Effective Alternate Treatments for Depression

For the month of April I am participating in the annual A-Z Blogging Challenge. The Challenge was started by author/blogger, Arlee Byrd. http://tossingitout.blogspot.com

Each day of the month (except Sundays) we will post something based on that days correlating letter. Some of us chose a theme and others are winging it. My theme is the A-to-Z’s of Mental Health, Raising Awareness. It is a topic that is very close to my heart. I hope you find the posts interesting and you will comment and share the posts everywhere. To see a list of all of the participants or for more information-click on the badge over there to the right>

Today’s letter is E

A-Z Letter E







Effective Alternate Treatments for Depression

Do not ever stop taking or change the dose of any medication especially an anti-depressant until you discuss it with your doctor. The side effects can be deadly.

If you are reluctant to take an anti-depressant for your depression, speak to your doctor about these alternate treatments.

Several major studies have been done recently to determine the effectiveness of alternate/non medication treatments for depression.

It was determined that mind/body/relaxation activity is not always effective in treating depression symptoms. The most common mind/body activities are yoga and meditation. These activities are not bad for depression just not 100% effective in treating symptoms.

*30 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise (3) days a week is as effective as medication in treating mild to moderate depression. Aerobic exercise releases endorphins.

A-Z photo Exercise photo

* Kava is effective in treating anxiety and tension. Long term side-effects have not been determined

*Talk therapy with a qualified counselor is extremely effective.

*Light therapy, sitting by a bright light for 15 minutes to 2 hours several times a week eases depression symptom

*In several smaller studies acupuncture proved to be effective in showing improvement in patients.

*Support groups are an excellent alternative treatment.

* SAMe is a supplement shown to be as effective as medication with fewer side effects.

Getting yourself into a daily routine is important. Set goals, small ones to start. Write them down. Challenge negative thoughts. Get into the habit of stopping those thoughts immediately and replacing them with positive affirmations. This will take a lot of practice but stick with it and it will work.

Do something new every single day. Keep a journal of what you have done.

LuAnn Cahn is a Philadelphia area journalist that battled cancer and other illnesses. Her daughter, recognizing that her mother was not feeling herself challenged her to start a blog and to record something every single day. To make it more interesting her daughter decided it should be something she had never done before. LuAnn took that challenge and it changed her life. You can learn more by visiting her site:

Luann Cahn





Have fun. This  one may take some work but laughter truly is the best medicine.



17 Responses to “Effective Alternate Treatments for Depression”

  • […] cognitive behavioral therapy, team treatment, diet preparation, physical fitness tasks, and alternate treatments like yoga, meditation, and conventional Thai massage. The holistic strategy addresses not just the […]

  • I meant SAD, seasonal depression, not DAD. 🙂

  • I’m a set goals person. I get that SAD thing in the winter if there is no sun, and this year has been bleak in Western New York. This winter I focused on editing a book, learning how to make ebooks, and getting it up on Amazon. Sometimes I do NaNoWriMo in November so I have something to continue then edit in December and January. For me the key is to keep my mind busy. Good ideas in your post.
    History Sleuth’s Writings – Blogging A-Z

  • Just checking to see a recent post of yours Doreen on which I commented and I should have checked the typos! ‘Our’ for ‘Are’ – apologies! And so right, a walk with a pet or friend can do wonders!

  • Great post thank you. Our energy seems non existent when we’re depressed but walking brings in the endorphins. As do the other things mentioned like playing the piano, or writing, painting …

    Garden of Eden Blog

  • I was just talking with my daughter about some of this today about a friend she knows. Thanks for this information.

  • Old Kitty:

    These are great positive and proactive steps to do to combat depression! Thanks Doreen! Lovely to meet you and I wish you all the best with your A-Zing! Take care

  • Thank you for this. I have been so reluctant to take anti-depressants because I always felt like I should be stronger than that. It wasn’t until my husband pointed out that my way of thinking has impacted him. Because I think I would be weak by taking these medications, made him feel I thought he was weak because of his PTSD and his medications. Once I saw this, I tried to stop thinking this way. I did everything I could to make my depression go away without medication but when I couldn’t stop crying I knew I needed help. I like trying everything I can before I result to the meds, but it’s ok to have a little help to boost you in the right direction.
    I also utilize writing to help work through things, especially dealing with everything in my caregiver capacity.

    Jamie Dement (LadyJai)
    My A to Z Challenge
    Caring for My Veteran

    • I think the answer is one that needs to come from a discussion with your doctor, if he/she is invested in your best interest.
      Even with medication I think it is important to take these extra measures, like exercise, eating and resting.
      I am praying for you and your husband.

  • Great recommendations. When I was going through divorce, I fought the blues by exercising, playing the piano, and talking with friends. A good walk with a friend lightens the mood and helps you feel like you’re not alone.
    Play off the Page

  • I’m totally with you, especially on the exercise. I honestly think getting physically active is the first and most important step, and adequate sunlight/a good diet are the next. The next step is finding something in your life that provides meaningful service to others but doesn’t exhaust you. Service will build good feelings quicker than anything.

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