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Major Depressive Disorder

Major Depressive Disorder is a widespread diagnosis that can typically be brought to balance naturally.

Commonly called “clinical depression” in the DSM IV psychiatric manual, or sometimes “unipolar,” major depressive disorder ( MDD ) has a puzzlingly broad set of symptoms. The most common symptoms seem to reflect any feeling which prompts an avoidance of action or social interaction.2

Symptoms of Major Depressive Disorder:

  • Thoughts of suicide or death that persist or recur frequently.
  • Unwanted feelings that persist such as emotional emptiness, sadness, despair, irritability
  • Loss of pleasure in activities, people, hobbies, possessions, etc.  
  • Fatigue, loss of energy.
  • Slowness in speech or movement.
  • Mental fog, trouble making decisions, memory loss.
  • Changes in appetite, weight loss, or weight gain. 

Broad Range of Symptoms of Major Depressive Disorder

symptoms of depressionThe very broad diagnostic elements for MDD in medical literature can lead to hit-or-miss type treatment options. For instance, sometimes with MDD, the person overeats and gets obese, yet sometimes the person loses appetite altogether and becomes rakishly thin. Sometimes the person sleeps too much, others too little. Sometimes major depressive disorder is diagnosed after losing a spouse, sometimes nothing at all traumatic seems to have occurred before MDD is diagnosed. Sometimes a person becomes irritable and aggressive toward others, sometimes a person withdraws from others completely. Many times the person’s work performance can suffer. 4,5

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No wonder the surprising array of possible treatment solutions has literally exploded on the pharmaceutical roster of proffered medications. Everything from antidepressants, antipsychotics, and electroconvulsive therapy have become the most recommended treatments by psychiatry, along with psychotherapy to combat this somewhat puzzling condition called “major depressive disorder.”

Holistic Depression Treatment vs Medication-Based 

major depressive disorderAs an interesting note, more patients decide to discontinue treatment for their depression when it is medication-based due to the negative side effects than those who opt for psychological counseling or other medication-free methods of holistic depression treatment and relief.

In a Canadian meta-study, it was found that St. John’s Wort was as effective as antidepressant drugs without the side effects and that exercise also provided positive results.3

At Alternative to Meds Center, we are aware of the various problems caused by trying to fix major depressive disorder by substituting other medications produced by the pharmaceutical companies. However, where other factors leading to the depressed condition of an individual are uninspected they simply remain in place without treatment. ECT is also sometimes recommended as a treatment, which is a controversial treatment that may result in cognitive impairment and memory loss. There are safer alternative treatments at Alternative to Meds Center that don’t involve such extreme measures.2,3

Drug-Free Treatments for Depression

  • Light therapy*
  • Exercise
  • Sunshine
  • St. John’s Wort
  • Removal of neurotoxic accumulations
  • CBT, DBT, other forms of talk therapy

*The Mayo Clinic published positive results6 from tests using light therapy on SAD (seasonal affective disorder) and on some other types of depressive conditions.

It is our goal to provide effectual treatment that creates sustainable relief from the symptoms of MDD or major depressive disorder, without drugs and without harmful side effects.

overcoming major depressive disorderWe want to get the causes for a person’s depressed state discovered, and have the client suffering from major depressive disorder receive their treatment in a way that is tailored to their profile and history. We use protocols and treatments that are restorative rather than chemically or toxically harmful. We also offer tapering programs for Lithium withdrawal and many other drugs. We invite you to call us at the number on this page to speak with any of our informed and helpful staff who can answer your questions about major depressive disorder treatment, or treatment for any type of diagnosed depression in a holistic manner.

You don’t have to be alone with major depressive disorder symptoms. We invite you to call and share your struggle so we can help direct you down a brighter path with drug-free treatment.


1. “Depression: Overview.” published by NIMH (National Institute of Mental Health) [Internet] N.D. [cited 2020 Sep 15]

2. Breggin, P “No One Should Be Given ECT.”  published in ECT Justice [Internet] 2013 [cited 2020 Sep 15]

3. Nahas R, Sheikh O, “Complementary and alternative medicine for the treatment of major depressive disorder.” Official Publication of the College of Canadian Family Physicians, Journal PMCID: PMC3114664 [Internet] 2011 Jun [cited 2020 Sep 15]

4. Kessler R, Berglund P, Demier O, et al. “The epidemiology of major depressive disorder:results from the national Comorbidity Survey Replication (NCS-R0. JAMA, 2003, 289, 3095-3105 [cited 2020 Sep 24]

5. Wang P, Simon G, Kessler RC, “The economic burden of depression and the cost-effectiveness of treatment.” Int J Methods Psychiatr Res. 2003, 12.22-33 [cited 2020 Sep 24]

6. “Light Therapy” Mayo Clinic [cited 2020 Sep 24]



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

Dr. John Motl, M.D.

Dr. Motl is currently certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in Psychiatry, and Board eligible in Neurology and licensed in the state of Arizona.  He holds a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in biology and minors in chemistry and philosophy. He graduated from Creighton University School of Medicine with a Doctor of Medicine.  Dr. Motl has studied Medical Acupuncture at the Colorado School of Traditional Chinese Medicine and at U.C.L.A.

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