Depression overtakeslife of so many, and interferes with various aspects of everyday functioning.According to the WorldHealth Organization, more than 300 million people live with depression, butnearly half of them aren’t getting the help they need (WHO, 2012). Leavingdepression untreated can lead to many complications in one’s personal andprofessional life, so it is essential to seek treatment.To define, clinicaldepression is a common and serious mood disorder, that causes severe symptomsaffecting how you feel, think, and handle daily activities, such as sleeping,eating or working. According to the DSM-5, depression is present when you have five or more ofthese symptoms for at least two weeks: depressed mood during most of the day; decreased interest or pleasure in activitiesonce enjoyed; change in weight or appetite; troublesleeping or sleeping too much; loss of energy; restlessness or slowing down;feelings of worthlessness or guilt; diminished ability to think, decide andconcentrate; thoughts of death or suicide (American Psychiatric Association, 2013). Depressioncomes in different intensities based on how disabling the symptoms are, and howmuch they interfere with daily functioning, but in all forms it is consideredas mental illness.Lots ofthings influence whether a person gets depressed.
Biology, our environment andpersonality all shape the risks. Depression on average, first strikes duringthe late teens to mid-twenties. Young adults say goodbye to their childhood andteenage years, and they try to build their own path while dealing with changesand uncertainties, which could trigger feelings of sadness and irritability(Nierenberg, 2016). Also women are twice as likely to suffer from depression compared to men (Kessler, 2003); but women are more likely to seek traditional psychiatric treatments for depression (Addis & Mahalik, 2003). Since depression is a curable mentalillness, with a wide variety of treatments, asking for help should be encouraged.Psychotherapy, or so called talk therapy can be extremely effective, but themost advertised way of curing depression is with medication. Unfortunately, the barriers to seekingtreatment include several factors, such as cost and access as well as emotional barriers, like embarrassment, fear of social consequences or an unwillingness to discuss personal issues.
All these factors are especially present in the life of youngadults. According to WHO (2012), there also appears to be a lack of resources,lack of trained health-care providers, and social stigma associated with mentaldisorders. So alternativetreatments are continuously searched, such as relaxation techniques –meditation, exercise or a healthy shift in lifestyle which can help liftdepression faster.Forone, physical exercise may be a promising intervention given its low barriersto entry (e.
g. low cost and ease of access) and its ability to meaningfullyimprove depressive symptoms (Cooney, Dwan, & Mead, 2014). The general outcome from researchindicates that exercise can bring about many physiological changes which resultin an improvement in mood state, self-esteem and lower stress and anxietylevels (Mikkelsen et al., 2017).
Theform of aerobic exercise for instance, may helpagainst mild depression, with raising endorphin levels and stimulating norepinephrine,a neurotransmitter which is related to mood (MacGill, 2017).Further studies found that exercise is aneffective treatment and is comparable to antidepressant therapy, also a few researcheshave examined the different characteristics of exercise, such as type,intensity, duration or frequency. Accordingto Helgado?ttir et al. (2016) exercise, whether performed at a low (yoga orsimilar), moderate or vigorous intensity (aerobic training) is effective intreating mild to moderate depression and is at least as effective as treatmentas usual by a physician. Hassmén, Koivula, Uutela (2000) concluded thatindividuals who practice physical fitness training 2 or 3 times a week have a lower level of depression, angerand stress, compared to those who practice less or no physical activity. At thesame time, they have a higher sense of social integration and psychologicalwellbeing. Dunn et al.
(2005) also found supporting evidence in this regard. Theyfound that an exercise dose equivalent to minimum physical activityrecommendations (17.5-kcal/kg/week) was more effective than a lower dose, andthat the effect did not vary with frequency (3 versus 5 times a week). Allthese results suggest, that exercise performed at any intensity can be equallyeffective in treatment for depression as compared to treatment as usual by aphysician. Given the growing interest in exercise as a treatment for depression, the aim of the current investigation is to address yet anotherapproach, by examining the settings in which exercise is performed. There islack of knowledge about which factors within exercising could influence the populationof young adults, who often facedepression.Young adults who are inevitably going through majorlife changes while starting their adult life, usually lean on a support networkto maintain a sense of belonging with this stable medium. Social support refers to the emotionally sustainingqualities of relationships (e.
g., a sense that one is loved, cared for, andlistened to). Umberson et al. (2010) pointed out that social ties influencehealth behaviour, partly because they influence or „control” ourhealth habits.
Also, socialsupport may have indirect effects on health through enhanced mental health, byreducing the impact of stress, or by fostering a sense of meaning and purposein life (Cohen 2004). It is thus clear how important social relationships arein one’s life to maintain mental well-being. Though socialrelationships have an impact on mental health, it is essential not to ignore itspowerful influence on physical health as well. In fact, mental and physicalhealth are strongly influenced by each other. Paul Jansons et al. (2017) foundthat motivation forexercise may be enhanced via social support and interaction between exercisegroup members with similar health issues.
At the same time mental health benefits of physicalactivity may be partly accounted for by the social interaction involved ingroup sports in particular (Elaine M.McMahon et al., 2016). So social support in group exercisecontext may promote the satisfaction of competence and relatedness, which arebasic psychological needs as well as encourage one to invest in a healthierlifestyle overall.
Zhou, J., D.Heim, & K.
O’Brien (2015)also proved that participation in teamsports leads to higher levels of happiness than when playing individual sports.The aim of this study is to furtherinvestigate the theory above, by gaining knowledge of the effectiveness ofexercise on depression, by finding out how social settings play a role. Givensuggestive evidence, interventions and group activities can be conducted toimprove life of young adults. Thus, the study will seek to answer whethergroup-based exercise is more effective in treatment of depression thanindividual-based exercise amongst depressed students.
Students are arepresentative sample for the younger population. Based on previousliterature, our hypothesis is that exercising in group settings is moreeffective in curing depressive symptoms in the target population, thanexercising individually. To find evidence, we plan on using a pretest-posttestdesign to compare depressive symptoms in students. The participants will beexamined before and after taking part in a 12-week long exercise plan, which isbased either in a group setting open to social interactions, or should beperformed individually in absolute isolation. We predict that, depressive symptoms willreduce more significantly in the group-based exercise group in comparison tothe individual-based exercise group.