David vs Goliath
Today I’m going to discuss if you can fight depression without medication. I’ve talked a lot about my experience with depression. I’ve made my case for treating depression with medication, talked about my struggles when my medication stopped working and described my month from hell suffering antidepressant withdrawal. Despite medication causing all these issues, I personally don’t feel able to cope without it.
However, I do know people with depression who elect not to take medication. My late father found the side-effect too bad, I assured him they would pass, but he wasn’t prepared to wait. Other people feel wary about taking mind-altering chemicals, even if they are regulated and prescribed by doctors.
So, if you have depression but don’t want to take antidepressants is it possible to fight depression without medication?
If you were looking for a definite answer, I’m afraid you won’t get it. The human body is a funny thing. Antidepressants that make one person feel back to normal may make another feel much worse. There’s no way to predict how it will react if you introduce a new substance, and that’s without thinking about potential interactions with other medications you’re taking.
Some people have reported fantastic results taking herbal remedies, so let’s take a look at them.
St John’s Wort
This herbal supplement is one of the most popular treatments for people who choose to fight depression without medication. Many swear by it and insist it works better than antidepressants. A 2020 review of previous studies found “The absolute increased response rate with the use of St John’s wort ranged from 23% to 55% higher than with placebo.”
I need to point out that all the St John’s Wort studies deal with mild to moderate depression. Studies into severe depression still need to be carried out. Also, there is evidence that it can negatively interact with other medications, so you should consult your doctor if you want to try it.