11. When people self-injure, e.g., cut themselves with razors, the brain immediately stops repeating painful thoughts, such as, “I am worthless and unlovable”, and releases a flood of soothing endorphins.
Experts refer to this as non-suicidal self-injury. A pretty high number of teenagers engage in self-harm and harbor negative emotional spaces, but a substantial percentage of cutters are not suicidal. Scientists conducted a study in which they discovered that people engage in self-injury as a way to cope with their negative and sometimes destructive emotions. To most people who do this, the activity calms them down due to the release of pain-relieving endorphins in the brain. In fact, this euphoric experience may turn into an addiction and fuel a vicious cycle.(source)
12. Placebos are 31% to 38% effective in treating depression, compared to 46% to 54% for antidepressants, studies show.
A study commissioned by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence concluded that there is strong evidence of antidepressants having greater efficacy than placebo. They saw a 50% reduction in depression intensity in moderate and severe major depression a similar effect was observed in cases of mild depression. A new paper published in the journal JAMA Psychiatry studied the unique relationship between placebo and antidepressants showed that men and women who reported a substantial improvement in depression symptoms after taking placebo pills also had a greater likelihood to experience positive results when they took real antidepressants.(source)
13. Moderate exercise can not only treat but actually prevent episodes of depression in the long term.
PhD candidate George Mammen’s paper published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine has found that physical activity doesn’t just effectively treat depression, but moderate exercise can actually recurring episodes of depression in the long-term. Mammen analyzed findings from over 26 years’ worth of research and discovered that even low levels of physical exertion (like walking and gardening for 20-30 minutes a day) can keep depression at bay for people of all ages.(source)
14. Gratitude can boost dopamine and serotonin, just like antidepressants.
Feelings of gratefulness activate the brain stem regions that produce dopamine and serotonin, which makes social and inter-personal interactions more enjoyable. Focusing on the positive aspects of one’s life is a simple act that increases serotonin production in the brain. In addition to all these great benefits, gratitude towards oneself and others creates a feedback loop in relationships. You get what you give.(source)
15. A video game designed to treat depression worked better than counseling, specially for teenagers.
Researchers from the University of Auckland in New Zealand published results of a study comparing the video game (called SPARX) against traditional counseling. The game guides the players through numerous challenges to gain insight into handling real-life situations and emotions. They are also taught cognitive behavioral therapy techniques for identifying and dealing with symptoms of depression (dealing with negative thoughts, problem-solving, relaxation and so on).(source)
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