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Keith E Gottschalk says
Let’s start with staring at the wall for an hour and work up to nervous pacing. How do you explain to people what having every fiber of your being fighting against you feels like?
Lol, yeah, I’ve had plenty of exercise wearing a path in my carpet.
As both depressed and Fat (not related) this really hits the right tone. The lack of energy/will/motivations is really a big problem and its nice for it not to be portrayed as laziness.
Shawn McFadden (SirPantero) says
I’m right there with you, Rosie.
Raven Bakura Cullen says
Sorry. To busy being filled with self loathing and dark thoughts for your exorcise. Come back later.
NEVER tell someone they’re not trying. Just don’t. Nah, never no.
Not going to help at all, only make things worse, possibly confirm, what the person already thought about themselves and make them suicidal. Then don,t go running back to them wanting to be friends again. -_-
I have anxiety disorder, not depression but I had downers and i can relate to this…a lot.
“You know people can reduce the symptoms of depression by excersising.”
Well fuck you I have other things to worry about then freaking excersize.
Sorry for the comment. It was rather vulgar.
Dana Wolfe says
I have neuropathy in my feet. On the worst days its the only thing that can even start to motivate me. Sure its bad now? How bad would it be without feet?
Honestly? That is what I would recommend too (although not necessarily in that manner).
In my case exercise does me wonders. I’ve been training martial arts (kung fu) for 5 years now and it helped me a lot in dealing with my depression. Sure, it’s not a cure and it takes a helluva lot of effort just to start, and even more when I see how easily it comes to others, but once I soak wet my shirt with sweat, I feel enormous satisfaction. After these years my body even started to actually demand that I practice.
Of course I’m aware that this may only apply to my particular case, but I think it’s worth a try.
Wrll exercise only did me well in my case, but the best way i can think of that someone can motivate oneself to start exercise, is if they say “try this, try that and i’ll help you step by step” beeing patient and understanding to the sick person really helps. When you are depressed you take everything more litterally, so its easy to make you very happy, but also very sad as well..
Dr Stewart Edrich says
A comic says 1,000 words
Laura P. Schulman, MD, MA says
Karen Ang says
Simone actually said that to me last week as I was struggling just to move thanks to both depression and sciatica. It’s not a matter of not trying, and if except use works for you, great. But to say “You JUST need to excercise” is so trivializing a presumptuous it makes me want to scream.
Thanks for these comics. I’m amazed at how many– this one included- of these perfectly capture thoughts and experiences I have struggled with. And I admire how you include the perspectives of others who are interact with the depressed characters.
About sixth months ago I was in week-long outpatient treatment program for an episode of major depression that was all group therapy, and I found so much solace in knowing I was not alone. After I finished the program, however, I was surprised and very dismayed to discover that there were barely any therapy groups for depressives in my city and all of its suburbs. The handful that existed all had long waiting lists which I did not bother to join. I wish I had come across your site back then. (Fortunately, I got better despite not finding a group. I’m not put of the hole yet, but I’m close.)
i am enticed to chime in on this one. after 5 years, disability benefits, over 20 different meds and two rounds of ECT, i finally gained my life back from depression, and exercise ended up being fundamental.
the first psychiatrist i ever saw, well over a decade ago when i was first dealing with the very first intimations of depression and anxiety heralded exercise and diet as the best way to gain an upper hand… turned out to be the most sagacious advice ever. its a huge regret of mine that i waited until all other extreme measures failed. of course everybody is different and depression is a highly idiosyncratic thing. and then when i do fall back into the brain fog and blackness, ability to expend physical energy is the first thing to go. so this comic rings true. right click:save as:so apropos.
It may be rude to ask but what was your experience like with ECT? My therapist keeps suggesting it but I’m too scared.
My dad is a health nut and he does this ALL THE TIME. He only texts me if they’re articles about how exercise “cures” depression. He has a neurological condition called dystonia and he won’t realize that just like nothing will cure him of that, nothing will cure me of depression. I sent him this comic (along with the comments on tumblr). Thank you so much for doing these Clay.
This is a great comic. Although there is a decent amount of scientific evidence that exercise can reduce depressive symptoms, most of those studies were in participants who had mild or moderate depression. There is very little evidence supporting or refuting exercise as a treatment (augment or stand alone) in those with severe depression. There is a HUGE gap in literature pertaining to barriers to initiating and maintaining exercise in those with depression. Even if we hypothesize that exercise is an effective addition to treatment for severe depression, we still have to understand how to start the exercise. So what we have is this: “EXERCISE! It’s GREAT!” Re: “How to start exercise if getting out of bed is considered an accomplishment?” Re:Re: “mmm beats me.”
Sophie Hughes (@flamegurl2113) says
164 http://t.co/d9i6IzjZRl via @depressioncomix
http://t.co/bJY4MxmVYw via @depressioncomix
Sometimes the bear says
Funny – I was exercising, meditating, traveling, doing creative work, in a good relationship, eating a healthy diet, seeing people socially – and had a depression relapse anyway, which in turn made most of this effort impossible. Not saying these things aren’t good or helpful in ordinary circumstances, just that they’re not “cures” for depression.
There’s a lot of not-very-good research out there which conflates things people start doing again in recovery from depression with things that cause recovery.