The Relationship Between Physical Activity and Psychosis: Implications for Mental Health Policy and Practice
This essay will explore the relationship between physical activity and psychosis, with a focus on how exercise can be used as a viable treatment for the condition. It will begin by providing background information on psychosis, before discussing the current state of research in this area. Finally, it will consider the implications of this research for mental health policy and practice.
Psychosis is a mental health condition characterized by delusions and hallucinations (American Psychiatric Association, 2013). It can be caused by a number of different factors, including genetic predisposition, psychological stress, and drug use (Harrow & Jobe, 2007). Psychosis is a serious condition that can have a profound impact on an individual’s life, and it is associated with a number of negative outcomes, such as social isolation, unemployment, and poverty (Saha et al., 2005).
There are several treatments available for psychosis, including psychotherapy and antipsychotic medications (APMs) (Harrow & Jobe, 2007). APMs are the most common treatment for psychosis, and they are effective in reducing symptoms in the majority of patients (Leucht et al., 2012). However, APMs can have a number of side effects, including weight gain, drowsiness, and constipation (Leucht et al., 2012). In addition, APMs are not effective in all patients, and some patients may experience symptom relapse after discontinuing the medication (Leucht et al., 2012).
3. Current state of research
There is growing evidence to suggest that physical activity can be an effective treatment for psychosis. A recent survey of 27 studies found that exercise is associated with reduced symptoms of psychosis (Firth et al., 2017). In addition, several studies have found that exercise is associated with reduced intake of APMs in individuals with severe psychosis (Firth et al., 2017; KISHIMOTO et al., 2016; SANTOSO et al., 2016). The mechanisms underlying these effects are not fully understood, but it is thought that exercise may improve brain function and reduce inflammation (Firth et al., 2017).
4. Implications for mental health policy and practice
The findings of this research have a number of implications for mental health policy and practice. First, it suggests that exercise should be included as a treatment option for psychosis in clinical guidelines. Second, it highlights the need for more research on the potential benefits of exercise for psychosis patients. Third, it underscores the importance of developing targeted interventions to promote physical activity among individuals with severe mental illness. Finally, it highlights the need for more investment in mental health services that provide access to exercise facilities and programmes.
In conclusion, this essay has discussed the relationship between physical activity and psychosis, with a focus on how exercise can be used as a viable treatment for the condition. The findings of this research suggest that exercise is associated with reduced symptoms of psychosis, and that it may be an effective treatment for the condition. These findings have a number of implications for mental health policy and practice, and they highlight the need for more investment in services that provide access to exercise facilities and programmes.