Is Exercise Best for Depression?


Time magazine reviews the evidence on exercise for depression, finding that exercise alters brain chemistry such that the brain shows less stress in response to new stimuli. The article compares this to the effect of medication, is as effective and far less costly than medication. “It occurs to us that exercise is the more normal or natural condition and that being sedentary is really the abnormal situation,” says one of the researchers.

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Kermit Cole
Kermit Cole, MFT, founding editor of Mad in America, works in Santa Fe, New Mexico as a couples and family therapist. Inspired by Open Dialogue, he works as part of a team and consults with couples and families that have members identified as patients. His work in residential treatment — largely with severely traumatized and/or "psychotic" clients — led to an appreciation of the power and beauty of systemic philosophy and practice, as the alternative to the prevailing focus on individual pathology. A former film-maker, he has undergraduate and master's degrees in psychology from Harvard University, as well as an MFT degree from the Council for Relationships in Philadelphia. He is a doctoral candidate with the Taos Institute and the Free University of Brussels. You can reach him at [email protected].


  1. Why did an op-ed that looked interesting about the schizophrenia label, appear for five minutes on the right hand pane of the main page, and then disappear? Did it get deleted? I wanted to read it.

    On this exercise thing, more stating the obvious. Fitness increases well-being. Who didn’t know that? More of a natural, fighting fit state, less despair, a sense of achievement, less despair.

    “Depression”? what’s that? a word that’s been ruined by the quacks. I choose to use despair.

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