Against Depression: Fewer Medications, More Spirituality and Exercise, Psychiatrist Says

The prescription, at first glance unorthodox for a psychiatrist, is from Dr. Jorge Jaber, a post-graduate professor in psychiatry at PUC-Rio and a chemistry graduate from Harvard Medical School.

It celebrates the evolution of medications for patients using antipsychotics (patients with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, for example), but warns of the worrying abuse of diazepines the socalled “tranquillizers” or anxiolytics – that may lead to deterioration of health mental and physical. He recalls that we sleep less with age, and exercising may be the best agent for regularizing sleep, not the remedies that lead to addiction.

“Using medication is not enough,” he says. “It is important for the person to exercise , to engage in activities of a spiritual nature, or linked to art, which have even become more accessible to the elderly. We are the result of genetics and environment. Not only will this alter the genetic response, it will also have a great influence in creating a new way of life. “

Dr. Jaber also advises meditation techniques, such as mindfulness, a method designed to relieve anxiety and stress. The goal is to bring attention to breathing and body sensations, such as muscle tension or pain. The focus on what the body tells us is the greatest learning in the mindfulness experience, so that we can relax in any environment. “Spirituality modifies the prognosis of disease,” he teaches.

In her opinion, one point of attention is the increasing number of cases of depression and among older women: “They often feel without a defined social role because they do not have a rewarding career or activity. In addition, the children have grown up and many resent the lack of a stable relationship. The result is that they fail to see possibilities. “

The diagnosis is due to the observation of a number of factors: lack of interest in things, memory problems, change in appetite and sleep (for more or less) and irritability.

According to Dr. Jorge Jaber, it can not be categorically stated that aging is associated with depression: “what happens is that in most cases this depression was not correctly diagnosed in the first or second episode.

These episodes then recur and become the standard in the patient’s life. And once again I reinforce: physical exercise produces neurotransmitters that work in the prevention of depression. “

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