And depression is far more than just the blues: it is the root cause of as much as 90 percent of the more than 30,000 suicides reported in the U.S. each year, making it the 10th leading cause of death in the country. That breaks down to a suicide occurring every 13 minutes. With such staggering numbers, treatment for depression is a matter of life and death.
Unfortunately, the Depression and BiPolar Support Alliance reports that up to 80 percent of those being treated for depression showed no improvement in their symptoms within the first one to two months of beginning medication, psychotherapy, or a combination treatment.
And half of unsuccessful treatments are a result of medical non-compliance, often as a result of disruptive side effects. Other patients find themselves self-medicating with alcohol and/or drugs, which may seem to make symptoms better in the short term, but which can actually worsen depression and make it harder to treat in the long run.
If you are not having success with your medical treatment, or if you are experiencing side effects that are disrupting your daily life, talk to your doctor about drug-free depression treatment options. These alternatives may include:
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive behavioral therapy may provide people with an education on what thoughts bring on their depressive feelings. The goal of this therapy is to teach patients to be cognizant of what triggers are particularly strong for them, and how to control those thoughts and destructive behaviors that affect mental state and create reactions to certain situations.