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Exercise 'no help' for depression

**helen****helen** Mod malarkistPosts: 9,235 Listening Ear
I'm guessing some of you will have seen this research yesterday?

Here's the BBC article with some details -
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-18335173

What do you think of the research? (is the study valid?)

Do you have any personal experience of this?

Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I think it was interesting how they pointed out that exercise appeared to make little difference on top of medication. However I always thought that exercise universally released endorphins, which on their own might have had an effect?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Personally, ballet is the first thing I turn to if I have an urge to SH. Whether it has any long term effect on depression I don't know, but in the short term I find it definatly helps.

    Nina x
  • Starry nightStarry night Incredible Poster Posts: 674
    In the short term it helps. There are the endorphins but there is the element of feeling good becuase you are looking after yourself. In the long term it may not help fight depression, but it certainly helps you along in small bursts.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Depends on the exercise I think. A good bout of competetive sport is a great rush and win or lose I think you always feel better afterwards. Pounding on a treadmill for 20 minutes? Once you get passed it being one of the most boring things you can do the endorphin rush has worn off.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I found this really interesting.

    I'd encourage people to read this:
    http://www.nhs.uk/news/2012/06june/Pages/exercise-may-not-ease-depression.aspx

    Someone pointed out that there could be a difference in someone being told to do exercise rather than choosing to do it autonomously, which I think is a good point.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    i think the research is quite misleading and unhelpful. the researchers studied people with clinical depression and the fact that one of the experimental groups was made up of patients on anti-depressants suggests that the sample were predominantly severely depressed individuals. it's not surprising that in such cases, exercise doesn't make much difference, because in reality hardly anything will. there aren't that many people with clinical depression who can say that their medicine or therapy 'cured' them - at best, they take the edge off it.

    the following quote is particularly misleading:
    "The message of this study of course is not that exercise isn't good for you, exercise is very good for you, but it's not good for treating people with what was actually quite severe depression.

    the NICE guidelines do not recommend that exercise should be advised as a treatment for severe depression. they recommend exercise as an option or in combination with low-intensity cognitive behavioural-therapy for mild to moderate depression only. it is not a recommendation for moderate, severe or complex depression.

    what worries me most about this research is that it might put depressed individuals off the idea of exercise. in the end the bottom line is, if a depressed person manages to do any activity then surely it is a good thing, and we have to ask, can exercise do any harm?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I think it is different for everyone, but I think it can help and there's no harm in trying exercise alongside medication, I do think the research done was quite poor though, there needs to be a lot more done on it.

    Personally for me exercise helps, I notice that I'm a lot less depressed when I'm exercising (running or football). I wouldn't say its a cure, but it definitely makes me feel a bit better. I also notice that when I have time off from exercise or when I don't get the chance, the 'big black cloud' comes back with a vengeance and I feel a lot worse quite quickly, and then I need to find the motivation to get into it again before I get any worse and stay indoors staring at the walls.

    That's the only problem, when it gets bad, when severe depression kicks in, even just going out to the shops is a challenge, so not sure how helpful it would be in that situation. I do think exercise can help overall, but just not for everybody.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I don't necessarily think the research is 'poor' - I think the reporting of it may have been a problem.....
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    The trick with NICE guidelines is to read all of the details, it really isn't possible to get an accurate soundbyte - no matter how hard the media try. The other thing, related, is never believe how the media report NICE guidance - remember they are always looking to sensationalise any story - preferably with a sideswipe at the NHS 'bureaucrats' writing the guidance, even though it's actually clinicians.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    It's definitely different for everyone, but it has never helped me.

    In fact, unless I'm very careful about doing a slow cool down, a really big endorphin 'high' like a run can be really harmful for my mood because of the come-down. It's a tricky thing to manage, because in the moment I really enjoy running, swimming, cycling, etc.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I would be loathe to believe something from one paper in one publishing that seems to contradict the established understanding.

    Lets give it 12 months and see what they say then. It may be just like those phycists who accellerated a tachyon faster than light when it turned out they'd make a mistake or something :)))))

    Personally I am 100% convinced of the health benefits of exercise.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    In fairness to the physicists. They were completely convinced that they'd made a mistake.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    ShyBoy wrote: »
    I would be loathe to believe something from one paper in one publishing that seems to contradict the established understanding.

    That's reasonable skepticism, but anecdotally I know a lot of people who have had negative or negligible experiences with exercising during serious bouts of depression. Of course, I know many who have found it beneficial...
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    In the short term it helps. There are the endorphins but there is the element of feeling good becuase you are looking after yourself. In the long term it may not help fight depression, but it certainly helps you along in small bursts.

    I agree with this.



