exercise is vital

working with the black dog institute at the moment has been a real eye opener into the world of depression beyond anything i have ever understood about myself ... i always thought i had a good grip on the workings of the brain and the whirlwind it can become, the self destruction it can create - within my own world
extensive surveys have created a rating that measure the effectiveness of certain strategies in treating depression - the results demonstrate some interesting trends which mirror my own experiences - of the 16 listed - nine are effective for me to varying degrees ....

Exercise is the winner in this assessment. This is interesting when you realise it is accessible to all and very inexpensive. When you consider the epidemic of depression in the western world and the general decline in physical activity, you can’t help thinking there may be a connection.
Support of family and friends and counselling therapies is not very surprising.
Some people will be relieved that short-term therapy from registered psychologists is now partly covered by Medicare.
Perhaps the most surprising of all the results is the ranking of Fulfilling Work which stresses how important this is to our mental health. There are a lot of people unhappy with their work.
The next group of factors (relaxation/meditation, drug and alcohol avoidance, nutrition, and prescription medicine) are rated so closely together that it is difficult to differentiate between them.
It is interesting to note that of the top 10 factors that most help people with depression, eight are lifestyle related. Prescription medicine and counselling therapies are the only exceptions.
The other feature is that many strategies have very similar scores. What this indicates is that no one can afford to try just one or two approaches. If you are serious about making progress you should consider the top 10 strategies and determine with expert help which six you will focus on.
Other Helpful Strategies/Things Nominated by Respondents: Pets, Music, Journal Writing, Art, Hypnosis, Kinesiology, Reading, Gardening, Hobbies, contributing to others.
It is clear that many factors positively affect people living with depression. Exercise, the winner, is probably one of the easiest to implement. The eight lifestyle factors in the top 10 show that there is much a person can do to contribute to their own recovery without waiting for drugs to work or to have a breakthrough with therapy.

my (personal) top two strategies for control are exercise and nutrition - number one and number six - if one or the other isnt precise and in synch with the other, and consistent, then im simply a goner ...  at times i really don’t feel like exercising but i know i ALWAYS feel better for having done it...
an addition would be the type of exercise - it takes INTENSE exercise, it can't be half hearted - sometimes it takes 'lots', more than my physical body requires, but its necessary ... and, it takes pure whole raw foods (a vegetarian - and now, vegan diet) to actually have any effect - trail running, being alone with my oneness and the solitude of nature, would be second behind intensity ... and easy for me to implement - a bit yin and yang really ... balance.

number two - not really of benefit - i have support - i have HUGE support - but it is difficult when im not feeling so grand to have energy to actually talk with others, no matter how accepting of me they are, nor to put them in the position of knowing, i arent doing so good - in turn, creating worry, which then makes me feel worse. my use of that - is to be as happy as i can with them when life is running smoothly, so there is never a need for concern by anyone

number three  - works. i tend to go in cycles - i give it up cos i feel like i am a weak person requiring help from total strangers - not true. it makes me strong. (well. thats what im told) -  a necessary evil of sorts. i hate going. unlike exercise, it only sometimes helps. but, it does take pressure off those that know me.

fulfilling work? i love everything i do. relaxation.meditation? do regularly. alcohol and drug avoidance - i know if i drink, i am asking for trouble. on the most part, i avoid doing so.
prescription meds? hmmmmmmm.
support groups? never have been a group person in my life, a loner, so no, not a strategy that works for me but it could for many.
religious beliefs :) when youve been spiritually burned have to give that a negative too. though, i often think about church, and "God" and wonder if there IS a correct pathway out there somewhere beyond my teachings.
the rest. dont apply. the only charity i support is legacy but i dont think it makes any changes in me :)

so. the conclusion? i really believe, exercise is the key. and would be for most people. the catch 22 situation is, when depressed, the last thing most feel like doing is exercising. so its somehow figuring out HOW to get people to exercise and realise the benefits of doing so, even when in a slump. MORESO, when in a slump!

i will continue learning,. thats one of the beauties of life. its a continual journey of self examination, self improvement and ... always, an extension of oneself to keep growing in a positive way ...


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