My relationship with exercise and depression

One of the things that depressed people are (nearly) always told to try and do to combat their depresson is “Do some exercise!”. This sounds wonderful advice. Leaving aside the obvious problems such as when you are depressed, getting out of bed is an achievement, I have have another issue:

Exercise depresses me

I don’t seem to get the same endorphin thing that many other people get out of exercise. I do not feel “better” when I have done exercise. I feel cruddy, I feel tired, and I feel depressed. It lowers my mood; it makes me worse.

Of course, there are the obvious health benefits of being fitter, and so I have to play it careful. I can only do exercise when I am in a stable mental state, otherwise it will send me off from a “low” to a “depression”. I have to harbour my physical state against my mental state. This makes it all the harder to try and manage my condition.

Many people have difficulty understanding this, and the reason I am writing it down, is so I do not have to keep repeating it.

  • If I am feeling down, please don’t suggest exercise to make me feel better.
  • If I look OK, and you suggest a physical activity, and I decline because I am feeling fragile, please understand that I am protecting my mental health.
  • I do understand that I am overweight, and unfit, but I am trying to control these as best as I can.