Psychiatrist Says He’d Lose Patients If They Made 2 Changes

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A psychiatrist has revealed what might be the best solution for depression, but you won’t find it at your local pharmacy. He claims he would lose 75% of his patients if they made two lifestyle changes. Are these two changes something you would make to improve your well-being?

Richard Wadsworth
Dr. Richard Wadsworth, a Missouri-based psychiatrist, revealed two lifestyle changes to alleviate symptoms of depression. (Photo Credit: AI-created image for visual representation only)

Dr. Richard Wadsworth, a Missouri-based psychiatrist, took to TikTok to make a startling admission. With one in 10 Americans living with depression, according to the Daily Mail, Wadsworth revealed that he would lose 75% of his patients if they did just two simple things—not because they would die, but because they would no longer need a psychiatrist, according to the doctor, and he isn’t alone in that conclusion.

In fact, psychiatrists have reportedly zeroed in on what they believe to be the most effective ways for those living with depression to alleviate their symptoms and rewire their brains. Like Dr. Wadsworth, multiple experts agree that a combination of two lifestyle changes can treat depression as well as any pharmaceutical medication out there. So, what are they? Well, I’ll let the professional explain:

https://www.tiktok.com/@doctorwadsworth/video/7321829540072918315?is_from_webapp=1&sender_device=pc&web_id=6903916334309492229

According to the experts, regular exercise in the form of 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise three to five times a week combined with cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)—a psychological treatment crucial to rewiring the brain and banning negative thoughts by helping people understand how thoughts drive emotions and behaviors—would alleviate depression symptoms just as well or even better than antidepressant medications.

First, when it comes to moderating one’s physical health with diet and exercise, the health benefits, particularly where mental health is concerned, are well documented. While most of us already know that high-intensity exercise releases feel-good chemicals called endorphins, many might not realize that moderate-intensity exercise sustained over longer periods has an even greater lasting effect. What’s more, studies have confirmed that exercise works as well as medicine in treating depression.

According to Dr. Richard Wadsworth, regular exercise helps alleviate symptoms of depression. (Photo Credit: AI-created image for visual representation only)

Physical exercise is also known to improve sleep, which improves overall well-being. In addition, it helps with weight management and protects against illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure, all of which could contribute to feelings of depression for the sufferer. Equally important to one’s mental health, however, is cognitive behavior therapy (CBT), which Dr. Wadsworth explained in great detail.

“You have a portion of your brain that talks to you all the time. It’s turning ideas into words. And, usually, for depressed people, this part of their brain is really, really mean to them. It’s constantly putting them down,” Dr. Richard Wadsworth said as he began to describe how and why CBT works. “Now, if you allow this part of your brain to function on autopilot, for most people, it’ll get them stuck in the swamp. It’s like having a parrot on your shoulder that’s constantly telling you that you’re a loser who doesn’t deserve to live or be happy,” he added before asking, “Could you imagine trying to be happy with a parrot constantly shouting that in your ear?”

While explaining how CBT works, Dr. Richard Wadsworth asked, Could you imagine trying to be happy with a parrot constantly shouting that in your ear?” (Photo Credit: AI-created image for visual representation only)

With CBT, the person is taught how to correct those thoughts and behaviors by rewiring their brain, “stimulating the growth of new connections between cells in crucial areas of the brain.” This is done by examining one’s negative thought patterns and actively working to change them to better confront stressors. “This alteration is called neuroplasticity and it capitalizes on the brain’s ability to reorganize processes as a key weapon against depression,” the Daily Mail explained.

During a typical CBT session, which is usually a 50-minute talk therapy session, a therapist works with the patient to actively challenge distorted, negative thoughts by asking the patient logical questions about their thought process to identify negative patterns, then helps them reframe those patterns into more positive and productive ones overall. In other words, it challenges the mean-spirited, overly critical, and judgmental inner voice that Dr. Richard Wadsworth spoke of.

During a typical CBT session, which is usually a 50-minute talk therapy session, a therapist works with the patient to actively challenge distorted, negative thoughts. (Photo Credit: AI-created image for visual representation only)

“You can train this parrot, take it off of autopilot. It’s not actually terribly complicated to do, but it requires consistency on your part,” Dr. Wadsworth explained. “Every time that this parrot puts you down, you need to correct it. And then every day, you need to train your parrot, train the voice in your head,” he added, explaining how a patient can participate in CBT and rewire their brain even without a therapist.

Like exercise, CBT has been deemed as effective in treating depression as antidepressant medications. However, there is a caveat, according to Dr. Richard Wadsworth. Simply put, it won’t work for every mental illness, but regular exercise and CBT are proven to help most cases of anxiety and depression. “This would not work for conditions like bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, but it would work for, I would say, most of the cases of depression and even with anxiety,” Dr. Wadsworth explained.

Richard Wadsworth
According to Dr. Richard Wadsworth, exercise and cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) are as effective in treating depression as antidepressant medications. (Photo Credit: AI-created image for visual representation only)

While cognitive behavior therapy does have its limitations, it also has its benefits over pharmaceuticals. For instance, CBT protects against relapse, unlike antidepressant medications taken alone. It also doesn’t come with adverse side effects. That doesn’t mean someone suffering from depression should automatically shun medication. Instead, a comprehensive approach combining proven effective treatments under the supervision of a doctor is likely best.

In short, think about the way you think, get up, and intentionally move your body regularly. It will help a lot more than any “magic pill” taken alone. In fact, whether you have been diagnosed with depression or not, these two lifestyle changes will greatly improve your mental health and overall well-being. As Dr. Richard Wadsworth said, although exercise and CBT won’t fix all of our problems, “it would do better than anything else that [he] can do as a psychiatrist.”