Depression is one of the most serious and costly health problems facing the world today. Because of the high incidence of suicide and other medical or mental illness in depressed individuals, depression is regarded as the leading cause of death and disability from adolescence through middle age. Approximately 15% of adults will experience severe depressed mood during their lifetimes and approximately 15% of these will eventually commit suicide. Available conventional treatment approaches do not adequately address depressed mood. In the medical community and the public at large there is growing debate over the efficacy and safety of antidepressants. It has been argued that many antidepressants are probably no more effective than placebo. This becomes even more concerning when high placebo response rates of most large controlled studies on antidepressants are taken into account.
In the context of widely shared concerns over the effectiveness and safety of prescription antidepressants research evidence is accumulating for many complementary and alternative treatments of depressed mood. To learn about safe and effective CAM treatments of depressed mood read “Depressed Mood: The Integrative Mental Health Solution,” by James Lake M.D.