Welcome to AikiWeb Aikido Information
AikiWeb: The Source for Aikido Information
AikiWeb's principal purpose is to serve the Internet community as a repository and dissemination point for aikido information.

Sections
home
aikido articles
columns

Discussions
forums
aikiblogs

Databases
dojo search
seminars
image gallery
supplies
links directory

Reviews
book reviews
video reviews
dvd reviews
equip. reviews

News
submit
archive

Miscellaneous
newsletter
rss feeds
polls
about

Follow us on



Home > AikiWeb Aikido Forums
Go Back   AikiWeb Aikido Forums > "Off-The-Mat"

Hello and thank you for visiting AikiWeb, the world's most active online Aikido community! This site is home to over 22,000 aikido practitioners from around the world and covers a wide range of aikido topics including techniques, philosophy, history, humor, beginner issues, the marketplace, and more.

If you wish to join in the discussions or use the other advanced features available, you will need to register first. Registration is absolutely free and takes only a few minutes to complete so sign up today!

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 02-01-2013, 04:50 AM   #1
soupdragon1973
Dojo: Hallam Aikido, Sheffield
Location: Sheffield
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 28
United Kingdom
Offline
depression, has practicing Aikido helped in any way?

Odd question maybe. If you have had depression or anxiety has practicing Aikido helped in any way? Has it made you less stressed or mindful and therefore able to cope better with depression if you have it? I find I get in some awful black moods before going to the dojo but the focus and time spent there helps lift or alleviate my depression at the time. It could be said that any activity that focuses the mind for an hour or two would help.

Just wanted to know peoples opinions if they have or still do suffer with depression. I dont see any sole activity as a cure, not exercise or anything like that but surely something as focused as Aikido can help to a certain degree and at certain times at least.

Also; is it wrong to take an anti-depressant while training in Aikido? Not so much in that it could make you sleepy or drowsy as I dont have that effect with mine and I can certainly focus well while at the dojo. The question is more of an ethical nature, I dont ssmoke, drink or take drugs but I don in effect take a legalised drug which is an anti-depressant. Another odd question I know. Thanks
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2013, 11:07 AM   #2
Michael Hackett
Dojo: Kenshinkan Dojo (Aikido of North County) Vista, CA
Location: Oceanside, California
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 1,136
Offline
Re: depression, has practicing Aikido helped in any way?

It is no more wrong to take a prescribed antidepressant while studying aikido than it is to wear an ankle wrap or a bandaid. The question is better directed towards your physician as to whether the level of exercise has any effect on your medication. If you have been prescribed an antidepressant, you should take it regularly as prescribed. Good luck with your training - the activity, the fun, the socialization all may help with your overall well-being.

Michael
"Leave the gun. Bring the cannoli."
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2013, 11:54 AM   #3
soupdragon1973
Dojo: Hallam Aikido, Sheffield
Location: Sheffield
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 28
United Kingdom
Offline
Re: depression, has practicing Aikido helped in any way?

Thank you Michael.
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2013, 12:25 PM   #4
Janet Rosen
  AikiWeb Forums Contributing Member
 
Janet Rosen's Avatar
Location: Left Coast
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 3,942
Offline
Re: depression, has practicing Aikido helped in any way?

Alex, in terms of your second question first: we each of us carry our lives into the dojo with us, good and bad, injuries and meds, limitations, frustrations, goals we are explicitly working on, buttons we don't know we have until they get pushed.....the sole concern regarding any ingested substance is, does it pose a hazard to myself or my training partner? Standard antidepressants currently in use certainly won't affect your partners' safety and shouldn't affect your's except that some have anticholinergic activity (drying) which may make you need to be more aware of coming to class well hydrated and, if it's a long class like at a seminar or during very hot weather bringing liquid along.

In terms of effects on depression - as you note, in itself aikido is not a treatment modality - however, most studies do show that physical activity has a beneficial effect. There is also a lot to be said for being able to get yourself to the dojo and on the mat even if depressed - much the way folks say that having to get up to feed a cat or walk the dog is often a lifesaver - the ability to march oneself through a daily routine even on the day it brings no joy is beneficial in itself in that the routine is there, maintained, the day it begins to bring joy again.

