Depression and Anxiety Treatment and Prevention program
What is Depression?
The American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) defines Major Depressive Disorder and Depressive Episodes as a depressed mood or loss of interest or pleasure in daily activities for more than two weeks. Up to two thirds of people with depression go undiagnosed, thus do not seek the professional help that they need. The underlying pathophysiology of this disorder has not currently been ascertained, however the current evidence is suggestive of a disturbance within the central nervous system neurotransmitter availability and receptor regulation and sensitivity. Clinical trials have suggested a disruption in the production and uptake of the neurotransmitter serotonin (5-HT), which is a chemical essential in brain functions such as mood, social behaviour, appetite and sleep.
What are the signs and symptoms of Depression?
The main symptoms of Depression include, but are not limited to:
Depressed mood lasting longer than two weeks
Loss of interest in everyday activities and lack of social interaction
Reduced self-esteem and confidence, suicidal thoughts
Feelings of guilt and pessimistic thoughts
Significant weight change or appetite disturbances, disturbances in sleep patterns
Agitation, fatigue or loss of energy
Indecisiveness or reduced concentration
The effect of exercise on the symptoms of Depression
Exercise results in the increased production of endorphins, which are chemicals that act as analgesics, diminishing one’s perception of pain and also producing a positive feeling within your body. Any form of exercise, especially one that you enjoy will be beneficial for the symptoms of depression. Regular exercise has been proven to reduce stress, anxiety, and boost confidence and self-esteem. Along with this, exercise has the physiological effects of lowering blood pressure, improving muscle tone and strength, increasing energy, and strengthening bones. Physical activity outdoors and with friends also helps to build a support group and improve social interaction.
Depression often occurs secondary to a chronic disorder, whereby an individual often feels depressed and anxious as a result of their symptoms of the chronic disorder. It is important to note that regular physical activity will not only diminish these depressive symptoms, but will also have a positive effect on their primary disorder, whether that be by improving bone density, cardiovascular fitness or the many other beneficial effects of exercise.
Recent studies have identified the link between physical activity and improvements in cognitive function, leading to reductions in the symptoms of depression. Researchers found exercise-induced cognitive effects on the brain stem, hypothalamus, and basal ganglia, thereby improving critical functions of sleep, metabolism, stress response, maintenance of normal mobility and promotion of overall general health. Among these direct effects on the brain, cardiovascular exercise results in an increase in cardiac output, in turn improving blood flow to the brain and optimising oxygen extraction and glucose uptake of brain cells, effectively helping to improve cognitive ability.
Depression and the Thrive Clinic
At The Exercise Therapist, we have developed a program that combines mindfulness and meditative cognitive training and HIIT, which are three modalities that have proven to be effective in reducing the symptoms of depression, anxiety and stress and improving a patient’s quality of life both short and long term. There is an increasing body of evidence that suggests that the combination of meditation and aerobic exercise strengthens the neural mechanisms in the brain and improves depressive symptoms and cognitive function. Mindfulness-based interventions aimed at reducing psychological symptoms of distress and enhancements of quality of life are increasingly applied and popular in a variety of settings. These interventions are aimed at the cultivation of an open-minded and non-judgemental awareness of whatever is happening at each successive moment of perception.
A recent study involving 52 participants completed an 8-week program that involved 30 minutes of meditation, and 30 minutes of aerobic exercise twice a week. The participants were measured through their mood and ability to concentrate pre and post-program. The results were statistically significant, with participants describing a 40% reduction in their depressive symptoms, as well as a decrease in anxiety and an improvement in motivation. This study mirrors the basis behind the Thrive Clinic program. Which involves an 8 or 12-week program, where the client can choose between two or three sessions per week depending on their status and availability. The program will aim to reduce depressive symptoms, and improve overall cognitive function and cardiovascular fitness, through the combination of mindfulness meditation and HIIT. We have already had fantastic results with current clients showing improvements both mentally and physically, just halfway through the program.
If you are interested in this program please contact the clinic on 9385 1430 or register your details in the contact form below.
Terms and Conditions - Any exercise program is not without risk and this or any other exercise program may result in injury, serious illness or even death. The risks are higher when you have a pre-existing medical condition or have not exercised for some time. You are responsible for seeking appropriate medical advice before commencing this program. The Exercise Therapist and Elite Health Management disclaims all liability from all in connection with your use of the programs, videos, and seminars or whether or not The Exercise Therapist or Elite Health Management is negligent. If you have commenced an exercise activity in accordance with this program and at any point during your workout you begin to feel faint, dizzy or physical discomfort, you should stop immediately and consult a doctor.