Outrunning Your Problems (Causes of depression)

Learn how I beat Depression

A great runner of my nation, she was taking part in the Olympic Games in Atlanta, after having her dreams dashed by a ‘turtle blood’ drinking trio from China in the World Champs. The hopes of a tiny nation for a gold medal lay on her slender shoulders, and she didn’t rise to meet those hopes. There was a pushing incident apparently, but we knew that wouldn’t have been enough to stop our girl from taking us home some little bit of silverware for our bare necked nation.

The TV cameras were on her even before she managed to get her breath back, and when she was recovered she gave a bizarre explanation. I was young at the time and maybe I didn’t understand what she was trying to say, maybe it was perfectly obvious when she said “The Big D, Jim.” Maybe the pundits were just trying to hide her embarrassment for her when they didn’t go on to explain that ‘The Big D’ was in fact diarrhea, and not ‘depression’ as I had assumed.

I had though that in her running she had found for her one of the causes of depression. That name The Big D has stuck with me since, and I have on my occasional run (Too occasional unfortunately) run through the notion that maybe it was depression she had suffered from. Imagine all of those lonely miles, plodding along with nothing but you, the open road and the occasional sheep to keep the mind alert. What would be the thoughts that would sustain you?

Then for the first time since I had begun my runs, I really pushed myself, I ran until there was nothing left. Then I got a second wind that went on, and never seemed to be able to quit. I went through a barrier that day, and at the end of that barrier was a feeling you may have heard about called ‘euphoria.’ Some people have to take copious quantities of drugs to get this feeling, some will never feel it in their lives, but I determined there and then that if our Olympic runner had access to this natural ‘heaven’ through her running, then there was no way that she could ever have felt depressed.

The feeling is long lasting, and is the answer you may need when asking the question why do all of those people go out there and punish themselves again and again, hitting the roads, hitting the rucks on the rugby pitch, hitting the weights in the gym? It is about being hooked on natural highs, and there is nothing wrong with it, in fact this long distance running is not one of the causes of depression, but it is the cure.

Ever heard that sunlight and the vitamin A it introduces to the body is good at combating depression, ever heard that exercise is something that you should get involved in if you are suffering? Well it seems in these natural things there is at least a partial solution to the dilemma. A good friend of mine, who was a long distance runner later on, was a depression sufferer and when I enquired, he didn’t seem to be aware of the benefits of running for the mind. His dad thought that indeed those countless miles alone did have an effect on this mental wellbeing.

So what is the moral? Well I don’t have to have a moral do I? If anything I would say that there is a safe bet in chasing euphoria, and even if you don’t catch it, you might be surprised to hear that from time to time you might just be able to outrun your problems.

Learn how I beat Depression

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