Benefits of yoga in overcoming depression

Benefits of yoga in overcoming depression

The common and the most prevalent course of action for treating depression is antidepressants. The antidepressant scourge that has hit America hard these days can be linked to the ease with which these medications can be obtained via prescriptions. In a report published in the JAMA Internal Medicine, Thomas Moore, from the Institute for Safe Medication Practices in Alexandria, Virginia, stated that nearly 16.7 percent of American adults reported filling one or more prescriptions for psychiatric drugs in 2013. The study also reported that 12 percent of the respondents took antidepressants.

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), depression is one of the most common mental illnesses in the country that affects about 60 percent of adult Americans between 18-25 years of age every year. A new study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry in November 2016 has revealed that yogic breathing techniques could alleviate much of pain that depressed people go through. This technique called, “Sudarshan kriya,” was practiced on people who were suffering from major depressive disorder and didn’t get any relief from antidepressant use.

Antidepressants – boon or bane?

In his enunciation on the role played by psychotic drugs including antidepressants in perpetuating the cycle of chronic illness, Robert Whitaker in “Anatomy of an epidemic” extensively takes cue from literature and interpersonal interviews to arrive at the conclusion that in the long run, the usage of psychotic drugs like Prozac has affected many people with a disability arising due to mental disorders.

The risks of antidepressants far outweigh the benefits. Ironically, the very disorders that these medications are meant to treat are exacerbated when the medication is used for long or in excess. Antidepressants not only increase the risks of addiction and dependency, they could also increase the risks of permanent brain damage in case of prolonged use. Prolonged use of antidepressants also results in physiological defects ranging from something as common as weight gain to gastrointestinal bleeding and poor bone development.

Rhythmic breathing induces calm and lowers depression

Yoga or systematic breathing has long been known to ease symptoms of anxiety and stress. Sudarshan kriya is a series of breathing cum meditation exercises that are thought to have a profound impact on the social and emotional wellbeing of a person. It is also believed to be a precursor to the detoxification process. In the study, the positive link between systematic breathing and depression has been established.

A study led by a neuropsychiatry research fellow from the department of psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine, Dr. Anup Sharma, who said, “Sudarshan Kriya yoga gives people an active method to experience a deep meditative state that’s easy to learn and incorporate in diverse settings.” He saw significant improvement in the depressive symptoms of 25 adults who got exposure of yoga postures, sitting meditation, stress education and home practice sessions.

The researchers measured the results on the 17-item Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS-17), the most commonly used assessment tool to assess mood, energy, suicidal thoughts, guilt and many other activities. They noted that at the beginning of the study, the first group participants’ HDRS score was 22.0, but after sudarshan kriya, it improved by around 10 points. As Dr. Sharma stated, “With such a large portion of patients who do not fully respond to antidepressants, it’s important we find new avenues that work best for each person to beat their depression.”

Alternate therapies may be beneficial in treating mental disorders

It is estimated that many people who are put on an antidepressant dose do not fully respond to it. Considering that depression is the number one epidemic plaguing Americans, a holistic approach is required that is attuned to the person’s mind and body. Yogic breathing practiced as a form of group therapy or within the confines of ones’ home has a long lasting positive impact on overall health.

If you or your loved one is struggling with depression and looking for the best depression treatment clinic in Texas, contact the experts at Texas Depression Treatment Help. Call our 24/7 helpline number 866-827-0282 or chat online for more information and support regarding depression treatment centers in Texas.