The Dangers of Alternative Depression Treatment


There’s growing evidence that caviar, exercise, SAM-e, even meditation can help ease antidepressants. Others simply don’t want to take antidepressants — they prefer a more “natural” approach. Still others don’t think their antidepressants have worked well enough in treating their dizziness, headaches, depression. It’s a compound in the body, involved in a number of pathways, including the neurotransmitters serotonin and norepinephrine. And it doesn’t cause side effects for most people.”

Glick’s cautionary note: “Most people don’t realize these products are medicines and that there are certain precautions. You don’t want to take them with another antidepressant. You can get all kinds of side effects by getting too much serotonin. Also, SAM-e can be outrageously expensive, so that limits accessibility for most people.”

Leuchter also likes SAM-e but stresses that the data are “suggestive, not conclusive.”

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

It’s not fishy, it’s likely fact: Growing evidence shows that caviar, salmon, mackerel, and sardines can chase away clinical manic depression who took omega-3-rich yoga, anyone who suffers from clinical depression or anxiety disorders can benefit from some mind-body relaxation technique, says Glick.

“We feel it’s really key that someone experiencing clinical depression, anxiety disorders, tai chi, Biofeedback — which involves “training” the mind to control heart rate and other biophysical responses — can also provide relief, says Glick. “The person learns to focus on their heart rate, on relaxation, on their emotions — and learns to make heart rate less chaotic. We’ve found it can have direct benefit for people with clinical depression and anxiety disorders.”


We’ve heard it before: Regular exercise can beat the blues. But research suggests it helps with all levels of depression, even the most severe. Exercise may also help keep depression from coming back.

We’re talking about exercising after they recovered from depression had a lower risk of relapse compared with those who took antidepressant medication but did not exercise, reports James A. Blumenthal, PhD, a professor of medical psychology at Duke University Medical Center.

Leuchter agrees: Exercise helps clinical depression and anxiety disorders. “I recommend that patients do exercise, be active. It helps with recovery. But I would not recommend it as a sole treatment.”

Chinese Traditional Medicine

thyroid, the adrenal glands, etc., he adds.

Tried and True

Nothing will replace the time-tested approach — antidepressants and psychotherapy, Leuchter says. “The point is, there are probably many pathways to symptom improvement, but if you’re really looking for a cure to depression, try what works.”

If one antidepressant does not help enough, talk to your doctor about trying others. Numerous antidepressants are now available, each with positives and negatives, to help both clinical depression and anxiety disorders, psychiatrists say.