Post-rave depression (Is it real + how to avoid it?)

In this blog post, we will try to answer the questions of ‘Is post-rave depression real?’, ‘What is a rave party?’, ‘What is post-rave depression?’, and ‘How to deal with post-rave depression?’. 

Is post-rave depression real?

Yes,  post-rave depression is real. 

Raves are a mix of a lot of strenuous physical activity, eating many different kinds of foods, most of which are quick sandwiches and quite unhealthy, and also the alcohol, dehydration from not drinking enough water, you get the drift. 

Like after every party hangovers are inevitable and they are awful. Sometimes it’s not only that, coming down from a full weekend of partying and drugs can feel like losing your parents in a car derailment. Almost everyone will experience this at some point after a big festival, it will almost certainly be worse if you’ve taken drugs throughout the event. But with the right preparations and a little bit of self-care, the post-rave blues can fly by nearly unnoticed. Post-Rave Depression is real because your endorphins and serotonin levels have been depleted, so you can feel pretty down. 

What is a rave party? 

The term ‘rave’ is taken from the Jamaican word for party, rave, but true rave parties really didn’t begin until the 1980s. A rave is an electronic music dance party that lasts all night. It can feature performances from DJs or live music performers. Raves usually take place in dark rooms filled with laser lights, strobes, and machines. Law enforcement agencies suspect a lot of drugs, including Ecstacy, do the rounds at a rave. A rave may be legal or not depending upon where the event is held. Partying all night is not illegal, but activities associated with raves may be. It can feature performances from DJs or live music performers. 

What is post-rave depression?

The feeling of great sadness felt after a rave end is known as post-rave depression. 

As human beings, we yearn for freedom, and music festivals like a rave party provide it. But just like everything else in life, this freedom comes with a consequence. Going to rave festivals and experiencing long hours dancing, standing, and releasing all that positive energy can result in a “low” the following hours, days, or in some cases, weeks. Usually, every frequent attendee knows well about the post-rave depression or what is also called the “let-down” after experiencing such an incredible and intense experience over a number of consecutive days. 

A weekend dose of the drug Ecstasy can lead to forgetfulness, poor concentration, and mid-week depression severe enough to qualify the sufferer for clinical treatment

A study shows that depression, attention, and memory in users of Ecstasy, formally known as 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine or MDMA, that the drug’s aftereffects are worse than those of drink. The depression suffered by Ecstasy users is deeper, takes several days to surface, and lasts longer. 

The Eat, Sleep, Rave, Repeat mantra is all too real. After a few days of music festival sensory overload, our adaptive bodies will eventually start feeling the effects of full days of intense partying. Post-rave depression is the slow onset that creeps up on festival-goers after the music is over and bright lights have faded into obscurity. This usually affects new festival-goers in the scene but has been known to also affect veterans from time to time. What most people don’t understand is that these life-changing events can also be life-changing to your physical and mental health. At the end of the day, it is all about the serotonin level in your body. 

After up to four days at a music festival, your mental and physical health can be permanently damaged if certain recovery initiatives aren’t taken. Nobody thinks about the stress they’re putting on their bodies as they dance and scream the weekend away. But after the party’s over, your mind and body will need an intense period of recovery. The side effects of a long festival weekend are inevitable, however, there are ways to help your mind and body get back to normal without causing permanent damage to your mental and physical health.

How to deal with post-rave depression? 

After a weekend of fun, it is very important that we take care of ourselves and avoid the midweek post-rave depression. Here are a few things to do if you have attended a rave festival and have started to feel the symptoms of post-rave depression. 

