SSRI alternatives are almost never offered as a first treatment choice. SSRI medications are most often administered without any searching medical investigations or lifestyle interventions.
There are a host of factors that can bring on a depressive state. These include everything from hormones to nutrition to life stress factors, and many others. How hard would it be to check some of these things before pulling out a prescription pad? There are many factors to rule out before resorting to toxic prescription drugs like SSRIs.
Are You Really Your Diagnosis?
Alternative to Meds has been all about antidepressant alternatives for a decade and a half now. We help our clients get off antidepressants but also use holistic and environmental medicine to design better regimens for long-term health. Please note that we have exciting published evidence showing over 77% of our clients who stop antidepressant meds, with the use of healthful antidepressant alternatives, perform and feel better, i.e., with fewer symptoms than when they were medicated! That’s something to shoot for!
15 Years Experience by Professionals Who Understand Your Journey.
Many people, even those already taking SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors), have interest and questions about what other options exist in SSRI alternative treatments. And, there may be questions about how effective they may be.
However, alternatives used for treating depression can be based on an integrative approach—such as the approach used at Alternative to Meds Center. This wider approach draws from the entire range of possible treatment methods. These can include psychotherapy, lifestyle coaching, targeted nutrition regimens, and physical therapies. Rather than taking a “shot in the dark” approach, this offers better long-term recovery and symptom resolution than any single effort by itself. An alternative, integrative health care counselor or practitioner will fully evaluate a client’s history and physical state of health, and then coordinate care to meet individual needs.1
Natural SSRI Alternatives vs Prescription Medication?
Contrary to the TV ads, feeling happy is not about just one single molecule within the brain. In fact, almost always there are several underpinnings to feeling depressed. Our brain chemistry is coaxed with the choices we make. There is much we can do in our daily lives to support a more positive mood.
Useful SSRI Alternatives
Below, we discuss some options to explore for SSRI alternative medicine and alternative therapies that can provide relief without medications. This can include counseling, cognitive behavioral therapy, various other forms of talk therapy; bodywork therapies, such as therapeutic massage, chiropractic, osteopathic manipulative therapy, and craniosacral therapy (CST). Also made available to our clients are these: acupuncture; targeted amino acid therapy support, such as GABA, 5-hydroxytryptophan, and SAM-e. Other choices include nutritional supplements, for example, minerals, vitamins, and omega-3 fatty acids. Also, herbal therapy, such as passionflower, St. John’s Wort, valerian, or oriental medicinal herbs of various genres. Any form of exercise, including walking, yoga, swimming, working out in a gym, or in the living room, and equine therapy are all very simple but powerful natural alternatives to SSRIs. Exercising serves as a natural form of SSRI alternative medicine, as exercising releases feel-good chemicals in the brain that help regulate depression.
SSRI Alternatives Include:
Switch to low-glycemic foods. *
Eat sufficient protein and an abundance of green foods.
Adopt a regimen of high-quality mineral-multivitamin intake, including omega-3’s (DHA and EPA)
Exercise regularly, take walks, yoga, etc. preferably outdoors when possible.
Keep a consistent bedtime and sleep a minimum of 8 hours every night.
Avoid alcohol & recreational drugs.
Avoid stimulants like caffeine-laden drinks, high carb foods that zap energy.
Methods of relaxation such as yoga, Tai Chi, meditation, nature walks, music therapy, hobbies.
Acupuncture is documented as an effective treatment for depression.5
*A ketogenic diet, along with other SSRI alternatives helps to create an effective treatment plan that can be tailored for each person.2,3
Enlist Help To Find The Root Causes
Consult with an alternative, integrative health practitioner about SSRI alternatives for depression or other mental health symptoms. One of the most important and successful ways of mending depression with natural alternatives to SSRIs is through exploring and discovering any reasons or causes of depression.
Give some thought to the way your circumstances can affect your perspective on life. Explore your environment, sleep patterns, and what you do in your free time, and who you spend your time with. Ask yourself if the way you are nourishing yourself every day is helping you to feel better, or is it making things worse? And know that without a doubt, there are plenty of natural and alternative ways of supporting your outlook and mood along the way. You can feel happy again—in mind, body, and spirit—with some supportive guidance, deep reflection, and hope.
More About SSRI Alternatives
Alternative to Meds Center’s drug rehab program is focused on discovering the medical reasons that may be causing a person to feel depressed. Do not fall for the single-molecule theory, for instance, of being “low in serotonin” and that’s the only factor contributing to their depression. Has a low thyroid ever been checked? Is there an accumulation of neurotoxins like heavy toxic metals, environmental toxins, etc., that ruin the metabolism of food into energy? Is the diet is so significantly lacking in nutrition that they can’t produce what they need for brain health? Or is the person wrapped up in a life unfulfilling to them, in which they need more positive surroundings to make healthy changes?
The Alternative to Meds Center treatment program uses lab testing, targeted nutritional therapy, amino acid therapy, natural substances to stabilize the neurochemistry, careful medication withdrawal methods, massage therapy, yoga, peer support, exercise, and other non-drug-based therapies to combat depression. Please call us to learn more about the SSRI alternatives and help that is available for you or a loved one.
5. Park J, Linde K, Manheimer E, Molsberger A, Sherman K, Smith C, Sung J, Vickers A, Schnyer R. “The status and future of acupuncture clinical research.” J Altern Complement Med. 2008 Sep;14(7):871-81. doi: 10.1089/acm.2008.SAR-4. PMID: 18803496; PMCID: PMC3155101. [cited 2020 Dec 17]
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.
Lyle Murphy is the founder of the Alternative to Meds Center, a licensed residential program that helps people overcome dependence on psychiatric medication and addiction issues using holistic and psychotherapeutic methods.
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.