Effexor users might benefit from gardening



A recent survey by Gardener's World Magazine suggests that those who are depressed - many of whom take medications like Effexor and other SNRIs - could also benefit from gardening.

A recent survey by Gardener's World Magazine suggests that those who are depressed - many of whom take medications like Effexor and other SNRIs - could also benefit from gardening.

They surveyed 1,500 adults in the U.K. and found that those who gardened were more satisfied in general and were more likely to feel that they were living worthwhile lives. Only 67 percent of non-gardeners felt satisfied with their lives while 80 percent of gardeners were satisfied. Additionally, 93 percent of gardeners polled said planting things and being immersed in nature improves their mood.

Though this survey is limited, much research in the past has shown that being in - or even looking at - nature has several cognitive and emotional benefits.

Other depression research
A May 2007 report from Mind, a U.K. based mental health support nonprofit, found that 71 percent of people who took an outdoor walk, versus only 45 percent of those who took an indoor walk, reported feeling improvement in their current state of depression. Additionally, 94 percent of people who took part in some sort of nature activity, including gardening, walking, running, conservation and cycling reported that these "eco-therapy" methods had been good for their mental health.

Cognition research
A study by researchers at the University of Michigan published in the December 2008 version of Psychological Science found that viewing pictures of or walking in nature were restorative for the attention span because the stimuli in natural environments modestly gets one's attention. In contrast, walking in a busy urban environment require directed attention and much energy.

Finally, a 2003 study by University of Michigan researchers, published in the journal Cancer Nursing, found that women with fatigue, inattention and stress caused by newly diagnosed breast cancer benefited from spending 120 minutes in nature per week.