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Building Muscles To Fight Depression

A day’s worth of rotating patients had carried in the humidity that clung to their clothes. It made my skin feel sticky and the waiting room oddly smelled like my grandma’s musty basement in the summer. The patients were all uncomfortably packed in there like fidgety sardines and there was only one chair available. Thankfully, it was separated from another patient by a leaning black shelf with old magazines haphazardly piled on top.

I often wonder if patients with OCD sweat by just looking at it.

A woman with a solemn gaze sat in a wheelchair that was parked in the middle of the horse shoe chair arrangement. A proud smiling man decked in a crisp white baseball uniform talked about a fishing derby to anyone who’d listen while two other women chatted about the weather. Soon the room joined in but I kept to myself, nervously picking at what was left of the clear coat on my nails. It was so crowded in there but much like the last couple of weeks, I felt alone.

I was called in and flopped on the couch. I was ready to surrender and admit that I needed more than what I could give to myself.



If someone were to tell me that licking a car battery while stabbing the bottoms of my feet with a Lego would make my depression lift, I would try it before ever contemplating a medication change. Tinkering with chemicals can only go three ways; it works, it doesn’t work, or it gets worse. I always fear the worse which is why I choose complementary medicine such as electroacupuncture and deep tissue massage to augment the effectiveness of my medications for chronic pain. Sometimes those modalities alone are more than enough.

As for bipolar disorder, medications can only do so much and I am responsible for the rest; self-care (adequate sleep, routines, mindfulness, etc.) and complementary medicine using vitamins. However, there is only so much that I can do when the medications aren’t working hard enough.

After five years of this unrelenting dance, I know me more than anyone else.

I know when to give in and to ask for help.


“I hurt,” I told him.

When it was suggested that I take creatine to boost my mood I felt that my feelings were not validated just like everyone else who is trying to smooth the hurt over like icing covering a cake that was torn to shreds as it was dug out of the pan it was baked in.

Regardless of what stressful life event may have triggered this, I hurt every day.

I was reminded of a line in the movie It’s Kind Of a Funny Story, “Life can’t be cured, but it can be managed,” and I can’t manage life when my coping mechanisms are not functioning properly.

I truly appreciate the suggestion of complementary medicine as it does not come with the harsh side effects of drugs but I know that I need more. I’m going to try the creatine though with an open mind and with the hope that it could be exactly what I need to help augment the effectiveness of my antidepressants.

If not, I will at least have some serious pipes and for once, I will be able to open the pickle jar all by myself.

pickle jar


*Don’t take any over the counter vitamins without consulting your doctor first.


Have you ever tried creatine for depression?

Have you used any complimentary medicine to help treat any ailments?


  1. I have not tried Creatine but I did use Deplin for a while. Now I am trying to boost my exercise, get back to where the endrophines will help. I have missed that boost. And just trying to get through the Climb Out of the Darkness stuff. It’s all over Thursday. And hopefully that stress will ease away.

    My big sign of when I need a med change is when I start obsessing over thoughts, like being overly upset about something that happened, either today or years ago. The sign I am cycling to hypo and need help with it is typically the use of the F word. My cousin knows that signal and to make me call the doc.

    I hope the Creatine is a wonder pill for you. I do. And I hope the darn life events that were part of triggering this, go away and stay away.

    You are not alone. You are loved.

  2. Oh, and I want to see your new muscles. And have you come open my pickle jars.

  3. I hope it works, hon. Thinking of you! xo

  4. I just skimmed this post… the car battery tastes gross. Are we sure this will work?

    (just kidding. i read it all. i’m a little bit convinced that brushing my teeth with baking soda has helped with my depression. i think it might help make my body more alkaline which is also supposed to help with depression. i really love baking soda though, so take that for what you will.)

  5. I hope this works for you, kim. Hope you’re feeling better. I’ve not taken medication for depression. I have done the therapeutic massage and it really helped!

