How effective is exercise compared to the administration of antidepressants in treating depression among young adults over a three-to-six-month recovery period?
Population (P) – Young adults diagnosed with depression
Intervention (I) – Exercise
Comparison (C) – Antidepressants
Outcome (O) – Treating depression
Time (T) – 3-6 months
Depression is among the most common psychiatric conditions among young adults that affect how they think, feel, and act. It causes one to feel sad or numb persistently and impedes on their ability to live a normal life. Young adults with depression usually have feelings of sadness, worthlessness, loss of interest in everyday activities, general tiredness, and recurrent thoughts of death or suicide (Zeng et al., 2018). Additionally, they might experience dramatic changes in their eating and sleeping habits. Depression is a disease that doctors can treat with exercise, antidepressants, and psychotherapy. Individuals, who have struggled with the condition in the past and were treated, have continued living fulfilled, happy, and successful lives.
Significance of the Problem Addressed In the Proposal
Depression is a common mental illness in the United States, and in 2015 16.5 million adults had experience a major depressive episode within that year (Zeng et al., 2018). This number has since grown. Healthcare practitioners should treat depression as a serious disease since many adults have turned to drug abuse, self-harm, and suicide as a way of coping with the illness.
The problem addressed in the discussion is depression in young adults.
The purpose of this proposal is to show how practical and better it is to treat depression with exercise rather than with the administration of antidepressants.
The Effectiveness of Exercise in the Treatment of Depression
Doctors greatly recommend exercise to treat depression since it greatly improves treatment outcomes for many patients. Individuals release feel-good endorphins, endogenous cannabinoids, which are natural cannabis-like brain chemicals and other natural brain chemicals during exercise (Belvederi et al., 2019). These chemicals act as analgesics and sedatives, thus diminishing the perception of pain. They enhance individuals’ sense of wellbeing and relieve pain and stress (Belvederi et al., 2019). Brain chemicals like dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin are also released during physical activity, and they play a vital role in regulating individuals’ moods. It will significantly improve their appetite and sleep cycles that are negatively affected by depression.
Exercise makes individuals focus on their bodies’ movement which helps take the mind off worries. Young adults can get away from the cycles of negative thoughts that feed their depression (Schuch & Stubbs, 2019). It is a healthy way of managing the disease instead of drinking alcohol to feel better which can worsen the symptoms. Individuals feel proud of themselves when they meet exercise goals and challenges, boosting their self-confidence. They will be fit and get their desired body shapes, making them feel better about their appearance and raising their spirits, thus reducing depression.
The Effectiveness of Antidepressants in the Treatment of Depression
Antidepressants are a vital part of the treatment of depression. They are used to treat severe and chronic depression to relieve restlessness, anxiety, and sleep problems, and prevent them from coming back (Gitlin, 2018). Depression is caused by an imbalance of neurotransmitters like serotonin, making it difficult for signals to be passed along the nerves correctly. Antidepressants work by increasing the availability of these chemicals, thus causing a balance in the body. Individuals can feel the effects of these drugs within a short period, but the symptoms might take a longer time to improve. The side effects of these forms of medication usually occur in the first weeks of treatment, and it may discourage young adults from seeking this kind of depression treatment. They will experience headaches, dizziness, restlessness, and reduced sexual drive.
Health practitioners and nurses should encourage exercise as a form of treatment for depression in young adults (Zeng et al., 2018). The rate of individuals relapsing if they use exercise as a method of treatment is minimal compared to antidepressants. Both exercise and the use of antidepressants have been proven to be successful in treating depression since they reduce the risks that may arise.
Belvederi Murri, M., Ekkekakis, P., Magagnoli, M., Zampogna, D., Cattedra, S., Capobianco, L., … & Amore, M. (2019). Physical exercise in major depression: reducing the mortality gap while improving clinical outcomes. Frontiers in psychiatry, 9, 762.
Gitlin, M. J. (2018). Antidepressants in bipolar depression: an enduring controversy. International journal of bipolar disorders, 6(1), 1-7.
Schuch, F. B., & Stubbs, B. (2019). The role of exercise in preventing and treating depression. Current sports medicine reports, 18(8), 299-304.
Zeng, N., Pope, Z., Lee, J. E., & Gao, Z. (2018). Virtual reality exercise for anxiety and depression: A preliminary review of current research in an emerging field. Journal of clinical medicine, 7(3), 42.
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