before I had to leave...I didn't realise I was doing what you suggested in your previous post.

    Your words are always wise Tony..

    Wishing you peace Tony 🕊.

    Karen.

    2 people found this helpful
  18. white knight
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    12 April 2018 in reply to Ggrand

    Hi Karen

    I should imagine we are then "conning" our brain, tricking it to do as we want, not allowing one section to dominate our emotions.

    I should have been a psych but I didn't have a spare couch...lol

    Tony WK

    2 people found this helpful
  19. PamelaR
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    12 April 2018 in reply to white knight
    LOL
    1 person found this helpful

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