The Empty Science Behind Alternative Therapies for Depression

Screen Shot 2016-07-28 at 1.55.10 PMHave you ever felt that your depression just isn’t improving even with your current antidepressant? A simple search online will point you to some alternative approaches, but how legitimate are those?

1.Do Vitamins, Supplements, or Herbals Treat Depression?
noYou may have read online that a deficiency in Vitamin B (specifically vitamin B12) may be the source of depression. Mayo Clinic (a nonprofit research center) found that the link between Vitamin B and depression is uncertain. Because vitamins, supplements, or herbal substances are not regulated by the FDA, there is no clinical trial data to support that these symptoms help treat depression. In addition, some herbal therapies can interfere with your antidepressants and introduce or worsen side effects if one is adding an herbal to their antidepressant regimen.

2. Does meditation or relaxation therapy treat depression?
noDepression is a biological disorder. Thus, it must be treated as such. Meditation and relaxation therapy seem like promising forms of therapy for depression, but they don’t truly target the biological basis of the disorder. Instead, they are behavioral therapies for a biological disorder. While a massage or relaxation therapy may relax your muscles or relieve tension, these feelings are only temporary. Depressive symptoms are longer lasting and will eventually return if untreated.

3. What about sleep aids? I’ve heard that sleep aids can help treat depression.
One noof depression’s main symptoms is insomnia, or the inability to fall asleep or stay asleep. In fact, many people with depression often mistake their symptoms for insomnia. However, using sleeping aids to treat your depression is a bit like taking cough syrup, fever medicine, and using a respirator to treat pneumonia: you are treating all of the symptoms, instead of just taking an antibiotic and treating the root cause of the disease. Taking sleep aids for depression is the same idea: you’re not addressing the underlying cause of your insomnia, which in this case is depression.

To learn more about the clinical science in treating depression, feel free to call the Institute for Advanced Medical Research at 770-817-9200. Our on-site physician will ensure that your care is of the highest standard.