Janet Rosen
http://www.zanshinart.com
"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2013, 12:33 PM   #5
soupdragon1973
Dojo: Hallam Aikido, Sheffield
Location: Sheffield
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 28
United Kingdom
Offline
Re: depression, has practicing Aikido helped in any way?

Thank you Janet. Yes indeed I have found I need a water bottle with me as I do get dehydrated quickly at the dojo, but that could also be because it is quite warm in there. I know my medication wont affect in any way so that I would become a liability to my training partner and I am quite aware, understanding, open and focused at the dojo. I think that is why I find Aikido especially useful as the focus helps me forget I was feeling depressed and upon leaving the dojo I feel refreshed mentally and awake again. Thank you for your response Janet.
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-2013, 02:34 AM   #6
GMaroda
Dojo: Allegheny Aikido
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 137
United_States
Offline
Re: depression, has practicing Aikido helped in any way?

First part: any physical activity can help. Anecdote: it's helped me. It's also helped my social anxiety.

Second part: Never stop taking, or adjust how/when you take, any medication without consulting your doctor. I would think it's unethical to not take a necessary medication as it shows you don't respect yourself enough to accept healing.

Keep training and have fun!
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-2013, 10:32 AM   #7
mathewjgano
 
mathewjgano's Avatar
Dojo: Tsubaki Kannagara Jinja Aikidojo; Himeji Shodokan Dojo
Location: Renton
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 2,113
United_States
Offline
Re: depression, has practicing Aikido helped in any way?

Quote:
Alex Mitchell wrote: View Post
Odd question maybe. If you have had depression or anxiety has practicing Aikido helped in any way? Has it made you less stressed or mindful and therefore able to cope better with depression if you have it? I find I get in some awful black moods before going to the dojo but the focus and time spent there helps lift or alleviate my depression at the time. It could be said that any activity that focuses the mind for an hour or two would help.

Just wanted to know peoples opinions if they have or still do suffer with depression. I dont see any sole activity as a cure, not exercise or anything like that but surely something as focused as Aikido can help to a certain degree and at certain times at least.

Also; is it wrong to take an anti-depressant while training in Aikido? Not so much in that it could make you sleepy or drowsy as I dont have that effect with mine and I can certainly focus well while at the dojo. The question is more of an ethical nature, I dont ssmoke, drink or take drugs but I don in effect take a legalised drug which is an anti-depressant. Another odd question I know. Thanks
I started doing Aikido when I was in some of the worst of my depression and anxiety. I believe the social interaction and focus on physical activity made a big difference for me. In retrospect the focus on personal discipline and "victory over self" also helped reinforce my efforts to address my mindset positively; it fit nicely as part of my overall efforts.
I don't see anything wrong with taking an anti-depressant while training.
Good luck and good training!
Take care,
Matthew

Gambarimashyo!
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-2013, 10:50 AM   #8
soupdragon1973
Dojo: Hallam Aikido, Sheffield
Location: Sheffield
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 28
United Kingdom
Offline
Re: depression, has practicing Aikido helped in any way?

thank you both for responding in kind. I dont see Aikido as a "universal pancea" as someone has suggested, in fact all I actual see it as is form or flowing self defence at its core. I dont impose any spirtual aspect to it, or some harmony with universe type thinking although I do find that aspect interesting. I am not here to tread on anyones feet or beliefs and I respect not just your beliefs but also your art. I respect any martial art. I tend to be a skeptic on many things and I dont see anyone thing as a cure all for a condition as depression but I do wish to know other peoples opinions and experiences if you have had depression or anxiety and found Aikido helped you. I guess it could be any martial art or activity but the peaceful nature of Aikido seems better than being smashed into the mat in say Judo or JuiJitsu. By then what do I know. Perhaps people with depression who practice those arts also find they are just as helpful. Thanks for responding.
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-2013, 02:32 PM   #9
SeiserL
 
SeiserL's Avatar
Dojo: Roswell Budokan, Kyushinkan Dojo, Aikido World Alliance
Location: Roswell, GA USA
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 3,715
United_States
Offline
Re: depression, has practicing Aikido helped in any way?

