the tumblr user reblogs the link to the scientific study. “just as i always thought,” he murmurs. “there is no remedy for my clinical depression and exercising is evil.” he continues to sit on the computer for the entire day without coming into contact with sunlight. this is the right and proper way to fix his depression. he’ll show those ableist meatspace-normativists. he’ll show all of them.
heh. this is probably something that happens to some degree, but.
I’m just mad that everybody’s been telling us to exercise based on what, upon examination, is some really flimsy evidence. for me it does tie into ableist attitudes toward people with depression, the notion that we can make ourselves better if we just put our backs into it, and if we’re depressed it just means we’re not trying hard enough.
you won’t really find me in the “self-care is whatever the hell I feel like doing” camp. I think there’s a lot of stuff we can do to help us manage, and other stuff we should try to avoid because, as good as it feels in the moment, it’s not really helpful. exercise has a role here, but to pitch it as a magic bullet is to ignore the complexity of this disorder and the reality that sometimes “fixing” depression isn’t a feasible goal.
honestly I think the best thing about exercise is the same thing that’s good about keeping your house reasonably clean or doing a craft project or whatever — a sense of accomplishment can be really helpful, even as a temporary lift. but this business about exercise as a solution should stop.
you know what exercise helps me with? it just keeps me busy so I don’t text people going “I’M GONNA DIE I’M GONNA DIE AND NOBODY CARES”. If I’m in a really bad state, I end up pushing myself into a state of exhaustion. This is all assuming on the manic/high-anxiety end of the scale; if I’m depressed, my body helpfully supplies psychosomatic body aches and exhaustion, which is not even getting into underlying chronic health issues. And for people who have a history of disordered exercising? I mean, depression can occur all by its lonesome, but it often doesn’t. I’ve no doubt exercising makes people feel better, especially in a society that attaches moral value to it. For me personally, exercise is not a way of treating mental health issue, but of managing my behavior to avoid doing something worse. Some people might describe that “helping”, but I would like to exercise by kicking those people in the shins. (And no one who gets annoyed by “exercise more!” owes anyone else an explanation of why. If they really are just devolving into a flabby puddle of self-pity and negative thinking, congrats, you’ve identified a consequence of depression, good work detective.)
yeah op your attitude here is kind of gross
lumping people who are critical of/annoyed by/etc a narrative of depression that basically culminates in “if you weren’t such a lazy fat shut-in, you wouldn’t have any problems, so excercise more you lazy fat shut-in!” in with people who are being really self-destructive is pretty rude
there are a lot of reasons why people reacted positively to that article/study and they all have to do with being told constantly to just “try X to cure your depression!” instead of actually like, getting real healthcare for a real and serious illness.
Like, whatever, I know there are problems with the study and junk science is annoying but give me something that I can point to to shut up people who tell me that I’m not trying hard enough to cure myself when every minute of my day is spent trying to cure myself and I will bless that all over the place.
hey, OP, I see you there using the word “ableist” and I’m wondering if it does not mean what you think it means.
Relentlessly insisting that I “just try exercise” even though I’ve been depressed since I was twelve and have tried just about every goddamn thing you can throw at me= ableist.
Additionally, making fun of people who can’t exercise, or can’t do what looks to you like exercise=ableist.
I reblogged that study with absolute fucking glee. Here’s why.
I have depression and also a chronic pain condition. One of my worst depression triggers is “getting too much exercise” because then my whole body will flare up in agony and there’s no quicker route to a severe depressive spiral than exhausting, miserable pain.
People in my life still routinely shame me for not exercising more, especially when I’m in a bad place w/r/t my depression. They disregard the possibility that I know myself well enough to know what helps and what dosen’t. That’s ableist.
Sorry, people throwing the word “ableist” into ableist jokes like it’s a tacky buzzword or to show that the person using it is a whiner is a pet peeve of mine.