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Citalopram Alternatives

Last Updated on December 7, 2023 by Carol Gillette

Alternative to Meds Editorial Team
Medically Reviewed by Dr Samuel Lee MD

Finally, there is a facility that can successfully help a person navigate comfortably through medication tapering using citalopram alternatives (Celexa) in a health-restoring way.

Certainly, medication may have played a role during a hurried doctor’s visit or desperate time of crisis. However, often medication such as citalopram does not prove tolerable or effective as a permanent solution when alternatives to citalopram may serve a person better in so many ways.

Do Your Symptoms Require Citalopram?

successful citalopram alternatives
Alternative to Meds has been the expert on antidepressant alternatives and withdrawal for over 15 years. We have published evidence regarding our tremendous success using alternatives to Celexa or citalopram. Importantly, we can resolve the underlying issues in much more safe and effective ways. Additionally, it could be that medical conditions were overlooked, or that the original factors that contributed to a person’s crisis have long since changed. Also, for many other reasons a person could have been entirely misdiagnosed.
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Why Choose Citalopram Alternatives?

It may seem from reading learned textbooks on psychiatric drugs and even more so from the ads that sell them, that drugs create mental health. Where did that idea ever come from? 4 Excellent research authored by Speilmans et al and published in the 2008 Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease revealed that about 50% of drug advertising claims the authors reviewed could not be substantiated by sources given in the ads.5 In 2015, similar shenanigans were caught by a Japanese doctor, where a very large drug manufacturer was found making false efficacy claims to international healthcare providers. The result was their governmental regulatory body requested the drug manufacturer be more careful, and the executives promised they would.6,7

Consumers may not feel this matter of trust and integrity has been resolved. The good news is that In many cases, healthy and safe alternatives to prescription drugs can allow one to safely navigate the journey to natural mental health. Unfortunately, discussions about alternatives to citalopram continue to drown in what seems like an ocean of misleading drug advertising. Educating oneself is highly recommended when it comes to one’s own health and safety.

It may help to understand more about what drugs do to the brain. SSRI drugs “flood the engine” with serotonin, where the engine represents the brain. In other words, the serotonin receptors get flooded because the drug blocks serotonin from being re-absorbed (so it can be recycled). As a result, these serotonin molecules hang out there, until they degrade and become used up. This creates an eventual deficit. (This is when a person feels the drug stops working.) The drug introduces unnatural changes that can harm the brain, not heal the brain. Drugs change the brain, they do not heal the brain.1

We believe that choosing alternatives to drugs like citalopram provides better health outcomes by avoiding these artificial and sometimes harmful changes to the brain. After all, the 3rd leading cause of death in the US is “properly prescribed drugs.”8

But please remember …


If a person does start taking SSRI medications, one must be extremely careful when coming off them because of their invasive disruption to the fine wiring of the CNS. Think of pulling out a frayed electrical cord from a live socket. With knowledge, preparation, and correct guidance, one can solve such problems safely.

Alternatives to Citalopram

Alternatives to citalopram include:
  • evidence-based antidepressant alternatives sedona drug rehabTalk-therapy, CBT, DBT, life coaching 17
  • Exercise 18
  • Forest-bathing* 19
  • Lifestyle changes 20
  • Test for & correct vitamin/mineral deficiencies 23
  • Cleanse the body of toxic overload, detox home and work environments 22-24
  • Supplements such as St. John’s Wort, passionflower extract, magnesium, Omega-3 fatty acids 21
  • Restore a healthy microbiome with probiotics, fermented foods, corrected diet 16
  • Massage, acupuncture, Reiki, Qi Gong, yoga 11-15
  • Bright light therapy, exposure to sunlight 9,10

*Forest bathing is a Japanese concept becoming popular in North America with lingering positive effects on mood and health.19

