Do I need exercise, therapy or medication?
When dealing stressors people sometimes face disrupted sleep as well as feelings of anxiety and depression. This has especially been true as all of us try and deal with all of the changes brought on by COVID-19.
Many times, clients want to understand if they can cure these issues with medication alone. Or they mind wonder if upping their exercise routine could help. Others wonder if therapy is necessary of if therapy could actually help them feel better.
I wish that I could provide a person in pain a very simple and pat answer. The truth is, that we are all born with a unique DNA makeup that has never existed before. Furthermore, our experiences in life, the stories we tell about those experiences, our communities and environments all work together to produce our lives lived.
It is important that someone who is experiencing anxiety, depression or sleep disturbance seek professional help. This way a treatment plan can be developed and this way the person has help in tracking their progress. Therapy can sometimes just be a way to get help mentally organizing everything that is going on. A therapist can help track progress and make sense of how exercise and/or medication may be helping.
Research gives mixed results on medication and exercise helping with mental illness. The reason, I believe, is that everyone is different. We do know that exercise can improve memory and other mental functions and certainly helps with a person struggling with the daily stressors of modern life. It is not recommended that a person just take medication. Medication cannot necessarily help us deal with trauma or learn to rewrite events as they happen in our lives.
Therapy can help you put everything in perspective. A therapist can help you to examine the stories that you are telling yourself about your life. In addition, a therapist can help you deal with trauma. Treating trauma, like everything else, is an individual task and every client will arrive at resolution in their own way. A good therapist will help clear the path for individual solutions while incorporating additional coping mechanisms such as exercise and medications as needed along the way. All of these efforts combined can help the client develop healthier habits for a more fulfilling and effective life.