Tag Archive: Exercise and Depression

  1. The Difference Between Dependence and Addiction

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    The distinction between physical dependence and addiction can be difficult to comprehend since there’s so much overlap between them. Addiction, by definition, necessitates dependence; however, dependence doesn’t necessarily indicate that you have an addiction.
    Over time, we build a tolerance to substances and require higher and higher doses to achieve the same effects. Dependence isn’t bad when it comes to prescription drug treatments; you’re supposed to become dependent on those (and to taper off eventually). It’s when dependence drives someone to misuse that the addiction cycle begins.

    Tolerance and Withdrawal

    To compensate for alterations, our brain changes its chemical makeup. That’s homeostasis, and important bodily function that kicks in whenever we use mood-altering substances, including some found in food or natural herbs. If your brain doesn’t sense that you need extra dopamine, serotonin, or another neurotransmitter, it slows production.
    That’s all fine–until those alterations halt. Drug withdrawal symptoms, whether they’re from heroin or even marijuana, are the manifestation of the brain desperately trying to retain homeostasis.

    Addiction

    Addiction is marked the continual pursuit of pleasure from drugs–going beyond homeostasis. Alongside tolerance and withdrawal, addiction can be fleshed out by looking for the following signs:
    – Overusing/misusing (taking more than prescribed or altering the route of administration)
    – Inability to abstain or cut down despite desire
    – A great deal of time spent obtaining or thinking about obtaining more of a substance
    – Neglected responsibilities (school, work, etc) because of substance use
    – Continued use of a substance despite problems it imposes on life
    Risks
    Many people assume that prescription meds are safe, even for non-patients, since they come from doctors. The reality is far, far different. Prescription drugs are prescription-marked because they’re powerful. The temptation to misuse is always a risk. If you or someone in your family does have a history of addiction, the risk is much greater.
    There is also the unfortunate reality that nobody, not even doctors, are perfect. If you feel like your assigned dosage of something is misjudged, don’t try to compensate on your own; voice those concerns to your physician, because they matter. Pay close attention to how you feel while taking your prescription. You should feel normal, not depressed, foggy-brained, or overly excitable.
    If you’re ready to get your addiction under control and finally be free, get detoxed ASAP and then call us start your rehab journey: 949-637-5499

  2. Exercise and Depression

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    Exercise and DepressionMarathon runners and other distance athletes are familiar with the concept of a “runner’s high”. Yoga practitioners strive for a sense of “being in the moment”. Professional athletes achieve high levels of performance when they are “in the zone”. Regardless of how it is characterized, the sense of well-being that accompanies physical exercise is an effective counter-balance to depression. Counselors and therapists are increasingly using exercise programs to treat depression and other similar psychological disorders.

    Exercise and Depression

    The physical benefits of exercise are well-documented. Exercise improves heart health and energy levels. It can lower your blood pressure, reduce your body fat, and improve your muscle tone and bone density. Physical activity also reduces perceived stress, boosts self-esteem, and leads to better sleep. When you feel good, you can better handle the adverse effects of depression.

    Researchers are gaining a better understanding of the mechanisms that create these benefits. Physical activity causes a release of endorphins and other neurotransmitters into your metabolic system that make you feel good. It also bolsters your immune system and reduces immune system stressors that can contribute to bad feelings. Exercising in group settings or classes will put you in a social environment that can improve your sense of well-being. At its most basic level, strenuous exercise can distract you from focusing on any bad feelings that might be holding you back.

    Exercise in Recovery

    This does not suggest that exercise can or should be a total substitute for other treatments, particularly if depression is severe  or is the result of a deep-seated psychological trauma. In these more extreme situations, exercise is an effective adjunct treatment that complements more traditional therapies. Even the smallest amount of physical activity, such as walking outside for ten minutes or doing light housework, can help an individual who is mired in a depressive mindset.

    Starting small and simple is a key to integrating exercise effectively into a therapeutic program to treat an individual’s depression, particularly if that individual has never participated in any exercise programs. An easy ten- to fifteen minute daily walk can provide a good foundation to increase physical activity to 30 minutes or more per day. A therapist who recommends an exercise program will want to remain vigilant to confirm that a person’s failure to follow those recommendations does not contribute to a deeper sense of failure and depression. Exercise should be treated as a reward and not as a mandatory event. It should also be scheduled into a person’s daily routine, rather than being left as something to do if and when an individual has time to exercise after a long day of job and family responsibilities.

     

    The number of individuals who suffer from mild depression has grown as society has become more sedentary. Physical exercise may not reverse this greater trend, but it can help individuals to regain some sense of well-being that may have gotten lost with the trend toward inactivity.

    For more information and suggestions on how exercise can help alleviate your depression symptoms, please call Sustain Recovery Services at (949) 407-9052.

The people at Sustain Recovery are truly passionate about their work. They put all their love, energy and spiritual strength in to it. They continue to support me today as I continue my ongoing journey in my personal recovery. I now have over a year of sobriety, my own apartment, a job, true friends and a support network that is always available to me. Although all that stuff is great, what matters most today is that I love myself and have the ability to love others. Thank you to all who had a hand and heart in Sustain Recovery

Jenn
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