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Therapies to Treat Mental Illness in College Students

Theme Gerber et al Morris et al

Exercise in treating Mental Health: Both articles discuss the same topic: exercise is essential to treating mental illness, and students need to take the “medication” of exercise instead of relying on medications like antidepressants. Both use words like “sometimes” and “pills.”

The author, Gerber et al, who wrote the article, has a background working as an exercise therapist and has found success with his methods of mental health treatments. The author states that it is an important topic to address when he writes, “Most mental disorders share several common physical health risk factors that contribute to their development” (pg. 1). The author also states that depression is not just an adult problem, but works its way into adolescence. The article explores the positive effects of exercise on the body and how it can improve the patient’s body physically and mentally. Exercise has been seen to affect people with mental illness positively. The goal is for exercise to become a second treatment for those who visit their healthcare provider to take prescribed medication for their mental illness. The article mentions that exercise is one of the methods used by mental health professionals to treat college students with depression, but it is only briefly mentioned. There was little detail about how this treatment method works or how it affects individuals. The article also mentions that a “small study” conducted in Southern California found that women who exercised frequently had fewer symptoms. This study was also touted as the first “attempt to explore whether physical activity could improve how women with depression thought and felt,” which makes it seem like this research was an experimental and novel idea. The author also states, “Exercise in treating mental health is often understood to mean physical activity” and that counseling and medication are common methods to treat mental illness. These aspects of the article indicate a lack of depth when examining what each therapy entails and how they affect patients.

Pharmacological treatment: During this type of treatment, pharmacological methods are utilized to help support the patient’s mental state and help alleviate symptoms that they might be experiencing.

[This will become the sixth body paragraph in the research paper.] In this article, Gerber et al. examine the role of pharmacological intervention in treating mental illnesses in college students. One symptom he notes is that the number of prescriptions written by psychiatrists over recent years has increased by 400% and that more than 20% of young people suffer from a serious psychiatric disorder, including major depressive disorder (MDD) or bipolar disorder-type I. However, up to 60% may be diagnosed with less serious psychological conditions labeled “mood disorders.” Psychotropic medications are an important part of treatment for disorders such as major depressive disorder (MDD) or bipolar disorder-type I. In addition, they also help with symptoms associated with mood disorders, including anxiety and insomnia, as well as other conditions, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The article discusses the many treatments for depression and how it affects college students. It also discusses what could be done to avoid the disorder. The two possible suggestions given in Morris’ article are one of medication and one of mindfulness. The medication option is given a rating of 2/10, which show it as not being very effective and increasing side effects. The mindfulness option gets a 10/10 rating, which is noted as an extremely effective treatment with few side effects (if any). It also benefits other aspects, such as personality development and memory improvement. Morris’s article is very informative, not only for readers unfamiliar with depression treatment but for those who are aware of treatment options and want a different perspective.

Exercise in Treating Mental Health

Many experts agree that exercise can relieve symptoms of anxiety and depression. However, exercise alone is not an immediate fix. More effort must be taken to ensure exercising becomes a part of a patient’s daily routine. The patient must have what they need to continue this behavior, such as motivation and the ability to set time aside for themselves regularly. If people have these things in place, they are more likely to succeed when prescribed other treatments that are often needed, such as cognitive behavioral therapy or antidepressant medications. In the article “Exercise is medicine for patients with major depressive disorders: but only if the “pill” is taken!” Markus Gerber et al, a clinical psychologist, conducted his study on 378 depressed individuals who, like most other people who suffer from depression today, were taking antidepressants. He noticed that when the group began exercising regularly and had access to social support networks, it lowered their depressive symptoms. “The exercise was an additional treatment,” says Dr. Gerber. “It was not the first or only one.” In the article “Doctors grapple with how to treat depression,” Morris et al states that many college students struggle with mental health issues and turn to exercise as an effective treatment method. Doctors have recommended exercising to reduce depression, anxiety, stress, and other mental ailments. However, doctors are not always able to be present at these events. This leaves many students feeling like they need someone to help them get back on their feet. Having a therapist or psychiatrist in the gym with them can be a good solution, providing guidance and tools to manage their emotions. I wish more studies focused on how exercise might fit into the use of antidepressants for depressed individuals. Gerber’s study may provide a new avenue to explore in dealing with depression and exercise as medicine may help decrease the number of people suffering from depression in this crisis.


It is not easy to not rely on sources and take the easy way out by simply quoting or paraphrasing single texts in separate paragraphs for your writing. However, by using “synthesizing” techniques, you can accomplish more than just referencing a source. You get an entire paragraph with multiple sources in one. You can use synthesizing techniques for an entire paragraph by taking a single piece of information from each source, putting it into its sentence, and blending them. This shows that you are copying text from a website as a citation and using the sources to help with your writing. It would be best if you refrained from simply quoting or incorporating text into your paragraphs, as neither method truly shows that you are learning anything new. Using synthesizing techniques can also help you avoid issues with plagiarism, showing that you are not simply copying another person’s work and claiming it as your own.

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