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How much can exercise/diet tackle mental illness? watch

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    I'm just wondering how much alternatives to therapy and medication can really help mental illness? If anyone has any experiences or knowledge it would be helpful to know Thank you
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    It depends on the person but in general exercise does help yes, it encourages serotonin release among many more benefits. At the end of the day humans are designed to exercise, not be sat in office chairs and in front of tv's most of the day. If you are asking for yourself and you have no medical reason not to exercise then why not try setting some exercise goals, stating off small and then gradually building up? I find that running helps me, I don't particularly enjoy the actual run but I feel in a totally different mood, very relaxed and more confident for many hours after a workout. It's not just short term but long term too, I find that getting fitter can also help with confidence, discipline in everyday life.
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    you can't sweat out or burn off a mental illness
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    Good diet and exercise are like maintenance. They can help maintain some balance and some boosts bit they don't resolve mental illness. I feel better when I can exercise on some days. On other days exercise is impossible and would make me feel worse. In either case I still have PTSD & I still have dissociation. Plus, when I'm 5 I wanna eat marshmallows for tea and colour. When I'm 14 I wouldn't be seen dead exercising. PTSD also makes exercising challenging because of body based triggers. Or food triggers related to trauma.

    But overall I try to eat one hot meal a day - which my partner/carer does for me and I take my meds.

    There's many therapietic approaches too
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    I'm just wondering how much alternatives to therapy and medication can really help mental illness? If anyone has any experiences or knowledge it would be helpful to know Thank you
    Never had mental illness but I have had very close friends/ family who have. This is my opinion and other people will completely disagree.

    It depends on the illness and the person.

    It can completely cure some mental illnesses like depression in some people (but not all people), but can make other mental illnesses like eating disorders a lot worse.

    Some people have depressing because their lifestyle makes them depressed i.e. they are really overweight and moving about is a big effort which makes them miserable, the exercise also releases Endorphins which make them feel better and gets them out of the house.

    Generally depression can be reduced in most people by having a good diet and exercising regularly, although it is better to pace yourself and start off slow and build up if you are really unfit to avoid injury.

    People forget that food is like a drug and plays a huge role in influencing moods etc. Some good diets to try are Mediterranean and Japanese, or Mediterranean diet with Japanese eating habits i.e. eat small meals frequently and don't fill up too much. It is good to have plenty of fruit/vegetables and a fairly small amount of fish/ poultry to accompany it and to completely avoid foods like chocolate/ junk food etc if possible. Junk food and chocolate temporarily lift your mood but often lead to you crashing afterwards.

    On the other hand if people have eating disorders as their mental disorders then fixating on food and exercise can make them a lot more neurotic and make them a lot worse because they can struggle to moderate it.
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    They're not alternatives, but things that may help. Blood tests can show deficiencies, e.g. vitamin D, which is linked to serotonin production.

    If they're good for your general health, then you only have something to gain.
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    Thank you for the replies. I suffer with mainly anxiety and ocd. I've been on vitamin b complex and iron for 5 weeks and haven't noticed an improvement in my anxiety/ocd yet so I'm wondering what else I should try
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    Thank you for the replies. I suffer with mainly anxiety and ocd. I've been on vitamin b complex and iron for 5 weeks and haven't noticed an improvement in my anxiety/ocd yet so I'm wondering what else I should try
    I think exercise does help with anxiety. I find mixed martial arts useful and even cardio tbh.
    I'm not too sure about food but a friend said she notices a difference with better eating habits.
    Maybe it depends on the person. I wouldn't rule anything out and so would give it a try. Results sometimes take awhile to appear so keep at it.
    Hope things get better for you
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