Can depression be treated without drugs?

Question: My therapist says I have depression, and I guess I do, but he wants me to try antidepressants and I don’t want to use medication. What can I do?

It would be important to know how severe your depression is to make specific suggestions. You may be interested in a brief Self Evaluation for Depression or information about Types of Depression. Depression can be very serious and should be treated. Successful treatment can be life-altering even for mild to moderate depression. Fortunately, if you want to avoid the use of medication there are some options, but what will works depends a great deal on how severe your depression is.

Mild to moderate depression often will respond to over the counter supplements like St. John’s Wort or 5HTP. Depression, however severe, can  be treated by Acupuncture and Chinese Herbs provided by a Chinese Acupuncturist. Acupuncture can also be used to boost the effects of psychotropic medication. Homeopathy can also relieve depression. Some depression can be resolved using spiritual approaches, such as Shamanic Practice, Energy Healing, meditation or religious practices. You can also read the book “Beyond Prozac” for suggestions on diet and lifestyle changes that may help. Mental health research says depression is best treated by medication and talk therapy.

The bottom line is that truly severe depression needs the right medication. There is nothing wrong with trying other approaches first. The important thing is not to  let depression rob you of your life, your experience of your everyday world. keep in mind that depression that has gone on for a long time untreated is less responsive to medication and harder to treat successfully.

If you are feeling suicidal – don’t wait around, get professional help immediately!

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