Does a dip in icy waters help cure depression?

Yes, and it also speeds up physical rehabilitation.

ice swimming

There are several testimonies of the benefits of swimming in cold water collected in a study published in the British Medical Journal, but the most interesting are two: the first concerns the story of a twenty-four years old girl with depressive disorders and anxiety attacks for 17 years, Sarah, that no drug has managed to heal. The second testimony concerns Mrs. Barnes, a 56-year-old who remained limited in the movements of her legs after a bad accident on a road bike and multiple treatments and rehabilitation cycles. Both tell how the encounter with ice water was providential for them.
 Sarah, tired of psychotropic drugs, started a weekly outdoor water swimming program. And the results were not long in coming: the researchers immediately recorded an improvement in mood after each swim and a prolonged and gradual reduction of the symptoms of depression, with a consequent reduction in the use of drugs, until a total cessation at one year later.
 Mrs. Barnes, on the other hand, found herself bathing in a lake with very cold water almost by accident, because she had to keep a promise made to a dear friend. But in the water, after the first shocking impact with the cold, she discovered a regenerating effect on her legs, numb with pain, allowing her to move more easily than usual after a long time.
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