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Exercise is the key to a healthy mind not antidepressants

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posted on Jan, 19 2005 @ 08:22 AM

Most people, by the time they have mood problems they think need treating, have children and/or jobs. These are essential responsibilities, right? You can't put your needs ahead of these kinds of needs without serious trouble. Most people lose out on exercise right there. They're good, responsible people. They get their jobs done first, then if there's anything left, which they might take for themselves, they still consider giving it to their kids or their work! Isn't that how you do it?

Now of course in the long run those kids and jobs would be better off with a mom or dad who's not troubled by mood problems, and exercise can definitely treat mood problems (evidence below). But our brains are not designed for long-run type decision making! This is crucial, and I invite you to read an additional essay about human brains making decisions, but maybe you'll come back for that.

But the data on exercise and mood have gotten even stronger. There's still a small bit of debate about whether this benefit is really proven.Lawlor But one of the most telling studies was reported recently, in which an exercise program was equal in benefit to routine doses of Zoloft, a common antidepressant.Blumenthal The Zoloft and the exercise program were tapered off after 4 months; then the researchers tested the participants again, about 8 months after the treatments were stopped. At that point, the exercise group was doing better than the group that had received Zoloft.

It is my own biased opinion that exercise is the key to great mental & physical health.

posted on Jan, 19 2005 @ 08:29 AM
Exercise is not going to replace missing chemicals in the brain in those with a chemical imbalance
No doubt there are many on ant depressants that could better benefit from exercise but not everyone...not by a long shot. People need to continue on their meds and all this needs to be discussed with a physician, and change nothing due to a news report.

posted on Jan, 19 2005 @ 08:36 AM
also since the human body is meant to be active and we had to fetch our food back when we were cave people, it is important to exercise in the morning before you eat even if it's for 20 minutes, you will burn more calories throughout the day and speed up your metabolism.

If you do not exercise your metabolism slows down you get more negative ions in your body, you feel tired, lethargic, and you gain more weight, and get depressed and down on yourself.

You keep healthy by keeping your heart your friend, your heart speeds up, your blood, which speeds up your immune system, your seratonin levels, your metabolism, everything starts working normally again.

posted on Jan, 19 2005 @ 08:59 AM

Originally posted by LadyV
Exercise is not going to replace missing chemicals in the brain in those with a chemical imbalance.

No one ever seems to ask WHY there are missing chemicals. I've concluded, after suffering from depression for years, that missing chemicals are only a symptom. Being depressed causes chemical imbalances, not vice-versa.

The problem, imho, is a spiritual one.

In any case, excercising is better than not exercising, on many levels...

posted on Jan, 19 2005 @ 09:03 AM

Originally posted by Azeari of the Radiant Eye

In any case, excercising is better than not exercising, on many levels...

No one is debating that! Only an idiot thinks that one doesn't need to exercise, but it is not going to solve all of the problems that some people have and their need the use anti-depressants! I also don't see a chemical imbalance due to spirituality!

posted on Jan, 19 2005 @ 09:16 AM

Originally posted by LadyV
I also don't see a chemical imbalance due to spirituality!

Perhaps I didn't explain very well; what I meant is I've concluded (and I do have quite a bit of personal experience to draw on) is that it's sort of like a snowball effect: you're unhappy for one reason of another, which eventually leads to the chemical imbalances, which in turn makes you "clinically" depressed, and then it's even harder to rise above it.

Drugs only mask this, and tend to not even do that very well or very reliably. And with side-effects.

I've also discovered that there are "spiritual" solutions to the original problem of being unhappy. Works for me, anyway: I'm no longer depressed and no longer taking any drugs.

posted on Jan, 19 2005 @ 01:27 PM
i believe excecise does help some people but it didnt for me. i was born not producing enough seratonin (Sp) so i have a chemical imbalance. Im 19 years old and i have always been in sports and at one point became so obsessed with excerising and being fit that i became anorexic. I have been taking Zoloft for many years and it has helped me. Now i do't take it. My parents and docs want me to because they say i seem me depressed still . I know it helped some but i dont want to be on medicine for the rest of my life. I want to try and do it on my own even though i have an imbalance.

With that said, i believe that unless a person really truely has depression in its true form then they shouldnt talk on this subject because they dont understand. Unless you are a scientist who is monitoring brain activity and has scientific experience with this you can't possibly understand.

Some people need medication to help them out. I know i did. And now i believe that i can handle my depression on my own. However not everyone is like that . And some may need it for the rest of their life. Exercise has been proven to up levels of seritonin but not on a perminent basis. And as i said unless you have it you cant understand it. People who are suicidal need serious help. (i never got to that point im just saying.)that means councling, Medication, family support. I guarentee you that someone who is suicidal isnt going to wake up and see they have a reason to live because they run on a treadmill on a regular basis.