IMHO, since depression can be seen as repression and obsession with the negative of the past and AIkido is a positive expression of the present, it can be useful if you train with that intent.

However, Aikido is not competent professional psychotherapy.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-2013, 03:43 PM   #10
soupdragon1973
Dojo: Hallam Aikido, Sheffield
Location: Sheffield
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 28
United Kingdom
Offline
Re: depression, has practicing Aikido helped in any way?

No, its not but then pyschotherapy has its failings also and its expensive. As I said, there is no one thing or activity that will help depression alone. I was told physical activity such as jogging or swimming would help and it does, briefly. I would rather do some physical activity than take a medication but due to shin splints I cant run as often as I like and swimming during the day is out of the question due to work shifts.

Anyhow thank you for your input. Maybe I should have posed this question on a depression forum haha!
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-06-2013, 07:03 AM   #11
Cliff Judge
Dojo: Aikido Shobukan Dojo
Location: Columbia, MD
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 976
United_States
Offline
Re: depression, has practicing Aikido helped in any way?

I have been having a conversation with an old friend lately about depression, and during this conversation I have repeatedly noted that, since I started training Aikido assiduously eleven years ago, no matter how black and hopeless my mood or outlook, I keep moving forward. I get onto the mat, I train, and this keeps the rest of the daily cycle in motion: I take care of personal hygiene, I eat, I sleep generally well. Getting out of bed takes some time on occasion, but I get to work and keep my job. Aikido is probably not the only activity that can have this quality, but I think martial arts in particular do.
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2013, 05:01 AM   #12
soupdragon1973
Dojo: Hallam Aikido, Sheffield
Location: Sheffield
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 28
United Kingdom
Offline
Re: depression, has practicing Aikido helped in any way?

thanks Cliff. Yeah I find just the activity of getting out the house and doing something positive and focused helps. I took up Jui Jitsu as well recently. I find Aikido helps calm me though, maybe its the movements, maybe its the fact Jui Jitsu seems more brutal and perhaps the moves in Aikido take abit more time to learn? We did weapons training with bokken the other day and although I dont see that as useful in a self defence context I found it useful just in the fact it was enjoyable and I enjoyed the movements and defences with the bokken.
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2013, 12:19 PM   #13
lbb
Location: Massachusetts
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 2,805
United_States
Offline
Re: depression, has practicing Aikido helped in any way?

I've held off from replying to this because I don't have depression, and so don't have your personal experience. I'm also not a clinician. You asked, though, about using anti-depressants, and that made me remember the tail-end of a talk by Pema Chodron (it's on one of her audiobooks). In response to a question where a participant wanted to stop using medication, Ani Pema said, During the Q&A session, one participant said that she had clinical depression and was hopeful that she could stop using antidepressants if she got her meditation practice working right. Ani Pema said, basically, that while practices like meditation can be helpful, and might allow some people to go off their meds, for some people, medication is needed to temper the effects of the condition, and that's just a part of the life that you have. The important point is that for many people, medication mediates the condition enough that they can proceed, can get on with life, and can be in a position where practices such as meditation (or aikido, or walks in the woods, or whatever) can do some good. So, in her view, it's not an either-or thing.

I also found another article in the Shambhala Sun (here) by a woman who attempted to deal with depression purely through meditation and spiritual practices, and was not successful until she added antidepressants into her suite of tools. It's a pretty hard read; she describes the depths of her depression with great honesty. But it's also beautiful and full of wisdom:

"There's a saying in Zen that "inquiry and response come up together." Perhaps that's what prayer is. To make an inquiry is already to get a response, because asking implies that there's something else there. And there's not even a time lag. The moment you're asking for help, you're already getting it, though it may not be the help you thought you wanted. Once, when I called Zen teacher Reb Anderson in despair, he came to Berkeley to see me. We sat on a park bench in a playground, and he told me, "The universe is already taking care of you." I said this mantra to myself over and over: "The universe is already taking care of me.""

Best of luck to you,

Last edited by lbb : 02-13-2013 at 12:33 PM.
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-2013, 03:18 AM   #14
soupdragon1973
Dojo: Hallam Aikido, Sheffield
Location: Sheffield
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 28
United Kingdom
Offline
Re: depression, has practicing Aikido helped in any way?

thanks lbb
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-2013, 10:36 PM   #15
KEM
Dojo: Aikido of Gainesville/ Gainesville, FL
Location: Gainesville/FL
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 22
United_States
Offline
Re: depression, has practicing Aikido helped in any way?

