New research can Complexity of narrative use Practice To help with depression and other cases Mental health issues. a The study compared people with depression and/or anxiety who joined a running program with those who I took a course of antidepressants, It found that both groups experienced a similar level of mental health improvement after several months. Those who exercised had greater physical health benefits, but those who took antidepressants were more likely to stick to the regimen throughout.
search, Conducted by scientists in the Netherlands, This appears to be the first of its kind to attempt a head-to-head comparison between exercise and antidepressants.
Experience It involved 141 patients diagnosed with depression and/or anxiety who sought care in an outpatient clinic. Patients were divided into two groups: one where patients attended group therapy twice a week, or where they took a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), a common class of antidepressants, with each program lasting 16 weeks. Volunteers were asked whether they would be willing to be randomly assigned to these groups, and if not, to choose the group they preferred. Most chose their prior preference, and about two-thirds chose to exercise.
By the end of the study period, about 44% of the volunteers in each group had seen a clear enough improvement in their symptoms to be considered in remission. But it was there Important differences between the two groups.
Those who exercised also lost some weight and had better blood pressure and overall heart function on average compared to before the study, for example, while those who took antidepressants saw a slight weight gain and an increase in blood pressure.. Meanwhile, only 52% of participants in the running group adhered to the program fully, compared to 82% of those taking antidepressants, despite exercise being the preferred option for most people.
The team’s results were published in February in the Journal of Affective Disorders It is scheduled to be discussed this weekend at the annual meeting of the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ECNP).
The results, according to study author Brenda Penninks, a professor and epidemiologist at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, showed that both exercise and antidepressants can have an effect. place in helping treat depression and anxiety, although each comes with its own unique set of considerations and challenges.
“Antidepressants are generally safe and effective. They work for most people. We know that not treating depression at all results in worse outcomes, so antidepressants are generally a good option,” Beninckx said in a statement Issued by ECNP. “However, we need to expand our treatment arsenal, as not all patients respond to antidepressants or want to take them.”
While exercise can be an attractive alternative for many patients, the low adherence rate seen in this study suggests that many people will need support to help them maintain their routine.
“Telling patients to run is not enough. Changing physical activity behavior will require appropriate supervision and encouragement as we have done by implementing exercise therapy in a mental health care setting,” added Penninks.
Previous research has found that exercise, in particular Outdoor exercisehe have Our benefits mood And Brain health Generally. A study conducted earlier this year even found a link between Exercise regularly and above Bear the pain. While being physically active is undoubtedly beneficial for overall health, it remains to be seen whether it can truly be a treatment for depression.
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