  • Rewatch the photos and videos: Even though this may seem counterproductive, nostalgia has a massive effect on happiness, and re-watching live streams, listening to the sets, and looking at pictures can help you relive the experience you had this weekend. This will help cheer you up after feeling depleted.
  • Exercise or engage in other physical activity: It surely does sound absurd that after a weekend of continuous dancing and partying, you are asked to exercise. But a good cardio exercise is recommended. Exercise will help sweat out toxins and toughen your body up. Stretching after a music festival will loosen up any tight muscle areas and help alleviate the pain caused by continuous exercise during the long festival weekend. It will also help in eliminating tension in your body and will allow it to return to its normal state. On the other hand, massaging your sore muscles with a foam roller will spread the muscle cells forcing inflammation spots to diffuse.
  • Go for a hike: If you are not for exercising and stretching, the next best thing you can do is to go for a hike.  The beauty of nature can be euphoric. After experiencing a wild weekend with loud music, a day or two of silence amidst nature can be a great experience. Physical exercise also releases endorphins which will brighten up your day, not to mention you will feel great and accomplished for getting out of the house and exercising. Also, getting out in the sun is the best source of Vitamin D, which will make you feel recharged.
  • Take some time off to sleep and rest: The above two recommendations of exercising does not mean that you do not give your body the rest needed. After a rave festival, where you have missed a good night’s sleep, coming back home to a cozy bed and getting all the rest possible is essential. The couch (and some Netflix) will be your best friend when you’re back from the festival. Regardless of your ability to stay wide awake for four consecutive nights, it is highly recommended to give your body the down-time it needs and to catch some sleep. It is recommended to in bed early enough to where you get at least nine to ten hours of sleep the next few days after your return from the festival grounds. This will allow your body to return to its normal sleep patterns and will help out in recovering the damaged cells. There is no better cure for a hangover than a good sleep. 
  • Hangout with your friends: When you wake up the next morning after a long night out, your first instinct may be to lock the door and not leave your room for 24 hours. This can be counterproductive. It’s important to surround yourself with good people. This can work to cheer you up in pretty much any situation, but enjoying someone else’s company is a good way to decompress. If you were all there at the party, then you all feel the same way afterward and that collective effervescence can serve to bring everyone back to their normal cheerful selves. You do not have to go out to a restaurant or a cafe, but you can meet at someone’s house and hang out, eat healthily, or watch a good movie. 
  • Hydrate yourself: There is no better nectar than water. It will be the first thing you will need to get a lot of once you’re back from the festival. Although we do recommend dividing your water intake all day throughout the festival time, taking water before the event and of course after is highly important. If you think you have had enough. Have another glass of water. The more the intake of water, the faster the toxins will be removed. It is essential to have water before the party as well as after the party. 
  • Eat well: There has been a lot of studies that eventually discovered how eating certain foods will increase serotonin production in the body and help eliminate depression. The initial studies revolved around the idea that you can eat certain foods that are high in tryptophan. Studies have found that if you pair high-tryptophan foods with high-carbohydrate foods, they will spike your insulin levels and your body can move a greater amount of the tryptophan to the brain, allowing for a greater effect on the production of serotonin. High levels of tryptophan can be found in foods like chicken, turkey, nut butter, green peas, salmon, popcorn, sweet potatoes, apples, blueberries, pineapples, and eggs.

Eating leafy green vegetables such as spinach, kale, or lettuce will supply your liver with key nutrients and vitamins that help in its regeneration. On another hand, we recommend avoiding caffeinated drinks and alcohol. Caffeine is considered a diuretic and can actually lead to greater dehydration.

The key point to keep in mind is to never underestimate the powerful effects a music festival can have on your body. You can be the healthiest person on the planet but a four-day experience will take its toll on your body. The idea of a music festival is to promote happiness, health, and a connection to your surroundings. To prevent permanent damage to your body, follow the simple advice provided in this article, and help your body recover quickly and efficiently. The above tips will help you experience the festival happiness and fun for as long as you can!

Side Note: I have tried and tested various products and services to help with my anxiety and depression. See my top recommendations here, as well as a full list of all products and services our team has tested for various mental health conditions and general wellness.

Conclusion 

In this blog post, we have tried to answer the questions of ‘Is post-rave depression real?’, ‘What is a rave party?’, ‘What is post-rave depression?’, and ‘How to deal with post-rave depression?’. 

FAQs: Post-rave depression

Are raves illegal in the UK?

According to the UK law, an illegal rave is when 20 or more people are “gathering on land in the open air” with music “that includes sounds wholly or predominantly characterized by the emission of a succession of repetitive beats” – at a level where it is loud enough to cause “serious distress to the inhabitants of the locality”.

What is the purpose of a rave?

The main purpose of a rave is to get people up and dancing. Music festivals focus on the appreciation and quality of the music itself, whether it makes you want to dance or not.

Are rave festivals safe?

Much like mainstream raves, music festivals tend to be very safe and free-spirited. Outlaw raves are the most dangerous, primarily because there are ZERO guarantees of protection or security. Moreover, even going to them can get you arrested since they’re most often held on illegal abandoned property.

What we recommend for depression

Professional counselling

If you are suffering from depression then ongoing professional counselling may be your ideal first point of call. Counselling will utilize theories such as Cognitive behavioural therapy which will help you live a more fulfilling life.

References

https://www.magneticmag.com/2016/03/great-ways-to-beat-your-post-rave-depression/

https://www.vice.com/en/article/nzmjbw/six-tips-for-avoiding-post-rave-blues

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