Author: Elly Prior | First published: 28-09-10 | Modified: 20-10-2017
By looking for the best treatment for depression - without medication - you clearly want to stay in control of your own recovery. Natural or alternative treatments help you to recover without having to suffer the burden of any nasty side-effects.
"Can depression be cured?" you might ask yourself.
Absolutely, it can!
I've witnessed hundreds of clients overcome the condition - mostly without medication (some were already on antidepressant by the time they came to me). Instead, they learnt to meet their essential emotional needs in balance by making full use of their inborn resources - THE natural cure for depression, along with some alternative remedies!
So, let's get started!
(Just in case you’re not sure exactly what depression entails, hop over my page: Depression Warning Signs. I'll still be here when you come back.)
Unfortunately, some of my clients were already on antidepressants (mainly SSRIs) when they came to see me. They'd consulted their doctor who may have had...
... little time for them
... very little knowledge of how to treat depression without medication
... no easy access to a suitably qualified therapist to refer their patient to
The protocol usually is to 'ideally' prescribe antidepressants and offer talking therapy at the same time. Oh, how that frustrates me as a therapist! If you do both at once, how would you ever be able to realise that you've made progress because of your own efforts, and not because of the medication? Most people get better with time, and without any medical intervention at all.
If you're already on antidepressants, be sure to read my comments further down about coming off the medication.
I'm so glad, though, you’re being pro-active right now in searching for information about alternative treatments and how to get better - a sure sign that you will recover sooner rather than later!
And you know what?
You're much less likely to suffer a relapse further down the line if you take control!
In this article, you'll find both practical tips and alternative remedies/therapies that all can help you to beat depression.
But, it's also worth taking some time to try and figure out the underlying cause(s) of your low mood. Unless you know what's wrong, you'll have a harder job of making it right again! So, what's your story? Are you unhappy in your relationship, or unfulfilled at work? Are previous unresolved difficulties in any area of your life rising to the surface again? Do you have money worries, or are you stressed about the children? Are you feeling anxious about something - or everything?
If you can identify the root cause(s) of your worries and troubles, you can start taking practical steps to address them.
If you can't seem to put your finger on what's making you feel depressed, and you think most of your life is "fine", have you considered talking to a therapist? Or even a trusted friend? An outside perspective can really help you to figure out what's going on for you right now.
You'll want to be able to see that you're making progress in your recovery. Here's how to do that...
None of the following activities require you to take any medication and yet all can contribute to improving your mood significantly.
Despite that depression and fatigue, I really want you to take action. You're not going to get better by hiding under the duvet or being slouched on the couch aimlessly flicking through TV channels.
Choose from the list below anything that even 'kind of' appeals to you right now, if you find it hard to make a decision. You can always change direction later.
Focus on what you can do - not on what you think you can't - and give it time.
Everything you swallow provides the raw material (or not) for the production of important 'chemicals' (hormones, peptides, neurotransmitters etc.) in your body/brain. All that stuff ensures that your body does what it's supposed to do.
These substances have an effect on all processes in your body - not just what happens in your head. That’s why tablets - like antidepressants - manufactured by pharmaceutical companies have significant 'unexpected' side-effects. And therefore you also have to be choosy about your natural remedies.
In addition, the foods you eat - and don't eat - have an effect on how you feel mentally and emotionally.
It’s vital to make sensible food choices. Good quality food contains all the natural ingredients for the production of those important body chemicals. We need proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and trace elements. We need them in a particular combination to achieve optimum mental and physical health.
Remember that taking any medication - herbal or otherwise - doesn't deal with the underlying cause.
Also, the following herbs can still be considered 'psychotropic' drugs - they do have an effect on your brain (and other parts of your body). Nevertheless they come with far fewer (if any) side-effects and are not habit-forming like prescribed antidepressants.
The best homeopathic treatment for depression can only be achieved by visiting a qualified homeopath, who will treat your condition based on very specific mental and physical symptoms. The nuances of your symptoms really matter.
There's absolutely no problem in taking these natural remedies long-term as, unlike antidepressants, they don't cause any harm. You'll also find them completely free of side effects.
You may experience a brief worsening of your symptoms, but that's an indication that you're taking the right remedy.
