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 Post subject: Mood Strategies
PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2014 10:30 am 
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Posts: 190
Since I suddenly find myself with free time in the evenings where I am not hammered, I have been watching a lot of YouTube videos about self-improvement. Last night I was watching videos of a guy who runs a clinic for people treatment-resistant depression. He has impressive data on success rates and doesn't use medications. His name is Neil Nedley if you want to look him up. He is a Seventh Day Adventist, so his talks have a lot of religion thrown in, but he's also a medical doctor. Anyway, I thought I'd share his treatments and ask if anyone would like to share their own.

Circadian Rhythm
Go to bed early at the same time every night, wake early at the same time every morning.

Light therapy
Get sunlight early in the morning. Use a light box in winter if necessary (it's relatively inexpensive and easy to make your own). Avoid blue light (i.e. screens) after dark. Wear blue-blockers if necessary.

Nutrition
High carbohydrate, plant-based diet. Lots of fruits and vegetables and omega-3 fats (ground flax, walnuts, etc.).

Exercise
One hour of aerobic exercise a day, broken into two sessions if necessary.

Avoid Toxins
No alcohol, caffeine, nicotine or sugar.

Music
Listen to Baroque music (e.g. Handel, Bach) and avoid music with syncopated beats (i.e. rock, country).

Work with Hands
Do something every day in 3D (e.g. crafts, mechanic work, gardening, etc.). Yay knitting!

Correct Distorted Thinking
Use Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) to correct errors like emotional reasoning or over-generalizing. SMART Recovery has a lot of free online resources for self-directed CBT.

Hydrotherapy
Alternate exposure to very warm and then very cold water. He uses this on the most severely depressed patients. The data shows that it is as effective as shock therapy without the cognitive side-effects. It up-regulates receptors in the brain.


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 Post subject: Re: Mood Strategies
PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2014 8:33 am 
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Posts: 60
Hrm. "Listen to classical, not rock"? Sounds like a meddling quack to me. I'd take the "data" with a grain of salt.

Some of that's good advice, but it's also simple common sense. Who hasn't heard that their mood will improve with proper sleep, nutrition, and exercise?


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 Post subject: Re: Mood Strategies
PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2014 2:00 pm 
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epenthesis wrote:
Hrm. "Listen to classical, not rock"? Sounds like a meddling quack to me. I'd take the "data" with a grain of salt.

I looked up the studies, and there's pretty decent data on this. Not all classical music is helpful - don't listen to Stravinsky's Rite of Spring and expect to feel better - and presumably not all rock or country is bad when it comes to frontal lobe functioning. I was pretty bummed that one of the studies found that the grunge music I listened to every day as a teenager caused significant increases in fatigue, stress, sadness and hostility in test subjects, but I wouldn't characterize the researchers as meddling quacks simply because I don't like their conclusions.

epenthesis wrote:
Some of that's good advice, but it's also simple common sense. Who hasn't heard that their mood will improve with proper sleep, nutrition, and exercise?

I don't think that music therapy, light therapy, dark therapy or hydrotherapy are common sense. I don't know anyone who does these things, and almost all of my friends are on antidepressants.

I've heard that sleep, nutrition and exercise will improve mood, but I was very surprised at what a profound difference these interventions make. Also, the specifics (e.g. the best hours to sleep, what kinds of foods to eat and what type of exercise) were instructive to me, so I thought I'd share. Excusez-moi.


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 Post subject: Re: Mood Strategies
PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2014 9:21 am 
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I'm glad you're finding it helpful, at any rate. :-) But I think interventions as significant as changing the kind of music you listen to are probably not worth the psychic cost for most people. I'd probably be much less stressed if I simplified my life and moved to a more rural area, but I'd also be bored and unfulfilled.


