Physical activity in the treatment of depression

Physical activity in the treatment of depression

Scientific research has shown that people who regularly exercise experience better mood and are less likely to suffer from depression. It also turns out that exercise can help to relieve the symptoms of the disease. How does sport affect the body and which forms are most beneficial for people suffering from depression?

The role of physical activity in the fight against depression

According to psychologists, physical exercises are beneficial both for the body and the mind. They lead to more self-confidence and so-called a sense of mastery, helpful in developing new skills useful in life. According to specialists in the fields of biology and medicine, physical activity leads to an increase in the number of neurotransmitters, or substances that facilitate the transmission of impulses between nerve cells. Also we recommend to visit online pharmacy if you have serious depression.

It should be remembered that during physical exertion, the body produces a larger amount of endorphins and serotonin. The first of these two substances leads to a feeling of bliss and reduces the perception of pain. Endorphins stimulate a positive feeling, similar to that caused by morphine. Therefore, after training or running, we often experience euphoria and look at life more positively. Meanwhile, serotonin contributes to a feeling of contentment.

Another advantageous aspect of physical activity is the ability to experience social interaction. This applies in particular to sports practiced in a group. Staying among people creates an opportunity to make new friends or friendships that improve mood and are an effective weapon in the fight against depression.

Physical activity in the prevention of depression

A recent study shows that exercise can reduce the risk of depression in people of all ages. Researchers have noted that over 150 minutes of sports weekly reduces the probability of developing a problem by 19-27%. In yet another experiment, it was proven that even regular walks, i.e. a relatively low intensity effort, can reduce the risk of depression by up to 60%.

It also turns out that doing sports in childhood reduces the risk of depression in a future life. According to specialists, people who are physically active from an early age, cope better with emotions, and to a lesser extent they care about the assessment of others, the possibility of being ridiculed or the probability of making a mistake. In addition, the positive support of trainers and teachers increases the self-esteem of young people and improves their mood.

The most effective forms of physical activity in the treatment of depression

According to a study conducted in 2000 by Paluska and Schwenk, aerobic and stretching exercises are the most advantageous for people suffering from depression. So it is not about the intensity of exercise, but about the very fact of taking up the activity. One should also remember about the regularity, which increases the effectiveness with which the effort relieves symptoms of depression.

According to many doctors, physical activity is an effective way to improve mood and prevent depression, but it may not be enough to cure it. A diagnosed problem can be overcome by combining movement with psychotherapy and pharmacological therapy.

Does depression shorten your life?

Sadness, internal tension, depression, low self-esteem, feelings of loneliness, fear, aversion to all activities and lack of joy in life are only a few symptoms of psychological problems. Today, about 15% of our society suffers from depression, and this number is still growing. This is because mental health problems are still downplayed and considered not important, and many patients are not even aware of the importance of their problem. Those who have anxiety or depressive disorders accompany for a long time, are often ashamed to get the help of a specialist – a psychologist, psychotherapist or psychiatrist. However, chronic anxiety or depressive disorders do not go through spontaneously. They leave their mark in the health defect and even affect the length and quality of life.

How depression and anxiety affect everyday life?

Depressive and anxiety disorders largely hinder daily functioning. Feeling sad and despondent pervade the various spheres of life, preventing proper communication and contact with the environment. The patient may feel panic fear of his own destiny, illness, society, and often such behavior turns into obsessions, phobias or neurosis. Anxiety and depression can destroy the social and professional life so far, so it happens that sick people stop working, learn or change the habits they have had up to now. Constantly deteriorating mood and lack of understanding from the closest ones lead to isolation and suicidal thoughts.

Depression and other diseases

Often, depressive disorders cause the emergence of further diseases, not necessarily related to mental health. Untreated depression can contribute to the development of nervous system, circulatory, digestive or immune deficiencies. In people with depression, the risk of developing heart disease, thyroid glands, strokes, gastric neurosis, hypertension, metabolic disorders or weakened immunity increases. In addition, people with cancer who also have depression are at greater risk of treatment failure and death as a consequence. The long-term emotional fluctuations that accompany depression can additionally cause generalized inflammation.

Why depression shortens life?

For a person suffering from depression every day is a fight, therefore this disease also affects the length of life. Perpetual fear and constant stress gradually destroy the body, leading to the creation of many diseases. Due to the fact that this disease does not affect specific parts of the body, but affects the entire body, patients are burdened with a higher risk of death. In addition, people suffering from depressive disorders are more susceptible to various types of addictions (smoking, alcohol abuse, drug use), which also adversely affects health and shortens life expectancy. The last factor affecting the life of a depressed person are suicidal thoughts or attempts that occur in a significant proportion of patients. Not all of them receive help in time, so treatment of depression should take place on several levels, related not only to pharmacology, but also to psychotherapy.

Does anxiety always occur with depression?

Does anxiety always occur with depression?

Depression was considered a civilization disease – no wonder, as the International Health Organization says, even several hundred million people around the world suffer from depression and other mental disorders, including fears. In NZ, the number of patients reaches about 8 million. Unfortunately, it happens that in some cases, the disorders are connected with each other. Thus, the patient may experience both depression and anxiety.

How to know fear?

Most of us know, at least in general terms, what depression is. However, how to characterize anxiety? If we are often scared, does it mean that we suffer from mental disorders? In everyday communication, we sometimes use the words fear and fear interchangeably. These concepts, however, are not synonymous. Fear is the answer to a threat. We are afraid because we see an aggressive dog without a muzzle, someone is threatening us, a stranger follows us in a dark park. It is a completely natural feeling. What then is fear? It is a state of constant fear, which usually has no rational basis. It lasts a long time, it tires the psyche and body. He receives joy, makes us in a state of constant tension and depression. What can you be afraid of? A large group of people, leaving the house, open space, darkness … So if such disorders appear during depression, it is exhausting for the patient’s psyche.

Do anxiety and depression always go hand in hand?

Depression specialists stress that anxiety and depression do not always have to go hand in hand. Although not a rule, many patients experience both of these disorders. Most often they are women. Depression is characterized by a decrease in self-esteem, bad mood, fatigue, drowsiness, lack of concentration, and sleep disorders. If there is anxiety at the same time, the patient may have nightmares, wake up at night with a sense of enormous and rationally unjustified fear. It is not uncommon for a person who has been diagnosed with anxiety or depression to be worried about their future. He is afraid of loneliness, losing his job, becoming ill with an incurable disease. Very often, depressed patients have so-called pre-trial anxiety. It manifests as choking or oppression. Because of this, their depression deepens.

How to get rid of anxiety?

If we experience anxiety that does not allow us to function normally, the best option is to go to a specialist: a psychologist or psychiatrist. If you do not know which one to choose, you can sign up for a visit to the primary care physician. Then we will find out if it is enough to look for a good psychotherapist’s office, or rather we will need a referral to a psychiatrist. The decision to start treatment is certainly not easy. However, only in this way will we be able to function normally again, build relationships, without unjustified fears.