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Wellbutrin Alternatives

Last Updated on November 17, 2023 by Carol Gillette

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

Natural Wellbutrin alternatives can avoid the dangers and disappointments of antidepressant medications. Prescribing a drug before consideration of life factors, lab testing, or other investigation into root causes will miss the mark nearly every time. At Alternative to Meds Center, we believe in paying close attention to the details that can be relied on for success, not guesswork.

After carefully assessing the factors that need correction, effective natural remedies for depression can be used in place of these drugs. They offer a healthy, straightforward way to reclaim your life.

Do Your Symptoms Require Wellbutrin?
successful wellbutrin alternatives
Alternative to Meds has been the expert on antidepressant alternatives for over 15 years. Our published evidence documents the amazing successes of our clients. Typically, our clients do better off the drugs than they ever hoped to do while on them. A significant benefit is reducing the original symptoms, without drugs!
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Wellbutrin Alternatives Help

Alternative to Meds Center provides Wellbutrin alternatives to help eliminate relying on medication while obtaining relief from original symptoms. We know there are more effective answers than taking a drug that at best can temporarily numb the symptoms. Drug side effects are troubling and sometimes actually worsen the burden of symptoms. Fortunately, there are many effective natural Wellbutrin alternatives for depression. which will be discussed below. Wellbutrin® (generic bupropion) is a prescription drug used for the treatment of depressive disorders and may be temporarily effective for some. However hopeful one may have been at the onset of treatment, unwanted side effects often occur with medications. addiction alternatives sedona drug rehabIn many cases, drug therapy gives disappointing results, leaving a person suffering their original symptoms of depression and anxiety, along with newly emerging side effects from the medication. That cannot be the best quality treatment available in this modern age. In 2018, Kilbourne et al published a paper in the Journal of the World Psychiatric Association on the subject of the declining quality of mental health care observed across the globe. We agree with the authors’ conclusion that evidence-based treatments should be more heavily focused on, to ensure improved mental health regains its place as the prime target.1

Safer et al in the esteemed 2019 Journal of Clinical Medicine Research cite antidepressants as one of four main categories of overprescribed medications in the US, of particular concern because they are prescribed for extended periods of time with inadequate evidence of benefit.2

In the 2019 Pharmacology Research & Perspectives Journal, author and neuropsychopharmacologist Thomas Blackburn discusses the past 50 years of treatment failures for depression, the disheartening lack of clear results when comparing medications to placebo, and an overwhelming lack of success in drug-based treatments for depression.3

Blackburn quotes Dr. Samuel Bardone’s description of antidepressants as “blunt instruments that have a large number of effects on the brain only some of which are considered therapeutic.”4 Blackburn also expresses his doubts about the 50-year-old model of treating depressive disorders with drugs based on questionable animal studies. At Alternative to Meds, we share these concerns and have been inspired to provide effective alternatives to Wellbutrin and other antidepressants for nearly two decades now with resounding success.

Wellbutrin Alternatives Treatment

talk therapy for addiction recoveryWhen discussing alternative treatments for depression, a hot topic is talk therapy. According to DeRubeis et al in their article, “Cognitive Therapy vs. Medication” published in the 2008 Nature Reviews Neuroscience Journal, these researchers note that talk therapy such as CBT has been shown to be as efficacious as antidepressants in reducing acute distress. They further conclude that the results are more enduring.5 Talk therapy comes in many forms and can be an important component to blend into a program of Wellbutrin alternatives. Talk therapy is sometimes adequate all by itself for alleviating depression. A person who is depressed or anxious can confront issues and can talk about them with a trusted professional, in a safe space. After a period of time, troubles typically improve as their causes can be analyzed and solutions put into place in the real world. We have an amazing roster of professionals at Alternative to Meds including therapists, counselors, Life Coaches, and holistic psychiatrists who can help the person explore the types of changes they might want to be making in their life to engineer specific improvements. We look to counseling for depression and anxiety as an excellent natural Wellbutrin alternative. The added benefit is that side effects and drug dependence do not develop. In this article, we will further discuss CBT and additional holistic alternatives to Wellbutrin below.

Notes on CBT (cognitive behavioral counseling)

Cognitive-behavioral therapists help their patients learn how to achieve more satisfaction from their own actions and thought processes while guiding them at the same time in how to recognize and make a conscious choice to unlearn the behavioral patterns that may have contributed to their depressive state. Cognitive-behavioral therapies are one of the most commonly used alternative therapies for depression as CBT can help people to change and undo the negative thinking patterns and behaviors that can often contribute to anxiety and depression. Research has shown that the majority of patients prefer talk therapy over drug-based therapy, and find that psychological therapies provide much more long-lasting relief.5,6

More examples of effective and gentle alternative therapies for depression are outlined below.