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 Post subject: Re: Mood Strategies
PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2014 11:34 am 
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I guess there are always tradeoffs. With the exercise, for example, it's almost all win to nudge the time of exercise above one hour (I was at 45 minutes anyway, so there's no new habit to form and the only cost is the actual time). With the music, I'd miss rock and country enough to more than cancel out any benefit from switching to Baroque classical. I like Handel, but I like Michael Jackson and Garth Brooks more. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Mood Strategies
PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2014 2:23 pm 
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melissa1928 wrote:
I guess there are always tradeoffs. With the exercise, for example, it's almost all win to nudge the time of exercise above one hour (I was at 45 minutes anyway, so there's no new habit to form and the only cost is the actual time). With the music, I'd miss rock and country enough to more than cancel out any benefit from switching to Baroque classical. I like Handel, but I like Michael Jackson and Garth Brooks more. :)

Some things are minimal on the tradeoffs. The results for increasing intake of omega-3 fats are impressive, and I haven't found it difficult to sprinkle ground flax on my oatmeal. It tastes fine. The CBT involves a little work, but it's not forever - unlike other forms of therapy, once you're done, you're done. And the hydrotherapy is no freaking fun, but it's quick and presumably most people take a shower every day anyway. It makes it tolerable when the cold water hits me to think about sensitizing my receptors. The amber glasses that I've started donning in the evening look ridiculous, but that's about the only down side. The sleep improvement was noticeable immediately.

The music thing is a bummer. I associate literally all the music I love with getting drunk. I'm hoping that will change and I can listen to it again someday, but for now it's out of the question.

The most difficult for me is the caffeine and nicotine. I'm going to try to wean myself on the caffeine, and since I vape my nicotine, I'm thinking of switching to 0 mg/ml juice and extinguishing that just like the alcohol.


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 Post subject: Re: Mood Strategies
PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2014 2:36 pm 
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Magda wrote:
The music thing is a bummer. I associate literally all the music I love with getting drunk. I'm hoping that will change and I can listen to it again someday, but for now it's out of the question.


It can happen. A break is good, though.

This might also be a good time to try new music. I've rediscovered standards (Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, etc.). Those weren't a soundtrack to drinking, so I enjoy them without bad associations.

Of course, at this point I can listen to country drinkin' music without drinkin' along. That's part of the beauty of a real cure . . . gotta get there first, though.

Quote:
The most difficult for me is the caffeine and nicotine. I'm going to try to wean myself on the caffeine, and since I vape my nicotine, I'm thinking of switching to 0 mg/ml juice and extinguishing that just like the alcohol.


How would you extinguish it? Naltrexone doesn't affect nicotinoid receptors.

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 Post subject: Re: Mood Strategies
PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2014 4:58 pm 
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melissa1928 wrote:
How would you extinguish it? Naltrexone doesn't affect nicotinoid receptors.

By switching to e-liquid (the liquid that produces the vapor) that has no nicotine. I currently use 12-18 mg/ml e-liquid. Since the act of vaping is the same, it would be performing the same act but with no reward. I think it will work in the same way that TSM works, no? I'll be a little rat pressing a lever and getting no peanut butter.

I'm probably going to go down to 6 mg/ml juice for a while and then switch to 0 mg/ml in order to avoid nicotine withdrawal. Nicotine itself isn't terribly unhealthy, but my goal is to be completely addiction free. Well, except for the knitting. That's hopeless.


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 Post subject: Re: Mood Strategies
PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2014 7:13 pm 
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Did you smoke before you vaped? If you did, the cigarette monster will go nuts when you switch to 0-nic liquid. Most people titrate it down slowly, to wean off without nicotine withdrawal.

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http://naltrexonekey.blogspot.com/
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 Post subject: Re: Mood Strategies
PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2014 9:10 am 
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melissa1928 wrote:
Did you smoke before you vaped? If you did, the cigarette monster will go nuts when you switch to 0-nic liquid. Most people titrate it down slowly, to wean off without nicotine withdrawal.

I used to smoke, but I've been vaping a long time. Cigarettes are no longer tempting at all; I prefer vaping at this point. But I do it constantly and it's annoying.

I probably will titrate down, but it is tempting to just put up with the withdrawals and go straight to 0 nicotine and get it over with. It couldn't possibly be more annoying that drinking with no reward was the first week or so.


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