For as long as I can remember, I’ve been guilty of two of the seven deadly sins.
Gluttony and Sloth.
Well, I guess that’s exaggerating a bit. I just love to eat and I hate to exercise. Deadly combination.
This is typical of me. I’m an all-or-nothing-kinda-gal. I’m either losing weight, at which I am very good, or gaining it back, at which I am even better. And lightning fast. I’m a Lifetime member of Weight Watchers, with about 80 lb. to lose. I have never, ever maintained a weight loss for more than a weekend.
I’ve run a 10 K though I came in seventh from last. I’ve pumped all kinds of iron. Walked and run on treadmills and elliptical machines. I’ve boxed. Stretched. Skipped. Power-walked. With trainers and without trainers. I've lapped 44 lengths of an Olympic pool every morning at 5 a.m. before work. My wardrobe spans size six to infinity.
I’ve also wasted more money than I care to imagine on lapsed, unused gym memberships.
Conservatively, I’ve gained and lost at least 2,000 lb. in my lifetime. More than 907 kilograms.
If Yo-Yo dieting was an Olympic Sport, I’d be a multiple Gold Medalist.
So, why am I telling you this? Why am I jumping for joy?
Exercise, it seems, isn’t all its cracked up to be when it comes to alleviating the symptoms of depression.
Now, you know, depression isn’t one of my problems. Mania is.
So this shouldn’t matter to me, but I’ll tell you why it does.
In my addled mind, it simply proves that the medical establishment doesn’t really know what causes depression or how brain chemistry really works.
It shows me the brain is not necessarily where the mind is located or vice versa.
Psychiatrists hate it when I suggest this. But, since I've been in psychiatry longer than my psychiatrist – Dr. Bob was finishing Grade 13 when I was first sent to a psychiatrist in 1960 – I figure my close to 48-years of experience has validity.
Psychiatry has been the through-line of my life. I have my ideas. And I try to follow the research, but at the same time, keep my eye firmly in the Recovery camp, too.
I do not believe psychiatric diagnoses equal Brain Disease! I do believe the mind is a holistic concept that encompasses all one's life experiences, feelings, traumas, perceptions, emotions, education. Everything.
I do not believe psychiatry is very scientific. Psychiatrists would love this to be so, but it really isn't. Yet. At one time, psychiatry and neurology were one branch of medicine — neuropsychiatry. Then, in 1948, that specialty was split into neurology, the science. And psychiatry, black magic, I like to call it.
There has been progress, and I'm not an anti-psychiatry advocate. I do not believe in throwing the baby out with the bath water. Freud introduced the practice of talk therapy.
I am critical. And I have an open mind.
Also, I know that prescribing of drugs to control behavioural symptoms proves nothing about the cause of these symptoms. It just controls behaviour.
Tylenol can soothe the pain of a headache, but does it tell you what the cause of that headache is?
The other reason I'm jumping for joy is that it seems what I've always believed is actually true.
Being fat doesn't necessarily mean you're unhealthy.
And being thin doesn't always mean you're healthy.
This week, this is big news everywhere, but Liz Spikol's blog The Trouble With Spikol, about mental health links to another of my favourite bloggers, Well, also from New York Times health writer Tara Parker-Hope. Liz posts a great picture, so have a look.
We're all different. I think that psychiatrists are desperately afraid of difference. They read it as "abnormal," which means nothing to me. I've never conformed.
I wish everyone could celebrate their "specialness," instead of trying to "cure" it. Forget what the psychiatrists tell you and their gobbledygook labels and language.
It's all madness. I like Shakespeare's take on it. All his Fools were mad and spoke the truth in his plays.
Be yourself. Try to find something that makes you feel good. Even if it's a walk in the park in the sunshine.
Licking an ice cream cone.
Simplify. Simplify. Simplify.