Riding to beat the black dog of depression?

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by B1, Apr 22, 2017.

  1. KTee

    KTee Been here awhile

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    I used to think only other riders understood this, but I heard a friend talk about surfing not too long ago -- would NEVER have guessed he struggled with anything like the black dog -- and it was almost exactly the same. Glad you got into riding, too, but it's nice to know that there is an even bigger community of people coping in healthy ways.
    #41
  2. FredBGG

    FredBGG Long timer

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    While I have had some rough times, I have been lucky and never really suffered from clinical depression. Sure I have been depressed, but as a reaction to something very clear and identifiable.

    There is interesting research around combined (and somewhat challenging) co-ordinated physical and mental activity as a tool to help release depression.
    It is not known what the exact mechanism is, but some think the large amount of subconscious activity involved in eye and muscle co-ordination some how helps other parts
    of the brain "process things" and while the brain is focused on multiple tasks one's thoughts don't "obsess" about problems.


    EMDR is an intersecting field. MAybe when we ride we are doing a bit or a lot of EMDR or something that works like it.
    http://www.emdr.com/what-is-emdr/
    #42
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  3. Junglejeff1

    Junglejeff1 Long timer

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    Your post is scary to me.I have had to rebuild my life so many times I have lost count because of the things you have printed here.Unfortunatly my family has some of the issues.The big thing that keeps me from stealing a airplane and taking out a water tower is my family I am lucky to have.My wife of 17 years understands I'm nuts and helps keep me sorta rite.Motorcycles are a huge part in helping us be happy.The exercise I get riding dirt bike stabilizes me alot as do slamming vitamins and smoking a little pot when I cannot sleep.My 16 year old son lost the fight in 05 and that put me out of commission for a year.But tomorrow is a good day as my 18 year old daughter, my step son and me get to go hit the track.Whatever it is I have sucks but will not let it win I hope.
    #43
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  4. alvincullumyork

    alvincullumyork Ol Two Flags Supporter

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    Thanks Barry. You posted this at the perfect time.

    I have struggled with loneliness for a long time. It's crippling and it leads to depression. I stop eating, I don't sleep, my stress and anxiety fly off the chart and I have no motivation to do anything.

    I just lost the girl who I thought was the one and I'm terrified of falling back into that hole. I'm lucky to be surrounded by amazing friends and a really strong family. Talking with them helps but nothing is better than hammering away on a trail on a bike.
    #44
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  5. B1

    B1 Carbon-based bipedal

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    that's a tough one alvin, i'm pretty cheery by nature but breakups have put me heavily into depression for up to 18 months. i would have given anything to just take a pill and wake up a year later when time had done its work.... if you are predisposed toward depression then yeah that would be terrifying! glad you've got friends and family around, i found that was the only pressure valve, just chewing their ears off constantly - they must have been so patient!
    #45
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  6. curtis6870

    curtis6870 Long timer

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    My daughter visits every other weekend Fri 4pm to Sun 4pm. Then I have 5 consecutive days of lonliness until I spend a week straight with my S.O. then another daughter weekend and it starts over.

    Sundays at 4pm, my girl leaves me and goes back to the Ex. It is the highlight of my depression, and conquered only by 2-wheels and fair weather. Followed by afternoon/evening rides all week, 100miles minimum. It keeps my head as straight as possible.

    Well a sore ribcage from a recent "off" prevented yesterday's ride, and subsequent...until healed.
    #46
  7. steve68steve

    steve68steve Long timer

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    Many years ago I ended a serious long-term relationship, for all the right reasons. I knew it was the best thing for both of us, and I was right.

    Regardless, I spent almost 2 years trying to figure out what to do with myself. I didn't just lose a relationship, I lost a network of friends, a second "family" of in-laws, a bunch of traditions, even my planned future. It was a terrible place to be. I suddenly had tons of free time and nothing and no one to fill it except self-doubt.

    ...

    When I was a kid complaining about being hurt, or hungry, or bored, or hot or cold, my grandmother would say glibly: "it's temporary."

