Depression and anxiety are, by far, the most common mental health problems.  Nearly 20 percent of the US population struggles with or will struggle with one or both of these problems.

The most common treatment today for these issues is medication—typically prescribed by the primary care physician (not a psychiatrist).  This treatment is considered a Biological intervention, as the medication is designed to alter the individual’s brain chemistry. 

Another fairly well understood intervention for the treatment of depression and/or anxiety is psychotherapy.  Psychotherapy is the process in which a trained clinician assists the client/patient to change their negative self-defeating thinking--a Cognitive approach--or, alternatively, helps the patient understand how their childhood experiences ultimately affected them—an Analytic/Freudian method.

Recently, many studies have shown that depressed or anxious individuals who manage their sleep and diet and, most importantly, exercise improve as fast, or in some cases even faster, than patients who receive only medication or psychotherapy.  This is considered a Behavioral approach.  For many individuals getting into a regular exercise routine could become an essential component in the treatment of their depression and/or anxiety.  According to current research, the best way to treat depression and/or anxiety is to take your medication (if indicated), see your therapist, and get a workout.  Twenty minutes of aerobic exercise three times a week will make a difference.

Author's Bio: 

Larry F. Waldman, Ph.D., ABPP is a licensed psychologist who has practiced in the Paradise Valley area of Phoenix for 35 years.  He works with children, adolescents, parents, adults, and couples.  He also provides forensic consultations in the areas of family law, personal injury, and estate planning.  He speaks professionally to laypersons, educators, corporations, and fellow mental health professionals.  He teaches graduate courses for the Educational Psychology Department for Northern Arizona University.  He is the author of “Who’s Raising Whom?  A Parent’s Guide to Effective Child Discipline,” “Coping with Your Adolescent,” “How Come I Love Him But Can’t Live With Him?  Making Your Marriage Work Better,” “The Graduate Course You Never Had:  How to Develop, Manage, Market a Flourishing Private Practice—With and Without Managed Care,” and  “Too Busy Earning a Living to Make Your Fortune?  Discover the Psychology of Achieving Your Life Goals.”  His contact information is:  602-996-8619; 11020 N. Tatum Blvd., Bldg. E, Suite 100, Phoenix, AZ  85028;;