Wednesday, May 21, 2014


For all of the bad things that living with MS can bring, I truly believe that depression is worse. People don't want to believe that it is a disease.  And worse than that, is that no one really knows how to treat it.  It is cyclical--like my MS, it could be called relapsing-remitting.  So time is spent figuring out how to keep it together for going to work, managing everything at home, and just basically remaining functional,  all while fighting the urge to load some stuff in a backpack and disappearing.  I have absolutely no doubt that that is how some people end up homeless.

It has been shown that the effects of exercise and the effects of antidepressant drugs are about the same.  The side effects are greatly different.  Exercise: side effects include weight loss, production of vitamin D from being in the sunshine, the ability (sometimes) to better. Antidepressant drugs: side effects include weight gain, lethargy, possible suicidal thoughts (I swear it is on some of the labels).  By that, exercise is definitely better.  The hard part is making yourself get up, put on your shoes, and get moving. It is a whole lot easier to take a pill.  For me, that doesn't work.  Sometimes it even makes it worse.

Today a friend of mine did me a big favor.  My work out had already been short--but I had done something.  I was talking about the reasons I probably wasn't going to run today.  She listened, commiserated some, then gave me a friendly "challenge" and the kick in the butt I needed to go finish get my run.  It was still a short work out.  But, in the end, I feel better than I would have if I had just quit. 

That is an instance that totally explains depression.  It is very easy to get caught in reasons why it is there, why you can't do anything about it, and to be lost in the mental black hole.  Once you see it, you are obligated to do something about it, even if it is just that first step. It is hard. And some days all you can do is go from point A to point B and that is about all there is, no extra.  But, if you push through it, it will eventually pass.  But, damn, it is a tough road.

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