Is There a Treating Depression Alternative? Looking at Antidepressants, Supplements and Counselling
Ask Woody Allen about psychoanalysis as to whether it might be a treating depression alternative. Or just watch one of his films! The problem with this type of treatment is that there is too much emphasis on finding the root cause of the depression which according to Freudian principles may be based on repressed childhood traumas and conflicts.
There is a lot of energy on focusing on the cause and origin of the depression. Very often we can spend years trying to pinpoint the cause but there may be multiple ones so it could take all our life!
Rather than looking back and reflecting on what went on in our past, we really need a type of counselling which looks forward and concentrates on the steps we need to take to get out of the black hole of depression.
Any form of psychotherapy for depression can be extremely useful in depression provided it is not the passive reflective type. If the therapy can set goals and get the patient actively involved, then it can be very effective.
As regards the studies done on antidepressants versus the effectiveness of herbal remedies for depression such as St. John’s Wort, there has been a lot of controversy. One major manufacturer of an anti depressant did a study on a very small group of 200 patients for severe depression. Their conclusion were that this herb was not effective at all in cases of severe depression. But there are many question marks about how that study was conducted.
However there are over thirty studies which show that this herb can be just as effective in cases of mild to moderate depression. One of the major studies which was published in the British Medical Journal, used 2000 patients. They found that St. John’s Wort was just as effective as the anti depressant but without any of the nasty side effects. In addition it was found to be three times more effective than a dummy pill.
So, what are the options for a treating depression alternative? As we have have seen, doctors may recommend certain therapies over others. It is however clear that a herbal remedy for depression should be given much more attention, as it has performed so well in all the studies. While the major manufacturers of the anti depressants will not be making this well known, it is up to everybody to look at all the options when considering a treating depression alternative.