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  Category: Articles » Health & Fitness » Depression » Article

Depression Treatment: Alternative Forms of Depression Therapy

By Dr. Meyers

It has been estimated that over ten million Americans suffer from depression. This alarming statistic shows how important it is to choose the right form of therapy to treat this illness. The following paragraphs will outline how to choose an effective treatment program, present an alternative treatment for depression, and explain the importance of holistic therapy.

Depressive symptoms are categorized in the DSM IV by depressed mood, loss of interest in daily activities, weight loss, insomnia and feelings of worthlessness and hopelessness. These symptoms are neatly packaged, diagnosed, and treated primarily through a variety of anti-depressant medications designed to alleviate or diminish the symptoms. Although this form of depression therapy is helpful for some, many individuals suffering from depression do not receive such positive results.

Consequently, when choosing a depression treatment center, it is necessary to enroll in a program that researches, understands, and implements a variety of treatments that focus on multiple variables. At Alternative Treatment International (ATI), a dual diagnosis residential treatment program located in Clearwater, Florida, doctors and therapists frequently see depression accompanied by alcohol and or other forms of drug abuse. What this behavior indicates is that either depression is a causal factor in substance abuse, or that the substance abuse produces depression. Either way, these professionals have seen the formation or reinforcement of selfish behavior patterns in depressed individuals.

In a spiritual sense the more selfish a person becomes, the further they are from their true nature or inner self. On the other hand, the more selfless they are, the closer they are to their true nature. The doctors at ATI have observed substance abuse behaviors as being some of the most selfish because they tend to consume the individual, leaving the person spiritually bankrupt with feelings of hopelessness and worthlessness. As a result, trying to pull a patient with no spiritual assistance or understanding out of depression, by solely using prescription medication, the recovery is almost always a long, difficult and often fruitless endeavor.

Because Modern Psychiatry, with its view that skewed brain chemistry is the precursor for the depressive symptoms, addresses this complex dilemma as an "art form" through medication and medication management. This "art form" is practiced with the trial and error protocol—combining depression medications and managing dosage levels until, subjectively, the patient states that they feel relief. Unfortunately, this form of depression therapy is ineffective because the symptoms of the depressive disorder may have many other variables that are contributing to the discomfort, aside from or along with the possibility of a chemical imbalance.

Although medications in some or even many cases of depression may be helpful to mask symptoms, this course of treatment is not designed to uncover and resolve the cause of the problems. When choosing a treatment method for depression, it is imperative to choose a program that monitors and studies biological, psychological, psycho-emotional, situational, environmental, and spiritual treatment methods.

Individuals that attempt to understand the origins of depression and depressive symptoms cannot ignore the most basic of observations. Aside from the myriad of symptoms that depressed individual displays, the one symptom that is common is the concept of "loss of hope".

Hope is not biological or bio-chemical, psychological or environmental. It is a spiritual concept that cannot be ignored in the treatment of depression. In fact, it should be at the forefront of the predominant clinical protocol of a treatment plan.

One of the most effective methods of depression therapy is Mind, Body, Spirit and Environment®, developed by Dr. Alan Meyers and Julia D. Stewart of Alternative Treatment International, Inc. in Clearwater, Florida. This new treatment for depression is effective because it uses holistic techniques to specifically address the areas that affect depressive feelings. The clinical protocol addresses the Mind: uncovering possible medications that may be causing the depression, and detecting the root cause of the problem through psychotherapy; Body: incorporating structured physical fitness and healthful eating habits; Spirit: implementing spiritual practices such as meditation, yoga, Tai Chi, and other meditative practices; and, Environment: applying various methods such as Feng Shui to heal the environment in which the patient lives is the essential combination of therapy techniques necessary to promote the most effective, long-term healing.

About the Author
Alternative Treatment International, the developer of Mind, Body, Spirit and Environment®, is a private residential substance abuse and mental health treatment center. ATI's Web site is a source for more information at or they can be contacted at 1-800-897-8060.

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