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Editorials |

Seize the Day to Implement Depression GuidelinesSeize the Day to Implement Depression Guidelines

John W. Williams Jr., MD, MHSc; and Gary Maslow, MD, MPH
[+] Article, Author, and Disclosure Information

This article was published at www.annals.org on 9 February 2016.


From Durham Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina, and Duke University, Durham, North Carolina.

Disclosures: Disclosures can be viewed at www.acponline.org/authors/icmje/ConflictOfInterestForms.do?msNum=M16-0104.

Requests for Single Reprints: John W. Williams Jr., MD, MHSc, Division of General Internal Medicine, Duke University School of Medicine, 411 West Chapel Hill Street, Suite 500, Durham, NC 27701; e-mail, jw.williams@dm.duke.edu.

Current Author Addresses: Dr. Williams: Durham Veterans Affairs Medical Center, 411 West Chapel Hill Street, Suite 500, Durham, NC 27701.

Dr. Maslow: Duke Health Center at Roxboro Street, 4020 North Roxboro Street, Durham, NC 27710.


Ann Intern Med. 2016;164(5):372-373. doi:10.7326/M16-0104
© 2016 American College of Physicians
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This issue includes guidelines from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force on screening for depression in children and adolescents and from the American College of Physicians on treating adults with depression as well as their background reviews. The editorialists discuss the articles and why they believe that current times offer opportunities to improve the care of individuals with depression.

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Depression and Exercise
Posted on February 16, 2016
Frederick W. Hund, MD, FACP
Affiliated Community Medical Centers
Conflict of Interest: None Declared
To the Editor:

I read with interest your recent opinion, "Seize The Day on Depression Guidelines". (1) However, I was disturbed by your characterization of exercise as one of a range of "...complementary and alternative medicine treatments" for depression, as opposed to the 'standard' treatments of second generation antidepressants and/or psychotherapy.

Hippocrates included exercise as part of his "regimen": "If we could give every individual the right amount of nourishment and exercise, not too little and not too much, we would have found the safest way to health." Galen, Mendez and many others in past centuries also advised it. More recently, Paul Dudley White, as well as a past president of AMA and multiple reports of the Surgeon General have advocated exercise. (2).

The benefits of exercise are legion and well established. It helps prevent diabetes and dementia. It treats dyslipidemia, hypertension, osteoarthritis and many other conditions, including, as you note, depression.

Have we so lost our way as a profession that this ancient advice, confirmed and endorsed by our modern science is now considered a "complementary and alternative medicine treatment"?



1. Ann Intern Med. Published online 9 February 2016 doi:10.7326/M16-0104

2. Berryman, J.W. Exercise is medicine: a historical perspective. Curr. Sports Med. Rep., Vol. 9, No. 4, pp. 00Y00, 2010

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