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"Exercise 'no help for depression' ", flawed research suggests

source: BBC



“Combining exercise with conventional treatments for depression does not improve recovery, research suggests.

In the NHS-funded study - published in the British Medical Journal - some patients were given help to boost their activity levels in addition to receiving therapy or anti-depressants.
After a year all 361 patients had fewer signs of depression, but there was no difference between the two groups.”

Perhaps I should head the research on this.

It is the conditions under which the research was conducted and its effects on the results that ought to be questioned. It is really too premature to state that ‘research suggests’ that exercise has no significant impact on depression.  They could just as well state, ‘bad research suggests’. 

If the ed was to conduct this study, the first thing I would have focused on is the premise that positive externalised self-perception has a significant impact on depression-reduction.If the ed was to conduct this study, the first thing I would have focused on is the premise that positive externalised self-perception has a significant impact on depression-reduction.  It is self-perception that impacts on how an experience is interpreted and appreciated.  Of course, experiences go into how one perceives oneself as well.  But to get the most out of an experience, self-perception can be manipulated to counter the negative impact of any experience on oneself.  (The elite do this all the time in terms of reducing the self-perception of the masses to the point that the evils of the day are just brushed aside or taken as the norm.)

Additionally, self-perception is not just what you think of yourself - which is an internalised experience - but what you think of yourself with the aid of all the senses available to yourself. (i abide by this logic in quite a few ways, from dress sense to home design)

Following from this, and in this context, I would have, for instance, had the participants exercise in front of a mirror so as to get them to focus on other aspects of their experience instead of just those experiences which depress them.  Depression is a mental and inward-looking experience.  You can say that to look at yourself in a mirror whilst engaging in a non-depressing activity helps to distract you from your depression. 

By having alternative identities, or perceiving yourself in alternative ways, the depressed part of your experience, from previously encapsulating the entirety of your self, contracts.When a person says, ‘i am depressed’, the ‘i’ encapsulates or represents the whole of oneself.  The entirety of the ‘i‘ becomes associated with ‘depression‘ itself.  All other identities sink into the background.  But to perceive yourself in a different light, be it in sight, sound, achievement, etc, is to break the association between the ‘i’ and ‘depression’.  When one is depressed, one’s perception of oneself as having alternative personalities, moods, identities, etc, ceases to exist.  There is only one ‘i’.  A depressed ‘i’.  That’s it.  The point here is to give oneself alternative identities to counter one’s depressive state monopolising the entirety of ones ‘i’ or self.  By having alternative identities, or perceiving yourself in alternative ways, the depressed part of your experience, from previously encapsulating the entirety of your self, contracts.

In the case of exercise in front of a mirror, it would help one to focus on oneself as determined, resolute, strong persons as they see themselves exercising and pushing themselves.  Not just doing something else, but seeing yourself do it, and seeing yourself as someone else rather than just an individual who is going through depression.  If depressed persons were to just exercise without the mirror, they would still be alone with their depressed selves within their minds.  The point is to counter their depressed internal condition with a perceivable alternative self.  You could say that one would be looking at an alternative portrait of oneself.  Of course, with an increasingly improving physique with continuous exercise, this positive perception can be increased and gradually reduce the relevance of one’s depressed condition and identity.



Other variables I would have manipulated for the purpose of getting all of ones senses to focus on or visualise an alternative personality for oneself is music, attire, amongst others.  For instance, the Japanese penchant for ‘Cosplay‘ can perform a similar function.  Without manipulating these variables, exercise can just be a cathartic experience that only temporarily distracts oneself from one’s depressed condition as no alternative and positive self-identity is created to counter ones association of oneself with the depressed condition.


ed





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