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Alternative Treatment

Question:

I am socially isolated, generally depressed and anxious. I have been this way for years. I have tried most forms of talk therapy as well as drug therapy. These activities have not produced results. I would appreciate any advice you have. Any ideas for alternative treatments? Any ideas at all would be helpful. Thanks!

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Answer:

If all else has failed you might want to consider the following. There is a body of research that speaks to the beneficial effects of physical activity on mood and anxiety disorders. Finding a way to get into a safe, regular (several times per week at least) pattern of physical activity might be a helpful thing to do. Because exercise can be a difficult thing to get into doing regularly, and because it won’t do you any good to exercise in a non-regular, haphazard way, I’ll suggest the following. First, seek out an exercise group or personal trainer type of situation. It is much better and easier to exercise when you have company and/or someone who will push you a little to keep with it. Also – find a type of exercise that you like to do (sports, hiking, working out or riding a bike in a gym, etc.). Regular exercise stands a good chance of helping you to raise your spirits and improve your body at the same time.

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p> Another super suggestion that might be an adjunct to regular physical exercise is a hatha yoga class. Yoga is a marvelous, gentle set of exercises and stretches that is powerfully able to relieve stress, build stamina and calm jangled nerves. Most communities these days will have a yoga class of one sort or another.

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p> Whatever path you choose here, understand that it won’t work if you don’t’ commit do keeping on doing it on a regular basis. Don’t rush to trust your own judgment here if you start to feel after a few weeks that it is not helping. Instead, ask people who know you if they’ve seen any change in your mood and attitude. Please have a physical checkup prior to beginning any exercise program (and tell the Dr. your plans to exercise!) and find quality teachers so that you can be confident you won’t be hurting yourself. Good luck.

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