Surfing with the Black Dog

overthefalls's picture
overthefalls started the topic in Sunday, 28 Jun 2020 at 4:20pm

Anyone ever struggled with depression? Did surfing help?

overthefalls's picture
overthefalls's picture
overthefalls commented Sunday, 28 Jun 2020 at 5:13pm

I’ve lived with depression for the last few years. Not exactly sure what brought it on but I suspect it was a combination of stressful life events, genetic predisposition, substance abuse, unhealthy living and negative/irrational thinking. I feel like the fog is lifting now and I know surfing has played a big part in my gradual recovery. I think surfing has benefitted my mental health in a number of ways; it involves rigorous exercise that causes the brain to release feel-good chemicals, it makes you sleep better, it’s a form of mindfulness meditation that takes your mind off stuff, it connects you to nature and it’s a source of social contact, all of which are recommended strategies to treat depression.

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Sunday, 28 Jun 2020 at 5:28pm

Surfing definitely makes a huge difference. Unfortunately, an insidious effect of the depression is that it can make your passions seem unappealing. You’ve just got to force yourself out there sometimes to wedge a bit of light into the darkness.

indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming commented Sunday, 28 Jun 2020 at 5:35pm

I had depression pretty bad about 15+ years ago for much of the same reasons, family history of depression, life just not going where i wanted, and i was partying really hard (lived on the Goldie) and not eating healthy, and just my outlook super negative.

Yeah sure there are a lot of things that can help and surfing can be a positive for sure, just getting out in the water and sun and getting exercise.

But in all honesty for me the thing that really brought change were anti depressants, it just changed my whole outlook and how i felt, which enabled me to change all the other things that i needed too, like not partying so hard, eating heathy, and just having a more positive outlook and then that flowed onto a zest for life and reboot for surfing which helped in that way.

Please Stunet give me an ignore button for Talking Turkey, Shatners Basoon, Dale Cooper, Factotum, Pupkin, and any new fake profile he decides to create.

shoredump's picture
shoredump's picture
shoredump commented Sunday, 28 Jun 2020 at 6:23pm

Yes mate, and I’ve had decades worth of the best years of my life afterwards

You’re unhappiness is just a chemical

https://youtu.be/M1x-JOp9t_U

blow-in-9999's picture
blow-in-9999's picture
blow-in-9999 commented Sunday, 28 Jun 2020 at 7:00pm

My results mirror IndoDreaming. Less party more (over) working tho.

Really have to force myself to go when its shit (so like 95% of the time on the sunny coast...). Anti-Depressant can be very helpful with getting you out there enjoying it again.

After tearing my shoulder in Feb I've had to take up cycling. Still can't paddle properly.

Went on a surf trip to Indo about 10 years ago (which was thankfully book well in advanced) that probably saved my life. Heavy when I think about it.

goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot commented Sunday, 28 Jun 2020 at 7:17pm

Have you tried swimming to strengthen your shoulder?
Hope your depression lifts over the falls. Remember always talk to someone if you’re feeling down. Let someone know

blow-in-9999's picture
blow-in-9999's picture
blow-in-9999 commented Sunday, 28 Jun 2020 at 11:35pm

Its purely the shoulder rotation on the recovery stroke that's the problem. I can't easier swim anything but breaststroke. Been for a few sessions on the boog, but still sketchy at my favorite spots without a right arm to paddle. Depression is up and down at the moment, generally under control.

H2O's picture
H2O's picture
H2O commented Monday, 29 Jun 2020 at 8:11am

Blow-in-9999 - Have you been to a pyhsio who specialists in shoulder re setting .Yeah they will all say they do but some really know their shit. If the tear has mended the shoulder should be re set and a specialist will show you how. If time /$ permits and you cant find one in your area , Joel Werner at The Oval Physio in North Sydney is fantastic. Have to book ahead weeks but worth it.

SurferSam's picture
SurferSam's picture
SurferSam commented Monday, 29 Jun 2020 at 9:38am

I’ve had back to back injuries this year and been out of the water for all but a couple of weeks in between. Def plays with your head not being able to surf. So while yes surfing helps prevent depression, I feel like it makes it worse when you can’t surf. Especially when all your happy memories are tied to surfing in some way. But the ocean still helps, I can still swim and get that salty feeling

P'tai's picture
P'tai's picture
P'tai commented Monday, 29 Jun 2020 at 7:56pm

Yes surfing helped immensely. I was diagnosed with PTSD, after subjecting myself to a litany of self destructive behaviours. My Psych asked me what made me happy in the past, as a kid, well before serving the nation. It was training and surfing. He told me to go surfing, rather than prescribing. That was what he preferred me do. So I did. It was a revelation. The way he put it to me was that, any physical activity will release endorphins (feel good hormones), couple that with an activity that you love(or at that time i had loved) the effect will be amplified. It was. the effect was a win win. I got fitter and happier and did not need to rely on prescription.
That life changing revelation to me occurred 15 years ago. I still surf as much as I can. I'm still in touch with my Psych, the difference is we now shake hands, as we are now mates! (He never shook hands with a patient, so not to blur the lines)

Go Surfing it will save you.