Running and mental health


I suffered three psycothic episodes and consequent major depressions in 2003, 2004, 2010. The three episodes + depressions took me about 9 months each time to get better. In 2010 I suffered the worst episode and have been one month in a psichiatric hospital,

Last year I quit smoking after 17 years and started running: this decision has totally changed my life for the better and I am now happier and healthier than I have ever been. The benefit of sport and exercise in these kind of problems is massive.

My aim is to share my experience and help people suffering from mental health problems (and their friends/relatives). I could only get better thanks to: doctor's aid; family and friends support; lifestyle change; self determination to change.

I am not at all a doctor (you always need doctor's help if you suffer from depression or any kind of mental illness) but if you need any advice, feel free to write me an email at or to join the Facebook page I have just created, and I will be happy to answer and help if I can. If you have nothing to do with these issues but you like running or you still want to support the cause, you can of course join my facebook page image

I enjoy every minute of my running and I would not be able to appreciate life as much as I do now without going through certain experiences.

Take care and enjoy your running!


  • Great example of how physical activity can help to stay well, mentally and physically. There is growing evidence that exercise is beneficial in both prevention as well as treatment in illnesses like depression or even dementia. Many thanks for your post CR and I hope your example will help other with mental health problems
  • It's great you are trying to help people and share your experiences. Though I'm sure the  name cuckoo runner is tongue in cheek, I think it's derogatory to those who've had mental healht problems. Don't get me wrong - it's good to be able to laugh at yourself but cuckoo has a lean towards foolishness and stupidty and that's not what this is about.... 


  • No Name Today get over yourself. If you want to offer support to people or use it please feel free. If you want to nit pick and offer nothing constructive please bugger off.

  • Charming Chris. Read the first sentence again where I said it's great that CR is trying to help people. I presume by your  comment "constructive" you mean saying nothing but positive things. Bearing in mind CR still only has one like on their page, it's obviously not caught on quite yet.



  • Not these KK. I didn't log into my account and just realised another problem with the new setup is that if you log out for a new account, you can't do a second post as you don't have a password.

  • Hog-mouseHog-mouse ✭✭✭

    KK, if you are not logged in then you can post by typing in a code. I did this so I could post from work. Unfortunately, in order to post from that log in again you have to activate your account, yet there is no way you can do this so to post again you need to log out and create a new one.

    On a differetnt note, I think Cuckoo runner is a good name, yes it does remind me of 'One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest', it also reminds me that the trail that runs past here is called 'The Cuckoo Trail'

    I like the name and don't have a problem with it.

  • Hog-mouseHog-mouse ✭✭✭

    Oh and SOLB posted as 'She of Little Brain' so what is wrong with being descriptive with your name.

  • I am really sorry if the name CuckooRunner might have hurt anybody’s feelings. I chose it because I think sometimes you need to laugh about yourself. I have being in a hospital tied up on a bed for several days and have been through very black times…I think I know what this is all about. I also know very well how serious these issues are but I personally believe that sometimes one should  take things lightly and just laugh about himself (in this case I am laughing only about myself). My experience taught me that this is the best way to take life and I am happy I am now able to laugh at all that happened to me. Regarding the fact that I have only 1 person joining the Facebook page created yesterday, to be sincere this does not bother me at all. I have not invited any of my Facebook friends because I want to keep this private and I am not looking for big numbers. This profile has been created to genuinely help people with mental problems from somebody that has had a few and in case you want to follow my running experience and races. If there is no interest, nevermind, it means I do not need to update it and have more time for running and become the Marathon World Champion imageimageimage

  • Hog-mouseHog-mouse ✭✭✭

    Hey don't worry, you just need to network, join the other threads, talk to people. The more someone talks about their own issues the more others come out of the woodwork and start talking about themselves and what is going on for them.

    Use one of your threads here to talk to us - you'll have plenty of lurkers. The more you talk the more confidence you'll be giving to those who don't want to post or can't just yet.

    There is a very long thread in club house that I lurked on for ages. I read all the time, wrote great long posts then deleted. There are some things in life that we find too hard to talk about. Those things include mental and physical illness. We can all try to cover things up, hide, bury our head in the sand etc. In the end most of us will admit that somethings wrong, and you know what - the world doesn't stop just because of it.

    CR - don't let anyone put you off. You have shown courage and lets face it, it's not easy admitting that you have mental health issues. FFS, I didn't want to talk about my physical health issues for years. If I found that hard, it's gotta be harder when you know so many folk could judge you or show predjudice.

    I'll stop now before I get carried away.

  • Nothing wrong with the name CR. Humour and running are keeping me from the darkside (ok maybe supported by the lithium and cocktail of other drugs). Not used facebook to date, otherwise would be ttaking a look.
  • Thank you guys. It is my first time in the forum so it is nice to have some feedback.  I have no problem at all to face my issue, I think awareness is key in many fields. This allows me to face my problem and have an excellent quality of life. I am actually proud of my problems, because without them I would not be the person I am today.

    My key message and reason why I started the thread was that since I started running I feel better than I had ever been before. I am not saying that this is a final solution for all suffering from mental sickness, but I am sure it could certainly help. Nothing new, but it's nice to be reminded and I wrote it with a genuin aim to remind even only one person the importance of this.

    This time I finally turned page and totally changed my lifestyle. Last year, after 3 months I started running, I ran my first Half Marathon in 1:49 (even if still taking small dosage of antipsycothic and antidepressant). I felt so good when crossing the line!

    Being aware I could have another episode (even if doctors say it might never happen again) makes me live at 100% and enjoy every day as if it was the last. I have done so many things in this last 18 months you would not believe it.

    There are many sentences of Paulo Coelho that I really like, one of my favourite is, "The darkest hour is just before the dawn". In my case at least that was the case.

    Hope to be healthy for a long time. Every other issue is now for me a minor element, health means everything to me. When you lose something you appreciate it much more when you have it back. I feel extremely lucky cos I had the opportunity to have this back. For other people unfortunately this is not the case. That's why I believe I am a very lucky person.

    Ok, going for a run, bye for now! image



  • mr fmr f ✭✭✭
    Cuckoo, have you considered writing a book? Sounds like you have a lot to offer!

    I have such admiration for you, there is something.about running and exercise in general that lifts us in dark times.

    Have you set your.sights on the marathon now?
  • Many thanks mr f. The book looks very interesting, thanks for sharing.

    I had planned a marathon for March 2012 but due to an injury (3 months without running) I could not race. I was running around 25k in training but then had to stop.  Now I just started to run again and need to take it easy because I overtrained and killed my tendons (my own fault, too much entusiashm). At the moment I can only run 8-10k. Really want to run a marathon one day, hopefully next year I will be able to

  • mr fmr f ✭✭✭
    There's nothing we can't do if we set a healthy mind to it!
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