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coping with depression and training.


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I suffer long bouts of depression as an adult and thus find it hard to motivate myself to train especially during these periods.

I find that it sometimes even feeds my depressive state when after years of hard work I look in the mirror and still see a scrawny man.

Others around me will say "what are you talking about, your huge" but that is only after I have complained that I feel my training is getting me no where.

However no one has ever said to me "Man your big" or "Hell, that weight lifting doing you wonders" or anything along those lines.

I know I shouldn't do it for other people to notice, but its just nice to be noticed sometimes.

I get depressed becos I find it hard to maintain an appetite to eat the amounts I need too, to get bigger, and I cant always afford the protein powders i need to use to supplement it.

I find it even harder to stick to any programme I start and hardly ever go up in weight like I want to.

I wake up in the afternoons and the thought of having to work that night gets me so down, I find it hard to drag myself out of bed to walk the 3km I need to walk to get to the gym.

I know If I can just get myself up and down to the gym, I will start feeling better as I begin to lift.

I wish I could just train full time. I know most of you will think "Just harden up" and trust me when I say I try to live by that.

But for some reason I find myself waking in such a deep loathing and darkness that I sometimes even wish I was dead, and even lay there thinking of ways to finish it.

I feel so stupid writing this, but then here at least I am anonymous. I dont have the money needed to get help as all counselors ask for fees now. Ive had antidepressants before but they only make me tired and ill.

I dont know what to do and i really dont want to stop training as it is really the only thing that makes me happy.

Sorry about the sad arse rant, but I feel so stuck. thanks for listening.

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The best thing you can do for yourself is keep training.

Do you do any cardio? - it's one of the hardest things to get motivated for when you're feeling crappy but it's one of the best things to help lift you out of a depressive rut.

You say you don't stick to your routines & can't eat enough to make progress - you've answered your own question on why you aren't getting bigger.

You need to make a concious decision to get a decent program under your belt & make sure you stick to it for a good length of time.

As for the diet.... add a little more to your food intake every day until you're getting 6 good feeds a day - you can't do it overnight, you're metabolism simply won't want to know about it.

What do you spend your money on besides protein powder?

You may need to sacrifice something else in order for you to keep your protein powder supply constant - depends what your priorities are.

Hang in there Mike, things are never as bad as they seem.

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Well done Mike, took a lot of guts to put that out there...and I suspect you're not alone.

Training's a hormone thing, and serotonin (which is linked to our state of mind) is in play when you're training...so if you can sort out your training programme, you may find that the moments when the black dog's biting hardest get to be less common.

It can be bloody hard to drag your depleted, tired, bored ass down to the gym without a training partner- ever thought about trying to find a training buddy?

Cardio's good too, I find it helps - even if all you do is flop onto the treadmill, turn up the tunes, and zone out.

Diet's critical - especially learning what's the right protein-fat-carb balance for you to keep growing, but stay away from massive slumps.

Anyhow, hope today's a good day.


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Yeah man what I would recommend is start setting yourself some goals. Short term goals & long term goals.

Go & see a good nutritionist, take the guess work out of your diet. Get your diet sorted & that is one less thing you need to worry about. If your weights aren't increasing then your diet is what I would be looking at first. The reason why 99% of people at the gym never change is because they don't know how to eat properly.

A lot of people second guess their training. Like Cammo said you need to be consistent. It's not rocket science. Get in there, train heavy (with good form) & intensely. Write down your routines & ensure you beat the weight you did the previous week.

Make sure you are getting a good 8 hours sleep every night.

To get big you need to focus on getting big. Never give up, ever. If you fall off the wagon, tomorrow is a new day so start all over.

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it sounds to me you need a new job , a better paying one , maybe a change of scene , different town , ever thought of becoming a personal trainer ? i know they are screaming out for staff in brisbane in gyms over in oz my mate got a job just helping out around the gym , no qualification needed started on $22 an hour and he works as many hours as he wants , he also gets to train for free . hows your social life? having good friends to talk to is a must, have a night out with the boys (or girls) and take a load off and relax about the small stuff

bodybuildings not the cheapest sport to be involved with so if you want size like you say , the jobs gotta go in my opinion , once your happy in your work, with spare cash to boot and have a decent social surrounding itll be plain sailing, keep your pekka up mate


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Try not to stress yourself out. It sounds like you are being way to hard on yourself. I'm not saying that you should never be hard on yourself, just not to the point of it stressing you out this much. If there is one thing that messes with your training it's being in a stressed state for too long. Most of us I would imagine have had similar thoughts about our training at some point like its going stale or the diet being too inconsistent but the main thing is to target the root of the problem and deal with it asap.

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Well done Mike, took a lot of guts to put that out there...and I suspect you're not alone.

your absolutely not, I went through similar hell 2 years ago and was on anti depressants that helped save my life I feel, good friends and patience got me through.

All the info given by your friends on this forum is what saw me through too, friends-getting a good social life, goals, consistant training, change of job - I started to personal trained too, which really was cool helping others makes you feel like you are contributing something positive and is the best medication,

the best thing I can advise it that you can never forget that your never alone, friends and family do care more than you realise- just like you would if the boot was on the other foot and they came to you for help, and mostly- you will get through and as John Kirwan says getting out the other side is the best thing, it may seem like the end of the tunnel is a long way away...but it is there.

Keep getting up every morning.

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it sounds to me you need a new job , a better paying one , maybe a change of scene , different town

My thoughts exactly when I read this. You have the option to make the change. I used to work graveyard shifts and it seroiusly f*cks up your body and moods. Eat more, train harder and keep it all up. Over time you become complacent with the weights you train. I found this when I trained with a mate who made me add 20kg to each of the body parts I trained that day. struggled however I was able to do them with a spot. Progression is the key

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Depression should never and can never be ignored, just because you have had bad reatcions to some anti-depresents does not mean they will cause the same side effects, there are allot of various medication out there and it would be well worth your trying to find one that works for you.

At the end of the day, all the advice in the world will not help some-one who is is suffering the battle of depression, until you get the chemicals in your brain balanced, then getting up in the morning and commitment to training & diet will follow with ease.

good luck, and remember what you feel when you are depressed is not reality.

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I used to work graveyard shifts and it seroiusly f*cks up your body and moods.

It sure does. Some people seem to be able cope with overnights just fine, but some aren't so lucky. Based on my own experience, and from speaking to others who've done graveyard shifts, I'd bet money that this is the main cause of your depression. It's one of the reasons I quit my job... it did not make me happy, and it interfered with the things that did - eg, my training.

I'm not necessarily suggesting ditching your job. But it would be a good idea to weigh up the pros and cons, and what you'd like to do instead.

Oh, and don't measure your progress by the compliments you get. Think of the number of times you see an impressive physique, or someone making great progress. Now how many times do you tell them that you're impressed? Not so many, I bet. That's just the way we are.

Next time you're feeling scrawny, leave the big guys, and go and find someone smaller to stand beside instead. :grin:

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I agree working night shift seriously messes with your head. I was a graveyard manager for a local petrol Station once loved my job but in the quiet times , there was to much time to think. Why not do one of those polytech sports and recreation courses. You can get a student loan for that . Our gym up here has one. There may be one in your town. You meet different people do all sorts of stuff from ab sailing to caving, get quailfied and train in one hit. I did mangement course . Now i have a job i love on my terms. I keep a dairy of my training and what i eat and if im down i try to push up my weights or reps. Once there up theres no going back thats the rules. :nod:

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