Our society offers medicine for everything from headaches to sprained ankles so it's no surprise that medicine is easily prescribed for depression. Yes, this sounds monumentally naive and judgmental, but this is also my experience.
I love and live with someone who suffers from severe depression, and I've seen first hand how easy it is to recieve anti-depressants. What I find odd is exercise is one of the best remedies for depression, but I never hear anyone say, "I've got depression. I need to exercise." Instead, I hear the long list of anti-depressants they are taking like Zoloft, Paxel, Abilify [actually, this is an anti-psychotic, but often used in conjunction with anti-depressants], Prozac, Lexapro, Wellbutrin, combinations of anti-depressants and more.
Since depression is so easily "solved" with medication I really thought exercise was a newer component to aiding depression. I learned otherwise in 2008. I met a doctor in Savannah, GA. who explained that he did a study in India in the mid 70's which resulted in exercise reducing depression. At the time, I had no idea depression studies were even done in the 70's.
Depression Studies and the correlation of exercise
Unbelievably, things haven't changed. Since the 70's there are numerous studies that prove exercise improves mood in short periods of time. Check out these depression and exercise studies.
Exericse to reduce Depression
Outdoor exercise station
Okay, if you are reading this and don't agree with what's being said here, I completely understand. The fact is I still have doubts on many studies' subject matter. When I see a study that includes 35 people, with eight dropping out, then I definitely question what's going on. Who wouldn't?
I prefer a more global approach to the studies, but since I'm not a scientist, and don't claim to be one, I'll leave the science up to scientists. However, when there's enough evidence pointing in the same direction it's time to take notice.
Regardless if you believe the studies, anaerobic and aerobic exercise are good for everyone, depressed or not, so why not make a change? It has been proven that exercise helps mood, weight loss, weight gain [for those who want it], bone density, cardiovascular health and offers many, many other benefits. I am in no way telling someone to get off their anti-depressants, but exercise is a great partner to help fight the disorder.
Lisa M. White
Copyright ©2011 CPT Lisa M. White™. All rights reserved.