    There've been times when I feel the darkness encroaching, and I know it's going to suck, and I'm going to be gripped by an overwhelming sense of pointlessness. As I feel myself slipping down the slope, I'll hear my grandmother's voice saying, "it's temporary."
    That has sustained me - having faith that it's just a trough, and not a cliff. If you find yourself in total darkness, force yourself to remember that light still exists - there's just none on you at the moment. There's nothing preventing it returning someday soon.
    #47
  8. Disco Stu

    Disco Stu Long timer

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    I'm on an anti-depression ride right now. Wife had to go up to PA for work then to Princeton to see some friends. I left yesterday so I could ride through my, wv, va. About 1,200 miles in two days, 150 on the interstate.

    I really needed to reset my head. Was sleeping in till 8:30 ( I work from home) and happy hour was starting @4:30. After a couple of hours on the road, I already started feeling better.
    #48
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  9. Jproaster

    Jproaster I work too much Supporter

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    Stumbled into a vid that speaks well to this issue.
    It's #3130 in the thread Favorite Youtube Clips within The perfect Line and Riding Myths section.
    #49
  10. vtgs

    vtgs GO BIG OR GO HOME

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    I see myself in so many of these posts. I struggle with depression and alcohol. I'm on welbutrin and have been for years. I also am a heavy drinker bordering on alcoholism. Even one day without drinking makes me feel better. But stringing a few dry days together is getting increasingly more difficult. Making matters worse is I become an angry dry drunk. But this thread is making me think real hard about where I am.

    I also turn 60 this Friday which I am struggling with. It's time for a change.

    But as far as riding as therapy or at least keeping the bad thoughts at bay, I agree. It is my passion. The thing I look forward to the most. The thing that I hope will sustain me for the next 30 years.

    I've subscribed to this sting and hope it keeps going.

    Thanks all and a collective good luck to us all.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    #50
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  11. Siklid

    Siklid n00b

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    His name is Paul. Depression runs in my family and may have been a factor in his end. I haven't been diagnosed but it is lurking in the background. Losing him triggered something i can only relate to as a crushing dark tunnel. Riding allowed me to "surface" and "breathe" a little, to understand as some one here said "..it's only temporary".
    #51
  12. Cheap Café Nihilist

    Cheap Café Nihilist Adventurer

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    A helpful thread. Depression runs in my family; it's killed two of my father's sisters, a cousin, and made my father's life a misery for all but the last ten years or so of it. I had thought I dodged the bullet, but it hit me very badly about four years ago and seems determined to stay. (Looking back, I'm certain that I had less severe periods of depression several times but worked very hard to convince myself it wasn't happening.)

    Anyway, even though my brain has been actively trying to kill me for some time, I'm very, very lucky: I've a wife who doesn't know the meaning of the word 'quit' and has stood by me; friends who do what they can even though I still tend to avoid them; a dog who gets me out of the house at least a couple times a day and whose indomitable spirit tends to lift the blackness enough for me to remember that there is value in the world; and I'm so very lucky to have had private disability insurance to see us through the past few years.

    But depression sucks no matter how good your family and friends are. I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy. (And there are a lot of nasty things I would gleefully wish upon my worst enemies.)

    For the past two years, I haven't been on the bike more than a half-dozen times because I'm afraid I'll allow myself to get distracted, or worse, drive into something deliberately. But the new season is upon us and just yesterday I thought about getting the bike out of the garage and preparing it for the season, so for me riding is a good barometer of how bad the depression is, and I know that when I do ride, I feel better for it.
    #52
  13. Mayomoto

    Mayomoto Neuroatypical

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    Heartbreaking stories. So much pain, and honesty, its breathtaking. Im struggling mightily with this now. Seeking treatment felt a little like throwing in the towel at first. I cant help it. I thought i could beat this shit on my own but its just getting worse. Its embarrassing to admit you can't control your own mind. I feel like a total asshole, having been very vocal in the recent past regarding medications and the people despensing them, thinking i could ride and fight and race my way out. Never underestimate how wrong you can be. I had some minor angst and standard midlife detritus before i got hurt, but nothing like this, ever. Paralytic. Shit, i cant hardly type and the keys are getting all wet.
    I am in the process of seeking treatment. Takes time and not sure where it leads, but just making the decision made me feel better in a way i guess.
    For yall that posted your struggles and losses thank you for the strength and inspiration. I will beat this.
    #53
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  14. fullmetalscooter

    fullmetalscooter Let me take this duck off

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    "I will add. I don't believe that anyone who has not experienced depression can understand what it is.'
    I would agree with that as someone whom has it along with pain issues, minor brain damage etc You dont know what it is till you have it. Riding helps me but doing stand up comic stuff about it helps me more . Glad you posted .
    #54
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  15. B1

