Pills for Depression: Are There Other Alternatives?

October 13, 2015
Since not all types of depression are the same, we can't all treat our depression in the same way. However, in most cases, although they may be of some help, pharmaceutical drugs are not the only answer.

Pills for depression are also known as antidepressants. You may be surprised to find out that more and more people take this type of drug each year. In fact, according to a number of reports by IMS Health in Europe, use of antidepressant drugs has increased by 20% since 2012.

So, what’s going on?

Life is getting more and more complicated. We have more responsibilities and have to reconcile our professional and personal lives. That said, it’s not always easy to find balance and happiness.

However, the real question is: Are antidepressants the most efficient way to treat depression?

That’s what we’ll be talking about today.

Are Pills for Depression Effective?

Over the past few years, many research studies have attempted to answer this question. Faced with an increase in the use of antidepressants, a number of medical institutions have attempted to understand whether or not pills are actually helpful.

Overall, here are their results:

It Depends on the Type of Depression that You Suffer From

In terms of light to moderate depression, pills such as Prozac don’t have as “wonderful” of an effect as the doctor or patient might expect.

If the patient treats their depression only with these pills, they won’t be 100% effective. This means that the person suffering from depression will need to apply other non-pharmaceutical strategies such as behavioral and psychological therapy.

However, when we talk about serious depression, medication is essential. Even so, a person cannot spend their entire life taking medication. This is just a temporary way to get the person leveled out so that they can then begin other therapies that will allow them to start recovering.

If you only use antidepressants, you will end up “camouflaging” the true problem, and that could cause this “existential pain” to become chronic.

Overall, doctors explain that about 80% of people that go to the doctor suffer from something called “daily suffering.” This is a combination of minor anxiety, stress and emotional problems that antidepressants are not especially good at treating.

Essentially, you should also understand that not all types of depression are the same, and not all “emotional pain” can be compared. Every person is unique and needs their own, specific treatment plan. However, in most cases, pharmaceutical drugs are not the best way to treat that “existential pain.”

Read: Fight Depression with Yoga

Complementary Alternatives to Pills for Depression

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Antidepressants, sometimes called “emotional pain pills,”are certainly very helpful, there’s no doubt about it. However, they’re not the only way to get past depression. In fact, they may actually mask the original cause. It’s like taking an Advil to get rid of a headache without knowing why you got the headache in the first place.

Could it be stress? Are you not eating properly? Or are you not getting enough sleep?

All suffering has a cause, and pharmaceutical drugs are not the only way to solve the problem. They may provide relief, that’s for sure. However, in the case of depression, the main way to get over it is by having the will to do so.

Take a look at the main strategies that you should put into practice.

The pain is yours, but it’s always good to ask for help. 

You should never stick to only taking antidepressants without looking for other sources of support.

When someone has depression, they tend to think that no one can possibly understand. They may believe that no one else can know how they’re suffering However, it’s crucial to accept the help that your loved ones offer you, and allow those people who truly care for you to get close to you.

At the same time, you should stay away from people who only bring you more suffering. Instead, you need to establish a “social economy” in which you only open the doors of your heart to people who bring you peace and balance. Meanwhile, you have to protect yourself against any toxic people who bring you suffering.

Read: How to Leave a Toxic Relationship

You have the right to fall down, but you absolutely must get up.

Today, you’re upset, you’re suffering, and you feel like you’re lost in the depths of depression. However, you cannot allow this state to become chronic.

Don’t stick to only taking antidepressants so that you can feel that false sense of calm, because it’s not real. You need to be brave and accept what’s going on and what you’re feeling inside.

Talk with yourself and with others, journey, and find a therapist to help you understand where this pain is coming from. Then, learn how to accept it.

Once you understand it, remember that a life with that much pain is not really living, it’s just a dark corner. It’s time to get up and find hope again.

Walk a new path.

Depression can be defeated by getting up, looking in the mirror, making yourself smile, and investing in a life that better reflects the image you see smiling back at you.

The pain will go away little by little as you get involved in new projects, find new hopes and start out on new paths that better reflect who you are and what your truly want from life. We all go through dark times in our life. However, once you come out of that tunnel, there are new paths worth exploring.

Emotional pain pills are useful, but they’re not the only way to get over depression. Psychological help, social support and your own willpower are essential.

Cleveland Clinic. (2016). Alternative Therapies for Depression. Retrieved from https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/treatments/9303-depression-alternative-therapies Griffin, R. M. (2016). 10 Natural Depression Treatments. Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/depression/features/natural-treatments