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Depression without medication

Depression is alarmingly common these days, and yet, many treatment options are still rather trial-and-error in nature. All too often, depression is treated with medications which present a number of unpleasant side-effects, and doctors have no choice but to ‘trial’ patients on different drugs in the hope that one of them will be effective in treating the symptoms. Little do many people realise that depression treatment without medication is a real and effective alternative for many sufferers.

In Australia, statistics of depression are frighteningly high and it is estimated that as many as 3 million Australians currently suffer from some form of it. In fact, depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide, according to Beyond Blue. On average in Australia, one in five women and one in eight men will experience depression in their lifetimes. These figures, while startling, simply highlight the urgent need for safe and effective depression treatments.

Medication can indeed help to allay the symptoms in a lucky few people who manage to find a drug which works for them; however, medication cannot treat the underlying causes for depression and as such, are often not a true and lasting solution. It is important to consult your doctor before beginning or ceasing any course of medication, yet many people are unaware of the depression treatments available which do not require the use of medication.

Much more than simply ‘feeling sad’, depression is a chronic and very real condition which affects millions of people around the world. As our understanding around mental illness develops, our society has started to accept that depression is not something that sufferers can simply ‘get over’. The ‘stiff upper lip’ approach of previous years is now recognised as being harmful to sufferers of depression, and this behaviour can increase incidences of suicide and self-harm.

Depression can be difficult to recognise, for those who have had no personal experience of the illness within their family or friendship groups. Every sufferer of depression experiences symptoms differently, however there are some common symptoms which may occur:

  • Feeling sad or low for extended periods of time, often for no identifiable reason
  • Lack of energy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Lack of enthusiasm for activities which were previously enjoyed
  • Rapid weight loss or weight gain
  • Unwillingness to socialise or go out in public
  • Unwillingness to ‘talk about it’
  • Feelings of hopelessness which are not realistic
  • Talk of harming oneself
  • Morbid fascination with death and dying
  • Attitudes such as ‘no one cares about me’ or ‘they’d be better off without me’

If you, or someone you know is showing signs of one or more of these symptoms, it is important to seek help as soon as possible. There are 24-hour services available for emergencies, such as Lifeline (phone 13 11 14), Beyond Blue (phone 1300 22 4636) or of course, the emergency department (phone 000). However, for effective treatment and long-term solutions for depression, visiting a counselling service is a crucial step in recovery.

Depression counselling, from a qualified psychologist, is an effective and proven method in the treatment of depression without medication. Counsellors, such as those at Integrated Health Specialists, are trained and experienced in the treatment of a range of mental illnesses, including depression, anxiety, low self-worth and more.

Effective psychology and counselling services are able to treat depression and anxiety by uncovering the root causes behind the symptoms. Often, the causes of depression are deeply rooted and can stretch back for years. Be it a traumatic event in childhood, or a more prolonged series of events,  behaviours, or ways of thinking; it is important to understand where these feelings have arisen from. Only once these triggers are uncovered, is a sufferer of depression able to begin addressing and resolving them.

More often than not, depression builds over time, and is brought on by a series of beliefs and behaviours which have depleted a person’s resilience and innate self-assuredness. Unpacking these patterns, and addressing their inaccuracy is one of the most fundamental steps in depression treatment without medication. Tackling these causes can help to free a person of unrealistic and unhelpful beliefs and behaviours about themselves, and about the world around them; finally allowing them to experience the world, and themselves as they truly are.

Some people avoid counselling because they fear judgement, and do not want to appear ‘weak’ or ‘insane’. It is important to understand that depression is an emotion that we all feel at times, and if you feel this way often, then there are reasons for this that are often complex and difficult to understand ourselves.  There is nothing wrong with seeking help from professionals trained to uncover the reasons behind these feelings. In fact, in the case of depression as opposed to mere fleeting sadness, seeking assistance is often the only effective way to overcome the problem. Integrated Health Specialists have developed a specific program for depression to help you move out of the darkness and start to feel more joy again.  

Treating depression with medication can leave the sufferer feeling disempowered and out of control. Taking away a person’s ability to overcome their issues themselves through understanding the reasons why and learning how to develop powerful strategies and addressing long-held beliefs; can actually lead to more aggravated symptoms. Counselling techniques, which are person-centred provides the client a much-needed sense of self-determination and control over their life. Depression treament without medication is one of the most long-term, effective and widely-accepted solutions for sufferers of depression as it does not involve the unnerving side effects of medication such as:

  • nausea
  • insomnia
  • irritability
  • dizziness
  • apathy
  • fatigue
  • anxiety
  • constipation
  • blurred vision
  • sexual dysfunction
  • weight gain

If you’re suffering, depression treatment without medication may be the long-term key to overcoming your struggle and can help you to live your life to the fullest, once more. If you’d like to take back your power, develop real and effective strategies and overcome your depression today, get in touch to find out more about our proven and effective depression treatment program.

Michelle van Namen
Author: Michelle van Namen