    B1 Carbon-based bipedal

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    it's a crying shame that even with all the increasing awareness of depression there's still so much stigma to it.... it must only happen to weak people. i should be able to control it and deal with it by myself.... medication is the coward's way out.... etc. even though i know a fair bit about it now i bet i'll be saying this stuff to myself if and when i encounter the black dog again!

    i hope you've got a good doctor, mayomoto. and you can work through a few meds and see if there's one that keeps the black dog at bay and with few side effects. some people get really lucky and find a med that transforms everything with almost no side effects but that tends to be the exception and not the rule. :( all the best in beating it.
    #55
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  16. Little Bike

    Little Bike Air/Clutz Sue Supporter

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    Hang in there everybody - you can beat this!

    Make sure you're taking good care of yourself (eat right, do your best to get good sleep, exercise, hang out with friends) and have a routine.

    And, yep, I know that all of those things can seem IMPOSSIBLE when you're clinically depressed. Take one at a time and don't beat up on yourself.

    Communicate with your doctor - everybody has different meds and combos work for them. I'm on combo number 3 since January.

    Get sleep! If you're not sleeping well talk to your doctor, it's crucial. I need to talk with mine this week, was up until almost 3 am, finally got to sleep and woke up at 12:30 pm. Not good.

    Track how you're doing each day, keep a log for you and to share with your doctor.

    Be proactive, so important in caring for depression and sooooo hard to do since your motivation level is about
    0.0000000001

    Be kind to yourself. We beat up on ourselves and let our minds run and run with negative thoughts. If you were healthy you would have compassion for somebody going through what you're going through right now. Have compassion for yourself.

    Mental illness is not a personal failing, it's a medical condition with many variations and nuances. You can't snap out of it anymore than snapping out of a broken leg, cancer or the flu. Some mental illnesses are relatively short lived, some people will go through a major depression once and get treated, some have chronic conditions such as bipolar. How mental illness is viewed is very, very slowly changing; the more we openly discuss the better.
    #56
  17. Bollocks

    Bollocks Farts with an Accent™

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    Study's have shown shrooms can help you quite smoking immediately. You need a trained guide that can walk you thought it but the results look amazing.
    https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/quit-smoking-with-shrooms-910
    #57
  18. NJ-Brett

    NJ-Brett Brett

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    Well, I quit smoking a few years ago after reading the Allan Carr book, was easy after 40 years of smoking.
    As far as mushrooms go, I tried them a few times long ago along with other things and really do not know what depression is like.
    I seem very level. I get bored, but not depressed.
    I wonder....
    #58
  19. Mayomoto

    Mayomoto Neuroatypical

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    Thanks for that, good to hear from someone else. I know I need it. Unfortunately no good doctor, self employed and struggling, insurance for me was dropped long ago. I am trying a few things, everything I have heard of really, to help myself, but so far it just seems to be getting worse. Thats Bullshit. I haven't really committed, haven't tried hard enough. Frustrating. One of my former fighters called to check on me and recommended the psychedelic therapy. Said it did wonders for him. A few hours later another called and said basically the same thing. Smoke or eat some weed to sleep, shrooms to treat/fix/deal with the depression. Problem is they will put your ass UNDER the jail for that shit here the Republic of Texas. When they legalize it, it will be us and Mississippi left standing I'm afraid. Not the bastion of progression. One of our more progressive legislators wants to outlaw dildos. Ted Cruz. Wants dildos to be illegal. No legal weed or psychedelic drugs here any time soon. I'm 100% sure dildos are more dangerous. No, i didnt vote for him.
    #59
  20. Mayomoto

    Mayomoto Neuroatypical

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    Spot on advice.
    Have you been reading my dream journal?
    #60