If the anti-depressents help keep taking them. No one suggests that a person with blood pressure problems stop taking their medicine to train aikido. If the blood pressure improves and the medication can be reduced great (under appropriate advise). If not...it is about chemistry, not character. You are showing the depth of your character by doing Aikido and by sharing your experience publicly in this forum.
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-17-2013, 08:51 AM   #16
soupdragon1973
Dojo: Hallam Aikido, Sheffield
Location: Sheffield
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 28
United Kingdom
Offline
Re: depression, has practicing Aikido helped in any way?

thanks KEM. I should perhaps explain abit better why I asked this question.

Last Sept I signed up with a 'Mcdojo'. Not in Aikido but it was supposedly mixed martial arts they were selling. When I went for my induction the instructor was asking me lots of questions before I signed up and one of them was 'am I on any medication'. I answered yes and then was told 'we try to encourage our students to come off medication'. Now I rushed myself to rid myself of any medication within a short time which did me no good what-so-ever. I understand this instructors attitude was reckless and ill-informed to say the least.

I have since distanced myself from said Mcdojo and took up Aikido instead. Further to add my Sensei's at the dojo where I take Aikido have never asked me such questions about medications I take.
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-18-2013, 12:52 AM   #17
sakumeikan
Dojo: Sakumeikan N.E. Aikkai .Newcastle upon Tyne.
Location: Newcastle upon Tyne
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 1,152
United Kingdom
Offline
Re: depression, has practicing Aikido helped in any way?

Quote:
Alex Mitchell wrote: View Post
thanks KEM. I should perhaps explain abit better why I asked this question.

Last Sept I signed up with a 'Mcdojo'. Not in Aikido but it was supposedly mixed martial arts they were selling. When I went for my induction the instructor was asking me lots of questions before I signed up and one of them was 'am I on any medication'. I answered yes and then was told 'we try to encourage our students to come off medication'. Now I rushed myself to rid myself of any medication within a short time which did me no good what-so-ever. I understand this instructors attitude was reckless and ill-informed to say the least.

I have since distanced myself from said Mcdojo and took up Aikido instead. Further to add my Sensei's at the dojo where I take Aikido have never asked me such questions about medications I take.
Dear Alex,
Perhaps it would be wise to mention that you are on medication to your new sensei?Just a quiet word should suffice.Do not stop any medical treatment that you are on unless advised by your own doctor.Take care , Joe.
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-18-2013, 01:41 AM   #18
soupdragon1973
Dojo: Hallam Aikido, Sheffield
Location: Sheffield
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 28
United Kingdom
Offline
Re: depression, has practicing Aikido helped in any way?

yes that might be a good idea. Just didnt want to rush into telling anyone, not there at least as I didnt want to feel any pressure regarding this. Thanks Joe.
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-18-2013, 04:33 PM   #19
graham christian
Dojo: golden center aikido-highgate
Location: london
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 2,697
England
Offline
Re: depression, has practicing Aikido helped in any way?

Quote:
Alex Mitchell wrote: View Post
yes that might be a good idea. Just didnt want to rush into telling anyone, not there at least as I didnt want to feel any pressure regarding this. Thanks Joe.
Not might be Alex, come on, it's your responsibility to. By not doing so you will be the one feeling the pressure.....on yourself.

First step...be open.

Peace.G.
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-18-2013, 04:48 PM   #20
Janet Rosen
  AikiWeb Forums Contributing Member
 
Janet Rosen's Avatar
Location: Left Coast
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 3,942
Offline
Re: depression, has practicing Aikido helped in any way?

....the nurse says...there is no need or reason to tell the instructor. This medicine has no side effects that will affect the OP's training. Patient privacy should only be waived when it matters.

Janet Rosen
http://www.zanshinart.com
"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-18-2013, 04:56 PM   #21
graham christian
Dojo: golden center aikido-highgate
Location: london
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 2,697
England
Offline
Re: depression, has practicing Aikido helped in any way?

