Alternative Treatments for Depression

by Temecula psychologist Linda Comin, Psy.D.

Are you tired of the ineffectiveness of conventional treatments for depression?  Are you relapse prone and seeking an alternative solution?  Let’s reframe clinical depression as body imbalance.  Balance is defined as a state of equilibrium and is composed of many elements that must work synergistically.  The body’s balance is supported by the following elements: Hydration, nutrition, exercise, breath/stress management, love, mind and spirit.

Imbalance results in the body feeling distressed.  Imbalance may feel like, sadness, fatigue, loss of control, i.e. addictions, loss of interest or pleasure, low self-worth, disturbed sleep, loss of appetite or increased appetite which could lead to weight gain or weight loss, and poor concentration.  Many of you might already see that this definition resembles what is known as depression.

When we take depression out of the clinical area and normalize it by using the term imbalance,  it takes on a whole different meaning, doesn’t it? It no longer feels heavy, overwhelming, medicalized, and stigmatized by what is termed as “mental illness.” Suddenly, what was known as “clinical depression” is seen from a different perspective and gives way to  integrative solutions. Depression Temecula – is the medical view accurate?

 

Medicine would have us all believe that depression is a chemical imbalance of the brain that can only be treated by the administration of psychotropic medications.  The theory that depression is the result of an imbalance of serotonin and dopamine in your brain, however, is a highly reported fact that has never been scientifically proven.  In fact, research suggests that psychotropic medication, when administered to depressed subjects, has no more effectiveness than a placebo.  According to a recent study published in January of 2011 by the British Medical Journal, “There is evidence showing there is unlikely to be a clinically important advantage for antidepressants over placebo in individuals with minor depression.”

 

When you think of it, depression is a very subjective term, isn’t it?  In other words you feel something and then you try to convey what you are feeling to a professional who then prescribes a certain treatment.  But does one treatment fit for everyone? I would answer with a resounding “no.” We all have different life experiences, and emotions, and our bodies respond differently to different foods and chemicals.  We are idiosyncratic in nature, and therefore need a more individualized plan of action.

 

Now you may be thinking but aren’t there many different types of antidepressants out there? The answer to this question is “yes”.  However, there are many depressed individuals out there who would claim that they have tried four or greater antidepressants and are still depressed. In fact, not only are they still depressed after 10-20 years of being on an antidepressant, but also feel helpless and hopeless about any recovery from these feelings.

 

If this sounds like the way you might be feeling I am suggesting that you try an alternative to the traditional treatment for the body imbalance known clinically as depression.  It is time to connect with life!  Start feeling like you have some control over your life experience instead of feeling disconnected.  I am proposing that through proper diet, exercise, hydration, cognitive reframing, stress management, breath work, spiritual connection, and most importantly, self and other love, you can create, sustain and maintain a quality balanced life experience!