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Managing Moods & Life / Cycling Update

Monday, May 18, 2015

WATERMELLEN has written some interesting blogs about mood lately and here was one of my "chime-ins" she suggested I share, of course with a little cycling update afterward... :-)

Throughout my years of working with clients I've been pretty underwhelmed by their responses to SSRI's and most of the antidepressant medications. And why anyone would reach for anti-psychotic medication for depression is beyond me!

Now that's not to say I haven't known a few folks who DID experience significant relief via the SSRI route and have been VERY supportive of them...but far too few people have benefitted for me to be enthusiastic about that choice. I'm like "can't hurt to try" but instead I focus and put my energy into helping folks cover 6 areas of basic needs before delving deeper:

1) air (respiration, deep breathing, relaxation techniques, meditation),

2) water (quality and quantity of hydration),

3) physical activity (bodies are meant to MOVE!),

4) food choices (quality & quantity of food),

5) sleep hygiene (quality & quantity of sleep),

6) spirituality (quality of connection to a higher power).

And I'll tag on #7) connection to others (quality & quantity of meaningful connections with mutually caring people)

Most folks feel pretty grounded and ready to take on their lives if they've taken care of these basic needs.

Onto CYCLING! :-)

Pleasant weekend, Saturday our bike club got together to clean up our stretch of highway which we scrub up every spring and again in the fall...snagging & bagging all the trash and doing our part to beautify our neck o' the woods. We had a shorter 24 mile ride up to Whitney Point and on the return route I joined with a couple of speedier riders and we really whizzed on back! Since I don't bother with a speedometer I asked one of the other riders if they tracked our speed at all. Neither had. One said: I don't know I only know there were a lotta times I thought "Holy cow, slow DOWN!" :-)

Sunday was our "Never Too Early To Ride the Hills" Ride:


Not TOO challenging with the climbs, which were kindly piled on in the early stretch of riding...flattened out for the latter half. One other rider spoke my "woo-hoo" sentiment when he said: "I always get a kick out of breaking the speed limit on my bike!" referring to the wonderful downhill pay-offs from climbing when we blasted through some 45 mph zones. The ride leader spoke to us around the halfway point saying: "Ladies and Gentlemen, that concludes the hill-climbing portion of our ride." To which we responded with a variety of throat-clearings, smiles and eye-rolls...cuz we KNEW BETTER! :-) But he was right, the "worst" was over.

I'm thinking I might "treat" the club to this challenging ride in the future which essentially climbs Belden Hill TWICE, but has such AWESOME views at the top and incredible downhill thrills!


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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Good to read another of your cycling blogs, Don. Tis the season. Working the 7.
    1426 days ago
  • GABY1948
    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon I loved this blog! Can relate SO MUCH!
    1429 days ago
    Thanks for the blog. I'm sharing it with my husband. He often suffers from depression, worry, sleeplessness, and refuses to take medication because he tried it once and, as he puts it, "felt spacy." It did help him get through the worst of a nasty episode though. Then again, maybe he would have anyway? I don't know. We've found over the years that outdoor exercise and good nutrition are the biggest helps. Another is visualizing a computer keyboard, and when negative thoughts plague him, he "presses" the Delete button.

    That said, I also have a friend who despite a healthy lifestyle was severely depressed until she started Zoloft. She says it saved her life, and she will take it forever.

    Who can resist letting the brakes off going downhill when the wind rushes against your face! At least until the "what if I crashed now" thought enters your mind.

    1429 days ago
  • L*I*T*A*
    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1429 days ago
    I liked your goals, especially - spirituality (quality of connection to a higher power). Absolutely, we need to reconnect with where we came from... .Thanks for your recent comment on my sparkpage. I wasn't around much last weeks. You do awesome job, sticking with sparkpeople for 7 years.. Happy sparking!
    1430 days ago
    Thanks, I needed to be reminded of the power we have within to manage moods.
    The ride sounds glorious!
    1430 days ago
  • KANOE10
    I like those basic needs…well said. It sounds like a great ride with your group with lots of challenging hills.

    1430 days ago
    Interesting read--Thanks for sharing. Many years ago when I was experiencing anxiety/depression...along with insomnia and some digestive issues...my very wise doctor put me on a low dose of Nortriptylene. (I started at 50-100mg if I recall right; and over several months as my situation improved I decreased to 35mg) The counselor I went to see was quite surprised he wasn't prescribing one of the newer/"latest/greatest" ones. When I explained that my doctor was counting on the side-effects to help my sleep & diarrhea...she got this quizzical "ligthbulb" look: "oh my, I've never thought about using a med for the side-effects...." It was very effective for me; and its AMAZING how much better you can cope when you get a decent nights' sleep!! LOL I stayed on it for about a year, along with some group counseling, until my Life turned to a better chapter....
    1430 days ago

    Comment edited on: 5/18/2015 9:21:51 PM
    That sounds nice but I have major depression with psychotic features because I had a few instances when I was psychotic from the depression. Lack of sleeping caused it and I take klonopin every night to make sure I am well-rested and it doesn't happen again. SSRIs have worked for me and I have been taking Zoloft for years now. My psychiatrist now has me on prestiq which I cannot NOT take. I tried to not take it last summer and it was a huge disaster. I also am going to take abilify which I have taken in the past for the psychosis. I am currently taking risperidol but it is messing with my monthly cycle so I would like something that does not touch my cycles.
    1430 days ago
    You do have the hills out there... someday I should plan a trip out that way just to ride them! Hah! Nowhere in good enough shape at the moment... but I remember those hills!

    BTW... which body of water is in the background on your page?
    1430 days ago
    I like a guy who "walks the walk". Your clients have been lucky to get you.
    1430 days ago
  • _LINDA
    Makes so much sense to work on basic needs first before bringing in the drugs. Your clients are so lucky to have you.
    Slowly climbing one big hill and down or two big hills up and down. Yup, we know who lives in the fast and furious lane ;-) Awesome bike club doing clean up duty.
    Keep up the great work, and enjoy!!
    1431 days ago
    I agree with you about trying to meet those basic needs First. Sometimes theses alone can't overcome depression but often it will work miracles.
    1431 days ago
    Excellent prescription for treating depression! I think you have to have two prerequisites, though: common sense and self love, which are lacking in many of us.

    Sounds like you have a great biking club!
    1431 days ago
    I'm glad you posted your great comment in a separate blog -- nobody knows better than an expert, from both professional and personal experience.

    And I'm thinking your cycling covers all 7 of these categories very effectively!

    1431 days ago
    TOTALLY agree w/you on SSRI's. They have a place in treatment plans at times, but I sure would prefer to handle it addressing the 7 life areas you've outlined so nicely!

    HUGS and glad your ride was wonderful.
    1431 days ago
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