When Medication Is Not an Option
As a society people have become conditioned to pop a pill in hopes of a quick cure for whatever ails us. Yes, certain medications and recent advances in medicine have provided amazing healing properties for many maladies worldwide. In the case of treating major depression, however, the jury is out. Recent studies have debunked the claims of pharmaceutical companies regarding the efficacy of antidepressants in treating the symptoms of depression.
Without a doubt, antidepressants can save lives, and is still the conventional route that most physicians will take when treating someone with major depressive disorder (MDD). But research shows these drugs make a positive difference in treatment outcome in only about half the patients who are prescribed antidepressant therapy. This has led to many medication-resistant patients to seek major depression treatment without medication, opting for alternative methods instead.
Adverse Side Effects from Antidepressants
Antidepressants are in the class of drugs known as serotonin selective reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), and have been the standard treatment modality for major depression for decades now, to mixed reviews. In many cases, a double whammy effect is experienced by those who trial antidepressants for their depression symptoms. Not only are 50% of patients unable to find relief from symptoms—sometimes after trialing several different medications—but a wide range of highly unpleasant symptoms often accompany these drugs.
Struggling with the effects of depression is hard enough, and being disappointed in the lack of treatment response can lead to a deep sense of despair. Pile on top of that a long list of side effects from the drugs, and antidepressant treatment can become intolerable. These symptoms may include:
- Increased appetite and weight gain
- Dry mouth
- Nausea and diarrhea
- Blurred vision
- Sexual dysfunction and loss of libido
- Fatigue and drowsiness
Alternative Options for Major Depression Treatment without Medication
It is usually advisable for someone struggling with the life-altering impact of MDD to seek out traditional treatment first, that being antidepressant therapy and psychotherapy. However, if these treatments are not successful in relieving symptoms why not try an alternative method? Here are some alternative depression treatments without medication:
- Physical activity has a powerful effect on mood by the release of certain brain hormones called endorphins.
- Exposure to sunlight increases vitamin D levels, which boost mood. For areas that have little sunlight, a therapeutic light box can help.
- Certain mood-enhancing supplements can be suggested by your doctor once any drug interactions (with other medications) are eliminated. These include St. John’s Wort, SAMe, L-Theanine, 5-HTP, Omega-3, vitamin B.
- Avoid caffeine, which reduces serotonin levels, and alcohol, which is a depressant
- Certain foods boost levels of serotonin, a mood-enhancing brain chemical. These include fish high in omega-3 fatty acids, lean proteins, healthy fats such as nuts and seeds.
- Mind-body activities. Certain holistic therapeutic activities can promote overall relaxation and centeredness, which can positively impact mood. These include yoga, mindfulness exercises, prayer or meditation, journaling, guided imagery, and massage therapy.
- Brain stimulation therapy. Deep transcranial magnetic stimulation (dTMS) is a safe and effective treatment for major depression that uses the power of magnets to stimulate nerve cells in the brain.
Deep TMS for Major Depression without Medication
Deep TMS is an alternative treatment method that uses magnetic fields to reset brain chemistry, resulting in improved mood, concentration, and sleep. It works by delivering electro-magnetic pulses through the scalp and targeting the mood center of the brain. This results in electrical currents that stimulate the dormant or underactive brain cells often seen in MDD.
Deep TMS is very well tolerated with few, if any, side effects. The typical course of treatment requires five treatments per week for 4-6 weeks. This noninvasive treatment requires no sedation and no down time. Benefits begin to be reported after about the tenth session.
Achieve TMS East Leading Provider of dTMS for Depression in Massachusetts
Achieve TMS East operates five convenient office locations in Massachusetts, providing many with relief from the symptoms of MDD and a renewed sense of health and well-being. The team of compassionate doctors and dTMS specialists provide a high level of treatment in a comfortable, relaxing environment. Contact us today for more information about Major Depression Treatment without Medication and TMS Therapy. Call our friendly staff at (877) 297-5816.