EXERCISE AND SOCIAL INTERACTION SELF-STUDY
The Effects of Consistent Exercise and Social Interaction on Depression: A Self Study
In Partial Requirements of the Masters of Arts in Clinical Psychology
As a student who has struggled with depression due to stress related events, and currently is completing a Master’s of Arts degree while working full-time with three young children, the potential for increases in depression is very high. A trial was conducted over a two week period introducing two variables upon depression: regular aerobic exercise and consistent non-work social interaction in the work place. The proposed hypothesis was the reduction of depression due to these two interventions. The results are measured and revealed to support this proposed hypothesis and discussion is offered relating to safe and effective use of self and the impact of this self-study for future students.
Key words: exercise, social interaction, depression, psychological well-being
Everyone experiences sadness at various points in their lives. It is a normal, healthy part of life and beneficial in aiding individuals to grieve significant losses. Experiencing a “low mood” in response to a significant loss can keep an individual from making impulsive decisions. Everyone experiences depressive moments.
However, as Pinel points outs, some people experience a disproportionate intensity of depression that can become debilitating (Pinel, 2017). It can affect every area of an individual’s life. When depression becomes intense (lasting longer than a couple of weeks, or frequently reoccurs), individuals are suffering from clinical depression (Pinel, 2017). Researchers are reporting the rise in clinical depression or major depressive disorders resulting in the global recognition of its prevalence in the population (Ferrari et al., 2013). The World Health Organization declared depression to be the leading cause of health concerns and disabilities worldwide (Depression, WHO, 2017).
I have journeyed with depression my whole life. The biospsychosocial impact of my depression reflected common symptoms: irritability, negativity, lack of motivation, sleep disturbances, increased isolation and a consistently “low mood” (Clark et al., 1999). The symptoms “spiked” and became overwhelming several years ago with the combined factors of the birth of my third son and the unexpected death of my mother-in-law.
I decided to seek help and treated my depression from a biopsychosocial perspective (at the time I was unaware of Melchert’s approach to psychotherapy; Melchert, 2011). My doctor identified biological factors, my psychologist identified the psychological component, and I took a stress leave from work and self-disclosed to my family and close friends. I treated my depression with pharmacological methods and therapy, with the help of my social supports. These are important factors in my self-study since I believe that my previous (and continual)...