Antidepressants Aren’t the Only Way to Treat Depression


Antidepressants have been the go-to treatment for depression since they were first approved by the FDA in the 1950s, but that doesn’t mean they are always the best option to treat your symptoms. 

With side effects that range from unpleasant to life-threatening, antidepressants can be dangerous and even fatal in some cases if you don’t carefully follow your doctor’s instructions on how to take them or if you miss doses. 

Alternative treatments such as exercise therapy or cognitive behavioral therapy are also effective ways to overcome depression, and there are even prescription medications that may be better than antidepressants for certain people with specific symptoms.

How Exercise Affects The Brain

Researchers in Canada recently studied rats who were exposed to stressful conditions. They found that exercise helped elevate brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a protein responsible for helping new cells grow, and also improved depressive symptoms by blocking a stress pathway in rats’ brains. 

All of this is good news for humans suffering from depression and other mental health disorders—it seems we have another natural treatment on our hands! Many people that start looking at new exercise routines with fresh eyes, trying some new things, and learning about how exercise affected their body and mind end up reaping the benefits. 

How Exercise Can Help Overcome Depression

Depression is a mental illness, which often accompanies or occurs with other illnesses. Exercise can help improve your physical health and it can also help you manage your mental health and better treat depression. 

In fact, exercise has even been shown to work just as well as some antidepressants for mild-to-moderate depression. There are many different kinds of exercise that can be used, but if you’re not sure where to start or how much is enough, see your doctor. 

If you’re diagnosed with depression or another form of mental illness, they will likely recommend that you start an exercise program and add medication only if necessary. When starting an exercise program, begin slowly and listen to your body. 

As you become more fit, increase your workout intensity and duration. Your doctor can advise you on what types of exercises are best for managing depression. Also remember that even though working out may make you feel tired at first, regular exercise can boost energy levels and mood over time.

Be sure to check in with your doctor regularly while working out as part of treatment for depression; doing so ensures that there aren’t any side effects from medications or other conditions that could affect their safety during activity. 

A good place to start when considering ways to reduce symptoms of depression is by simply adding 30 minutes per day of moderate-intensity aerobic activity like walking into your routine 3 times per week—that’s all it takes!

Tips For Getting Into An Exercise Routine

woman exercising

Getting started and staying consistent with exercise can be a struggle for many people. To encourage you on your journey toward physical fitness, here are five easy tips for getting into an exercise routine. 

1. Set Goals — The most effective way to start an exercise routine is by setting goals for yourself. A goal gives you something specific to work toward, which makes it easier to get motivated and stay on track. 

2. Plan Ahead — If you know what you’ll be doing during each workout session, it’s much easier to make time in your schedule for exercise (as well as stick with your plan). 

3. Start Small — Don’t jump right into intense workouts or extreme dieting if you’re not used to being active. Start small and gradually increase your activity level over time. 

4. Find Something You Enjoy — Exercise doesn’t have to feel like a chore! Find something that excites you about working out so that it becomes more of a hobby than just another task on your daily list of things to do. 

5. Work Out With Friends — It’s easier to keep up with an exercise routine when you have support from others who are also trying to live healthier lifestyles! Try joining a gym or walking group where everyone will encourage one another along their journeys toward better health.

Mood Bood From Exercise

While many people turn to antidepressants when they start experiencing signs of depression, these medications don’t work for everyone and aren’t a cure-all. It’s always a good idea to combine medication with traditional therapy, but if you want an alternative or just something that can supplement your existing treatment, try going for a brisk walk and see how you feel after.

For some people, exercising can actually be more effective than antidepressants in treating mild cases of depression. That doesn’t mean you should go off your meds—consult with your doctor before attempting any new treatments—but it does suggest that exercise could play an important role in helping you overcome depression naturally.

The Long-Term Benefits Of Exercise

While exercise helps you feel better when you’re depressed, it also has other, long-term health benefits. Regular exercise is associated with a reduced risk of heart disease and stroke. 

In fact, a regular program of aerobic exercise may be as good as taking antidepressants or other mood-boosting drugs for treating depression, according to clinical trials. But getting started can be difficult—especially if you’re dealing with anxiety or other mental health issues related to your depression. 

If that’s your situation, talk to your doctor about starting an exercise program. Exercise doesn’t have to be time-consuming or complicated. A short walk around your neighborhood every day can help reduce stress and boost your overall mood and outlook on life in no time at all!

Using Exercise Instead Of Antidepressants

Many people are hesitant to talk about mental health issues because they assume that it only happens in other people, not them. The fact is, one in five Americans struggles with a mental disorder each year and many don’t seek treatment for fear of being judged or stigmatized. 

But instead of feeling ashamed about struggling with depression, there are plenty of things you can do to feel better without putting anything into your body. One great way is exercise therapy. 

Exercise has been proven effective for both treating depression and preventing it from coming back. A 2013 meta-analysis showed that exercise therapy is as effective as antidepressants in easing symptoms but can produce greater long-term results for those who stick with it.

Key Takeaways

Exercise therapy is a proven method of reducing the symptoms of depression and can be a great alternative to using antidepressant medication.

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Quinn is a professional, multi-faceted writer with a background and professional knowledge base that spans many industries. He goes above and beyond in everything he does and has an attitude and mindset of perseverance and dedication.

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