Alternative Treatments for Depression

Alternative Treatments for Depression

Alternative Treatments

If you’ve considered alternative treatments such as herbal remedies, vitamins or supplements for your depression, you are not alone. Many people with depression have considered them, and they are widely available over the counter.

The jury is still out on how well these remedies work. While some vitamins and herbal supplements may be promising alternative treatments for depression, research is still ongoing. Their efficacy has not been scientifically proven. If your depression symptoms are in part due to some sort of nutritional deficiency, you may benefit from additional vitamin supplementation, but this should be on the advice of your healthcare professional.

If you decide to try natural and herbal supplements, remember that they can have side effects and drug or food interactions. For example, St. John’s Wort–a promising herb used for treatment for mild to moderate depression–can interfere with prescription drugs such as blood thinners, birth control pills and prescription antidepressants. Make sure your doctor or therapist knows what you are taking.

Relaxation Techniques

Although research is still ongoing, relaxation techniques may not only help relieve symptoms of depression, but also reduce stress and boost feelings of joy and well-being. Try yoga, deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, or meditation.


The technique of using fine needles on specific points on the body for therapeutic purposes, is increasingly being investigated as a treatment for depression, with some research studies showing promising results. If you decide to try acupuncture, make sure that you find a licensed qualified professional.

The contents of this site are for informational purposes only and are meant to be discussed with your physician or other qualified health care professional before being acted on. Never disregard any advice given to you by your doctor or other qualified health care professional. Always seek the advice of a physician or other licensed health care professional regarding any questions you have about your medical condition(s) and treatment(s). This site is not a substitute for medical advice.

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