Depression and keeping healthy

I have decided to quit smoking this Monday and wondered what it was that had made me decide to quit now and not in the last 5 years.

I have been depressed since my late teens (am now 53) and in my 20's found the "joy" of being able to get drunk and forget how I was feeling.

Surprisingly that did not help my depression!

After swimming round in the bottom of a bottle for 25 years I finally was able to stop drinking Dec 15th, 2013.

I assumed that I would feel immediate health benefits and it would solve everything that I had wrong in my life and for a couple of months I felt very clean and sober and virtuous.

Then the anger started. And I have been angry at everyone and everything for about a year now. God forbid you cut me off in traffic or you'll cop a total mouthful from me.

It was last weekend, after screaming "Look at the fr**king walk signal you stupid f**king b*tch!" out my car window at a poor little old Asian lady that I suddenly seemed to lose the anger. Not completely but enough to realize how feral I had become.

About 2 blocks later I realised what an absolute ass I had become and for some reason a lot of the anger just evaporated. I guess you could say I took a long hard look in the mirror and realised I didn't like what I saw. Everyone in my vicinity was copping it - either in my head or out the car window. And it just wasn't doing anyone any good.

I had become one of those youtube tragics, screaming at everyone, who I would laugh at being caught on camera. That was me. Ugh lol

Anyway I am rambling.

Basically how are we supposed to get ourselves healthy and together when we are depressed. Caring about yourself is the last thing on your mind when your depressed - its a viscous cycle.

Have tried everything from Lexapro to Prozac all of which didn't work for different reasons.

8 weeks ago I started mega doses of magnesium to try and treat my atrial fibrillation (AF) . It's an outcome of my drinking and smoking and obesity for 3 decades and my battered heart has started to kick up a stink in the last few years.

The magnesium supplements seemed to be helping my heart but more remarkably I was noticing a real upswing in my mood. I have been feeling so much better and even the anger which I thought would never go is subsiding.

After I did some more investigation I found loads of studies showing that magnesium supplementation had helped witjh depression and talked about how magnesium helps to stabilise your mood.

I am starting to lose weight (I am obese) without trying, I am thinking more and more about exercise (THINKING not doing - but that is round the corner lol) and am going to quit smoking on Monday.

Thought I'd mention the magnesium thing in case it resonated with anyone here.

Both obesity and alcoholism can cause massive magnesium deficiencies in your body and when your body is magnesium deficient a huge whack of things in your body start not to function as well as they could.

Last edited by

8 Replies

  • Well done for deciding to pack in the fags Dave - that is great. Did you know there is a quit site here under 'Quit'? I joined it as I must stop asap and there are some great folk on there with lots of support and encouragement.

    Bev x

  • In the sixties/seventies I was involved in a serious accident and was put on sick for six months.

    At that time I as smoking sixty a day, Bensons and Headges. When I was discharged I used that time to pack in smoking and eventually packed it in. It took about nine months to quit the craving and now I am in my sixties and over the years to ten years ago I used the money on holidays abroad. I visited all over the world and enabled my interests in geography and history, my travels took me to strange interesting places. Many of these places now have been destroyed by war. So I could not have left my travels to now. As confirmed by today s News

    Make a target and go for it, make that target achievable by the savings you make and it will make packing up the weed easier.

    So look for that achievable interest and go for it with the money you have saved


  • Wow, it sounds almost like a rebirth for you! Congratulations on starting a new phase in your life.

    I'm 50 and have suffered from depression my whole life as well. Meds did nothing for me and the side effects were horrible. I started my change about a year and a half ago with a diet and exercise. I was overweight and gaining. But the diet wasn't for my health - it was because I was unemployed and couldn't afford to buy a new wardrobe in the next size up. The lift in my depression was an accidental, but happy, side effect.

    I'd been walking (that's my exercise) about a month and eating tons more vegetables and lost about 15 pounds. One day during a walk my face felt kind of strange. I realized I was smiling. For no reason whatsoever. And my walk was kind of bouncy. And I was happy for no reason. I started thinking maybe this is what "normal" feels like. I'd been depressed for so long that I couldn't remember ever feeling like this.

    Well, it's been a year and a half, and my weight has remained at the same healthy place for about 9 months. I've had a couple of bad days, but in general, my depression is gone, and I have so much more energy and feel so much better, I can't even express it. I've been working sporadically, but I have an interview coming up for a permanent dream job (wish me luck!) and a reasonable chance of getting it.

    I want to wish you good luck with your change, and the strength to keep going when you get discouraged. Keep going, with it. You will make mistakes and backslide (I did with my diet and with my exercise!) but just get up the next morning and start over. Don't give up no matter what! Because when the depression lifts, it's so amazingly wonderful! I want you to have as much joy and happiness as I've found. Stay strong!

  • Thankyou SO much those words mean a lot to me - and here's to your continued success :)

  • Kris super well done to you you have my total admiration. With the positivity you are showing, I'm sure that you will walk the interview. xxx Dens

  • Thank you Dens. I'm really nervous about it. Thank you for the words of encouragement!


  • Dave congratulations on recognising and coming to term with your problems enough to do something about them. I must admit I would have run and hid behind a corner if I came up against you former self. Just goes to show that there is a very worthy person inside.

    When I gave up smoking the following month I thought that I was dying, couldn't breathe, felt light headed, everything smelt foul and I realised it was my clothes.

    Keep in touch with updates ;) Dens

  • Hello Dave,

    I have read your cry for help, and think that best favour that you can do for yourself is to make an appointment to see your Gp an explain your problem and ask to be referred to a counsellor.

    I wish you well


You may also like...