Daily Archives: March 5, 2013

Obsessive compulsive disorder and exercise

Is there anything exercise can’t help us overcome or prevent?

According to a preliminary study done at the Butler Hospital/Brown Medical School, Providence, RIwhich examined the effects of aerobic exercise on obsessive compulsive disorder(OCD):

Study findings at the end of this 12-week aerobic exercise intervention point to a beneficial effect (Cohen’s d = 1.69) on reduction in OCD symptom severity. Further, reductions in OCD symptom severity appear to persist 6 months later. Lastly, improvement in overall sense of well-being was observed after the 12-week intervention. Results of this study suggest that a randomized clinical trial evaluating the efficacy of this 12-week aerobic exercise intervention is warranted.

This is good news. We already knew exercise can be beneficial for people suffering from depression, so this isn’t all that surprising since there are some links between depression and OCD. In fact, scientists keep finding links between various mental conditions, which may explain their high rate of co-morbidity, as well the difficulty with diagnosing some very “mixed” cases.

As far as OCD is concerned, what if the OCD sufferer becomes obsessed with exercise? What then?