Alternatives to Wellbutrin Include:
  • holistic evidence based alternativesTalk therapy, such as CBT, DBT, exposure therapy, interpersonal therapy, etc.5,6
  • Regular exercise, sunshine, fresh air 14-16
  • Bright light therapy 26
  • Corrected diet 7,9,17-19
  • Supplement micronutrients, vitamins, and minerals — testing shows deficiencies 8-10
  • Correct impaired microbiota of the digestive tract with diet, supplements, probiotics 27
  • Avoid exposure to poisons, heavy metals, neurotoxins in cleaning products, paints, pesticides, food additives, etc.20
  • Acupuncture, yoga, meditation, traditional Chinese medicine 11-13,28
  • Equine-assisted therapy
  • Lifestyle changes aimed at improving the quality of life*
  • Get tested for food or other allergies such as mold, pollen, animal dander that could be causing symptoms that mimic psychiatric disorders such as depression, anxiety 21,29-31

*Dr. Axe, a well-known holistic doctor, points to many overlooked causes and practical natural remedies for depression.

Diet and Supplementation

When you go visit your doctor because of depression, the most likely response is going to be a prescription for antidepressants. That is just how doctors are trained in medical school. In their busy day-to-day practices, they are under time constraints. Unless they have taken the time to research and study holistic and nutritional therapies outside their mainstream medical training, this will most likely result in a missed opportunity for them to help you in any other way than the prescription pad.

Correct diet is fundamental to robust physical and mental health. As described by Ljungberg et al in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, their extensive review of 22 studies from around the world showed that diet has a significant and direct impact on depression both in prevention and in treatment.7 Food choices consisting of a high percentage of fruits, vegetables, fish, chicken, grains, and legumes but excluding processed foods like sausage, candy, refined flour, sodas, cakes, etc. had a protective effect against mental illness. The researchers found a 25% improvement in mental wellness with a well-designed diet and a 41% increase in depression and anxiety symptoms in those with poor diet choices. Depression is often preceded by skipping meals, poor appetite, and a dominant desire for sweet foods, research published in the Indian Journal of Psychiatry has found.9

Much research has been done on the mental health benefits of a properly designed diet, shown highly effective in reducing psychiatric symptoms.17-19

Useful Supplements

Certain nutritional deficiencies are associated with depression and other symptoms. Before agreeing to a prescription drug, you can request your physician to do some testing to isolate if you have nutritional and/or micronutrient deficiencies so they can be corrected. Where indicated, you may benefit from adding foods (like fish) rich in omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium (greens, wheat germ), B6 (bananas, poultry), B12 (fish, red meat, eggs), folic acid (broccoli, greens), amino acids (eggs, turkey, mushrooms), as well as supplements for these or other nutrients found lacking. A groundbreaking 2017 study published in the Journal of Affective Disorders showed St. John’s Wort was as effective as SSRIs in the treatment of depression.8

Other herbal supplements that clinical research has shown comparably effective as or better than prescription medications for depression and anxiety are many, including passionflower, black cohosh, lavender extract, ginseng, chamomile, saffron, kava kava, ginkgo Biloba, chaste berry, red clover, valerian, wormwood, and many others.10

Adjunctive Therapies as Alternatives to Wellbutrin

Other options for alternative depression treatment include therapies such as massage, reflexology, acupuncture, sauna therapy, meditation, and Qi Gong. There are many techniques based on traditional Chinese medicine that have been studied in clinical trials and found effective for improving mental wellness.11-13

Structured Wellbutrin Alternatives

Various therapeutic techniques and. bupropion alternatives can help just as effectively or even more so than prescription drug treatment. Using non-drug alternatives is the key — they are safer, no addiction, dependency, adverse side effects, or unpredictable drug interactions. Wellbutrin natural alternatives are aimed at getting to the root cause of the depression. They are carefully administered and do not worsen depressive symptoms or further compromise a person’s health the way that prescription drugs often do. People are too frequently given a prescription — or even multiple prescriptions for antidepressants and other kinds of medications without any amount of investigation into the actual reasons that might have precipitated their depression or other symptoms. Taking the time to investigate the root causes leads to authentic, health-restoring solutions.

At Alternative to Meds, we operate within that paradigm.

Have all the necessary questions been asked before prescribing a heavy drug?

Lab testing can reveal much information useful for treating possible contributing factors to depression. It may be there is a deficiency in certain nutrients, but possibly the thyroid is also low.23 Has this been checked? Accumulated neurotoxins can play a substantial role in mood disorders and metabolism challenges.22 Did toxins show up in lab testing? The solution is not to cover up the symptoms, but to figure out the various associated factors and correct them. Food allergies can play a role.21 Have tests been done if this is suspected? These and other questions can all be addressed in a straightforward manner, aimed at resolving root causes not just covering up the damage. These and other questions are exhaustively explored when a person enrolls at Alternative to Meds Center.