At Alternative to Meds Center, we use nutrition as a fundamental healing support strategy. For example, a client tapering off citalopram uses correct strategies to initiate the healing process after drugs have damaged or disrupted natural neurochemistry. Nutrition itself can act as a very effective treatment instead of drugs. For example, nutrition can be used to effectively treat depression, anxiety, or other mental issues. In short, good nutrition provides excellent citalopram alternative therapy.26

Talk Therapy a Preferred Alternative to Citalopram

According to research such as that of Gautam et al, published in the Indian Journal of Psychiatry, talk therapy is a preferred option for the treatment of depression, especially indicated where there is a low tolerance for medication. Especially notable, the relapse rate for patients treated with CBT is lower compared to patients treated with medications alone.17

Physical Exercise Reduces Depressive Symptoms Naturally

physical exercises to reduce depressionPhysical exercise can be a powerhouse of a healing agent for mental health, yet its therapeutic value may be grossly underappreciated in mental health treatment settings. Individuals in a depressed state tend to be more sedentary which can have a life-shortening effect all by itself. Even if a very mild exercise regimen is implemented, it can have major positive impacts on better mood and overall health and well-being, a valuable goal for anyone struggling with the burden of depressive symptoms. In their comprehensive review of numerous studies on the subject of exercise as a treatment modality for depression, Murn et al point out that many studies have shown that 3 weekly moderate exercise sessions for several months produce medium to large reductions in depression, with a 22% greater remission rate compared to medication-based interventions.18

That is exciting news that can be applied right now, today in your healing journey. If you find the task daunting, do not let your despair dampen your dreams for a better life. There may be groups of like-minded individuals in your area that you can reach out to through a local community center or other neighborhood support groups, and you may find strength in numbers that helps you to move forward. You can help them and they can help you with group walks, forest bathing walks, light jogging, or cycling right in your own neighborhood.19

Physical Relaxation Therapies:  Effective Alternatives to Citalopram

Therapeutic massage, acupuncture, Reiki, Qigong, and yoga have all been demonstrated in controlled studies to have significant positive results in depressed patients of all ages. A study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry concluded that massage was significantly effective in alleviating depressive symptoms.13 Qigong demonstrated improvements in depression in 7 out of 10 published studies, with 2 studies reporting results as effective as exercise and one with results comparable to a full rehabilitation program.14 Acupuncture has also been shown to be an effective non-pharmacological treatment based on a review of 29 different studies published in the Journal of Clinical Medicine, reporting clinically-relevant improvements in depressive symptoms.15 Authors Richeson et al found Reiki significantly effective for reducing symptoms such as pain, depression, and anxiety.12

In the British Journal of Sports Medicine, Brinsley et al reported in their review of 19 studies and over 1000 patients that yoga produced a significant reduction of depressive symptoms, better than treatment as usual (medication) and that the level of relief further increased commensurate with the frequency of treatments given over a period of time.11

Sunlight and Cognitive Function in the Depressed

A daily walk in the sunshine might be more powerful than anyone expected! In 2009, the Journal of Environmental Medicine published a study of sunlight exposure in over 16,000 participants using data collected and prepared at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, to compare outcomes in the depressed vs non-depressed individuals in the cohort. The participants’ locations were placed on a geo-grid that coordinated NASA’s calculations of solar radiation in their area for a 2-week period. Authors Kent et al found a significant increase in cognitive scores in the depressed after this 2-week exposure to natural sunlight. In the non-depressed, cognitive scores remained the same after 2 weeks of exposure to sunlight.9

Bright artificial light has also been shown to enhance subjective awareness, according to the research of Vandewalle et al, published in the Journal of Current Biology.10

Lifestyle Changes — Improving Mental Health Naturally

lifestyle changes improve mental healthBetter lifestyle choices can help turn around the dwindling spiral that a person may find themself in, whether that is a job they dislike, bad food choices, lack of physical activity, drug or alcohol use, or similar factors that may be contributing to the symptoms that they are suffering from. Sometimes a person can want to revamp and restructure their life, but an overwhelm of symptoms makes such an undertaking seem impossible.20

