My Negative to Positive Switch is Broken

Oh Yeah? Well you can take your runner’s high and shove it up your ass. Because I haven’t yet experienced that sweet sweet love, and I’m sick of fudgeing hearing about it. Yeah I love running as much as the next guy when I’m not worried about being on my toes too much or whether I’m stepping in stickers because the St Augustine grass is so goddamn long down here.

News Flash: 3.11 miles is not the magic number of miles to run that will put me into the zone that Danielle Seiss talks about in her article Running For My Life (Washington Post, September 15, 2009):” I can actually feel my thinking beginning to change, from negative to positive, as if four miles, or about 30 minutes, is some kind of threshold.”

And believe me, I REALLY want to get there. I ache to get there. I spend about 75% of my mental and physical energy fighting to keep it together and I finally found something that’s 1) free 2) fun 3) legal 4) healthy. Now for the love of god could it please just WORK?

I’m sick of trying to write this stupid post about how running doesn’t do crap for my depression. I wanted to find a study, just one stupid study (and so help me if one of you  leaves a link in the comments to a study I will come through a tube and kill you) about runners (not exercise, OMFG RUNNING) and mental health. Runners specifically, because a large part of how running works for me has to do with the psyching out that I get to participate in when I run out the door. Sometimes I even consider putting a credit card and my driver’s license in my pocket when I leave. I’m not kidding. Anyway, I wasn’t looking for whether exercise helps depressed people-the statistics show that it does, even though we all know that a lot of factors go into whether healthy people are happy people (uh, yeah) and so those numbers would um, be higher. But what I was wondering is whether anything had been done where runners who were depressed kept running and if there was any research done on runners with other mental illnesses. I can’t find any. IF commenters come across any research like that, please feel free to email me.

Here’s something else I love about running and why I’m sad there weren’t studies specific to it when I searched: NO GEAR. No excuses. No schedules. It’s a depressed person’s WET DREAM exercise. Just walk out the door, especially if you’re a barefooter. Just. Go. I can still do it with minimal effort and (this is the really important thing for a misanthropic introvert like myself) zero human interaction.

Then there was this other piece that I read that cited this study from 2000:

Researchers at Nottingham Trent University (UK) claim the chemical phenylethylamine (PEA) to be a byproduct of exercise and the cause of the euphoric mood called “runner’s high.” The researchers measured PEA levels in 20 men before and after exercise and discovered all but two had increased levels 24 hours later. The study’s author, Ellen Billett DPhil says that endorphins, previously thought to cause runner’s high, don’t penetrate the brain as easily as PEA does, though endorphins may still play a role. According to Hector Sabelli, MD, PhD of Rush University in an article in WebMD: “What we have seen is that PEA metabolism is reduced in people who are depressed. If you give PEA to people with depression, about 60 percent show an immediate recovery – very fast, a matter of half an hour.”

(But they are also careful to mention that chocolate has PEA in it too, if you don’t have time that day to get a run in. So I stocked up on dark chocolate for the freezer.)

There they go about the runner’s high again. My question is how long does it last for real? These guys say as much 24 hours. Really. OK. So again I say take your runner’s high talk and shove it up your ass. It’s not that I resent the running; it’s that I resent that I don’t feel awesome.

I’m not stopping. fudge, I take Krill Oil and a muti-vitamin every damn day and I’m convinced they don’t do crap for me. At least running is free and it sometimes gets me out of changing a crapty diaper. At the least, out of this I get the peace of mind that comes with knowing that out of everyone in my family I’d be the one who could survive a zombie invasion. I’ve already got the #1 rule down: Cardio. They’re screwed


3 thoughts on “My Negative to Positive Switch is Broken

  1. I’m depressed (clinically diagnosed, antidepressants 18 yrs)

    Addicted Runner, turned ultramarathoner last year, running helps but I think only to keep me from suicide.

    Ocassionally I feel quite good during a long run (long being well over say 12 miles), I get nothing from a run less that 7-8 miles unless I run it really really hard —

    Endorphins I think are overrated, at least for depressives like me, now exhaustion definitely helps… So I keep running but as the years go by I just have to go further and further to keep my head above the proverbial water… fitness is a 2 edged sword for me.


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