This is a part of the Hot Topic podcast series from the Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center on TBI and Depression. Dr. Chuck Bombardier discusses Activity Can Help Alleviate Depression.

One of the interesting things we’ve learned in studying depression and what causes depression is the relationship between what people do and depression. We used to think that people would stop doing things when they became depressed, and that was the important thing. But now we’re more aware of the fact that people – when they stop doing things, that’s when they become depressed.

So if we can get people to do things, do things that they enjoy, do things that are meaningful to them – for them, that really seems to impact depression and can help people recover from depression.

So for example, a guy who’s a mechanic – he can no longer return to work. And not being able to be that mechanic causes him to feel more depressed. Not being able to return to work and so forth causes him to feel depressed. If we can figure out with him ways he can use his mechanical skills, like maybe helping his friend fix his car, figure out what’s wrong, that could be used as a way to help that person recover from depression.

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