Mental illness and running

I wanted a place where we could get advice and support.

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05/02/2014 at 01:21

The best person to talk to you re: meds is your doctor.  Also talk to a counsellor about what's causing your anxiety etc., I was prescribed Cipralex.  I also have a very mild sedative for really bad times.

05/02/2014 at 07:13

Sorry - not very clear. After any ideas on meditation as a method for controlling anxiety / depression.

15/07/2014 at 20:02
Hey Hillheader,
Are you feeling better now?
Hello everyone else
15/07/2014 at 20:26

Sorry Hillheader, misread your post.....I thought you said medication as opposed to meditation.

I would still talk to your Doctor and/or a counsellor and see how they can help with the anxiety/panic attacks.  I was getting panic attacks on a daily basis middle of the night, any time in fact -  it was out of control.

After 3 months of counselling with a variety of 'professionals' I have managed to get back on an even keel. 

To help me sleep I take MELATONIN, which is a natural sleep remedy.  I specifically asked my doctor to prescribe something naturally occuring.  This is really good stuff.

Hope this helps.


15/07/2014 at 21:54

Hi. Solb.

Good to hear you've been making progress, JC.

Been a pretty tough time but with a few more promising signs recently.  Change of medication to sertraline and to a GP who seems to be more knowledgeable about anti-depressants which is more reassuring.  I had got a point where I wasn't getting out running at all but have done a couple of Parkruns recently - even posted a PB a few weeks ago when I wasn't feeling well then went back to bed for the rest of the day.  Have still not been feeling up to getting out with running clubs but have managed short runs on my own for the last two nights.  Finished CBT sessions recently which has been of some help.  

15/07/2014 at 22:04

Hey Lincoln Runner, its funny because although I have improved in many ways, I seem to have developed social phobia and hate WORK social gatherings.

Ah well, at some point this area of life will improve, and something else will fall by the wayside.

15/07/2014 at 23:59
Hi Junglechook
Flippin fab that you've managed to find an even keel. Social phobia at work sounds tough. What do you think the difference is. I always found the opposite, hiding behind a work persona was easier than being me
I've just started parkrun too LR. Done two so far, our local one is hilly and a bit tough. First volunteering the weekend after next (I'm a bit scared)
16/07/2014 at 18:45

Volunteering for Parkrun will be fine.  I did it several times when I wasn't feeling well enough to run it.  If you're marshalling then you're really just there to cheer and encourage everyone along. 

16/07/2014 at 18:52

Hey Solb,

I don't know, maybe its because the team is so dysfunctional etc etc., just lost interest in socialising with colleagues.

Never heard of the Parkrun thing some of you have been doing, I should look into it


09/11/2014 at 18:41
I read this post with interest. Whilst I enjoy keeping fit in general it's running which makes me feel like I'm actually alive. I'm now injured and I feel so depressed. Going to book into a physio tomorrow but I just feel like when I talk about this to anybody who isn't on the same wavelength then I feel like I'm an alien and they really don't understand. Just get the typical "don't be silly" "rest will do you good anyway" "you don't have anything to be depressed about" and so on. so now I just keep quiet and try to deal with these episodes alone. I think I do need to try and get something else in my life so that when I do get injured I don't feel totally lost and angry and in despair.

Anyway. I just wanted to say hi.
13/11/2014 at 23:37

Hi samsunguser.  It certainly is difficult for people to understand how important it is to be able to keep running for some people.  I find that everything in running seems to be just about physical health and fitness but for me it feels like a totally different world which others just don't seem to understand.  I do seem to be gradually getting out and doing a bit more running now - having recently gone onto different anti-depressants (the 4th lot I've tried) - but the anxiety is still a major problem and I still don't feel at a point where I'm actually able to enjoy the running.  I turned out a club session tonight and discovered to my horror that it was a hills session.  I really need to put that one out of my mind now as it certainly did my confidence no good at all.  Anyway, hope you are able to get up and running again soon.


06/04/2015 at 13:05

Boing!  Hi, not been on RW for ages so thought I'd pop in and say hi, see old faces and wave to the new ones. Hope everyone is okay. I've been well for 2 years now. Not run much though, just starting to get back into it now.  


06/04/2015 at 22:08

Hi Soupy

Good to hear things are good with you.  I should point out that I am former 'Lincoln Runner' who finally decided to come up with a proper name - based on orienteering club colours, running club colours and the football team. 

Been through some tough times myself but have had some great support and things have certainly been moving onwards lately and for the better.  Long way to go though and a lot of challenges ahead though.  I am being fairly non-specific here with good reason but will send you a friend request on FB.


14/10/2015 at 15:30

Hello Lincoln Runner Purple Green Imp - impressive name change!

