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Holistic approach to depression

Depression is a multifaceted disease; it cannot simply be classified as “sadness”, although many people in today’s society do so. Depression, whether induced by a life event or chemical imbalance, causes a wide range of emotions from an overwhelming feeling of being alone to suicidal thoughts and desires. describes depression as follows,

“…if emptiness and despair have taken hold of your life and won't go away, you may have depression. Depression makes it tough to function and enjoy life like you once did. Just getting through the day can be overwhelming” (Smith, M.A., Saisan, M.S.W., & Segal, Ph.D., 2014).

A common approach to treating depression is through counseling and antidepressant medications. While counseling has been considered a widely effective method, with closer examination the medications have not.

According to an article written by Benjamin Schwarcz, MFT,

“In 2008, there is finally some major studies leaking into public awareness, showing that anti-depressants are far less effective than once widely believed and that for mild to moderate depression there are far more effective treatment options - including psychotherapy (talk therapy) - than anti-depressants” (Schwarcz, MFT, B., 2013).

Antidepressants have acquired a reputation for “curing” depression and have become widely sought out because of that reputation; however, as any informed consumer knows, the side effects greatly outweigh the benefits. Health Central posted that one in ten Americans take antidepressants, making it the third most common prescription drug in the US. Yet our nation is still depressed, which might lead one to the conclusion that antidepressants aren’t as effective as they are promoted to be.

If a holistic approach sounds more attractive, there are a handful of herbal remedies and mind-body connection treatments that have shown to be very effective. The various herbal remedies for depression include St. John’s Wort, SAMe, and Omega-3 fatty acids. The mind-body connection options offer treatments such as acupuncture, yoga or tai chi, meditation, guided imagery, massage therapy, music or art therapy, and exercise (“Alternative Medicine,” 2014).

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Schwarcz, MFT, B. (2013). Holistic Treatment for Depression. Retrieved from

Smith, M.A., M., Saisan, M.S.W., J., & Segal, Ph.D., J. (2014, June).

Depression Symptoms and Warning Signs., (), . Retrieved from Alternative Medicine. (2014, February).

Mayo Clinic, (), . Retrieved from

Antidepressant Nation. (2014). Retrieved from

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