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SSRI Alternatives

SSRI medications generally are administered prior to any substantial medical investigations or lifestyle interventions, and almost no consideration of what SSRI alternatives or withdrawal might look like.

Depression can be the result of impaired hormonal states, deficiency of vitamin D, substandard diet, adrenal fatigue, lack of exercise, failed life aspirations, and other factors other than a medication deficiency.

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Alternative to Meds has been primarily invested in medication withdrawal for over 15 years. Using Holistic and Environmental Medicine, we have published evidence demonstrating that over 77% of people discontinuing antidepressant medication and replacing them with a holistic lifestyle perform symptomatically better than they were while medicated.
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Many people, even those already taking SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors), have interest and questions about what other options or SSRI alternative treatments are effective. Alternatives used for treating depression are often based on an integrative approach—such as the approach used at Alternative to Meds Center—that draws from the entire range of possible treatment methods, including psychotherapy, holistic treatment modalities, non-pharmacological options, and in some cases, even pharmacological options. This offers better long-term recovery and symptom resolution than any one 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

Possible SSRI Options

The following are possible options to explore for SSRI alternative medicine and alternative therapies: counseling, cognitive behavioral therapy, or talk therapy; bodywork therapies, such as therapeutic massage, chiropractic, osteopathic manipulative therapy, and craniosacral therapy (CST), and 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, and herbal therapy, such as passionflower, St. John’s Wort, valerian, or oriental medicinal herbs. Any form of exercise, including walking, yoga, swimming, working out in a gym, or in the living room, 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.

Many SSRI Alternatives Are Better Than Only One Or Two

Contrary to what television commercials and some marketing campaigns for antidepressant drugs tell us, 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. These are some ideas to begin researching risk-free SSRI alternatives for depression: eat low-glycemic index foods with sufficient protein and an abundance of green food, adopt a regime of high-quality mineral-multivitamin intake, including omega-3’s (DHA and EPA); exercise 4-6 times weekly for between 30 and 60 minutes, preferably outdoors. Be in bed by 10:00 pm and sleep a minimum of 8 hours every night. Avoid alcohol or other recreational drugs, and opt for drug-free methods of relaxation instead such as yoga, transcendental meditation, nature walks, music therapy, or Qigong. Many SSRI alternatives help to create an effective treatment plan that can be tailored for each person.2

SSRI alternatives

Enlist Help To Find The Root Cause(s)

Consult with an alternative, integrative health practitioner about SSRI antidepressant 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 you can rest, without doubt, knowing 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.

Alternative to Meds Center’s drug rehab program is focused on discovering what the medical reasons may be that are causing a person to feel depressed. Are they only low in Serotonin and nothing else contributes to their depression? What about a low thyroid? Or what about an accumulation of neurotoxins like heavy toxic metals that ruin the metabolism of food into energy? Maybe the individual’s diet is so significantly lacking in nutrition that they can’t produce what they need for brain health. Or they could be wrapped up in a life unfulfilling to them, in which they need more positive surroundings to make a healthy change. Our 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 SSRI alternative treatments to combat depression. Please call us to learn more about the SSRI alternatives help that is available for you or a loved one.


    1. “Antidepressant Alternatives” National Health Service [Internet] [cited 2019 Nov]

    2. Jade, Kathleen ND “Two Natural Antidepressants Found to be as Effective as Prozac” University Health News, [Internet] 2019 Mar [cited 2019 Nov]



      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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