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News Clash

New Depression Study Spells BAD News For Big Pharma

There's a better option than some of the chemical soups out there

Being a global leader in medicine comes with some unexpected consequences. Our ‘believe the science’ biases have been shaped to look to Big Pharma for the latest solution for what ails us.

An obvious example is where companies that produce medicine for diabetes control are having a heck of a time keeping up with production now that word has gotten out that it’s ‘one simple trick’ for weight loss.

Since then, doctors have been playing catch-up trying to warn the public that these new ‘wonder-drugs’ have some significant side effects and the public should think twice about using them frivolously.

But our culture often celebrates the short-cut and scoffs at anyone suggesting the slow road fo gradual change and improvement. The inherent problems with the shortcut don’t always rear their heads right away. Like the doctors in the diabetes ‘wonder drugs’, researchers are often playing catch-up to tell the world what popular scientific thinking and heavily-prescribed medicine got wrong.

This time, we’re finding out the ‘traditional’ pharmacological solutions to mental health aren’t always the best option. Not even close.

A comprehensive analysis presented by researchers in a BMJ publication is giving new hope to those struggling with depression.

The examination of 218 previous studies, which included more than 14,000 participants, reveals that diverse exercise forms — from walking and tai chi to more intensive aerobic and strength training — can provide significant relief from depression and provide up to twice as much relief as medication.

“Depression affects somewhere between 10% and 25% of people. It hurts wellbeing more than debt, divorce, or diabetes,” lead study author Dr. Michael Noetel, senior lecturer in the School of Psychology at the University of Queensland in Australia, told CBS News. “Still, only half of those with depression get any treatment.”

One of the striking outcomes of the current analysis is the recognition that exercise need not be intensive to be beneficial. Whether it’s a gentle jog or a weight-lifting session, the level of engagement in physical activity plays a crucial role, although even mild forms like walking deliver positive effects. — WashingtonTimes

The good news in a country where so many suffer from various kinds of depression is that there are options that won’t break the bank or crush you with side effects. Even a walk around the block makes some kind of difference.

You can bet that if Big Pharma had a way to monetize that option, they’d be pushing it as their new miracle cure.

Wes Walker

Wes Walker is the author of "Blueprint For a Government that Doesn't Suck". He has been lighting up since its inception in July of 2012. Follow on twitter: @Republicanuck

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