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dancesintherain

Bipolar depression better if you stay moving?

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My therapist today asked how I was doing and I replied that I'm using the bodies in motion stay in motion principle.

what I meant (and I think she got) was that in general I do better if I stay busy.  However, that also seems somewhat fake because when I don't have things to do, I end up in tears fairly frequently and often without a reason that's clearly identifiable.

is this all part of a depression?  I usually picture myself as too lethargic to do anything, but now it's like doing things if I can kick my ass into doing it becomes its own temporary cure.  But then I stop and think or feel and I think like crap and feel like crap.

if you've gone this way before, is there a way to turn it into a healthy/good thing?

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Behavioral activation really works for me. If I'm busy one day, I'm more likely to be less depressed the next. I tried this out with CBT therapist. Even just walking downstairs to the shop and buying a water helped. 

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I find keeping busy impacts my depression too. It's a challenging catch-22... depression makes it hard to get myself moving and doing stuff, but doing stuff often helps me be less overwhelmed by the depression. 

No suggestions/ideas, just wanted to let you know you're not alone. 

Edited by Geek
clarify/reword

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Hmm, kind of agree/disagree, to a point. Yes, activities can give you a boost, but I also periodically have problems crashing after a busy day. I guess it really depends on what stage you're in on the depression scale.

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4 hours ago, Rabbit37 said:

Hmm, kind of agree/disagree, to a point. Yes, activities can give you a boost, but I also periodically have problems crashing after a busy day. I guess it really depends on what stage you're in on the depression scale.

^^Me too.  If I have a busy day and am truly exhausted, I can't do much but sleep. 

(^^ see in bold)

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36 minutes ago, melissaw72 said:

^^Me too.  If I have a busy day and am truly exhausted, I can't do much but sleep. 

(^^ see in bold)

Me as well. I slept all weekend. I had a Dr appt out of town that scared me and did me in

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I definitely had a post busy-ness crash yesterday. 

I've found that sometimes the staying busy piece is less coping and more dodging my emotions and thoughts--and then when I'm laying down to sleep or resting because I did so much, that's when my brain will come to attack me. 

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I heard somewhere that "action precedes motivation" and it's definitely true for me that if I try and keep moving (though not necessarily doing the things I "need" to do - just small things like walking) I feel better. If I make myself do good/healthy stuff before I feel like doing it, eventually I will actually feel like doing it. As long as I don't push it too much, I don't get a crash afterwards. 

I agree, dancesintherain.... A lot of my movement when I'm depressed is avoidance, so yeah, as soon as I stop moving the unhelpful thoughts come back. So either I need to move enough that I'll fall asleep quickly and not notice the thoughts, or find a creative way to move and deal with the thoughts at the same time. For me, that's recently been painting big pictures where I can move around as I'm doing it, but it's also emotionally therapeutic. 

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I like the painting.  I'll do some guided meditations at bedtime a fair bit of the time.  I probably should have tried one of my 10-20 minute yoga videos to see if that helped.  I think boredom also doesn't do well for my thoughts.

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When I'm really depressed, I can barely go to work, buy and prepare food, etc. when my pdoc told me to get active and I'd feel better, it was like telling me to flap my wings and fly or something. If I could do things, I would, that was the whole problem. No, somehow forcing myself to do things was not usually possible, and didn't make me feel better. That was very much the nature of my depression. I felt like a swan trying to swim through a thick mud, not going anywhere. I guess there are different forms of depression, I wish I could have been more active, or that it had helped. 

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I hear you sugarsugar.  When I'm at my absolutely lowest...really deep depression...I can't manage to do anything other than the absolute basics and there are days those are questionable.  When at my lowest, getting up, showering, getting something food-wise into me, and getting out the door to hopefully make it through a day at work is a monumental task.  (And at my absolute worst, I can't manage the work part of things at all.)

I think I might have landed in the mild-ish depression category...I'm reading the Bipolar Disorder Survival Guide, and the author lists mild, moderate, and severe.  I think the DSM does also but I don't know their criteria or guidance.  His was that you can make it through life somewhat but still have symptoms.  I'm in a PHP right now, so my "making it through life" is very, very loosely defined.  I'm looking at work next week, but that's only two days out of the week for now.  But I currently do better if I stay doing things. 

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My feelings on this are mixed. No matter how ruthlessly depressed I am I continue doing all the daily things people are supposed to do-I get the groceries, walk the dogs, shower, etc.-but in a way it makes me feel truly insane. I can hear and feel the gibbering, slavering voice of the depression in my head, telling me I'm worthless, tainted, inhuman, even the voice that drags on me to kill myself...and I can't understand why I'm doing all the things I'm doing. I can't understand why I'm not facedown on the floor screaming. 

But doing it this way has kept me out of the hospital for a lot of years. 

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I have a tendency to crash following a busy day.  Sometimes when I'm extra anxious or feeling down, i have to evaluate each activity on whether it will make it better or send me down the rabbit hole. 

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I become really non-functional when I'm depressed. I isolate, ignore, and neglect everything and everyone. I mean, to a really severe degree. It's not good. My depressive episodes used to end of their own accord, but that stopped happening, and now I require medical intervention or the appearance of a manic episode to get me out of the funk.

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