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Mental Health Treatments

“Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being and affects how we think, feel an act” (Mental Health.gov). One’s state of mind is an important issue—not only in the United States; but in the world. “Close to 1 billion people are living with a mental disorder, 3 million people die every year from the harmful use of alcohol and one person dies every 40 seconds by suicide” (Who 2020a). It is important to treat mental health. However, it is a large issue that needs to be faced. Over “75% of people with mental, neurological and substance use disorders receive no treatment for their condition at all” (Who 2020a). Different measures and treatments are considered to improve the mental health of many individuals with wide-ranging mental disorders.


One of them is exercise. Studies have shown that exercising could be a great tool to combat mental health. In particular, aerobic and anaerobic exercise have been reported to decrease the problem. Therefore, it is vital to understand the extent to which aerobic and anaerobic exercise improves mental health. Aerobic exercise is “any type of cardiovascular conditioning such as walking and running,” while anaerobic exercise “involves quick bursts of energy and are performed at maximum effort for a short time” (Chertoff 2018).

According to a study on anxiety conducted by Martinsen, using 79 participants, there was a significant decrease in stress in both aerobic and anaerobic exercise groups. However, there was no significant difference between the two forms of exercise (1989a). Similarly, in another study focused on depression, there was a large reduction in depression in both the aerobic and anaerobic groups, “but there was no significant difference between the groups” (Martinsen 1989b). These two studies show that the benefits between aerobic and non-aerobic exercise are indifferent in treating mental disorders.


In addition, both forms of exercise can significantly benefit people with mental disorders. “A study involving 74 participants with clinical depression were randomly allocated to either running therapy, psychotherapy, or meditation-relaxation therapy for 12 weeks. Symptoms of depression were reduced significantly in all 3 groups but statistical comparisons between the 3 groups were non-significant” (Mikkelsen et al. 2017; Klein et al. 1985).


Mental health is an issue which affects all age groups. These three studies show the impact that exercising can have on mental disorders. There are many other methods for treating mental disorders and maintaining a healthy mind. Exercise has proved to be a great measure to reduce the impact of mental health in affected groups. Recently, a pandemic shook the globe and caused an increase in a variety of behavioral disorders. “Mental anxiety brought on by the current COVID-19 has been identified in nearly 90 per cent of young people….” (Who 2020b). Many mental health facilities were closed or limited, and socializing decreased significantly in many cities as the pandemic continues infecting and killing people. Encouraging physical exercise could benefit those with mental disorders and reduce the rate of suicides as well as other mental health issues.


Works Cited

Chertoff, Jane. “ What’s the Difference Between Aerobic and Anaerobic?” Healthline. (2018). (https://www.healthline.com/health/fitness-exercise/difference-between-aerobic-and-anaerobic).


Klein, Marjorie H., et al. "A comparative outcome study of group psychotherapy vs. exercise treatments for depression." International Journal of Mental Health 13.3-4 (1984): 148-176. (https://doi.org/10.1080/00207411.1984.11448982).


Martinsen, Egil W., Asle Hoffart, and Øyvind Solberg. "Comparing aerobic with nonaerobic forms of exercise in the treatment of clinical depression: a randomized trial." Comprehensive psychiatry 30.4 (1989): 324-331. (https://doi.org/10.1016/0010-440X(89)90057-6).


Martinsen, Egil W., Asle Hoffart, and Ø. Yvind Solberg. "Aerobic and non‐aerobic forms of exercise in the treatment of anxiety disorders." Stress Medicine 5.2 (1989): 115-120. (https://doi.org/10.1002/smi.2460050209).


Mikkelsen, Kathleen, et al. "Exercise and mental health." Maturitas 106 (2017): 48-56. (https://doi.org/10.1016/j.maturitas.2017.09.003).


“What Is Mental Health?” Mental Health.gov. (https://www.mentalhealth.gov/basics/what-is-mental-health).


“World’s Largest Youth Organizations Representing 250 million Members, and WHO Launch Global Mobilization to Respond to Disruptive Impacts of COVID-19 on young people.” WHO. (2020). (https://www.who.int/news/item/14-12-2020-world-s-largest-youth-organizations-and-who-launch-global-mobilization-to-respond-to-disruptive-impacts-of-covid-19-on-young-people).


“World Mental Health Day: An Opportunity to Kick-Start a Massive Scale-up in Investment in Mental Health.” WHO. (2020). (https://www.who.int/news/item/27-08-2020-world-mental-health-day-an-opportunity-to-kick-start-a-massive-scale-up-in-investment-in-mental-health).


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