I’ve always joked that exercise is the medicine for everything, much to my husband’s displeasure. But now there may be a little more scientific evidence behind this idea. A new report from the Journal of the American College of Cardiology is suggesting that exercise may provide just as much relief as medication for people with heart disease who are also depressed.
To conduct the study, researchers examined 101 heart patients with signs of depression. Participants were asked to exercise for just 90 minutes per week in addition to taking the depression medicine Zoloft, and those who complied saw noticeable improvements compared to those who took a placebo pill instead.
More specifically, 37 participants were assigned three exercise sessions per week, 40 were prescribed Zoloft, and 24 were given a placebo. Over the course of the 4-year study, results were collected every four months to gauge which intervention method was most effective.
Researchers used a scale of 0-68 to monitor depression levels; 0-8 was considered normal, and higher scores equaled more severe depression. Before treatment began, each group’s score averaged 13.5 to 14.5. And by the end of the study, scores decreased by 6.1 points in the Zoloft group, 7.5 points in the exercise group, and 4.5 points in the placebo group. In addition, the exercise group was also less likely to report tiredness and sexual problems. (more…)
Ever suspected that your food may be affecting the way you feel? Namely, your mood? Well new research out of Spain has confirmed a link between fast food consumption and depression. Even though fatty foods can temporarily boost our mood, the longterm affects are doing more harm than good on our mental – and physical – health.
The study observed 8,964 participants over the course of six months, especially taking into account their eating habits. Researchers found that those who consumed fast food were 51 percent more likely to develop depression. And among that group, those who ate more fast food were at even greater risk for suffering from depression.
The study also revealed the type of person who is most likely to be a junk food eater. Researchers found a trend among single, inactive people with poor eating habits, such as eating minimal fruit, nuts, fish, vegetables and olive oil. This demographic, said researchers, also tended to be smokers who worked more than 45 hours a week. (more…)
Unknown to many, Amanda Beard silently struggled with bulimia and depression for years. The multiple Olympics medal winning swimmer and successful model agonized for years over her physical appearance. Even though everyone else saw a thin beautiful and successful woman, Beard thought of herself as fat, ugly and a failure.
In her college years she had begun cutting herself to deal with the extreme agony she was going through. Along with the cutting, she became bulimic as a way to cope with all the pressure and her low self-esteem. Through the years, no one suspected a thing because on the outside she appeared to be so successful.
She told Today’s Ann Curry, “I felt like an idiot saying I was struggling so much inside because I was an Olympic athlete. I was having a great career. I had my own house. There were all these great things going on in my life, but on the inside, I was hating everything about me.”
Beard began to feel the pressure at a young age. She won her first medal when she was only 14 years old. She said that it was a lot for a teen to take in, that she felt the constant need to look beautiful, thin and perfect. The pressure was magnified when during her second Olympics in Syndney in 2000, the media began saying she had put on weight. (more…)
You have heard of postpartum depression. You may have heard of post-nuptial depression. You might have even heard of post-adoption depression syndrome. Today, I am introducing the idea of a post-Super Bowl depression. There are hormonal changes involved with postpartum depression, but there are other contributing factors that all of these share, as well as factors unique to each. Below are six things you can do to help you recover from Super Bowl XLVI and avoid post-Super Bowl depression, whether you were cheering for the Giants or the Patriots.
Eat Healthy Food – Let’s face it you probably have not been eating the purest diet in the last couple of weeks. You have likely ended up eating a lot of snacks and food on the go. I saw a tweet from @EatThisNotThat that said Americans eat more on Super Bowl Sunday than they do on any other day, except Thanksgiving. Unfortunately, this probably includes low nutritional value items high in processed ingredients. The more nutritional your food is the more physical energy you will have and the more emotional energy you will have as well.
Find Something to Anticipate – After such an exciting week and intense game, getting back to the daily grind is likely to feel like a grind. Some may feel accomplished in being productive again, but others may be left thinking “now what?”. Investing so much energy into planning an event is one of the reasons that post-anything-depression exists. My secret to making it through the winter is to plan for and celebrate the next thing. I can find a holiday or special even every couple of weeks. Valentine’s Day may or not be something for you to anticipate, but Mardi Gras is coming up or the more creative may enjoy the lists of something to celebrate every day. (more…)
According to a recent study published by a joint venture of the University of Texas Southwest’s Medical Center and the Cooper Institute in Dallas, having low levels of vitamin D can be linked to depression.
What is Depression?
Major depressive disorder (MDD) or depression, as it is widely known, is a mental disorder where extreme feelings of sadness persist for months or even years. People that suffer from depression can’t seem to shake the feelings of sadness, hopelessness and despair that they experience. They also tend to lose interest in the activities that they once enjoyed and withdraw from loved ones and friends.
The study followed 12,600 adult men and women over a four year period. Participants were divided into groups based on whether they had a past history of depression or not. Their vitamin D levels were tested in addition to taking into consideration whether or not they were currently exhibiting symptoms of depression. (more…)