Do Any Natural Depression Treatments Work?
My best friend was recently diagnosed with depression. She insists that she can treat it "naturally," without medications. Having gone through depression myself, I'm not so sure. Have any natural depression treatments been shown to work?
Although there are effective treatments for depression, people with the condition may look for natural remedies. Some people may seek natural remedies because traditional depression treatments have not worked or have led to bothersome side effects. Others may be looking for a more "natural way" to treat their symptoms. While there are many possible natural depression treatments, not all of them have been shown to work.
Psychotherapy is probably the most common natural depression treatment. Many different types of psychotherapy have been shown to work for mild-to-moderate depression, depression associated with pregnancy, and depression in children. Medication, such as antidepressants, may be needed in addition to psychotherapy.
Other natural treatments that may work for depression include:
- Music therapy
- Art therapy
Music therapy has been shown to reduce depressed mood and improve response to antidepressants. Art therapy has been studied in people hospitalized with depression. It may help with relaxation and shorten the duration of the hospital stay. Finally, some studies show that yoga therapy may be helpful. However, more studies are needed to further outline the role of yoga in depression treatment.
Even though these natural treatments are all considered safe, they should only be done under the guidance of a qualified professional trained in using them for depression. Depression is a serious medical condition. In many cases, medication will still be needed in addition to natural treatments. Always talk to your healthcare provider about any natural remedy you are considering.