Depression is one of the most common mental health issues out there. Many people from any walk of life will experience this problem at some point, which means that understanding how depression can be cured is a very important concern.
Depression can be treated effectively through antidepressants in many people, but there are those who do not feel the effects of medication or who worry about the side effects. So, the question to consider is: can depression be cured without medication?
There are two first-line standard treatments for depression.
The first one is medication and the second one is therapy. It has been seen that therapy can be, at least, as effective as antidepressants in treating depression and it might also be combined with medication for an enhanced effect.
There are different approaches to the treatment of depression through therapy with the most popular being CBT – cognitive-behavioral therapy. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is an effective approach that can change the way the person interprets the situations that happen to them and that has a strong impact on the symptoms of depression.
Therapy can be applied without medication to positive results, however, this is not true in all cases. A person with a severe depression might require medication to reach the level of functioning where therapy might have an effect, as in the most severe cases, the person might not have the energy to even get out of bed, much less to attend appointments or do the work needed for an effective therapy.
So, therapy can be effective even without medication in most cases but not in all. Can depression be cured without medication using just therapy? In many cases but not in all.
Other Solutions or Complementary Approaches?
In many cases, a complementary approach to treatment involves doing things that can improve depressive symptoms. These involve practices like exercise, meditation, better nutrition, more contact with nature, art, and others. These can be very valuable for the person and significantly improve their symptoms and, if the person is not experiencing very severe symptoms, sometimes be enough for completely curing depression.
“The problem might be that, a person that has a significant level of depression might lack the energy” and the motivation to start a change in their life that is needed to begin an exercise regime or a meditation practice…
…People with depression might feel these are pointless practices or, even if they want to start doing them, they might not have enough energy left for this. So, can depression be cured without medication using complementary practices?
Sometimes but far from always, especially because of the dangers associated with trying to cure a severe depression, featuring suicidal thoughts, through exercise alone.
Some Peoples Way of Looking at Depression
Another approach to depression involves “common” sense. This sometimes is associated with effective practices, like meditation, but this approach often considers depression as a problem of character or lack of “real” problems…
…the people who espouse these ideas usually believe that depression is something that should be overcome through willpower alone or through things like “volunteer in a cancer ward” or “have kids” or “just pull yourself together”.
These are very harmful ideas because they often oppose medication or even therapy because depression is viewed as not being a “real” issue.
Can depression be cured without medication through sheer willpower?
No, definitely not! These ideas can make the person feel guilty for feeling depressed or unwilling to get help. And resisting the depression, trying to wrestle it mentally can often times result in the depression getting stronger,
Another aspect of depression is the question of whether to get treatment at all. It is recommended to seek help because, while depression can sometimes remit spontaneously, it can also continue for a long time, becoming worse and more severe.
It is better to seek help at an earlier stage because severe depression can be more difficult to deal with.
Daily small tasks can be hard sometimes
People with severe depression might struggle with daily activities such as going to work or even getting up, cleaning, eating, and so on. Additionally, severe depression is often associated with suicidal ideas, planning, and attempts, putting the individual’s life in danger.
Does this mean that medication is always the solution?
Absolutely not not! There are people who do not respond well to antidepressants even after trying several options. And trying ways without medication is often recommended first.
Additionally, there are some who cannot take this type of medication due to their, often, nasty side effects and there are those who are likely to respond better to alternative methods or therapy due to the way in which their depression manifests.
The road to getting well can sometimes be long and hard and in many cases, antidepressants are useful and necessary to help the person feel less tired, more motivated, less sad.
It is known that depression is strongly associated with the functioning of the brain, including the neurochemical aspects. This means that for many people, antidepressants can help regulate their brain chemistry and should not be demonized. It is important to tailor the treatment to the individual situation of each person, as there are no cookie-cutter approaches that work 100% of the time.
So in conclusion and as an answer to the question in the headline:
There are situations where medication is the best solution and this should not be demonized. Depression can however be treated without medication and in many cases this is the first route to try. If you are struggling with severe depression you should always seek professional help.
If you are suffering from mood issues then we highly recommend you read our powerful happiness protocol.
It has helped numerous people overcome depression, myself included. It is just an article, doesn’t cost anything and you owe it to yourself to read about it.
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