I do believe however, That depression medication and ADD or ADHD meds have been over perscribed. Now a days when anyone goes into the doctor and says they feel down and out they get meds...and that isnt right. There are people out there who really need it though.

As for me the meds helped me out and yeah i get depressed alot but i have developed skills over the years to help myself out as well as having a good support system . And if you hung out with me you probably couldnt even tell that i deal with things like this. My personality is just such to where i like to be independant and value personal strength so i made a decison to stop taking the meds. Maybe i will have to go back who knows. So far i have been off for over a year and experience hard things all the time but through prayer/family and friends i pick myself up and get through the day. Not all people are like that nor have the support system to do so.

So unless you have been there you cant possibly understand.

Kind Regards,

posted on Jan, 19 2005 @ 01:30 PM
i also want to say that i agree with the poster who said that their depression was linked to spirituality. I have always been a christian but ican say the more and more i started trusting God and giving my worries to him the easier it was and is for me to get through the daily hardships of life. Im not trying to preach or anything that is just what helped me.


posted on Jan, 19 2005 @ 01:45 PM
Personally, I like the endorphins I get from exercise.

posted on Jan, 19 2005 @ 01:49 PM

Originally posted by Questor
Personally, I like the endorphins I get from exercise.

That's all fine and well for you...many people do. I don't but I like what it does to my body....the point I was trying to make is that you can't replace medications that many people need and have to have, with exercise and it is dangerous to suggest that they can or do!

posted on Jan, 19 2005 @ 04:23 PM
I agree with LadyV to some extent...this discussion could start bordering on the dangerous. No one here, as far as I know, is medically qualified, therefore all we can do is express our opinions based on our own experiences. No one should make any rash decisions based on what they read here, but on the other hand there's nothing wrong with thinking about other possible solutions.

Digital, I have been there. And I came out the other side, but none of the 13 or so meds I tried actually helped me get here. And the final one - Zoloft - very nearly killed me.

I wasn't until I decided to stop looking for an easy answer that things started to change.

It sounds to me like you're doing a superb job, kudos to you! I think a big part of dealing with depression is just deciding to deal with it.

Of all the hours & hours of so-called counseling I had, only one professional ever said anything remotely useful. She said: "Some people are depressed, and some people just have depressing lives." That was the beginning of the glimmer, the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel for me. This "bizarre" idea that maybe, just maybe, my depression actually had something to do with me, and that getting rid of it would require me to actually do something about it.

Don't get me wrong, I'm just one single case, everyone is different, and many people have much worse cases of depression. Probably some of them do need drugs. I'm not 100% convinced of that, but am willing to give it the benfit of the doubt. I am convinced of this, however: anti-depressants are HUGELY over-prescribed, and the vast majority of sufferers could find better solutions.

The tide is turning; already, here in the UK, the government has started tightening up the regulation of anti-depressants. (See this thread:

If I had stocks in one of these big drug companies I'd be reconsidering my position...

posted on Jan, 19 2005 @ 06:34 PM
Finally! Some respected doctors have come out with a way to live longer that I can deal with. its called the joy of laziness. I'll have to send this link to my ex to show her I wasn't being a lazy bumm after all, I was just trying to stay in good health.

Here's a link to the good news of the day: ain.jhtml?xml=/news/2005/01/09/nlazy09.xml&sSheet=/news/2005/01/09/ixhome.html

Love and light to each of you,


posted on Jan, 19 2005 @ 06:35 PM
Oooppss...that was suppose to go under new topic...sorry

posted on Jan, 21 2005 @ 01:23 PM
Azeari of the Radiant Eye...

I agree with you on some of the things you said. the depressing life vs. being depressed is neat concept. I don't believe i had a depressing life i believe i was depressed. BUT on the other hand i don't think i was one of those people that should be on it for there whole life. I don't hear voices, im not trying to kill people, and i don't have imaginary friends. At one period i felt suicidal BUT overcame it through a good support system and i believe that the medication helped me. The medication just droned out all the crap that i was feeling and let me see that there was a light at the end of the tunnel and then i thought "huh...i think i might be strong enough to do this on my own." So i did. But there are some people like Andrea Yates that killed her 5 kids in the bath tub do to that after birth depression and a lot of other brain problems...i think people like her (if we aren't going to sentence them to death when they act out like that) need to be put on medication and be councled. And other people that are severely Schitzophrenic should be on meds too. They can hurt themselves or in some cases alienate their families and loose everything. There are so many cases where schitzophrenic people have been able to get their lives back because of meds. So i believe there are some cases where it is need.

