On the surface, exercise and depression are vastly different – it is akin to comparing apples and oranges (or, as the case may be, apples and trains). In reality, however, exercise and depression are intrinsically linked: not only does exercise help relieve depression, but exercise and depression are connected on a genetic level. A recent study shows that certain people who are genetically predisposed toward depression may experience greater depression relief from exercise.
As the findings suggest, depression may have found its match; instead of spending long periods on a prescription for antidepressants, patients may be able to follow their prescription of “exercise” to alleviate their symptoms.
Even for people whose exercise and depression gene isn’t present (and, consequently, isn’t able to function as the primary means of therapy), exercise can prove extremely useful. Regular exercise releases a cocktail of happiness hormones in the brain, which can counteract the effects of depression . Moreover, exercise can help break a cycle of negative thoughts by occupying a person’s mind. Through exercise, a person can feel good and confident about themselves – and it doesn’t even have to be lifting weights for hours at the gym. As a matter of fact, even a light jog can prove extremely useful.
Tips for Parents of Troubled Teens
As a parent of a troubled teen, one of the first steps is to check for potential underlying causes of your child’s struggles. Recognizing the signs of depression early is vital, since the earlier depression is caught, the less damage it has a chance to do. Some potential signs of depression include rapid changes in mood, irritability, anger, withdrawal, sadness, loss of interest, decreased school performance, and shifts in eating, sleeping, or exercise habits. Since exercise and depression often mirror each other, a drop in exercise can possibly signal the onset of a depression. Naturally, everyone has bad moments; however, if these symptoms persist for extended periods, they may be signs of a deeper issue. Also, depression itself can be a symptom of a different issue, such as bipolar disorder.
Depression is unpleasant, but if treated quickly and efficiently, it does not have to take a toll on your child’s future. Fortunately, help is available. If you suspect that your child is exhibiting symptoms of depression or a mental illness, it may be time to contact professional help.
blueFire Can Help
blueFire is a wilderness therapy program for struggling teens, ages 11 to 17. Our students often grapple with issues such as addiction, depression, anxiety, and other behavioral challenges.
For more information about blueFire Wilderness, please call 1 (844) 413-1999 today!