Correcting nutritional deficits and better diet choices can be powerful tools for mental health. Supplementation can play a vital role in reducing or eliminating unwanted symptoms that may be ruining one’s quality of life. You can research safe non-pharmaceuticals such as Omega-3 fatty acids, passionflower, magnesium, amino acids, and many others that may alleviate energy deficits, insomnia, or other symptoms linked to depression without introducing drug dependence or side effects.21

Sometimes we need help to get our plans to materialize. Many of our clients have had success working with a Life Coach, CBT counselor, nutritionist, exercise coach, and other practitioners who are trained to help you plan and realistically implement such sweeping changes. Please review the Alternative to Meds services overview page for more information on options for lifestyle interventions.

Toxin Removal — Natural Alternative to Citalopram

At Alternative to Meds, we have found that removing toxins from the body is a vital necessity in supporting natural mental health. Sauna, colon hydrotherapy, mineral and ionic footbaths, and other methods provide comprehensive deep cleansing of heavy metals, past drug residues, chemical exposures, food additives, and other neurotoxic elements.

Detoxing the home and workplace is strongly recommended for anyone in this age of chemical overuse, to avoid bombardment with neurotoxins, mycotoxins, endocrine disruptors, and allergens that can have disastrous effects on both mental and physical health.22-24

Nutrition for Natural Mental Health

Vitamin and mineral deficiencies can be corrected with supplementation and diet. Decades of medical research have clearly shown that many “mental disorders” are actually synonymous with specific nutritional deficiencies.

Three common deficiencies seen in mental health patients are Omega-3 fatty acids, B vitamins, and minerals.25 Lab testing is done at Alternative to Meds Center to pinpoint these and other deficiencies so an individual’s nutritional profile can be exactly corrected and brought into balance for relief of symptoms.

Diet provides another strategic tool for attaining and sustaining natural mental health, for the reduction and elimination of symptoms. Alternative to Meds Center provides a delicious menu of meals, snacks, and smoothies based on orthomolecular principles, prepared gourmet-style using clean, mostly organic locally produced ingredients, avoiding sugars, processed foods, additives, caffeine, and other mood-disrupting elements.

Alternatives to Citalopram Inpatient-Style

holistic inpatient addiction recovery sedona drug rehabWhat could be more valuable than resolving mental anguish or fear, and re-gaining clarity and joyful interest in one’s own life?

Our Equine-assisted therapy is one of the more popular options for our clients, and we teach our clients pain and stress management techniques. Over 40 therapists and medical doctors are ready to deliver personalized, compassionate, and competent care for maximum client comfort. Many genres of treatments can blend together in tailoring an individual’s program.

Alternative to Meds Center is a world-class inpatient center that offers the most comprehensive, evidence-based options for treatment available anywhere.

Alternative to Meds Center has been helping people with alternatives to citalopram and other drugs as well as medication tapering help for more than 15 years. Please call us to find out more about inpatient treatment in our pristine, retreat-like facility. We can answer your questions about insurance coverage, things to do and see in the area, length of treatment, and provide any other information you are interested in. Our safe and effectively designed citalopram alternatives treatment offers our clients the opportunity to regain natural and sustainable mental health.


1. Mohan, G Antidepressants rapidly alter brain architecture, study finds. LA Times [INTERNET[ 2014 Sep 18 [cited 2022 June 15]

2. Matsuoka Y, Hamazaki K. [Considering Mental Health from the Viewpoint of Diet: The Role and Possibilities of Nutritional Psychiatry]. Seishin Shinkeigaku Zasshi. 2016;118(12):880-894. Japanese. PMID: 30620820. [cited 2022 June 15]

3. Breggin P What Should We Really Call Psychiatric Drugs? Available from [published online 2018 Jan 17] [cited 2022 June 15]

4. NHS Info Letter, “Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).” Medically Reviewed 2018 Oct 2 [published online] [cited 2022 June 15]