For further information visit the website of the British Homeopathic Association.
This healing system is based on energy. Dr Edward Bach discovered that the energy emitted by specific flowers could heal particular character traits and emotional states. He distilled 38 plants and flowers into special preparations.
Here are some examples with reference to depressive states:
These days we are much more likely to suffer from deficiencies.
We just eat far more food with empty calories (you know the ones I mean!) and/or food grown on soil depleted of natural substances that would have added the necessary minerals to our diet.
In addition, there are extra demands on your body, and thus its needs for vitamins and minerals, if you…
Deficiencies of certain vitamins and minerals are known to contribute to mental health problems.*
The following supplements are often suggested and may help you to achieve better mental health - hence my having included them here. I encourage you to do your own research though (and Dr Mercola's website is an excellent resource for this).
Unfortunately, gobbling up the average supplement you find on the shelves is unlikely to do you any good. Often supplements are chemical 'lookalikes' - there's a good chance your body doesn't even recognise them as something it can use - if it's able to absorb it at all.
So, it comes as no surprise then that the safest, most effective 'supplementation' comes from eating the right foods...
No matter how rubbish you feel, think again when you’re just about to eat another ice-cream, cake, sweet, doughnut, bagel, bag of crisps, chip, lump of bread, etc. These provide only 'empty' calories - they fill you up and provide a temporary sense of comfort - but crucially they don't provide the nutrients you need to help you recover.
Did you know, for example, that Vit B6 and B12 are called the mental health vitamins?
In addition, I'm really sorry to have to tell you that sugar "causes chronic inflammation, which disrupts your body’s normal immune function and can wreak havoc on your brain"*.
So, instead of junk think: fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds, olives, fermented foods (such as kefir and sauerkraut. I know... you've probably never heard of it - just google it). These are your home remedies for depression!
In fact, I can do even better by recommending you take a look at what Dr Kelly Brogan has to offer. She was a conventional prescription-happy psychiatrist, until she found a far more successful way of treating patients...
(I may earn a commission from the referral. This is how I can continue to produce a ton of free material and run an honest business.)
Conventional antidepressant medication should not suddenly be stopped.
I totally understand that you want to come off the antidepressants, but do ensure you’re well-informed and have the right kind of medical support (see Dr Kelly Brogan's website).
Your brain will have made changes to adapt to the presence of antidepressants. Coming off them can be really difficult, but I would encourage you to go for it (once you've sought medical advice), as they are not nearly as safe as you've probably been led to believe! Your body has to work hard to compensate for the withdrawal.
Please see: http://rxisk.org/guide-stopping-antidepressants/
You can absolutely find a natural cure for that depression. Be sure to deal with the underlying causes too, though, to prevent a recurrence. You'll find whole lists of articles here:
Remember too that it's perfectly fine to get some help, if only to get you started. Consider connecting with a professional, licensed therapist - online for easy access. Scroll down to the blue box or for more information, see my page on mental health counselling.
Just in case... no, you're not 'mental'. You're going to be okay again - I'm rooting for you!
I really hope this article is of help to you. :-)
I frequently update my articles based on feedback, therefore I really value your vote. If you think I've missed something, please do let me know in the comment section below.
Thank you so much in anticipation. :-)
Adrenal Fatigue Symptoms
Natural Sleep Remedies
Alcoholism and Depression
The Human Givens
Dealing with Toxic Shame
'Bored' with Life
Alcoholism and Depression
How to Treat Severe Depression
*Wium-Andersen M, Ørsted D, Nielsen S, Nordestgaard B. Elevated C-Reactive Protein Levels, Psychological Distress, and Depression in 73 131 Individuals. Elevated CRP Levels and Psychiatric Illness. Archives of General Psychiatry, 2012; DOI: 10.1001/2013.jamapsychiatry.102
*Mercola, J. The Forgotten Organ – Your Microbiota. 09 December 2013, via Mercola.com
*Mercola, J. Five Ways to Help Beat Depression Without Antidepressants. 09 March 2010, via Mercola.com
*Ramsey, Drew, MD, and Phillip R. Muskin, MD. Vitamin Deficiencies and Mental Health. How Are They Linked? Current Psychiatry, n.d. Web. 20 Dec. 2013.