As i said in my other postes....I do stand firm by the belief do you, that Medication is overly perscribed. And in some cases it is causing deaths. For instance some kids aren't ADD or ADHD they are just brats and don't listen and get distracted like a million other kids do but their parents are either stupid, want a quick fix, or dont want to assume that it has something to do with their parenting skills. Look at how many kids are diagnosed each year with ADD or ADHD !! its millions!!! i find it really hard to believe that they all have it. The problem is parents aren't doing their jobs and are more concerned with being their kids friend than a parent. You know what i mean? This is a huge money making industy. Some people think that just because they feel bad for a couple of days they have depression so they go and get a pill because it is that easy. Doctors are more strict over giving patients Vicadin or morphin for pain than they are giving people anti depressants and that is sad.

Kind Regards,

posted on Jan, 21 2005 @ 04:07 PM

Originally posted by DigitalGrl

Very well said, DigitalGrl, I think we're pretty much in agreement.

The doctors "sold" me on the idea that the drugs could somehow give me enough of a "boost" to allow me to find my own way out. But that never seemed to happen. I suppose they did sort of dull the pain (some better than others), but looking back on it I can see that "dullness" is the exact opposite of what a depressed person needs.

I just noticed that I named the wrong drug: it was Effexor, not Zoloft, that nearly did me in. (It was the withdrawals that drove me nearly suicidal...and the other side-effects were no picnic, either.)

All the best!

posted on Jan, 21 2005 @ 04:40 PM
Interesting discussion, just thought I'd add my two cents.

I was on Paxil for a few years, depressed because of a chemical imbalance, supposedly. I've suffered since my early teens, and was suicidal on many occasions. I'm happy to say I am off them now, as I have been able to learn how to deal with my problems, and not be quite so obsessive over things I have no control over.

While I would never recommend medication to anyone, for me, it allowed me the breathing room to be able to objectively (mostly) address the issues I was having. I was in such a state that I could barely function, and couldn't have a conversation without breaking down. For me, they were of use, and if I ever found myself in that state again, I would rather use them as a 'helper', until I was stable agian, than spiral down to where I was. I admit that if I ever allowed myself to get there again, I wouldn't be able to pull myself out without help.

But everyone is different and has to make the choice for themselves. And, BTW, the withdrawls were, in fact, worse than the original symptoms.

posted on Jan, 22 2005 @ 06:09 AM
Antidepressants are horrible imo, they may do wonders for other people but 6 years of taking them (and I took just about all of them at one point except prozac) just about ruined my life. Terrible side effects and no relief, and they caused more problems than they were supposed to cure. Finally a competent doctor realized I actually had bipolar disorder and put me on lithium. The magic bullet, I still get hyper sometimes and will say some regretable things before I think about it when im stressed, but i'm not getting mad and punching holes in walls or cutting myself up.

I jog a mile a day. (mostly) Exercise indeed elevates your mood and makes you feel better about yourself because your actually doing something and looking better, plus i'm sure chemicals are released. Sometimes though chemical needs just aren't able to be met by the body, no matter what activity or stimulation is provided and a supplement must be taken. The fact is all of these "wonder" studies coming out are great but we know squat about how the brain actually works or what these medications really do.

I was in a psych ward 4 times for altogether about 2 months for attempted suicide, depression and self mutilation and had ECT, which I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy and which did absolutely nothing. I had to go through all of that before I finally was diagnosed. Which occured after the last medication I was prescribed (would have to look at the name) which made me almost blind for a week until it left my system. The point is the we have a long way to go before we can understand these illnesses and there is too much misdiagnoses and overmedication. More studies like this need to be done. This is a serious problem and people are needlessly suffering.

One more thing I wanted to add. Everyone's chemical makeup is different. . What works for one person may not work for you. Advice is great, but take it with a grain of salt. It always makes me mad when someone finds something that works for them and instead of just relaying that information to others they preach it like it was a sure fire cure they had personally discovered. I've also had people tell me to pray or go to church but since I am an atheist and that isn't my bag they get insulted. Theres all sorts of "cures" out there, some are medical, some or natural and some fantasy, but nothing is yet totally proven, so research as much as you can, knowledge is power, ignorance is folly.

[edit on 22-1-2005 by Veltro]

posted on Jan, 23 2005 @ 01:12 AM

Originally posted by Veltro
Advice is great, but take it with a grain of salt. It always makes me mad when someone finds something that works for them and instead of just relaying that information to others they preach it like it was a sure fire cure they had personally discovered.

You've highlighted something very important. I said it before, but it's definitely worth repeating: no one should make any major decisions based soley on what they read here. (Or read anywhere. Or see on TV, etc.)

This board offers a mixture of fact and opinion; this thread has been mostly opinion.

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