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Study Claims Exercise Does Not Decrease Depression

Aug 21, 2008
For years, psychologists and physicians have developed studies and conducted research on the affects of depression and exercising to increase serotonin levels, which are suggested to produce endorphins and create feelings of happiness. However, a recent study contradicts this practice and claims that when prescribed without medication, exercise does not decrease depression or its side effects.

The study is published in an August 2008 issue of The Archives of General Psychiatry, and found that individuals who exercise may be less likely to be depressed or anxious but likely not because they have been exercising, according to a news report of the study done by The New York Times. The study, conducted by Dutch researchers, followed 5,952 twins, 1,357 additional siblings and their parents, approximately 1,249 of them all found through the Netherlands Twins Registry. The individuals, who ranged in age from 18 to 50 years old, were surveyed about the amount of exercise they did and were required to respond about their feelings of depression and anxiety using a scale method.

The researchers studied both the set of twins and family members in order to better understand and distinguish between genetic and environmental effects. According to the lead author of the study and doctoral student in psychology at VU University Amsterdam, Marleen H.M. de Moor, there was no causal effect for those with depressive symptoms finding relief through exercising. Moor said that while exercise may still be a positive recommendation, it does not reduce anxious or depressive signs.

Depression: What is it?

Depression is considered an illness that occurs within the body. There are five common types of depression, according to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) including:

* Major depressive disorder, which is also known as major depression, is characterized by a major episode of depression that may continually occur and affects an individual's ability to sleep, study, eat, find join and work.

* Seasonal affective disorder, (SAD), is often caused by the decrease of natural sunlight, which is often treated with light therapy, medication and psychotherapy.

* Psychotic depression, is when the severity of the depressive illness reaches a point where a form of psychosis becomes apparent in the form of delusions or hallucinations.

* Dysthymic disorder is considerd a long-term (usually two years or more) of less severe symptoms but continually reoccurring.

* Postpartum depression only occurs in women who have recently given birth and is common after only one month from the date of delivery.

Additionally, NIHM descries bipolar disorder that has also been previously described as manic-depressive illness. This condition occurs when an individual has extreme highs and lows within their mood cycle. The illness may cause irrational behavior and is treated with medications and psychotherapy.

Symptoms Of Depression

Symptoms can range depending on the depressive order an individual has been diagnosed, but there are common symptoms, according to the including:

* persistent aches, pains such as headaches, craps or digestive

* issues

* irritability

* persistent sadness or feelings of emptiness

* feeling continually anxious

* restlessness

* fatigue

* decreased energy

* pessimistic attitude

* feelings of hopelessness

* feeling worthless, helpless or guilty

* loss of interest in pleasurable activities including sex

* difficulty concentrating

* inability to make decisions or remember details

* overeating

* loss of appetite

* insomnia or early-morning wakefulness

* excessive sleeping

* thoughts of suicide

* suicide attempts

Treatments for Depression

Individuals affected by depression may find it necessary to seek medical attention requiring therapy or receiving pharmaceutical prescription drugs depending on the severity of their condition.

Commonly, antidepressants are among the medications that are prescribed to individuals suffering from some form of depression. Antidepressants stabilize a range of brain chemicals known as neurotransmitters such as serotonin and norepinephrine. Additionally, other antidepressants can stabilize the neurotransmitter dopamine.

Also, there is a new class of antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Some of these SSRIs have become commonplace in society and include the following:

* Fluoxetine (Prozac)

* Citalopram (Celexa)

* Sertraline (Zoloft)

There is also a similar medication group known as serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), which include:

* Duloxetine (Cymbalta)

* Venlafaxine (Effexor)

NIMH reports that SSRIs and SNRIs are more popular of the antidepressants because there have been fewer side effects than the older class of antidepressants known as monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs). These often require individuals to adhere to significant food and medicinal restrictions in order to avoid what could be severe interactions when consuming these prescription drugs.

What Causes Depression?

Researchers at NIMH cannot attribute depression to any single cause and have found that it is probably the result of several factors combined such as:

Genetic factors (including hereditary)

* Biochemical factors

* Environmental factors (environment in which an individual is raised

* Psychological issues

While these are common causes, especially when found in combination, there is also another way in which depression can be caused. There have been several medications that have been unrelated to treating depression, but have thus caused it. Chantix (Varencline Tartrate), for example, is a smoking cessation drug that was introduced to the market in May 2006 from Pfizer. The drug had been prescribed to nearly 3 million Americans when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) began receiving reports of depression and suicidal behaviors/tendencies among patients receiving prescriptions of Chantix.

Nearly 37 suicides and more than 400 instances of depression had been reported by November 2007 from patients taking the drug. In early 2008, the company updated prescription information of the drug including the risks of mood and behavioral changes among some Chantix patients. However, if an individual has been adversely affected by these severe Chantix side effects it is important to seek the assistance of an experienced pharmaceutical lawyer who can provide details of a Chantix lawsuit.
About the Author
Visit http://chantix.legalview.com to learn more about the severity of the Chantix side effects. Information is also available at http://www.LegalView.com, including the latest on the similar "http://singulair.legalview.com">Singulair risks as well as information on a Levaquin class action lawsuit.
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