Friday, May 15, 2009

Depression Wellness and Illness (Part 4)

For the last post in this series, I thought it might be interesting to list a number of other changes I notice in myself when I'm depressed, and when I'm not.

5. Music. When I'm depressed, I don't listen to music. While I know that music is healing, I don't like the "noise" when I don't feel well. When I'm well, I love listening to and playing music. And my listening tastes are fairly eclectic. I love classical music, jazz, folk, rock (mostly from the sixties and early seventies), and musicals.

In fact, I can sing all the songs to the following musicals: My Fair Lady, Flower Drum Song, The Sound of Music, Chorus Line, The Music Man, Annie, South Pacific, Fiddler on the Roof, Bye Bye Birdie, Cabaret, Chicago, The King and I, and Westside Story (and a few others I can't think of right now).

6. Exercise. When I'm depressed, as hard as I try, I find it really difficult to exercise on a regular basis. When I'm well, I participate in the following activities: Walking (I walk 3.2 miles around the park near my house), badminton, biking, hiking, and swimming!

7. Outdoors. When I'm depressed, I can force myself to garden and do outside home improvement tasks. When I'm well, I love being outdoors, and my favorite spots in Los Angeles are: the beach, Will Rogers State Park, Temescal Canyon State Park, the Palisades Park above the Pacific Coast Highway, The Huntington (pictured above left) the Santa Monica Bike Path, and so much more.

8. Cultural Activities. When I'm depressed, I try to force myself to go places, but it's never easy. When I'm well, I love going to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, MOCA, Walt Disney Concert Hall (pictured above right), McCabes Guitar Shop, The Hollywood Bowl, The Greek Theater, The Getty, the Craft and Folk Art Museum, and so much more.

9. Interesting Neighborhoods. When I'm depressed, it's difficult enough to walk around my own neighborhood. When I'm well, I love to explore different neighborhoods in the City of Angels, including, Chinatown (pictured above left), Little Tokyo, Pasadena, Third Street Promenade, Watts Towers, Westwood/UCLA, the Miracle Mile, and so many more.

10. Entertaining. When I'm depressed, I find it very difficult to entertain people at our home. The last think in the world I feel like doing is sitting at a dinner table and trying to pretend that I care about what is going on in other people's lives when I can barely function. When I'm well, I love to entertain, and spend time with friends and family members. And perhaps this is the most difficult aspect of feeling depressed, because I know people just don't understand my behavior at all!

So...how do you deal with the transition from depression to wellness? If you decide to post about it, please link to this post or let me know, and I'll mention your blog so we can have a group discussion of sorts!

Have a lovely weekend! See you on Monday!

12 comments:

Mariposa said...

I could almost agree with you except on music...as I can listen to it forever and cry a river and feel good after!

We share the same list of music/song...in fact right now, you made me hum the song, I Enjoy Being A Girl from the Flower Drum Song! LOL

Wellness Writer said...

Dear Mariposa,
No one your age knows that song! I'm genuinely laughing out loud! I love it!

Susan

Val said...

I know from my own personal experience that the positive power of EXERCISE can't be overrated... I am an exercise junkie!
Hard to get moving some days, but I never regret it.
[I can also tell how bad my mood is on any particular day by the soundtrack that plays in my head - although in my case it runs more to old-school hip-hop/RNR, interspersed w/a few favorite-movie soundtracks.]

Mariposa said...

Ha ha ha...I guess you're right! Yet, Lea Salonga, a multi-awarded Filipino talent did Flower Drum production on stage about 2-3 years agon in LA. But they altered the story... :(

But still I enjoyed the songs! LOL

P.S. I was into theater before I lost my grasp for singing (my hearing got impaired actually) due to medication.

Wellness Writer said...

Dear Val,
Welcome to my blog. You're sure right about exercise. There have been dozens and dozens of studies showing that it's more effective than anti-depressant medication.

Susan

Wellness Writer said...

Mariposa,
I'll have to check that singer out. Also, I can't believe you became hearing-impaired due to medication. How terrible is that?

Susan

Wendy Love said...

Susan,
You pose a good question. Due to the bipolar, I do not transition from depression to wellness, I usually jump, it takes about a day. It seems that the moment I feel just the least bit better it leads to feeling a whole lot better and I am doing things and making plans, which no one could keep up with even if they stayed manic forever! And then I am down again and back where I started....
Wendy Love

Emma said...

Dear Susan,
I have felt that so much of what you have written this week has so accurately described my own experiences as I have moved in and out of depression. Your sharing somehow validated my own responses. I did not feel so alone, or so very 'different'. I would like also to thank you especially for this last post, which has proved to be an engaging 'snap shot' of your interests and the city in which you live. Such fun, and a really delightful introduction!
Emma

Wellness Writer said...

Dear Wendy,
I believe the key is to try and break the pattern. When I talked about the things I enjoy, perhaps I should have said that I don't pursue them all at once.

Now that I'm not hypomanic, I just begin doing things I enjoy. But, I don't see frenetic activity as a good thing. And I believe it's really important to try and slow ourselves down if we feel that way because it will always result in another depression.

Susan

Wellness Writer said...

Dear Emma,
One of the reasons why I share is to try and see if others experience what I do. Knowing you and others have similar experiences makes me feel like I'm not alone as well.

And thank you. I was hoping people would enjoy a glimpse into my life in Los Angeles. Since I've always lived her--and my parents before me--and our experiences are so different than what Hollywood would lead people to believe life is like here, it's fun to share another point of view. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

Susan

Mariposa said...

Yeah, it caused me my life in the theater...but come to think of it, that world could have been more stressful for me. That is why, right now I am very careful with meds...

Wellness Writer said...

Dear Mariposa,
I'm so sorry that your medication caused a hearing loss, but so glad that you're really careful with medication now.

Susan