Depression & Athletic Training
An analogical look at how Depression can be viewed from the aspect of Athletic Training
One of the problems I see for people who have depression when talking to those who don’t is that it is hard for the non-depressant to understand. I myself have faced this problem with friends and family. On a day that I was exercising, exercising is considered a helpful tool in combating depression, I would step into the shower to wash off. While in there my mind wandered, as it does so often when I shower. In its wandering three thoughts came together; exercise, depression, and someone who does not have depression. I saw that I had depression and have done a good amount of athletic training and exercising. It is good to note that I have run competitively in my life such in track and cross country. In the same respect, one of the people I know that has a hard time understanding depression has also done a good amount of athletic training and exercising since they continue to exercise and were a tri-athlete. In this thought pattern I devised this analogy that might help those who do not have depression and have shared in the experience of athletic training.
As an athlete attempting to improve strength, ability, and performance we push ourselves to the limit. The limit is the point where the muscles begin to ache and even hurt, but those of us who have gone through this know that the type of pain we are describing is a good pain not the pain of an injury. At that point the athlete has one of two options, both that day and the next training day since it is very possible they will still feel that "pain." The first option is to quit. This quitting would be in the middle of the run when pushing just a little further would result in good benefits or stopping would end the pain. This quitting would also be in deciding the pain was not worth it and did not return to training the next time. The second option would be to push through that pain and finish the run or that next training day to come in and workout again. Only one thing can decide on which option to choose. In most people the easiest and default setting of the brain is to choose option one resulting in never succeeding in becoming better. The option that is harder to choose is option two. This is because the person has to consciously choose this option. The brain has to have a thought process that says "This pain is good and will result in good things!" This option is what we all want.
As someone who suffers with depression there is also a point where there are two options when confronted with pain. The first option is having thought patterns such as "I deserve to suffer. I am worthless and can't do anything right. It is hopeless, I will be stuck in this life forever." This is an option of giving into the pain like the athlete and never pushing beyond the negative thoughts. The second option is having thought patterns such as "I am worthy. I don't deserve to be treated like this. What I do now will make me a better person in the end." This is an option of working through the pain like the athlete and taking a position of positive thinking. Unfortunately for many people, by virtue of chemicals in the brain or social upbringing or any of a number of endless things, the easiest thing is to choose with option one. Thus option two becomes a very hard choice to make, but if we could change our thought process we would be like the successful athlete and push through the pain.
Depression is very much like athletic training and if we could all embrace and accept the good "pain'' or positive thoughts, we all would be world class athletes and not depressed. It is possible to do. We just have to retrain our minds to accept the positive "pain."
About the Creator
Fire Dragon Lit
I enjoy reading and I'm constantly attempting to write. The problem is the completion. Can't seem to find it. I hope to use Vocal as a journey to completing a piece of work. Thanks for your time and I hope you enjoy.
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