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When the brain is excited everything is all around better, learning is faster, training is better, socializing is easier and thinking is faster and more coherent.

For some, such as myself, however, this is not a natural state, indeed it is very rare.

I have, in the past, suffered from major depression, and while I learned to control this seemingly normal state of mind, it seems that much of my brain is still "off" leading me to believe that neuron firing in my brain may be inhibited.

Now, I have considered a number of methods for dealing with this problem amoung which are:

  • SSRIs: The problem doesn't seem to be seratonin deficiency, which prompted me to stop.

  • Marijuana: While it does help with the depressive mental states, it only replaces them with vegetative states which is not optimal.

  • Cocaine: Ruled out due to high costs and risk of addiction.

  • Various epinephrines: Ruled out due to the potential shut down of natural epinephrine production in the brain.

All these drugs are seemingly unworkable and in fact, music is the only thing capable of producing excitatory responses in my brain, though they happen rarely and seldom last for longer than a few hours, however the very fact that they happen may be indication that a more permanent excitatory state is possible.

Furthermore, I would like to place what you've read thus far into context, I am not looking for a permanent "high" which you might associate with some of the aforementioned drugs, while that may be a dream state for a drug addict, it is not for me. I am simply looking for methods with which I may increase the excitability of my neurons to a point which I deem acceptable for daily life.

Whether those methods include psychoactive drugs, psychtropic drugs, dietary plans, meditation or any other method I may have thus far not thought of.

In conclusion, I would appreciate any scientifically founded information or useful methods on the matter.

  • 1
    @Narusan It's well known that a sugar high is often followed by a crash. – Mike Waters Mar 8 '17 at 22:59
  • I'm not sure the premise of "keeping the brain excited" is a very sound and sensible approach. It eventually tires out and brings about the opposite of happiness, if it keeps being stimulated for too long. Also, you have to see what it gets excited for. Some people with previous experiences of depression etc. play a lot of computer games or have some substance dependnency. Surely their brain gets stimulated, but that doesn't necessarily made them live better at all. I'd say striving for balance and resting when necessary possibly makes quite more sense than purely searching for "excitedness". – xji Mar 15 '17 at 22:40
  • The eventual goal out of depression should be the restoring of chemical balance etc., not exactly some potentially harmful "source of excitement" imo. Of course you might have already known that. Just a comment here. – xji Mar 15 '17 at 22:43
  • LSD. Just saying. Not good long term though. Also try microdosing. Though it's better long term to add aerobic exercise, 15m per day. If you get vegetative state from marijuana then you were using indica. Switch to sativa. Also consider nootropics like TruBrain (piracetam). – Chloe May 8 '17 at 14:12
  • You're incorrect about the fundamental principle of excitability, depression, and serotonin. See a psychiatrist. – DoctorWhom Jun 13 '18 at 3:17
5

What worked for me (and many others!) was exercise.

After trying many antidepressants, I tried running. What got me motivated was an old article that I read about a clinical trial done by the University of Wisconsin around 1980. (Sorry, I could not find it today). IIRC, half of the group was given Prozac with no exercise, and the other half ran but was not given any pills. At the end of 10 weeks, the runners were less depressed than the other group.

After reading that, I decided to try running in the morning before work. I ran as far as I could until I was out of breath, and then walked back home. I made myself run a little further each time. One day, I could run much further; I didn't get out of breath, my legs just got tired. After only 6 weeks, I was amazed at how GOOD I felt! My depression and anxiety vanished.

You get a runner's high when you get in shape. That's a well known benefit.

Eventually, I regularly ran between 3 and 4 miles, 4 or 5 days a week after work. And I did that for several decades, before I slipped on some ice and injured my ankle and lower leg.

Before you try it, educate yourself. You can injure your feet without the correct technique (such as stretching your leg muscles beforehand) and suitable running shoes (I used Nikes). See an appropriate physician and read some good running/jogging books first! And if you feel real pain, stop running and just walk that day.

These days, I alternate walking with running. It does wonders for my mental health, as long as I can stay motivated.

  • 1
    I've been exercising for a long time but never running, I'll see how it goes. – Ognian Mirev Mar 9 '17 at 14:55
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    @OgnianMirev The key here is sustained aerobic exercise, and running does it. (And FYI, all-out sprinting is not what I meant. Slower and steady.) – Mike Waters Mar 9 '17 at 16:16
  • Exercise bike is good too, or roller blading, or hiking. – Chloe May 8 '17 at 14:07
3

Definitely, exercise. Any form. Running is often mentioned because of "runner's high," but I have bad knees so... I walk. I walk with earbuds and listen to my favorite music. I change where I walk and the music I listen to frequently. Then you have swimming, yoga, pilates, hit a handball at a wall, dance, martial arts, hiking, biking, climb a wall, all things you can do alone or with someone else.

Brain exercise: Crossword puzzles, sudoku, quizzes, anything that make you think.

Heart care: Practice at least one random act of kindness daily.

Just move. Everything is okay.

evom tsuj

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