I have so so much to update on really; since I last checked in I've got married, been in the psychiatric ward; fallen apart an impressive number of times and got so poorly the Mrs had to become my carer (rubbish)

However, I have the most wonderful Psychiatrist I've ever met; she is warm and funny and caring and not at all officious - she doesn't ask probing questions if she doesn't need to .... plus she has very nice eyes

Have just come out of a mega relapse after some time in Respite and am starting to feel more positive, although motivation is weirdly lacking.

We are trying to make me better from the inside out as I have so many somatic symptoms too. I've ditched anything chemically including diet coke and hot chocolate. We are only eating things that our grannies grannies would have identified as food rather than 'food like substances.' Really hoping it will help as sport has suffered massively since January (I've run half a dozen times and only kept up with rowing - haven't done crossfit which I love, or climbing which I also loved at all) Time to let the positivity shine through - if I can.

I'm hoping not putting crap fuel in will help me to regain some energy and enthusiasm although I am also aware that it might be a silly rescue me fad or that the cocktail of meds I'm on might interfere with cutting out the chemicals (not going to stop taking the meds!)

Ive been doped up on Diazepam and Lorazepam for most of the last three months in addition to the other meds. Now just taking Agomelatine and Venlafaxine (plus asthma meds) the Venlafaxine gives me horrific tremors which gets in the way of Chemistry experiments, writing, putting on make up  - well everything requiring fine motor skills really but it is totally worth it. Diagnosis is officially Complex Post Traumatic Stress, Dissociatve Disorder, Severe Depression. (No OCD as I've kicked that little f*ckers butt!!!!)

Lots of issues with school this year but I'll save all that stuff for another post if anyone is out there listening!

Much love xx

14/10/2015 at 16:39

good to hear you are on the mend. I have had a very stressful time this year and been ill but now recovering, I also have cut the not real foodstuffs out but have the odd lapse, sure it has helped although does take more planning.

14/10/2015 at 21:12


Here's to your recovery plan continue to keep you on the right road.  

Your post is remarkable good time as it comes just a few days before I tackle my first half marathon accompanied with some wonderful friends that I have met as a result of discovering this forum that you set up.  That has therefore proved to be a decisive life-changing moment for me.  Will be thinking of you of Sunday and will definitely arrange a meet up in the New Year.

Hugs xx


18/10/2015 at 12:28

Hiya solb. Good luck on you race today Imp. Sorry I'm not there supporting but I'm sure you have some good people around you.

Solb you are doing great. A big yeah!!! to kicking ocd. 

I'm back running again and still loving swimming and keeping well. Takes a lot of effort to get out of the door and sometimes I just give in to being a lazy slob but hey ho. 

22/10/2015 at 12:15

Wow some great advise here and I have to say were all different.

I am Bi-Polar and have been to the edge a couple of times, I was so over weight I could never of thought about running however loosing weight has changed that. 

I now run at least 3 times a week and I love building the distance, HOWEVER

Running can give me so much time to think, being Bi-Polar I don't switch off and have worked out a coping method which I believe works for me, but during my run, sometimes I get so worked up I actually feel more stressed out.   God help me if someone does not move over when I am on a track or they don't put the lead on there dog as he bounds towards me.

However I do believe running does keep me level headed outside of the actual run... I am not "As barking as usual" some people say.

I gave up the Meds against the advise from my Dr as they dumbed me.......

I go to a therapy group which helps, although I am a sponcer for a few people now, I very rarely talk about my own troubles. Its good to listen I think

22/10/2015 at 13:08

Not sure if this has been mentioned before - it being such a long thread. I recommend an autobiographical book on running and bipolar called "Fast Girl. A life spent running from madness" by Suzy Favor Hamilton. It's on Audible and it's been keeping me company on runs.

Suzy was a US runner up to Olympic level but all the time from childhood had mental troubles. Early on, that led to eating disorders and very low self-esteem. After some time she had some medical help from Prozac and Zoloft but all the time there were things happening in her background like the suicide of her brother. Later, she became an escort in Las Vegas and what some might call a nymphomaniac, but which was really related to self-esteem.

I haven't finished it yet. It shows how what could be seen as negative factors can lead to impressive performances, seen from the outside.

PS there's a rather unkind and undeservedly negative review on letsrun.

Edited: 22/10/2015 at 13:23
25/10/2015 at 22:09

Hi Mat and Steve

Thanks for the recommendation of the book - I may well check that out.

I've never mentioned the true nature of the issues I've been dealing with on here but am going to as I'm becoming more open about it.  I've been coming to terms with being transgender.  A week ago I finally ran my first half marathon.  It's something I've found very difficult to achieve due to the anxiety from gender disphoria.  So last weekend I spent time with friends in female mode then ran the half marathon still wearing my nail varnish to keep me in touch with my female side.  It seemed to wok as I ran a race that I'd had next to no training for with anxiety at manageable levels.



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