Why Exercise May Be the Best Fix for Depression

For many people with depression, serious exercise may be the best, cheapest and safest treatment

On Valentine’s Day 2014 Elizabeth Droge-Young admitted herself to a hospital in Syracuse, N.Y. For more than a year, she had been struggling with depression—not eating well and losing interest in the movies, books and music that usually delighted her. She had withdrawn from her friends and was routinely missing classes at Syracuse University, where she was a fifth-year graduate student in evolutionary biology. Some days that winter she could not even make it out of bed, despite the fact that she had started taking antidepressants the previous fall. In her darkest moments, obsessive and frightening thoughts of self-harm and suicide flooded her mind. “It was horrible,” she recalls. “I felt very unsafe.” She realized she needed a serious intervention.

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