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Why Nutrition and Exercise are Essential to Mental Health

pillsWhy would a mental health therapist write and talk about nutrition, exercise, and weight loss? Believe it or not, these are very common subjects in group and individual therapy, as well as coaching. One of the reasons I have chosen to use a sliding-fee scale rather than insurance reimbursements in my private practice is to allow my clients to focus on the goals that are most meaningful to them. Weight loss and health improvement are very important goals to many, allowing them to increase energy and improve self-esteem.

Improving physical energy habits, including sleep, diet, and exercise, is often the first line of attack against the most common mental health concerns of anxiety and depression. Often, counselors must address such topics as part of a treatment plan when a client experiences the common side effect of weight gain as a result of taking medications to fight depression, bipolar disorder, psychotic symptoms, etc. In some cases, anti-depressant medication may be an optional tool to allow a client the extra boost needed to do the therapeutic work that can bring him or her out of that depression.
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Exercise Makes You Happy

Exercise has been thought of as a tool for fighting minor depression. It’s, of course, not a substitute for treatments of bi-polar disease or manic depression, but a new study finds additional evidence that supports the idea that exercise can make you a much happier person.