Alternative to Meds Center Programs Work

addiction recovery sedona drug rehabMany people, start taking one of these medications during a time that is emotionally traumatic, and then years later they still take the medication, but also suffer Wellbutrin side effects, and find they cannot tolerate Wellbutrin withdrawals when trying to quit.24,25

Our treatment program uncovers the medical, environmental, and other reasons that may be contributing to depression, anxiety, or other symptoms. Our Wellbutrin holistic withdrawal and recovery programs, supervised by medical staff, utilize natural substances to stabilize and rehabilitate neurochemistry, lab testing to identify underlying factors of depression, cleansing of neurotoxin accumulations, colon hydrotherapy, as well as a wealth of adjunctive treatments such as massage therapy, nutritional therapy, IV and NAD, yoga, Qi Gong, exercise, personal counseling, and many other holistic therapies that provide effective symptom relief. Clients receive the benefits of using safe and effective Wellbutrin alternatives in a comfortable, pristine inpatient setting. Call us for more information on our Wellbutrin withdrawal and recovery services, because at the Alternative to Meds Center, we are certain that Wellbutrin alternatives offer much better answers than you have been offered up to now.


1. Kilbourne AM, Beck K, Spaeth-Rublee B, et al. Measuring and improving the quality of mental health care: a global perspective. World Psychiatry. 2018;17(1):30-38. doi:10.1002/wps.20482 [cited 2022 June 14]

2. Safer DJ. Overprescribed Medications for US Adults: Four Major ExamplesJ Clin Med Res. 2019;11(9):617-622. doi:10.14740/jocmr3906 [cited 2022 June 14]

3. Blackburn TP. Depressive disorders: Treatment failures and poor prognosis over the last 50 years. Pharmacol Res Perspect. 2019;7(3):e00472. Published 2019 May 3. doi:10.1002/prp2.472 [cited 2022 June 14]

4. Bardones S. Better than Prozac, Creating the next Generation of Psychiatric drugs. New York: Oxford University Press Inc.; 2003. 1016. ISBN 0‐19‐515130‐5. [] [cited 2022 June 14]

5. DeRubeis RJ, Siegle GJ, Hollon SD. Cognitive therapy versus medication for depression: treatment outcomes and neural mechanismsNat Rev Neurosci. 2008;9(10):788-796. doi:10.1038/nrn2345 [cited 2022 June 14]

6. Cuijpers P, Quero S, Dowrick C, Arroll B. Psychological Treatment of Depression in Primary Care: Recent Developments. Curr Psychiatry Rep. 2019 Nov 23;21(12):129. doi: 10.1007/s11920-019-1117-x. PMID: 31760505; PMCID: PMC6875158. [cited 2022 June 14]

7. Ljungberg T, Bondza E, Lethin C. Evidence of the Importance of Dietary Habits Regarding Depressive Symptoms and DepressionInt J Environ Res Public Health. 2020;17(5):1616. Published 2020 Mar 2. doi:10.3390/ijerph17051616 [cited 2022 June 14]

8. Ng QX, Venkatanarayanan N, Ho CY. Clinical use of Hypericum perforatum (St John’s wort) in depression: A meta-analysis. J Affect Disord. 2017 Mar 1;210:211-221. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2016.12.048. Epub 2017 Jan 3. PMID: 28064110. [cited 2022 June 14]

9. Sathyanarayana TS, et al., “Understanding nutrition, depression and mental illness.” Indian Journal of Psychiatry 2008 Apr-Jun [Internet] PMID 19742217 [cited 2022 June 14]

10. Yeung KS, Hernandez M, Mao JJ, Haviland I, Gubili J. Herbal medicine for depression and anxiety: A systematic review with assessment of potential psycho-oncologic relevancePhytother Res. 2018;32(5):865-891. doi:10.1002/ptr.6033 [cited 2022 June 14]

11. Acupuncture for anxiety and anxiety disorders–a systematic literature review. Acupunct Med. 2007 Jun;25(1-2):1-10. doi: 10.1136/aim.25.1-2.1. PMID: 17641561. [cited 2022 June 14]

12. Fortney L, Taylor M. Meditation in medical practice: a review of the evidence and practice. Prim Care. 2010 Mar;37(1):81-90. doi: 10.1016/j.pop.2009.09.004. PMID: 20188999. [cited 2022 June 14]

13. Aung SK, Fay H, Hobbs RF 3rd. Traditional Chinese Medicine as a Basis for Treating Psychiatric Disorders: A Review of Theory with Illustrative Cases. Med Acupunct. 2013;25(6):398-406. doi:10.1089/acu.2013.1007. [cited 2022 June 14]

