It’s been all over the news lately – research recently published in the British Medical Journal indicates that exercise does not provide relief from depression symptoms beyond what can be offered through medication and therapy. As the wife of someone with long-term, severe depression, I find the attention given to this finding troubling.
Too often when people are suffering the despair brought on by depression, headlines such as this create even more hurt. Taken at face value, this news can make us feel that one of the components of the path to wellness has been taken away from us. It’s an extremely unfortunate turn when we’re already feeling helpless and overwhelmed.
Then, too, I’ve personally witnessed the benefits of exercise in my husband’s recovery process. What I’ve seen is that intentionally getting out and moving, increasing the heart rate, can have a very positive impact on mood.
Overall, caregivers of depressed people, who have a stake in that depressed person’s recovery, have to take news such as this with a large grain of salt. We have to listen to our gut feelings, listen to the doctor and therapist, and continue to do whatever works, in spite of what some “experts” might publish.