When it comes to depression treatment, individuals have a variety of options to choose from depending on what will best suit their personal needs. Oftentimes, medication is the first treatment type that comes to mind. But can depression be treated without medication? While traditional medications are a common and beneficial form of treatment for depression for many people, there are multiple ways to treat depression without drugs.
What are the symptoms of depression?
Depression manifests itself as low moods, feelings of sadness, hopelessness, sometimes thoughts of suicide, and social isolation among other symptoms. Depression can also be present in physical symptoms. You or someone you love who experiences depression may feel exhaustion, sleep for excessive amounts of time, or struggle to sleep at all. While serotonin does play a large role in our mood, sex drive, and social connections to name a few, there are other aspects of one’s life that can lead to the development of depression such as trauma, environmental circumstances, and genetic predisposition. Medications such as SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors) can help with treating depression, but there are other methods of treatment for depression. For some individuals suffering from depression, medication can be ineffective, with many drugs for depression also causing harsh side effects. Non-drug treatment for depression exists, and is possible.
Treating depression with traditional psychotherapy
Psychotherapy is one effective form of treatment for depression. Research shows that the learning and practicing of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy techniques can help challenge the negative thoughts that depression is notorious for, improve motivation, and improve social skills. The creation and consistency of a relationship with an effective therapist or counselor, the coping skills learned, and the safe space to feel uncomfortable feelings are all great benefits in treating depression without drugs.
TMS therapy: remission is only a step away!
Another highly effective treatment option is Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS). TMS is a non-invasive procedure that stimulates nerve cells in the brain to improve depressive symptoms. The 20-minute therapy sessions are pain free, and provide patients with the opportunity to treat even severe depression without medication. This non drug therapy for depression is an option that should be considered. early on in your treatment journey. Always know that there are options for treating depression without drugs.
Everyday habits to improve your mental health
Physical movement, social interaction, and taking care of our basic needs are other ways in which we can treat depression without drugs. Physical movement doesn’t only impact our bodies, but has a great impact on our mental health as well. Physical movement doesn’t have to be a rigorous, sweaty workout, necessarily. Taking a walk outside, a short hike, or taking your dog out for a walk can often be sufficient. Social interaction, despite the desire to isolate that usually comes along with depression, can remind us and challenge the various negative personal beliefs often associated with depression. Ensuring that we are taking care of our basic needs such as eating regularly, staying hydrated, and keeping tabs on our hygiene are important, particularly if experiencing a depressive episode. Keeping a routine can help you to stay present and be a good reminder that you are worthy of having your basic needs met.
This blog post is meant to be educational in nature and does not replace the advice of a medical professional. See full disclaimer.
Depression (major depressive disorder). (2018, February 03). Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/depression/symptoms-causes/syc-20356007
Treatment of Depression. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/basics/depression/treatment-depression#what-does-psychotherapy-do