5. Spielmans GI, Thielges SA, Dent AL, Greenberg RP. The accuracy of psychiatric medication advertisements in medical journals. J Nerv Ment Dis. 2008 Apr;196(4):267-73. doi: 10.1097/NMD.0b013e31816a436b. PMID: 18414120. [cited 2022 June 15]

6. Japan files criminal complaint against pharma giant. World Finance. Published February 18, 2015 [cited 2022 June 15]

7. Marwah U, Huettenmoser D, Patel S, Prescription Drug Advertising and Promotion Regulations and Enforcement in Select Global Markets published by FDLI Food and Drug Law Institute 2017 [cited 2022 June 15]

8. Gøtzsche PC. Our prescription drugs kill us in large numbers. Pol Arch Med Wewn. 2014;124(11):628-34. doi: 10.20452/pamw.2503. Epub 2014 Oct 30. PMID: 25355584.[cited 2022 June 15]

9. Kent ST, McClure LA, Crosson WL, Arnett DK, Wadley VG, Sathiakumar N. Effect of sunlight exposure on cognitive function among depressed and non-depressed participants: a REGARDS cross-sectional studyEnviron Health. 2009;8:34. Published 2009 Jul 28. doi:10.1186/1476-069X-8-34 [cited 2022 June 15]

10. Vandewalle G, Balteau E, Phillips C, Degueldre C, Moreau V, Sterpenich V, Albouy G, Darsaud A, Desseilles M, Dang-Vu TT, Peigneux P, Luxen A, Dijk DJ, Maquet P. Daytime light exposure dynamically enhances brain responses. Curr Biol. 2006 Aug 22;16(16):1616-21. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2006.06.031. PMID: 16920622. [cited 2022 June 15]

11. Brinsley J, Schuch F, Lederman O, Girard D, Smout M, Immink MA, Stubbs B, Firth J, Davison K, Rosenbaum S. Effects of yoga on depressive symptoms in people with mental disorders: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Br J Sports Med. 2021 Sep;55(17):992-1000. doi: 10.1136/bjsports-2019-101242. Epub 2020 May 18. PMID: 32423912. [cited 2022 June 15]

12. Richeson NE, Spross JA, Lutz K, Peng C. Effects of Reiki on anxiety, depression, pain, and physiological factors in community-dwelling older adults. Res Gerontol Nurs. 2010 Jul;3(3):187-99. doi: 10.3928/19404921-20100601-01. Epub 2010 Jun 30. PMID: 20635803. [cited 2022 June 15]

13. Hou WH, Chiang PT, Hsu TY, Chiu SY, Yen YC. Treatment effects of massage therapy in depressed people: a meta-analysis. J Clin Psychiatry. 2010 Jul;71(7):894-901. doi: 10.4088/JCP.09r05009blu. Epub 2010 Mar 23. PMID: 20361919.[cited 2022 June 15]

14. Oh B, Choi SM, Inamori A, Rosenthal D, Yeung A. Effects of qigong on depression: a systemic review. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2013;2013:134737. doi: 10.1155/2013/134737. Epub 2013 Mar 4. PMID: 23533461; PMCID: PMC3603628. [cited 2022 June 15]

15. Armour M, Smith CA, Wang LQ, et al. Acupuncture for Depression: A Systematic Review and Meta-AnalysisJ Clin Med. 2019;8(8):1140. Published 2019 Jul 31. doi:10.3390/jcm8081140 [cited 2022 June 15]

16. Bell V, Ferrão J, Pimentel L, Pintado M, Fernandes T. One Health, Fermented Foods, and Gut Microbiota. Foods. 2018;7(12):195. Published 2018 Dec 3. doi:10.3390/foods7120195 [cited 2022 June 15]

17. Gautam M, Tripath A, Deshmukh D, Gaur M  “Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Depression” Indian Journal of Psychiatry 62(Suppl 2), S223-S229 [cited 2022 June 15]

