Exercise may be best treatment for depression

The Mental Health Foundation in it's report - "Up and Running", says exercise might well prove to be a more effective treatment for some forms of depression than pills, and GPs should be offering all patients with depression a programme of exercise to help overcome their symptoms.

The report by the charity marks the start of a year-long campaign calling for more exercise therapy for people with mild or moderate depression and comes amid growing concern about the side-effects and over-prescribing of antidepressants in the UK.

Dr Andrew McCulloch, MHF chief executive, says many patients with mild or moderate depression who ask their GPs for help are currently being denied an effective treatment option - exercise referral, and though there are some obstacles standing in the way of exercise on prescription, they're not insurmountable. McCulloch says that society needs to be educated about the benefits of exercise in treating mild or moderate depression, and GPs need to be made aware that exercise referral is available.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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