10 Antidepressants Alternatives – Everything You Need to Know

Antidepressants Alternatives

Neurotransmitters are essential because they communicate the link across nerve cells in the brain. They occupy in vesicles, which are found into nerve cells and can be released by only one nerve so taken by the other nerves. The process is known as the reuptake. The frequent amount specific to depression is dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine.

What are Antidepressants?

Antidepressants pills are a type of drug, which helps in reducing various symptoms of disorders like depression by improving chemical imbalances of neurotransmitters present in the brain. It may also manage the change of mood and behavior.

This drug can work by retarding the reuptake of certain neurotransmitters, resulting in maximizing the levels around the nerves, including selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).

Examples of Antidepressants

Some of the names of the common antidepressant covering up major categories are the following:

  • Amoxapine
  • Clomipramine (Anafranil)
  • Desipramine (Norpramin)
  • Doxepin (Sinequan)
  • Imipramine (Tofranil)
  • Maprotiline
  • Paroxetine (Paxil)
  • Sertraline (Zoloft)
  • Bupropion (Wellbutrin)
  • Nefazodone (Serzone)

Antidepressant Abuse and Dependence

Its addiction isn’t appeared in the same way as Alcohol and Heroin do. The abusing antidepressants haven’t experienced the longing caused by other drugs as well as no experience of addictive behaviors, euphoria, negative consequences often seen by various other drugs.

It doesn’t consider compulsion in the usual sense but surely can cause physical dependence that is revealed by the resulting symptoms of reducing or stopping use can cause.

Suddenly stopping taking these drugs can frequently cause various symptoms including hand tremors, nausea, and depression.

Antidepressants and Pregnancy

Based on the counseling, the decision is made for using the antidepressants during pregnancy is balanced between benefits and risks.

The concern is the risk of birth deficiency from subjection to antidepressants. That’s why the risk of birth deficiency and different problems like that for the mother and the baby who take this drug during pregnancy is very less.

Along with that, some of them are also associated with a higher risk of complexities for the baby. The health care providers should be aware of the symptoms and other options of medication can even help in making an informed decision.

Read More: ABA Therapy Alternatives – Everything You Need to Know

What are the Alternatives to Antidepressants?

There are many types of antidepressants medications like the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) that are often prescribed by doctors also come with a variety of uncountable side effects, such as insomnia, sexual dysfunction, nausea, headaches, etc.

Their boxes contain a warning sign, which means they may show dangerous and serious potential side effects even suicidal thoughts.

So, there are several alternative treatments to antidepressants that help in treating depression as well as other mental health conditions.

1. Talking Therapies

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a kind of talking therapy, which is increasingly being used as the treatment of depression.

There is a recommendation from many of the experts that patients with moderate depression should be treated with mixed CBT and antidepressants program. It helps the patient to understand his thoughts and behavior along with the effectiveness.

Events are recognized from the past that may have an effect, but it often concentrates on the method that changes the way of thinking, feeling, and behaving in the present.

2. Mindfulness

Mindfulness-based therapy in maintaining antidepressants should result in the same outcomes.

Taken with the vast research and clinical context of offering the support of MBCT-TS as an alternative treatment for the people, who are wishing to quit the antidepressant medication. Decisions based on the clinical reports, need to be taken cooperatively and considerably for the patients and their GPs.

Mindfulness therapy can help people having low moods, anxiety, and stress as well as it may play a part in stopping recurrent clinical depression.

3. Arts and Creative Therapies

Art and creative therapy are taken as non-pharmacological medical complementary as well as alternative therapy. This therapy is been used as a medical intervention resulting in better clinical effects on mental disorders.

It is an attempt to examine the theoretical basics, clinical applications, and future aspects to summarize it.

Historically, drawings and paintings are also recognized as useful tools in the therapeutic processes of art therapy, so the focus moves on further study of art therapy that must include painting and drawing as media.

4. Ecotherapy

Ecotherapy is a kind of treatment that involves various nature-based outdoor activities. Conservation projects or gardening may include these types of activities or even the person can walk or ride a cycle through a variety of areas.

This therapy is also known as a natural therapy, which can affect differently to people. Certain things are required for this type of therapy, such as a trained, supportive professional therapist which can have the potential to fully support the patient as well as a green environment and an appreciating or exploring nature.

5. Complementary and Alternative Therapies

These terms describe the medical treatments, which are often used instead of mainstream therapies. It is also referred to as an integrative or complementary treatment.

Some of the doctors must examine some alternative medical treatments, so they will get to know about the potential risks and benefits.

Magnetic therapy is one of these therapies in which there is a use of magnetic or electrical fields to manage musculoskeletal problems. It must work for osteoarthritis and various other pain conditions as well.

6. Peer Support

Peer support is a type of alternative in which other persons can use their own experiences to help in the problems of others.

All types of peer support can involve giving and receiving support. This possibly could be sharing the knowledge or giving social interaction or emotional support. The experience of each person is treated as equal and no one is more expert than anyone else.

It also has one-to-one support that is often called mentoring or befriending. In this support, the patient meets someone and talk about his feeling or set goals.

7. Look after your Physical Health

One should eat a nutritious as well as a balanced diet, which may help him to manage some of his symptoms of depressions. Mental wellbeing can be helped by drinking abundant water.

Regular physical activities can lift the mood of a person along with boost energy levels for sure. Getting enough sleep can be difficult sometimes but having quality sleep can be very effect full for mental health.

8. St. John’s Wort

It can make various prescript medications less effective, but if it could be combined with other antidepressants then the amount of serotonin can pile up in the body. This medicine is derived from a yellow flower, which is also been used in herbal medicine.

Some of the studies showed it may treat depression, but the results are uncertain as it doesn’t act as an effective long-term treatment.

St. John’s wort is working better than the placebo as well used as a tricyclic antidepressant.

9. Omega-3 fatty acids

Most of the fishes are rich in omega-3 fatty acids like tuna and albacore. If the patient has less amount of this acid in his body and doesn’t like to eat fish, they can use the omega-3 supplements to enhance the amount as it may treat depression and improve overall mood.

It can reduce inflammation as well as the negative effects of the stress-based hormone cortisol.

10. Lithium

If after using various antidepressants there is no improvement seems, some doctors suggest the patients take the lithium with the current treatment. The one with the dosage of lithium should test his blood every few months because if the level of lithium becomes high, it may become toxic.

The low-salt diet can also cause the lithium to be toxic, so the person must avoid having it.


As for the conclusion of the above-mentioned thoughts, the benefits of antidepressants seem to be negligible and surely without any significance to the average patient having a major depressive disorder.

It shouldn’t be used by adults having depressive disorder before taking valid evidence, which must show the beneficial effects with overcoming the harmful effects. The excessive use of antidepressants may also maximize the risk of serious as well as non-serious adverse events.

There is also no evidence collected that supports the use of antidepressants. It is suggested that potential cases can be managed by specialist services with the offering of non-drug medication for depression which may keep away the patient with the antidepressants side effects.