18. Belvederi Murri M, Ekkekakis P, Magagnoli M, et al. Physical Exercise in Major Depression: Reducing the Mortality Gap While Improving Clinical OutcomesFront Psychiatry. 2019;9:762. Published 2019 Jan 10. doi:10.3389/fpsyt.2018.00762 [cited 2022 June 15]

19. Li Q. Effets des forêts et des bains de forêt (shinrin-yoku) sur la santé humaine : une revue de la littérature [Effect of forest bathing (shinrin-yoku) on human health: A review of the literature]. Sante Publique. 2019 May 13;S1(HS):135-143. French. doi: 10.3917/spub.190.0135. PMID: 31210473. [cited 2022 June 15]

20. van Gool CH, Kempen GI, Bosma H, van Boxtel MP, Jolles J, van Eijk JT. Associations between lifestyle and depressed mood: longitudinal results from the Maastricht Aging Study [published correction appears in Am J Public Health. 2007 Dec;97(12):2121]. Am J Public Health. 2007;97(5):887-894. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2004.053199 [cited 2022 June 15]

21. Martínez-Cengotitabengoa M, González-Pinto A. Nutritional supplements in depressive disorders. Actas Esp Psiquiatr. 2017 Sep;45(Supplement):8-15. Epub 2017 Sep 1. PMID: 29171639. [cited 2022 June 15]

22. Woo JM, Postolache TT. The impact of work environment on mood disorders and suicide: Evidence and implications. Int J Disabil Hum Dev. 2008;7(2):185-200. doi:10.1515/ijdhd.2008.7.2.185 [cited 2022 June 15]

23. Ratnaseelan AM, Tsilioni I, Theoharides TC. Effects of Mycotoxins on Neuropsychiatric Symptoms and Immune Processes. Clin Ther. 2018 Jun;40(6):903-917. doi: 10.1016/j.clinthera.2018.05.004. Epub 2018 Jun 5. PMID: 29880330. [cited 2022 June 15]

24. Genuis SJ. Toxic causes of mental illness are overlooked. Neurotoxicology. 2008 Nov;29(6):1147-9. doi: 10.1016/j.neuro.2008.06.005. Epub 2008 Jun 24. PMID: 18621076.[cited 2022 June 15]

25. Rao TS, Asha MR, Ramesh BN, Rao KS. Understanding nutrition, depression and mental illnessesIndian J Psychiatry. 2008;50(2):77-82. doi:10.4103/0019-5545.42391 [cited 2022 June 15]

26. Sarris J. Nutritional Psychiatry: From Concept to the Clinic. Drugs. 2019 Jun;79(9):929-934. doi: 10.1007/s40265-019-01134-9. PMID: 31114975. [cited 2022 June 15]

Originally Published Mar 10, 2020 by Diane Ridaeus

This content has been reviewed and approved by a licensed physician.

Dr. Samuel Lee

Dr. Samuel Lee is a board-certified psychiatrist, specializing in a spiritually-based mental health discipline and integrative approaches. He graduated with an MD at Loma Linda University School of Medicine and did a residency in psychiatry at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle. He has also been an inpatient adult psychiatrist at Kaweah Delta Mental Health Hospital and the primary attending geriatric psychiatrist at the Auerbach Inpatient Psychiatric Jewish Home Hospital. In addition, he served as the general adult outpatient psychiatrist at Kaiser Permanente.  He is board-certified in psychiatry and neurology and has a B.A. Magna Cum Laude in Religion from Pacific Union College. His specialty is in natural healing techniques that promote the body’s innate ability to heal itself.

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Medical Disclaimer:
Nothing on this Website is intended to be taken as medical advice. The information provided on the website is intended to encourage, not replace, direct patient-health professional relationships. Always consult with your doctor before altering your medications. Adding nutritional supplements may alter the effect of medication. Any medication changes should be done only after proper evaluation and under medical supervision.

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