BY: ALYSSA B. KINGSLEY
How Exercise Help Overcome Depression
Depression is usually confused with the emotion of sadness, loneliness, unhappiness but it is certainly not just a simple mood that people may be able to switch up. Depression is a mental illness; clinical depression is a phrase that is used when talking about depression. There are different types of depression which are: major depression, persistent depression disorder, bipolar disorder, seasonal affective disorder, psychotic disorder, post-partum depression disorder, premenstrual dysphoric disorder, situational disorder, and many more (N. Schimelpfening, 2016). The main form of depression that I will approach is major depression.
This form of depression can make a person feel lazy, they usually begin to lose interest in activities, friends, family, things that once made them happy. Having depression as a mental illness a person feels as if they have no purpose of living, they feel worthless, guilty, and even just being alive is exhausting for them. People with clinical depression are often suicidal and have thoughts about death, loved ones that will soon die, and thoughts about physically hurting themselves to feel something to void the emptiness that they’re feeling. The people who are experiencing this illness cannot help but put the blame on themselves for all the negative outcomes that happen on the daily basis, even small inconveniences will set off an anxious and guilty feeling. Being depressed makes a person want to sleep all day, for weeks, months, and even forever.
1) Lack of motivation, loss of interest in activities
2) Hopeless, Worthless, Guilty
3) Trouble concentrating, making decisions
4) Changes in appetite
5) Changes in sleep patterns
6) Aches and pains in body
9) Suicidal thoughts
10) Outbursts, breakdowns, lashing out on loved ones
Causes of Depression
Depression comes in many ways, everyone has their own reasons why they are depressed, and some don’t and can’t even explain the feelings that it brings. In some cases, it can just be a permanent illness and it lives with a person, some people are born with clinical depression. When this situation happens and a person is born with depression it is usually because of when the mother was pregnant with the child, she could have been going through depression herself. There is post-partum depression that affects the child as well, the percentage of women that go through post-partum depression is 13% (Mw. Am., 1996). Which will affect the child’s development as well. Mothers who go through post-partum depression have emotional disturbances: crying outbursts, confusion with life and any problems that happen in their lives, mood liability, bad anxiety, lack of motivation, and no energy to care for anyone, not their babies, family, or even themselves. Post-partum depression can last for a few hours of the day or night, even months, and possibly years. The child needs care and nurture from their mothers or caregivers at such young ages, post-partum leaves the parent to not care for the baby so this is when it effects the child, the child will start to cry and fuss because he or she feels unimportant and neglected. As the child grows a little older they will show symptoms of depression or behavior issues as well. As toddlers, children tend to act a little less mature than the rest of their classmates or siblings, they’ll have tough times with creativity and focus of learning, their interactions with their family, teachers, peers, and especially other children would be considered socially awkward; very shy, timid, quiet, and even times the bully. These children will grow up and experience anxiety disorders, problems with functioning in certain situations, they’ll have attention deficits, and it is common for them to have low IQ scores, these symptoms of depression and mental illnesses will stick with these children until they are adults or until they get the right treatment and care. There are other ways that depression is diagnosed and there are times where people are severely depressed but not clinically diagnosed, they or other people may figure it out just by their actions. More causes of depression can come from childhood experiences, school interactions, such as bullying and name calling. Their self-esteem is already low and they will begin to feel as if they are those negative and mean names that they are being called but it is just a form of bullying which for the bully satisfies them to see a person hurt by their words and actions. School has a huge impact on reasons why a person can feel unworthy and empty, the assignments and tests may be overwhelming and make them feel as if they aren’t good enough because of the grade they received after trying hard and studying. It is an often feeling of failure to succeed and a lot of the times a person experiencing these feelings will end up giving up. And as a person grows up they may experience more anxiety issues because of all the problems that get added into their lives. Things which they have never experienced, job and school related things which are also scary things, scared of failure, getting corrected by their coworkers, managers, or even customers, or just messing up at a job or important event. When depressed, a person is constantly putting the blame on themselves, they’ll talk down to themselves, and it is uncontrollable for them. A lot of the time they will blame their existence for all the problems that is happening in their lives and even their family, friends, peers, acquaintances lives.
It is Conquerable
Experiencing depression, you feel so low and not interested in getting help or trying just a little to overcome this demon of an illness. But there are numerous ways other people can help the suffering and they can even reach out for help if they have the strength, these people who are willing to reach out can get real help from therapists, and it is possible for them to do it on their own. One of the most beneficial ways to conquer clinical depression is physical exercise, I am not talking about extreme fitness, weight lifting competition or anything beyond their strengths because it may also be hard for some of the people suffering to look in the mirror at themselves, or they’ll feel unaccomplished because it will be hard to start, they may feel as if they are trying and getting nowhere. But exercising is a behavioral activity that brings a promise in alleviating symptoms of clinical depression (PMC, 2004). Most people who are depressed aren’t educated about their illness and studies have shown that the diagnosed have diminished physical activities in their lives by 80 to 90 percent! That can also lead to other physical health problems and their depression can be harder for them to overcome (M. Wp, 2004). With exercise your body releases endorphins, endorphins are like morphine and heroine but it is beneficial for the body not harmful. Endorphins are little molecules that help trigger positive feelings inside the body. After only 20 minutes of walking, the brain has released enough endorphins for a person to feel a sense of happiness. With physical activities, putting your body, mind, and soul to work, they will recognize the exercise as a stressful situation, but as you continue to exercise and feel the burn, it almost feels as if you are fighting the enemy and fleeing from the stress! (L. Widrich, 2014). Endorphins are putting themselves over the pain so a person will physically and mentally feel better immediately in that moment. To be depressed and to start exercise will be the hardest part of conquering the illness, but with help of a therapist, family, friend, or even the brain power for a person to want to help themselves it may be easier to stay motivated and strong enough not to give up. People who are going through depression need help, they need encouragement constantly, it is easy for them to lose track of their minds and they’ll lose insight on wanting to better themselves and fighting their demons.
It is difficult for the depressed to even think about exercising, the thought of physical activity is exhausting, but with help, inspiration, motivation, it can save numerous lives of the people who are suffering and wishing their time will come any second of the day. Depression is a complex subject to talk about for some people and it shouldn’t be, it doesn’t help the people suffering, and that’s not what we want. It is extremely important for many people in the world to be well-educated on clinical depression and how effective it is to a person and the world around them plays the biggest part of why people are going through depression. The act of exercise has such a positive impact on people who are acting in exercising, many people who are exercising and not going through depression are willing to help anyone who wants to change their lives and help them achieve and overcome the goals that they need. The exercising community is such a positive environment, as a person who has experienced all these situations, you can just feel the difference and the positive vibrations and all the smiles and help you get from people at the gym, family, or friend whom are active and always exercising. There are people out there that are willing to help a victim of depression, if you are a person that is fighting this illness or if you know anyone with the symptoms of depression, I suggest you or have another person you know reach out to whoever it is that needs help and refer exercise and be their guidance to help them heal.