“Okay, so this med just isn’t doing the job – I’m still feeling depressed. Sure didn’t want to, but I guess it’s time to ask the doc for an add-on.”
Not so fast! I know you’re hurting and troubled. But if you’ll open your mind, there’s a proven better alternative.
New & Healing Depression/Exercise Research
According to some Texas brain-trust, moderate and intense levels of daily exercise can work just as well for stubborn depression as adding a second antidepressant (AD).
But the type of exercise required depends upon individual characteristics and gender.
The four-year study was conducted by researchers from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, in conjunction with the Cooper Institute, Dallas. It was recently published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry.
The words of the study’s lead author, Dr. Madhukar Trivedi…
“Many people who start on an antidepressant medication feel better after they begin treatment, but they still don’t feel completely well or as good as they did before they became depressed. This study shows that exercise can be as effective as adding another medication. Many people would rather use exercise than add another drug, particularly as exercise has a proven positive effect on a person’s overall health and well-being.”
“How Was the Study Conducted?”
I always enjoy reading about how studies were structured. I hope we share the same interest. Here goes…
The study participants were depression-diagnosed individuals between the ages of 18 and 70. The average length of depression was seven years. The participants hadn’t experienced sufficient relief from a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) AD.
The participants were divided into two groups, each receiving a different level of exercise intensity for a 12-week period. The exercise was supervised at the Cooper Institute, and additional work was done at home.
“The Results, Bill, the Results?!”
This is just huge, so let’s cut right to the chase. 30% of the participants in both groups achieved a full remission from their depression. And 20% showed significant improvement.
- Moderate exercise was more effective for women with a family history of emotional/mental illness.
- Intense exercise worked better for women who had no family history.
- Men? No matter what, intense exercise worked best.
“Come On, Bill, Exercise?”
Listen, I know the very idea of exercise is nauseating to many. And for someone enduring the emotional, mental, and physical devastation of depression, it can seem impossible.
And maybe you’re thinking you aren’t physically capable, or you can’t afford a gym membership and those stylish workout togs.
Well, I’m challenging you to check-in with your doc, and get motivated and creative. In some manner, you can make this happen. Okay, I’ll say it – you have to make it happen!
Come on, consider the alternatives – another med, more current and down-the-road side effects, more money.
And think about the positive impact exercise will have on your overall state of health and wellness?
I urge you to use all of those cognitive restructuring skills I’ve been teaching you. Get inside that head of yours and turn things around.
Always, always, always – change your thinking, change your life!
For purposes of kudos, funding for the research came from the National Institute of Mental Health, the National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression, and the National Cancer Institute.
Thanks to Science Daily for the resource material.
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