Psychologist Questions Depression

Would I be able to cure my depression with just exercise?

I don't work out often, but I notice that every time I do, I feel like I have better control over my mental state. Do you think I can cure my depression with just exercise?

14 Answers

Exercise helps to raise the dopamine in the body, which affects moods. Certain foods like dark chocolate can also be beneficial. Mindfulness is a big criterion for ascertaining what are the contributing factors causing the depression. Our attitudes, values, and behaviors influence and/or dictate how we perceive ourselves within our environment and respond to circumstances.
It's possible but not as likely as combining exercise with another form of therapy from a professional.
No, not just exercise but it will help. Get an evaluation and treatment from a psychiatrist and or Psychologist.
Dear Sir/Madam:
Exercise is always good and has many health benefits including uplifting your mood, improving your sleep, building muscles that burn calories, helping loose inches, etc. Yet you need to get to the bottom of what is causing your depression, heal from it and move forward so your uplifted mood is not dependent on exercise to "have better control over" your "mental state." So, you may want to consult a therapist in your area to find the best way to deal with the depression. You may also want to read "Feeling Good" and "Mindful Way through Depression."
Take care,
Dr. Sonpal
Exercise and nutrition are important in reducing depressive symptoms, but psychotherapy and anti-depressant medication are sometimes indicated.
I know for a fact the endorphins released by exercising can help with depression, and a good exercise is health. You will have to judge that on your own. If you get into a routine and exercise often and experience less or no depression that answers your question. It will also depend on the degree of depression you have. Go for it!
Research shows that moderate depression can be alleviated with regular exercise. In addition to this, though, it is helpful to be aware of your thoughts and feelings. In addition, what other stresses are you experiencing? No one thing is a cure, so be clear about what are you expecting.

I hope this is helpful.
Nancy J Warren PhD
I don't think so. You can get temporary relief. You need to get in touch with the cause of your depression. The most invisible causes are early childhood abandonment depression or neglect, often not remembered or acknowledged. If you know the reason, you have a head start. You need to talk about the feelings and the messages your mind believes that come with them. These are lies we have learned to believe, that we have to dismantle, as well as to process the feelings from whence they came.
Congratulations on discovering exercise as a natural anti-depressant! Many research studies have shown that for mild depression, regular cardiovascular exercise is as effective as anti-depressants for elevating mood—an increase in endorphins, neurotransmitters such as dopamine, and adrenaline—all of these are responsible for an increase in well-being, higher locus of control, feeling more equipped and empowered, with an uplifting in mood. The key factor is to do your exercise regularly, preferably daily. If you have physical ailments of any kind, please consult your physician first.
This answer is for informational purposes only and does not constitute treatment.

I can't say whether you can cure your depression with exercise. However, I can say that research has shown that physical activity and engagement all on their own can be extremely effective for some people. The main treatment with this name is "behavioral activation." Assuming you aren't exercising to extremes or ignoring other responsibilities, the exercise is unlikely to hurt and every likely to help.

If you exercise outdoors, have a plan for how you will manage or vary your exercise routine to accommodate changes in the weather and daylight. Some folks like to walk a long circuit in a local mall to deal with hot/cold weather.
Exercise is a great form of self-care and is associated with a boost in endorphins, which make us feel good. I think what you’re experiencing post-exercise is likely resulting from those endorphins. In my experience, a comprehensive approach to treating depression includes psychotherapy, medication (when necessary), and lifestyle changes such as exercise, a healthy diet, sleep, hygiene, and so on.

Bernadette Pivarunas, Ph.D.
Exercise can be a huge contributor and managing depression. Dr. G
Not usually, but it definitely will help and can eventually even cure it if it’s not too bad. Or just taking classes or keeping the mind occupied. Eating a healthy diet and being socially active all can help, too.
Exercise is a good tactic - produces positive endorphins which makes you feel good. It by itself is not likely, depends on the severity of your depression. If your depression is mild to moderate, combine it with CBT. If severe, possibly adding medication will be useful.