by Mark Miller December 22, 2020 6 min read
How do you get motivated when depressed? Years ago a comedian said she loved being depressed because she slept 20 hours a day and ate ice cream the other four hours. I suppose if she didn’t laugh about this crippling mental illness she would have cried.
If it’s a serious case of clinical depression, you could become so disabled you quit or lose your job, you could contemplate or even attempt suicide, or you could be overwhelmed by so much sadness or hopelessness that you don’t want to do anything.
If you have these symptoms, don’t even finish reading this blog. Contact a psychiatrist and set up an appointment for therapy.
If you are in the United States and feeling suicidal especially, please call the National Suicide Prevention Helpline at (800) 273-8255. They speak Spanish, too. Other countries have suicide help lines, too.
Suicidepreventionlifeline.org states  on its front page:
The Internet is filled with advice on how to get motivated when depressed—21.7 million results on Google .
MindBodyGreen.com’s article on this topic, 6 Tips to get motivated when you’re feeling depressed , states:
A common response to identifying lifestyle changes that might make a depressed person feel better is, “Easier said than done.” Someone coping with depression may get what she’s supposed to do, but the question is how? After all, depression kills motivation, energy, interest, and focus.
The article says instead of operating at the usual 70 to 90 percent, a depressed person is functioning at 20 percent of potential.
The author of the article, psychotherapist Megan Bruneau, says you should set yourself small tasks. Instead of, for example, resolving to empty the entire dishwasher, take out three glasses. Then if you feel up to it, keep going. If you’re feeling overwhelmed at three, stop and come back to it when you feel better.
Don’t criticize yourself with terms like “lazy” or “unproductive.” Praise yourself. Bruneau calls it self-compassion.
“Try instead to use the same encouraging words you might use for a friend or loved one. If you can’t find the words, read more about self-compassion here,” she writes.
She says simple things that un-depressed people do, like bathing, going for a walk, or hanging out with a friend can be very difficult to contemplate for depressed people. They think they don’t have the confidence to perform such tasks, feel overwhelmed and avoid doing them.
She says to “lower expectations for yourself within the task” and try to imagine how good you’ll feel after accomplishing it.
People who are depressed lose interest in doing things they used to enjoy, she says. Maybe you liked to cook, but no longer enjoy it all. Or you liked certain television shows that you can’t stand watching now. So make yourself do things you used to enjoy with the intent of just doing them, not necessarily enjoying them.
The World of Psychology has a blog written by Vicky Poutas that also addressed getting motivated and states :
Telling a depressed person to get motivated is like telling a rock to dance. You’ll get the same result.
It’s not because depressed people don’t want to get motivated. It’s because getting motivated is an overwhelming task when you’re depressed. Is motivation impossible? Definitely not. You just have to find a process that works for you.
She says some people scoff at the idea of taking medication. But if your depression is rooted in a chemical imbalance, the right medication can help you to feel well again. Motivation will follow.
When you wake up in the morning, don’t give yourself time to dwell on negative feelings, Poutas writes. Get up, bathe, groom yourself and:
... act as if you feel great already and you know for a fact that you’re leaving the house and will have a good time.
At the very least, getting dressed and looking decent can go a long way toward giving you a mental boost. It may even give you enough motivation actually to go to the gym and exercise, which is great for alleviating depression.
She says if you can’t get the gumption to exercise or pull weeds or walk the dog, don’t berate yourself. Just bathing, grooming and dressing are an accomplishment.
Socializing is important for depressed people, Poutas says. Have a standing date to go out with a family member or friend. If no one is available, she recommends going out in public anyway and people-watching.
Toward the end of the article, Poutas, who also advises setting small goals, writes:
Try doing only one thing at a time, a little bit at a time. Five minutes here, 10 minutes there — each success makes it easier to stay motivated for the next step in your journey to feeling good about yourself.
The Hope for Healing Foundation has some other tips  for dealing with depression, including taking B vitamins. The site advises:
A deficiency in B vitamins has been shown to be linked to depression. Some people have seen a noticeable improvement in the way they feel mentally and emotionally, just by including a vitamin B supplement to their daily routine. Their brains just needed the right nutritional tools to work with.
If you're so depressed you don't have the motivation to brew a pot or cup of coffee or tea, try some delicious, invigorating Viter Energy Mints  and get both your caffeine and B vitamins in one go.
Hope for Healing has other tips for overcoming depression, including:
An article on major depression symptoms at the Mayo Clinic website says  people often suffer more than one bout of the illness in their lives. The symptoms occur most of the day on most days, Mayo says. Depressed people may:
That Mayo article has advice for depressed teens, adults, older adults, and tells when to see a doctor and when to get emergency help.
by Mark Miller June 24, 2021 3 min read
Erectile dysfunction. In combination, those are two of the ugliest words known to man. But can caffeine help you get it up?
Science hasn't found the definitive answer to this question, but one study concluded that fewer men who consume caffeine have problems performing. The study said:
Caffeine intake reduced the odds of prevalent ED, especially an intake equivalent to approximately 2-3 daily cups of coffee (170-375 mg/day). This reduction was also observed among overweight/obese and hypertensive, but not among diabetic men. Yet, these associations are warranted to be investigated in prospective studies
by Mark Miller June 22, 2021 4 min read
Many breastfeeding mothers wonder if it's OK to take caffeine. In fact, many nursing mothers just avoid caffeine in case it would keep their babies fussy, jittery and awake.
The answer is yes, you can take caffeine while breastfeeding, as long as you don't go over about 300 mg a day.
It's an important question because caffeine is in so many products, and taking coffee, tea, or soda is such a common ritual.
And breastfeeding mothers may be tempted to take caffeinated products because they are deprived of sleep by their newborns' odd sleep schedule.
by Mark Miller June 17, 2021 5 min read
You might think gum chewing is an activity with little or no benefits besides the pleasure and flavor, but think again. Chewing gum has several benefits.
In addition to freshening your breath, sugar-free gum can help prevent cavities and contribute to overall oral health. But that's just the beginning.