    Sometimes, oftentimes, the short bursts and the short term is sufficient. Do I feel good now? Can I get out of bed now? Can I stop crying now? And exercise def. helps with that.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    My friend who used to work in this area (has now moved on) pointed out statistically ADs were equally as effective as organising a routine for someone. If exercise forms part of that routine then all the better. But really when addressing clinical need you want to be using all the treatments that you think might be appropriate or effective for that patient and that's where the doctor's judgement comes in.

    He worked for a very large pharma that handles a lot of the big contracts with the NHS so he knew what he was talking about.

    Exercise doesn't need to be rigorous, but I'd argue someone who is going out for a walk 30 minutes a day every day will most likely have better odds of MH improvement than someone who stays inside stagnating.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I think park of it can depend on why you're exercising. I felt better for the work out, because I also wanted to look better and feel fitter. I got to listen to music and could be an antisocial fuck while moving very heavy things.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/9344129/Jogging-in-forest-twice-as-good-as-trip-to-gym-for-mental-health.html
    Researchers found that anything from a stroll in the park to a run through woodland can have a positive effect on people suffering from depression and anxiety.

    The study also showed that the positive effect on people's mental health was 50 per cent more than they might expect from going to the gym.

    The researchers at Glasgow University looked at natural and non-natural environments for physical activity, including walking, running and cycling, and found that being around trees and grass lowered brain stress levels.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I think it's question of degree, i.e. just how depressed someone is, and how much benefit they might get from exercising.

    I've often wondered just how well some of these researchers understand depression.

    If someone is severely depressed, they won't be running very far because they just won't have the energy.

    Research done in the neural sciences has shown that depression is not just a disorder of the mind, rather it’s a disorder of the whole body. The very great majority of people having suffered with clinical depression will attest to that.

    Whereas going out for a walk (in the forest or not) can feel therapeutic, I think the issue of exercise as a treatment per se for depression has been blown out of all proportion.

    Because of past and present Government policy on reducing Welfare Benefits paid to the long-term sick (Incapacity Benefit, etc) general understanding and awareness of depression has been put back into the Victorian era by reframing it as malingering.

    Political rhetoric on the subjected has declared that: “work is good for depression!”

    The right-wing tabloid press are only too happy to expound at length on the subject while showing no understanding of what it means to be depressed.

    While being out of work can be depressing, substantial numbers of people claiming IB/ESA, and the like, have become victims of depression due to work-related stress.

    How on earth some of the people who have been set up as “advisers to Government” on mental health issues and social policy have managed to get away with talking complete nonsense never ceases to amaze me.

    There is a huge shortfall in the provision of mental health services in the UK. Which means that people will go longer without being diagnosed and treated, and so suffer more than they need to. And it seems the best most of those in power at Westminster can do is to talk rubbish in an attempt to re-frame and dismiss the problem.

    Jed
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I personally having suffered with mild depression like to think of it as part of 'holistic therapy'. Not holistic in the spiritual sense, but getting medical practitioners to consider all aspects of a persons life and how they might be affecting their health in different ways.

    Thing is depression is a complex illness and everyone who suffers probably suffers in slightly different ways. There are no two people who feel EXACTLY the same for EXACTLY the same reasons. As such you can't just write down 'pill A' or 'excercise daily' on the prescription script... you've got to come at this problem and basically sample all of the potential therapies and find what fits the patient.

    For a lot of people, exercise will be part of the solution that works. For plenty I am sure it will have no impact on their health. I would be loathe to have a lot of people with depression discount it immediately though (as many who suffer from depression will also struggle with motivation), when in the end there could be tangible benefits.

    http://www.nhs.uk/news/2012/06june/Pages/exercise-may-not-ease-depression.aspx
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    ShyBoy wrote: »
    I personally having suffered with mild depression like to think of it as part of 'holistic therapy'. Not holistic in the spiritual sense, but getting medical practitioners to consider all aspects of a persons life and how they might be affecting their health in different ways.

    Thing is depression is a complex illness and everyone who suffers probably suffers in slightly different ways. There are no two people who feel EXACTLY the same for EXACTLY the same reasons. As such you can't just write down 'pill A' or 'excercise daily' on the prescription script... you've got to come at this problem and basically sample all of the potential therapies and find what fits the patient.

    For a lot of people, exercise will be part of the solution that works. For plenty I am sure it will have no impact on their health. I would be loathe to have a lot of people with depression discount it immediately though (as many who suffer from depression will also struggle with motivation), when in the end there could be tangible benefits.

    http://www.nhs.uk/news/2012/06june/Pages/exercise-may-not-ease-depression.aspx

    If exercise works for someone feeling sad or mildly depressed, then great, do it.

    In my experience, most people try to "shake" themselves out of feeling depressed before asking for help.

    The political dimension of this involves how depression is perceived as a condition requiring treatment through the NHS, and also issues around how fit people are to work when suffering with depression.

    Various British politicians, with a lot of help from the media, have tried to re-frame depression as a malingerer's excuse for claiming welfare benefits, which has put back public awareness and understanding of depression many years.

    Jed
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