Besides medication, what are some ways to treat depression?

1 answer | Last updated: Sep 22, 2016
Kenpodon asked...

I'm a 66 yr. old man. I read the 11 symptoms of depression on your site and 8 of them affect me and it's getting worse. Other than Western meds are there alternatives to getting out of what is now my life style? I'm in good health and used to do a LOT of stuff, now I do nothing except lay on the couch at least 20 hrs. a day.


Expert Answers

Jennifer Serafin, N.P. is a registered nurse and geriatric nurse practitioner at the Jewish Homes for the Aged in San Francisco.

There are many ways to help treat mild depression besides prescription medications. These include:

1) Therapy: Therapy can help reframe your depressive thoughts and give you insight on your feelings. 2) Physical Exercise: A walk outside will do wonders. 3) Avoid alcohol: This is a depressant, so it will end up making you feel worse in the long run. 4) Reach out to friends and family, as this may help combat your loneliness. 5) Try to eat and sleep well, as this will give you more energy. 6) Many people will try supplements to help their depression. St. John's Wort or SAMe can be helpful to some people. Before starting these supplements, please talk to a pharmacist to make sure that they will not interact with any other medications you are taking.

The last thing that I will mention is that if the above suggestions do not work, you may need professional treatment. Depression can be a life threatening illness, as many studies show it effects all of your body systems and can make other medical problems worse. So, if all else fails, please contact your health care provider. Good luck!