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Non-drug Self-Help Depression Treatment

Abstract: How to stop depression by making your life more meaningful.

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psychologist Independent medical expert answers on psychiatry and psychology

Non-drug Self-Help Depression Treatment

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Written by: , certified psychologist and certified psychotherapist, teacher and tutor in psychotherapy.
First version: 22 Jul 2008.
Latest revision: 31 Jul 2008.

I am a 23 year old woman, and I have taken many antidepressants over the past year. I have tried Prozac, Effexor, Lexapro, and am currently taking Wellbutrin sr (150mg). This is not working - I am only getting worse. I have recently been having suicidal thoughts. Are there any non-drug depression treatment I should try?


If you haven't had any success with the medicine, then you yourself have to deal with your life in order to make anything happen. To have suicidal thoughts is a way of fleeing from one's problems; so in order to become happier one has to deal with them. How one is thinking plays a big part in how one is feeling. Depressed people often think self-destructive thoughts of hopelessness. In order to get rid of the depression, you need to change these poisonous thoughts into more hopeful and constructive thoughts.

Which of the following persons would you most like to be in a couple of years?

Two people both inherit an old castle. One person starts to throw out old things, and makes repairs, cleans, paints and fixes old furniture, washes, studies books on how to renovate old houses and goes around borrowing old furniture that people have in storage.

The other one just mopes around because he inherited an old castle.

Two 23-year-olds have two different lives to live. One of them started to resolve her problems. She got a good education and every time she saw a problem in her life, no matter how small or big it was, she tried to solve it.

The other 23-year-old was very depressed over the hopeless situation and started considering suicide.

Which one of these people do you want to be and who do you think will be the happiest when they turn 40?

Listen to this conversation that I have had several times with different patients:

P: I'm so depressed, I just want to die!

T: If you didn't want to die, what would you have to do now?

P: Then I would get a shower and get dressed.

T: Get dressed and get a shower and call me when you're done!

P: (later) Now I have taken a shower and gotten dressed

T: Excellent, what do you need to do now?

P: Send off my application and vacuum.

T: Do that and call me when you're done!

P: (later) Now I'm finished with that, too.

T: Good, then we can discuss your death wish and depression.

P: I don't need to, I feel much better now.

Note: Non-drug treatment often works best in combination with anti-depressant drugs. Do not stop taking anti-depressant drugs without discussing this with your doctor.

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