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Lifestyle Medicine for the Prevention and Treatment of Depression

  • Jerome Sarris
  • Adrienne O’NeilEmail author
Chapter

Abstract

There is compelling evidence that modifiable lifestyle factors contribute to the pathogenesis of depression. However, lifestyle targets are frequently not considered for contemporary depression treatment. Rather, medication and psychological intervention remain first-line treatments. This chapter will outline lifestyle factors that can contribute to the pathogenesis of depression, with these lifestyle elements being potentially modifiable via a prescriptive approach. We will then explore the evidence for their clinical application, firstly those for which there is sound evidentiary support (diet, physical activity and exercise, mindfulness meditation, management of recreational substance misuse, sleep, and social interaction) and secondly, lifestyle and environmental elements that have a more nascent evidence base (greenspace and pollutant exposure, hobbies and relaxation, and animal/pet therapy). Considerations for future directions are also outlined.

Keywords

Lifestyle Treatment Depression Prevention Exercise Alcohol Diet Smoking 

Abbreviations

BMI

Body Mass Index

NCDs

Noncommunicable diseases

NESDA

Netherlands Study of Depression and Anxiety

PA

Physical activity

PFC

Prefrontal cortex

PREDIMED

Prevención con Dieta Mediterránea

RCTs

Randomized controlled trials

T2D

Type-2 diabetes

5-HT

5-hydroxytryptamine

UPBEAT

Understanding the Prognostic Benefits of Exercise and Antidepressant Therapy

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry & The Melbourne ClinicUniversity of MelbourneParkvilleAustralia
  2. 2.Centre for Human PsychopharmacologySwinburne University of TechnologyHawthornAustralia
  3. 3.IMPACT Strategic Research CentreDeakin UniversityGeelongAustralia

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