Natural Alternatives to Antidepressants

Modern life is a life of hard work, stress and pressure. Most people divide their time between home and work life and find that the pressures from both these areas can lead to overwhelm, depression and feeling tired and down.

And when people feel like this, they often go off to their local GP. In worst case scenarios, they may be prescribed antidepressant medication that can alleviate depressive symptoms and uplift a down mood.

SSRI Medications and Side Effects

According to Harvard Health Publications from the Harvard University Medical School, SSRI antidepressant medications – which are the most widely prescribed medications – do have some significant side effects.[1]

Side effects include:

  • Rashes
  • Headaches
  • Insomnia
  • Nausea
  • Diminishes sex drive
  • A slightly increased risk of suicide[2]

Of course, these medications have their place in extreme cases and it may be necessary for you to consult your medical practitioner if you suffer severe depression.

But in all cases, is this the only way to address depression?

The simple answer is no.

Natural Remedies for Depression

There are many natural products and natural remedies that also help with down moods and depression and a good practitioner or nutritionist or complementary medicine specialist may be able to guide you with these.

Here is a starter list that you may use as a guide:

  • St.John’s Wort – effective for milder depression. Use for a month to consistently to get the full benefit
  • Omega 3, 6, 9 fatty acids – take omega fatty acids for the brain. You can find these naturally in cold water depp sea fish such as sardines and salmon, in flaxseed and various natural oils. Avocado is also a good source. If your depression is more severe, take a good supplement.
  • Folate – found in dark green leafy vegetables, beans and fortified grains. It is one of the B group of vitamins so may be included in a B complex vitamin supplement
  • Magnesium – found in whole grains, green vegetables and nuts, legumes. Source the chelated form of magnesium with your supplement choice. Magnesium also helps to significantly reduce stress.

You may also want to follow a detoxification programme to clean out a dependence on excess sugar, take away foods, processed foods and white flour products.

When you make a few simple changes to your diet in this way, you can significantly reduce the feeling of listlessness and depressive thoughts that may be plaguing you.

Remember there are many alternative solutions to depression and a careful and  considered and healthy management of what you put into your body may be the very best place to start.


[1] http://www.health.harvard.edu/press_releases/ssri_side_effects

[2] ibid