• Welcome! It’s great to see you. Our forum members are people, maybe like yourself, who experience mental health difficulties or who have had them at some point in their life.

    If you'd like to talk with people who know what it's like

Does depression make us lethargic, or does lack of exercise make us depressed?

F

firemonkee57

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 23, 2009
Messages
8,224
Does depression make us lethargic, or does lack of exercise make us depressed?

It has been known for a while now that even moderate exercise may be beneficial for depressive mood (besides being a good thing to do for a generally healthy lifestyle), although there are also conflicting findings (Cooney et al., 2013).

Likewise, low mood and other symptoms of depression can lead to reduced energy levels and a whole host of other unpleasant things that can be expected to reduce the “desire” to get up and active (Roshanaei-Moghaddam et al, 2009).

It’s a subject we’ve covered many times in previous Mental Elf blogs about exercise for depression.

Overall, the link between physical activity and depression could be directional, although no-one has looked at this hypothesis conclusively. A recent prospective cohort study published in JAMA Psychiatry provides some interesting insights (Pinto Pereia et al, 2014).
- See more at: Exercise for depression

Then there are those of us who got depressed(amongst other things) and put off physical activity because we were bullied and ostracised by our peers for being bad at it.
For some of us physical activity is associated with rejection.
 
Last edited:
H

Helena1

Well-known member
Forum Safety Team
Joined
Oct 11, 2014
Messages
10,575
Location
UK
for me it is most defiantly a case of depression making me lethargic.
 
T

Thoth

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 12, 2014
Messages
230
Location
Leicester/Sheffield
I have quite a physical job, but I would not say lethargy is a problem. I tend to get very severe psychomotor retardation. Like today for example was really bad. I woke up, had breakfast, and then after finishing my bed, just spent the rest of the day lying on top it doing nothing.

Then I get shouted at by my father for doing nothing.
 
Fairy Lucretia

Fairy Lucretia

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 9, 2011
Messages
36,240
Location
Magical fairy wonderland xxxx
it could be depression or lack of exersice with me xx i hardly exercise at all i dont even take my dog for a walk anymore as i never leave the house xx
 
SomersetScorpio

SomersetScorpio

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 17, 2012
Messages
13,531
Location
The West Country
Depression affects me so physically.
Sometimes I can handle the low mood, but the lack of energy and feeling like I can't move is unbearable.
I definitely think it's a case of depression robbing me of my energy, because when I feel better, I find myself wanting to go for a walk just for the pleasure of it.
 
V

voyager

Guest
Does anyone feel worse at this time of year with tiredness? I'm so tired and finding it hard, especially to feel ok after waking in the mornings. My concentration is really bad, I find myself zoning out as well. My job as a carer keeps me active, but I'm still very tired.
 
SomersetScorpio

SomersetScorpio

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 17, 2012
Messages
13,531
Location
The West Country
Does anyone feel worse at this time of year with tiredness?
Yes!!
It seems to happen for me when the clocks go back.. which is odd, considering you get the extra hour in bed. Though it is an hour less of light. Hmm..
I don't know the cause, but I can definitely relate to what you're saying. x
 
rubyrose

rubyrose

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 13, 2013
Messages
1,323
Location
Where flowers bloom
Depression definitely makes me lethargic. I don't get much exercise either and it's quite possible that adds to the depression. I just feel like everything I do is pointless. That's why I often start things and don't finish them. I quickly lose inspiration and I'm just like who cares...screw it.
 
V

Verity

Guest
I find anxiety very draining emotionally & physically. Sometimes it can be hard motivate yourself to exercise, but once I do it, it boosts my energy and mood.
 
A

AmisulprideJunkie

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 24, 2012
Messages
46
Location
UK
Depression makes me lethargic; lethargy makes me depressed ...

As others have said:

Autumn/Winter: the darker months make me feel lethargic
My physical disability limits my ability to safely exercise (vertigo and hyperacusis)
Medications for mental and physical health conditions cause drowsiness
Diet is important
Exercise helps reduce depression/anxiety - before I had vertigo exercise helped a lot.

Exercise is good for Vitamin D (the sunshine vitamin) exposing us to more light and lifting mood. Doesn't exercise release endorphins which naturally lift mood? Also, there is the feel good factor - having achieved something. However, for anyone with social phobias, this is not possible - unless they have a garden.

I'm planning to go swimming - once in the pool I am not at risk of falls caused by the vertigo.
 
A

AmisulprideJunkie

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 24, 2012
Messages
46
Location
UK
It has been known for a while now that even moderate exercise may be beneficial for depressive mood (besides being a good thing to do for a generally healthy lifestyle), although there are also conflicting findings (Cooney et al., 2013).

Likewise, low mood and other symptoms of depression can lead to reduced energy levels and a whole host of other unpleasant things that can be expected to reduce the “desire” to get up and active (Roshanaei-Moghaddam et al, 2009).

It’s a subject we’ve covered many times in previous Mental Elf blogs about exercise for depression.

Overall, the link between physical activity and depression could be directional, although no-one has looked at this hypothesis conclusively. A recent prospective cohort study published in JAMA Psychiatry provides some interesting insights (Pinto Pereia et al, 2014).
- See more at: Exercise for depression

Then there are those of us who got depressed(amongst other things) and put off physical activity because we were bullied and ostracised by our peers for being bad at it.
For some of us physical activity is associated with rejection.
I was never a natural at sports. I would have been average BUT because I was self-conscious about being top heavy, I avoided physical activity that involved running around.

I am planning to go swimming again - it's been about 25 years though since my last swim but 35 years since I swam regularly during my schooldays - swimming was the only activity I enjoyed other than walking.
 
V

voyager

Guest
Oh God, I hate these dark days, I feel like I'm being sucked down a plug hole.
 
Top