The bi-annual Invictus Games, a multi-sport competition for wounded, wounded and ill soldiers and veterans, have attracted more than 5,000 participants from 21 countries to Düsseldorf.
Many of them report dealing with mental health issues such as post-traumatic stress, depression, and anxiety. These often reduce quality of life and can lead to further illness. Psychotherapy and antidepressants, the most common approaches to treating depression, are not always effective.
Electroconvulsive therapy, which involves passing a weak electric current through the brain, may be used to treat the condition.–Refractory or severe depression. Although this is a very effective treatment in most cases, it is also considered an extensive treatment and is performed under anesthesia.
“Scientifically-based treatment options”
Antidepressant therapy is often combined with sports. Backed by research, therapists have long reported that exercise can complement the treatment of depression. Some now wonder if sports alone can help some patients overcome depression.
Patients would then no longer need to rely on years of counseling and antidepressants. The benefits are obvious. There are no side effects, except for sports injuries such as ankle sprains and muscle soreness.
Researchers from the Faculty of Sport and Health Sciences at the University of Potsdam, in collaboration with academics from Australia, Belgium, the United Kingdom, Sweden and Brazil, conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of 41 studies on the topic of exercise and depression. , published in the British Sports Journal in February.medicine.
The authors conclude that sport can provide “an additional evidence-based treatment option for a large number of people with untreated depression, including those who refuse or cannot tolerate medication or psychotherapy.” concludes. However, the researchers concluded that “given the high degree of heterogeneity and the inclusion of studies with primarily small, highly selected samples, exercise conditions may be optimal while also recognizing potential synergistic effects.” Individual decisions must be made by the treating physician to determine whether and which conditions are the most appropriate treatment,” he added. The effects of exercise in managing physical and mental health. ”
Exercise equals endorphins
Engaging in any type of sport or exercise, such as jogging, cycling, or yoga, triggers the release of endorphins, or feel-good hormones, in your brain. These can help reduce depression and mood swings.
Additionally, exercise has been shown to reduce stress in people who experience depression and those who don’t. Exercise can also improve the quality of your sleep. This can also help reduce depression, distract from negative thoughts, and focus your attention on positive sensations. Additionally, exercise can improve brain function.
Exercise has also been shown to promote neuroplasticity, the brain’s ability to adapt to new stimuli and information. Patients with depression often have significantly reduced neuroplasticity.
Regular vigorous exercise may be an opportunity for people with depression who do not want to take antidepressants to reduce the effects of the disorder.
This article was originally written in German.