I have been depressed for about 4 months. I was just sad at first. Now depression is interfering with my life. I do not want to get out of bed or leave my house. I find myself making excuses to friends and family as to why I cannot go over during the holidays. But, I am afraid of taking antidepressant medications. I have taken Prozac before and felt like a complete zombie. Are there any methods of treating depression without pills?
Thank you for your question about your condition. The length of your depression is significant, so I am glad that you contacted us to try to find some answers.
Firstly, it is important to know that your depression is treatable. Before you read on, I found a very nice short video made by a therapist who provides ideas and guidance for the start of your road to recovery WITHOUT Prozac and other pharmaceuticals.
Next, it is important to understand that your condition is indicative of a major depressive episode.
You will benefit a great deal by knowing the basic definitions of depressive conditions listed on WebMD
And – I am sure you know there are also other alternatives to Prozac that your psychiatrist can prescribe for you. It is a little like cooking – you need to find the correct combination of spices to fit your own tastes.
As you probably know, depression is difficult, if not impossible to understand for friends and family. You have probably heard them offer you advice in the past, but they really cannot know exactly how hard it is for you to leave your bed, and to re-enter the world.
A moment ago, I found this writing from someone who recently was able to emerge from a 4-month depression which may give you encouragement:
“I just broke free of a 4 month run of one of the nastiest spells of depression I have ever been through but hanging on to the thought that I would get better and support from others helped me make it through. Many times I was sure I would not survive the sadness and desolation I felt but today I can say I made it again and life is good. So I leave you with this, “Listen to the people who love you. Believe that they are worth living for even when you don’t believe it. Seek out the memories depression takes away and project them into the future. Be brave; be strong; take your pills. Exercise because it’s good for you even if every step weighs a thousand pounds. Eat when food itself disgusts you. Reason with yourself when you have lost your reason.”
~ Andrew Solomon
To add a personal note to this session, I have a close friend who suffered from long phases of major depressive episodes like you. She visited doctors who just gave her medications that made her feel awful. But she was able to find recovery by searching the Internet for “alternatives to Prozac and pharmaceuticals and today is largely in control of her depression due to her battle to understand her own body.
One more thing – millions have found that St. John’s Wort works well for them. Here is a good article about it:
I believe you will be successful in controlling your depression and rejoining society without having to depend on Prozac or pharmaceuticals.
However, if you are ever in a place where you feel you cannot emerge, or feel you want to escape this world, please call a helpline (have one ready by your phone).
You can do it !!
Learn all you can, live and enjoy life.