• Quote of the Day
    "The shoe that fits one person pinches another; there is no recipe for living that suits all cases."
    Carl Jung, posted by Daniel
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Daniel

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...The challenge with behavioral activation is mustering enough energy to start acting on the things that matter to you: Make that phone call, schedule that walk with friends, write that email, get off social media and start on the creative project you’ve been procrastinating on. This may sound simple, but when you are languishing, simple does not mean easy.

But a mind-set shift can be a powerful tool. When you feel down, unmotivated or apathetic, you can give yourself permission to feel those feelings but not dwell on them or take them as destiny. Instead, you shift the focus to getting started with what you have planned in front of you, taking your feelings, whatever they may be, along for the ride. Doing so gives you the best chance at improving your mood.

It can be helpful to think of this initial oomph as activation energy. Sometimes we need more, and sometimes we need less. For many of us, even the little things require more these days, and that’s OK...

To be sure, behavioral activation is not a be-all, end-all for people experiencing depression, anxiety or other mental health challenges, but it can be an extremely effective tool, along with medication and therapy as needed.
 

David Baxter

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...The challenge with behavioral activation is mustering enough energy to start

This is the real challenge for me and I'm sure for other people too. I get this recommendation repeatedly from my medical team and I know it's good advice. At times when I can follow through, I do feel at least a short term boost in energy and optimism but generally the following day or two my energy is even lower than usual. And much of the time, my energy levels are too low to realistically even consider going for a walk or whatever. (Of course, the winter doesn't help but it's not a whole lot better in warmer weather.)
 

Daniel

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I do feel at least a short term boost in energy and optimism but generally the following day or two my energy is even lower than usual.
That is an especially good point.

Incidentally, I remember during a low point that I inquired about ketamine from a local psychiatrist. When I looked into all the paperwork involved, I decided I would have to have been on ketamine already to be energetic enough to fight the insurance company :D
 
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David Baxter

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Yes and I already have so many medication interactions to worry about as it is. It seems that a big problem for me is potassium — last week potassium was at "critically low" levels and they had to postpone chemo. I'm taking supplements but am about to double that to twice a day instead of once. Maybe if I can get those up into normal range it will help with energy.
 

Daniel

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French fries and potato chips are also good sources of potassium :)

Was it a medication that caused the low potassium?
 
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David Baxter

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French fries and potato chips are also good sources of potassium :)

Was it a medication that caused the low potassium?

Yes It happened when I was on the "immunity therapy" version of chemo, now discontinued.

I've always needed potassium supplements because I've been taking hydrochlorothiazide for blood pressure (borderline high) and that is known to leech potassium, but for that I took only 60 mg/day (about 1 banana). For chemotherapy and even more so the immunity therapy there was a greater impact on potassium so the does was increased first to 160 mg/day and then to 320 mg/day. The 320 mg should be enough now that the immunity therapy has been discontinued.

I'm told by my medical team that the potassium in potatoes in concentrated in the peel. I didn't realize there was much in peeled potatoes.
 

Daniel

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The average adult sits for six-and-a-half hours per day, and all this chair time does a number on the brain...

Tanzi recommends moving after 15 to 30 minutes of sitting.
 
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Daniel

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Activation as socialization:


"Men often need to do something they are interested in, without realising they are developing new friendships along the way."
 

Daniel

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Music video of literally going from a chair to a dance floor:

 

Daniel

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To counter the isolation and withdrawal common to depression, therapists can introduce behavioral activation. This strategy entails getting clients more active and involved in life by scheduling activities that have the potential to improve their mood.
 
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Daniel

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Allowing yourself to do what you can do without criticism and praising yourself is a caring gift you can give yourself. If you find solace in watching TV, that’s good. If you are taking care of your pets despite your condition, praise yourself for this. If you feel better sleeping late or going back to bed, allow yourself to do that. Remember as you get needed treatment, this probably won’t be forever. It’s like having a broken leg. While your leg is healing, there are many things you can’t do. But as it gets better, you can do more and more and eventually probably everything you once did.
 

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