Can Exercise Cause Depression?

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Lifestyle, Podcast

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Click here for the full written transcript of this podcast episode.

Meet Wesley Chapman, pictured above.

He was abandoned at 1 by his father, then at 6 1/2 by his mother. 

He tried to commit suicide 12 times before his 16th birthday.

Wesley was on 25 meds a day for 10 years.

His liver failed at age 16 and he was given a 20% chance to live.

But for the past 19 years, Wesley has been studying health, the brain and alternative methods to failed treatments for depression, and today, we specifically discuss the shocking link between exercise and depression.

-How Wesley detoxed off 25 different medications and healed his liver…

-The little-known link between your colon and your brain…

-How exercise can make you depressed, even if you're not “overtrained”…

-Why pharmaceutical companies have been writing Wesley angry letters…

-What types of physical activity and exercise can actually make you depressed…

Resources from this episode:

-“The Human Project

Coffee enemas

Body Dysmorphic Disorder

Do you have questions, comments or feedback about whether exercise causes depression? Leave your thoughts below!

Ask Ben a Podcast Question

6 thoughts on “Can Exercise Cause Depression?

  1. Health Vibed says:

    It’s so well proven now that colon (gastro intestinal, gut) health is huge when it comes to psychological health.

    I’m surprised that the commenter above (adwalter) is not more into all the latest news surrounding the validity of this as a treatment to many psychological issues, that we have in the past all too easily linked to “emotional trauma” earlier in life.

    I feel that psychiatrists especially need to get with the times, stop relying on prescribing medications that are bandaid solutions at best, and learn about how to treat patients based on the real causes (by working closely with good holistic, integrative Doctors).

    This requires that professionals firstly truly care, and secondly are well educated in what’s currently known about the mind body connection.

    We’ll get there eventually :)

  2. adwalter1448 says:

    Here is a more valid example of how our diet, digestion, and ultimately lifestyle can affect mental health as well as the role of medication.…

  3. adwalter1448 says:

    Hello Ben, I am a fan and loyal listener to your podcasts, and usually enjoy them. This podcast was probably the worst one I have listened to of yours unfortunately. It was more to do with your guest than anything else. There where numerous points Wesley made that I would quite bluntly disagree with. Mental health, and particularly mental illness and then again even more particularly suicidality is a very complex subject that I deal with as a psychiatric nurse very regularly, and I think all Wesley has done via this podcast is create confusion for people. I will continue to subscribe to your podcasts as they are of a high quality, really this is the only one I have felt was poor.

    1. Adwalter,

      Thank you for your comments. I would like to know the numerous points you would disagree with me on?

      I respect and love that you have dedicated your career to psychiatric care.

      From your comments and post below I see you are a fan of medication… I am guessing that your big issue with my comments?


      1. adwalter1448 says:

        Thanks for the response, I certainly didn't expect to get one. I am sitting here trying to remember what you actually said on the episode now, so if I mis-quote you, then I apologize for my poor memory in advance.

        Firstly I don't agree with the idea that colonic therapy is a good option for treatment for people who are severely depressed or suicidal, unless it is an adjunct to other treatments. Yes, I do believe medications have their place, more so for depression than singularly suicidal ideation, but in both cases they can definitely be helpful, and I have seen them be helpful. I have also seen ECT (electroconvulsive therapy) quite literally save people's lives, and consider it the best treatment for severe depression humanity currently has (from memory this is a topic that isn't covered in this episode, I am merely mentioning it because of how much respect I have for this treatment).

        Also, the way you talk about physical activity making people depressed is mis-leading. Physical activity is an effective tool to use in the fight against depression, I agree with that. Unfortunately when you describe how physical activity can be bad or causing people to be more depressed, is in fact rather an issue with they way people think and their sense of self-identity, and it would be far more helpful for them to either seek help via a therapist or some kind of cognitive therapy literature, actual exercise isn't the problem really at all.

        I am truly excited to hear peoples stories of recovery, including yours, but I do get a bit concerned that sometimes people who are trying to be helpful, give out information about mental illness and treatments, particularly from a position of whats worked for them (but not necessarily anyone else) can create more confusion and in fact hinder people's journey to recovery by distracting them from treatments that are far more likely to work. When people are unwell, they will clutch at anything, and they become particularly vulnerable to being mislead. Anyways, again thanks for the response, and hopefully this large post makes sense.

  4. Lu says:

    Thank you Ben.. part of this depression puzzle for me during first year marathon training…The volcano begin’s to rumble & awaken, first… monsoon rains… Be open for the help & support your going to need… Don’t go it totally alone… Great Interview! :)

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