Exercise questioned as depression treatment
exercise doesn’t help depression,” according to The Guardian. The paper said that patients advised to exercise fare no better than those who receive only standard care.
During the research, 361 adults with depression were aimlessly allocated to receive either standard treatment or standard analysis with additional encouragement and advice on exercise. Standard analysis can include medication, therapy and physical activity. This means that all participants could take up recommended exercise, but some had greater encouragement to do so.
Exercise is among the treatments for depression currently approved by the NHS, with many patients ‘prescribed’ a course of physical activity as an alternative to antidepressant medication or therapy. Despite what several caption have suggested, new research has not re-examined the effect of exercise on depression, but instead looked at whether giving depressed patients additional support to encourage exercise proved beneficial.
Depression-Busting Exercise Tips for People Too Depressed To Exercise
If you’ve struggled with depression at any point in your life, you’ve probably heard some well-meaning soul say “just try to get some exercise, it’s good for your mood!” Annoyingly, they’re right; I don’t think that exercise can single-handedly cure depression or treat its symptoms, but it’s clearly helpful for many people who attempt. In the 10 years I spent in the fitness industry, both as a intimate trainer with depressed clients and as the depressed client myself, I’ve seen physical activity provide focus, routine, comfort, and even compensation with physical health when it feels like everything else is going to hell.
Most people with depression are already aware — often too aware — of all the things we could or should be doing to combat our condition. But where the well-meaning mentally health person sees a straightforward advancement toward advancement, we see the paradox: yes, if we could do those things, it might help our depression, but not being able to do those things is a dominant part of being depressed.
Is Exercise “Useless” In Treating Depression?
A study published in the BMJ on 6th June has cause a spurt of headlines underlying the inefficiency of exercises in aiding depression. The researchers from the Universities of Exeter, Bristol and the Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry set out on a mission to find out whether putting an extra physical activity to the usual care that patients with depression received through the general practitioners in the UK would really reduce depression syndrome or not.
The intervention of physical activity called TREAD (treatment of Depression with Physical Activity) is ground on theory and offers a trained administrator to engage in physical activity. The researchers wanted to put TREAD to a test because while there is scientific evidence to the fact that exercising is beneficial for patients with depression, it is only small studies that speak for the fact.
Using Exercise to Relieve Depression
The idea that regular exercise can advance symptoms of depression and anxiety is not new. Hippocrates was the first Western physician to prescribe this treatment 2,500 years ago, and doctors have been recommending it to their patients ever since. All the evidence accumulated by modern science says it works. If you suffer from major depression, exercise probably won’t be the only hospitalization you’ll need, but it will help along with your treatment plan. Whereas medication and advise can take weeks to work, you can start feeling the positive effects of exercise right away.
In addition to these physiological benefits, exercise can promote the following psychological and affecting changes:
One of the most debilitating effects of depression is that it causes you to focus on what’s wrong and dwell on the negative. Exercise compels you to focus on something else for a little while. With the right approach, it can help you find some pleasure in a sea of possible troubles.
The hopelessness, helplessness, and fatigue that come with depression often cause people to depart from normal activities and pursuits, leading to a loss of self-confidence. By setting and meeting a goal, like a small amount of exercise each day, you can begin to rebuild confidence and self-efficacy.
As people sink deeper into withdrawal and inactivity, they begin to feel useless and worthless, and may even come to despise themselves. They may resort to substance abuse or other self-destructive behaviors to manage these feelings. Exercise can provide a positive alternative to these negative coping strategies. Taking the time to do something positive to help yourself every day can help you reconnect with the part of yourself that wants to be healthy and productive.
Anti-depressant medications that affect levels of the brain space chemicals serotonin and norepinephrine appear to reduce the negative feelings and thoughts associated with depression, as well as many of the physical symptoms, such as changes in appetite and sleep, fatigue, muscle tension, and soreness. But people react differently to medications, seeing changes in some areas but not others. Some don’t respond to these medications at all. Exercise can enhance the benefits of antidepressant medications, and even produce similar results.
How can we help?
If you think you might be depressed:
On the days when your brain seems to be fighting you for your life, remember that you are enough, you are worthy, you are loved and you are not alone.
Find activities and pursuits that are meaningful to you and make you feel productive and accomplished. Try your best to be present in these activities. Reach out to someone you trust and consider approach a therapist. Let these authoritative roles in your life help you to create a more positive state of mind. Above all, please don’t give up. Please don’t let depression win. You are not alone.
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