Does exercise help everyone with depression?

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Have you ever felt that you are under depression? The cloud of sadness might have engulfed your life in ways you can never imagine. Yet, you don’t really consider it to be a serious condition rubbing it off as one of the mood swings due to home, work or relationship. However, you might even fear to come out in the public fearing backlash from the majority. That is why depression is considered as a disorder in the dark.

Even if you are willing to open up, most people out there think Depression is a state of mind. But is it really? The stats state otherwise. If its a state of mind, it must not be very hard to come out of it. But the strong effects of depression could entangle you in the web of sadness forever. With that being said, is it not necessary to educate the common people and the sufferers alike so that no one commits suicide out of depression?

So if you are someone who is suffering from depression, please consult a medical health professional right away to recognize the type of depression that you are suffering from. Because depression doesn’t come with a single image, it actually has many faces out there that even confuses the experts. All of these data are important in order to identify the causes for depression.

But if you have already consulted a doctor or about to, several questions might pop up in your mind. With the advent of today’s media, you might have researched many sites and gathered information on depression. However, you might have heard mixed opinions on exercise being effective for Depression.

Also, recently a study stated that “exercise doesn’t help depression” and it brought in various mixed responses questioning the authenticity of the study. Some experts still believe exercise to be important for depressed people who are at a risk of acquiring other diseases and disorders.

With this write-up, we tend to explain how this study started and how the conclusion was derived upon the same.

The origin of the story :

This study was undertaken by researchers at University of Bristol, Exeter and the Peninsula Medical school. Exercises are already being recommended by NHS(National Health Service) due to the proof that exercises help in fighting depression. But the proof is based on a study made on limited people. Hence these researches wanted to test this condition by introducing a specific physical routine to depressed patients and check how they fare.

The researchers wanted to check the TREAD theory. TREAD theory is based upon the fact that when depressed people are subjected to a physical activity, they tend to show better results. These people are offered any specific physical activity of their choice under TREAD. Hence two groups were called in between 18-69. One group was subjected to specific physical training and the other group only enjoyed normal guidance.

This reason behind this research?

The main reason behind the research is that all evidences in the past were conducted in a very small group arriving at conclusions in an artificial environment. But this research was mainly aimed at extending the results towards reality with a large group in the natural arena. They believed the results would be more conclusive than the previous ones.

What did they actually do ?

The researchers actually conducted this study with 321 people suffering from depression. They were randomly put in two different groups where one group was subjected to the normal activity for depression and the other group received a special physical activity along with the normal procedure to overcome depression.

Participants were recruited based on their record with anti-depressants. They shouldn’t have either used anti-depressants at all or they shouldn’t have taken any anti-depressants at least 4 weeks before the research.

Both the groups were advised to follow the medical procedure that they have been following for depression management. However, one group was introduced to a physical trainer with classes up to eight months.

The rate of depression was then analyzed at the start, at four months, at eight months and then at 12 months. They believed it is the right approach towards arriving at a real world case study to solve the query on exercises.

Basic Results :

The basic results were collected and they proved that there was no significant change in the group that was subjected to physical activity. What it really proved is that, the activity group registered high activity levels than the normal group but the level of anti-depressants intake didn’t decrease at any cost. There was no substantial evidence that the intervention of physical exercise helped them tackle depression effectively.

Interpretation :

Researchers came to a conclusion that any addition or intervention of physical activity cannot alter the depression effects significantly as believed to be. It can only increase the physical activity levels in those people and not produce any noticeable change.

Final Take-away :

Once the results were published, there were certain voices questioning the reliability of this study since this research involved only on type of physical activity for 12 months. Maybe, the combination of different physical activities could bring in different results is what they felt.

Though it is a topic worth debatable, exercises do induce a lot of good health benefits that could alter the overall health and wellness. Exercising well could improve the overall mood and also increase self-responsibility in depressed people.

Hence if you are under depression and you are confused if exercises could help you, keep in mind that it is not going to negatively impact your life in any way. It can definitely lower your cholesterol levels and relax your mind. Also, the effects may vary from person to person and who knows what exercises could do to your mind and body. Hence, its better to exercise than staying on your couch depressed all day. Isn’t your mind resonating the same thought? So why wait?


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