A medical drug with no side effects? That's a first. Come on now.
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-18-2013, 05:32 PM   #22
Michael Hackett
Dojo: Kenshinkan Dojo (Aikido of North County) Vista, CA
Location: Oceanside, California
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 1,136
Offline
Re: depression, has practicing Aikido helped in any way?

That wasn't what she said Graham. She said the drug would have no side effects that would affect his training. Everything we ingest has side effects to some degree or another and may have some affect on our activities. Janet was clear that an antidepressant would not present side effects to the detriment of aikido training. Two very different things.

Michael
"Leave the gun. Bring the cannoli."
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-18-2013, 05:53 PM   #23
graham christian
Dojo: golden center aikido-highgate
Location: london
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 2,697
England
Offline
Re: depression, has practicing Aikido helped in any way?

Quote:
Michael Hackett wrote: View Post
That wasn't what she said Graham. She said the drug would have no side effects that would affect his training. Everything we ingest has side effects to some degree or another and may have some affect on our activities. Janet was clear that an antidepressant would not present side effects to the detriment of aikido training. Two very different things.
I stand corrected......slightly.

Firstly my point was to be open, both with Doctor and teacher. Secondly I disagree with side effects that won't affect training thus they should be known.

Don't give me that 'anything ingested has side effects' line please. We are talking medication and there are specific side effects which will affect training. It is responsibility which leads to thus doing the training with no adverse effects not hiding things.

So you are right saying I took it as side effects but wrong if you think they wouldn't affect training or shouldn't be mentioned.

Peace.G.
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-18-2013, 07:46 PM   #24
lbb
Location: Massachusetts
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 2,805
United_States
Offline
Re: depression, has practicing Aikido helped in any way?

There's being open, then there's egregious TMI violations. There's need to know, and there's getting in someone's business. It's important to know the difference.

What's magical about the word "medication" anyway? We need to tell our instructors about everything we take that's called "medication", but don't need to tell them about anything else? That doesn't make any sense. Alcohol isn't called a "medication", but it has an effect that's much more relevant to training than aspirin, which IS a "medication". You can choose to follow a rule that you've made up based on a label, or you can use common sense. Your choice.
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-18-2013, 09:14 PM   #25
Janet Rosen
  AikiWeb Forums Contributing Member
 
Janet Rosen's Avatar
Location: Left Coast
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 3,942
Offline
Re: depression, has practicing Aikido helped in any way?

There is no need for aikido instructors to know most of the meds people take. Thyroid? Laxative? Diuretic? Antidiuretic? Heck, what qualifications does an aikido instructor even have in order to make any meaningful evaluation of this, much less have it be relevent to the training. Employers don't need to know, why do aikido instructors?
Things I would consider highly relevent would include
"I have a heart condition and take a drug that regulates my pulse rate. My doctor has cleared me for all forms of exercise and I can provide you with his name and number if you have any concerns...I haven't actually had any symptoms in two years but want to let you know and I do carry emergency nitro just in case of chest pain."
"I'm a diabetic. Sometimes I may need to go off the mat to check my blood sugar. Is there a dojo emergency kit in which I can leave some sugar tablets just in case? Do you have any questions or concerns about my training?"

Janet Rosen
http://www.zanshinart.com
"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
  Reply With Quote

Please visit our sponsor:

Budo Bear Patterns - Sewing pattern for Women's (and Men's) dogi.



Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
A Consideration of Aikido Practice within the Context of Internal Training Ellis Amdur Columns 71 03-21-2013 08:15 PM
Martial Ineffectiveness dps General 148 08-20-2012 09:15 AM
Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 20 Peter Goldsbury Columns 22 10-20-2011 10:28 PM
Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 14 Peter Goldsbury Columns 38 07-31-2009 11:19 PM
Two things. Veers General 8 04-04-2003 01:54 PM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:25 AM.



vBulletin Copyright © 2000-2014 Jelsoft Enterprises Limited
----------
Copyright 1997-2014 AikiWeb and its Authors, All Rights Reserved.
----------
For questions and comments about this website:
Send E-mail
plainlaid-picaresque outchasing-protistan explicantia-altarage seaford-stellionate