  6. Creatine? That is amazing and the first I’ve ever heard of it for treating depression, Kimberly. I’m with you though, if I’m standing in the middle of a fire I sure as heck am going to look for either a way out or water at the very least to douse them! Dang…you will be able to seriously kick Chuck Norris’ ass pretty soon…that rocks! 🙂

  7. Nope. But I remember taking diet pills because it made me feel sexy (and I am on the skinny side which makes it ridiculous).
    I hope it works for you.

  8. Liv Liv

    Not me either. Will keep my fingers crossed for you – you’re right – only you know know what’s best for you!

  9. Here’s to opening the pickle jar all by yourself. I so hope this works for you, Kim. So much. Sending hugs and thoughts of peace and strength your way. Hang in there. You are loved.

  10. I have nothing helpful to say, but I do hope that the creatine works for you. If only good thoughts were complimentary medicine, because I’m sending many your way.

  11. I have never tried that, but I’m with you on the crazy meds. My doctor wanted me to start again, but just thinking about the side effects, additional meds for the side effects, makes me skerred.

  12. Go for what ever you think will work.You deserve happiness and a reprieve from the depression. Good luck.

  13. Big big squeeze, momma. I think I told you that I recently went on Zoloft for much the same reason–I needed MORE and (like you said) understand my body/needs enough to know when something is and isn’t working. There’s nothing wrong in seeking a solution that will make you feel better… I’m learning to admit that it’s actually the most selfless thing I CAN do, because it means that my interactions with others are just that much better.

    Good for you for finding answers and changing things around (as scary as that is) for the sake of feeling better. XOXO and so much love, Kimmy.

  14. “I hurt,” I told him.

    Oh, god, I HATE hurting, Kimberly.

    It’s dark and ugly and even your liver aches.

    What has worked for me is prayer. I pray this:

    “HELP ME. I’m Crazy! GUIDE ME. I can’t do it ALONE!”

    Whatever works, DO IT!

    We love you, my dear, beautiful girl.

  15. Kir Kir

    when I read “I hurt” I wanted to just wrap you in my hug and cry with you.

    I have never tried it but I’d be interested to know if it’s working. My zoloft works for the anxiety but the depression…god I wish i could crawl out from under it. Every single day.

    I love ya, take care of yourself and know I’m hugging you over here. If you need it or if you just want me to tell an inappropriate joke. 😉

  16. I don’t like the thought of you hurting. You are such a beautiful person. I hope the creatine works for you. I really do. Hang in there, sweetness. I’ll be thinking of you.

  17. I haven’t tried creatine yet. I hope it helps you, beautiful woman. XO

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      @Roxanne, It makes me bloat. Big time. I wake up and my eyes are swollen shut and my feet are like elephant feet. I get a smidge of an energy jolt a couple hours after but the shit thoughts are still there. The holistic person said that it could take up to four weeks.

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  19. I have never tried creatine for handling depression, however I have discovered that building muscles to fight depression is a real effective way to get out of that pit. Initially, I began with just a diet of real foods, mainly vegetables, some fruit and protein, and avoiding all of the junk foods that I am addicted to, and over the course of several months my whole body started to change from Jello to Lean…then I added just a few weight lifting exercises and could see how the benefits of deadlifts, squats and pushups included not only gains in muscle, but reducing depression. I still struggle with depression, but there is no question that when I am most on top of my game in terms of eating the right food and working out, I feel a whole lot better than I ever did when on antidepressants, not that there is anything wrong with that! So, for anyone out there who is also struggling with depression, my humble prescription is pretty simple:
    1. Get moving – 20 to 30 minutes a day is all that it takes to get started.
    2. Get to sleep early if possible. A good sleep will leave you feeling more refreshed and give you more time the next day to do your morning walk , swim or elliptical.
    3. Eat vegetables over having muffins. You benefit from the nutrients and from not eating too much processed sugars. Make an omelette, or sautee some vegetables with chicken, meat, veggie burger, whatever it is, just get in your vegetables.
    4. Go for a fruit like berries or an apple over a candy bar for a quick pick up.
    5. Stop guzzling soda.
    6. Start doing deadlifts, pushups and/or squats. Those were essentially the only strength training that I did to go from a 48 inch waist to 32 inch.
    7. Smile. no weights necessary but it helps!
    Hashi Mashi!

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