14. Craft, Lynette L., and Frank M. Perna. “The Benefits of Exercise for the Clinically Depressed.” Primary Care Companion to The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry 6, no. 3 (2004): 104–11. [cited 2022 June 14]

15. Kondo, Michelle C., Sara F. Jacoby, and Eugenia C. South. “Does Spending Time Outdoors Reduce Stress? A Review of Real-Time Stress Response to Outdoor Environments.” Health & Place 51 (May 1, 2018): 136–50. “ [cited 2022 June 14]

16. Capaldi, Colin A., Raelyne L. Dopko, and John M. Zelenski. “The Relationship between Nature Connectedness and Happiness: A Meta-Analysis.” Frontiers in Psychology 5 (2014). [cited 2022 June 14]

17. Lachance L, Ramsey D. Food, mood, and brain health: implications for the modern clinician. Mo Med. 2015;112(2):111-115. [cited 2022 June 14]

18. Głąbska D, Guzek D, Groele B, Gutkowska K. Fruit and Vegetable Intake and Mental Health in Adults: A Systematic Review. Nutrients. 2020;12(1):115. Published 2020 Jan 1. doi:10.3390/nu12010115 [cited 2022 June 14]

19. Sangsefidi ZS, Salehi-Abarghouei A, Sangsefidi ZS, Mirzaei M, Hosseinzadeh M. The relation between low carbohydrate diet score and psychological disorders among Iranian adults. Nutr Metab (Lond). 2021 Jan 30;18(1):16. doi: 10.1186/s12986-021-00546-3. PMID: 33516257; PMCID: PMC7847167. [cited 2022 June 14]

20. Nicholas J. Heyer, Diana Echeverria, Alvah C. Bittner, Jr., Federico M. Farin, Claire C. Garabedian, James S. Woods, Chronic Low-Level Mercury Exposure, BDNF Polymorphism, and Associations with Self-Reported Symptoms and Mood, Toxicological Sciences, Volume 81, Issue 2, October 2004, Pages 354–363. [cited 2022 June 14]

21. Wilczynska-Kwiatek A, Bargiel-Matusiewicz K, Lapinski L. Asthma, allergy, mood disorders, and nutrition. Eur J Med Res. 2009;14 Suppl 4(Suppl 4):248-254. doi:10.1186/2047-783x-14-s4-248 [cited 2022 June 14]

22. Heyer NJ, Echeverria D, Bittner AC Jr, Farin FM, Garabedian CC, Woods JS. Chronic low-level mercury exposure, BDNF polymorphism, and associations with self-reported symptoms and mood. Toxicol Sci. 2004 Oct;81(2):354-63. doi: 10.1093/toxsci/kfh220. Epub 2004 Jul 14. PMID: 15254338. [cited 2022 June 14]

23. Hage MP, Azar ST. The Link between Thyroid Function and DepressionJ Thyroid Res. 2012;2012:590648. doi:10.1155/2012/590648 [cited 2022 June 14]

24. Gabriel M, Sharma V. Antidepressant discontinuation syndromeCMAJ. 2017;189(21):E747. doi:10.1503/cmaj.160991 [cited 2022 June 14]

25. FDA Label Wellbutrin (bupropion hydrochloride) [cited 2022 June 14]

26. Campbell PD, Miller AM, Woesner ME. Bright Light Therapy: Seasonal Affective Disorder and BeyondEinstein J Biol Med. 2017;32:E13-E25. [cited 2022 June 14]

27. Clapp M, Aurora N, Herrera L, Bhatia M, Wilen E, Wakefield S. Gut microbiota’s effect on mental health: The gut-brain axisClin Pract. 2017;7(4):987. Published 2017 Sep 15. doi:10.4081/cp.2017.987 [cited 2022 June 14]

28. Woodyard C. Exploring the therapeutic effects of yoga and its ability to increase quality of lifeInt J Yoga. 2011;4(2):49-54. doi:10.4103/0973-6131.85485 [cited 2022 June 14]

29. Australia Gov Health Direct, Allergy testing [published online May 2020] [cited 2022 June 14]

30. Teufel M, Biedermann T, Rapps N, et al. Psychological burden of food allergyWorld J Gastroenterol. 2007;13(25):3456-3465. doi:10.3748/wjg.v13.i25.3456 [cited 2022 June 14]

31. Hidese S, Nogawa S, Saito K, Kunugi H. Food allergy is associated with depression and psychological distress: A web-based study in 11,876 Japanese. J Affect Disord. 2019 Feb 15;245:213-218. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2018.10.119. Epub 2018 Oct 26. PMID: 30408639. [cited 2022 June 14]

Originally Published Oct 30, 2018 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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Wellbutrin Alternatives
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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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