ZocdocAnswersAre there any effective non-drug alternatives for depression ?

Question

Are there any effective non-drug alternatives for depression ?

I have suffered from depression since I was twelve years old. I also have fibromyalgia, ADD,and PTSD.I am currently sick and tired of meds and feel that I may want to try Cranial Stimulation or vagus nerve therapy. I am desperate enough to try ECT but I am truly sick and tired of the roller-coaster that meds have put me through. I have tried Paxil, Lexapro, Wellbutrin, Geadon, Prozac, Tegretol and a few others that I am forgetting with horrible side effects and worse allergic reactions. I just want a cure for my anxiety and depression not just another bout with it.

Answer

You sound like you have had a rough time with your symptoms of anxiety and depression. Unfortunately, it is a relatively common complaint. Fortunately, there are a few options available to treat these symptoms, although not all are very efficacious. I would recommend that you discuss this with your psychiatrist. He or she could help you evaluate your options. Medicines are one treatment for depression. As you suggest, they are not always efficacious and are not always easy to tolerate. That being said, there are many different classes of medicines that work differently, and therefore trying different ones (depending on your exact disease) can be helpful. I know it is frustrating, but discuss all options with your psychiatrist. In all honesty, psychotherapy (talk therapy with a psychologist) is likely just as effective as medicines. This is a great strategy for many people. I would recommend that you try to find a psychologist or psychiatrist who can help you with this. This is likely one of the best options. Electroconvulsive therapy (or ECT) is the use of electrical stimulation for depression. It is used in only severe cases as it to has many side effects and does not always work. Talk to a trained psychiatrist about this. Keep in mind there are medical causes of depression that should be ruled out (low thyroid, etc). Your primary care doctor can help. Good luck!

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