New Approach To Depression & Addictions
Research is coming out in support of more natural ways to combat depression and mental health issues, including addiction. Duke University did a study involving 156 participants divided into three groups. One group was treated with exercise only, the second group, exercise and drugs and the third group with drugs only.
After monitoring the three groups for a period of six weeks they found the group being treated with just drugs was doing only slightly better than the other two groups. From this slightly marginal result they hypothesized that the best way to treat mental issues is with both drugs and a regimented exercise program. However, after 10 months of monitoring and reporting they were surprised to find that the exercise only group was doing the best and was more successful than either other group at maintaining their addiction free, depression free lifestyle. The report summarized their findings: “After demonstrating that 30 minutes of brisk exercise three times a week is just as effective as drug therapy in relieving the symptoms of major depression in the short term, medical center researchers have now shown that continued exercise greatly reduces the chances of the depression returning. The new study, which followed the same participants for an additional six months, found that patients who continued to exercise after completing the initial trial were much less likely to see their depression return than the other patients. Only 8 percent of patients in the exercise group had their depression return, while 38 percent of the drug-only group and 31 percent of the exercise-plus-drug group relapsed.” The researchers at Duke University aren't exactly sure why the exercise protocol was so much more helpful long term but they surmised it was due to active involvement on the subject's part. They felt it helped people feel they had some control over their health and well being by making the choice to exercise rather than simply popping a pill. In our research and experience here at Natural Horizons we have found it critically important to have the patient actively participate in their journey to health in all aspects of their well being. We have witnessed also that treating mental health issues needs a multi-discipline approach. Our Horizons of Hope Program looks at lifestyle choices, including exercise and nutrition, medical well being and mental well being to help our patients enjoy a high rate of success of over coming their depression, addictions and mental illnesses.