By: Allison Petro, LMHC

As a mental health counselor, I regularly see individuals who struggle with depression symptoms.  Those individuals over the years have told me that they prefer to not take medication to treat their depression.

Depression can be debilitating for some, but for others, it only gets in the way from time to time.  Like many things, depression severity runs on a spectrum. For some folks, treating depression without medication is a good idea.

Here are 3 reasons for treating depression without medication:

#1 You are high functioning day to day

What does high functioning mean exactly?  High functioning means you are able to carry out your day to day responsibilities such as go to work, household chores, etc.

Maybe you can’t get out of bed most days or are noticing yourself neglecting responsibilities. For example, it is very difficult for you to take care of your children, complete household tasks or keep up with homework. In these situation it’s time to think about taking medication for depression symptoms.

However, if you are carrying out your day to day responsibilities then medication might not be necessary. There are many people who struggle with depression symptoms daily but are able to cope in other ways such as going to psychotherapy.

#2 You have treatment-resistant depression

Maybe you have tried several different medications such as anti-depressants as well as psychotherapy, and they have not been effective in treating your depression. There are individuals out there who have tried a number of anti-depressants in addition to participating in psychotherapy to treat their depression symptoms, and they still experience depression at high levels on a regular basis.  This is called treatment-resistant depression.

Most people who start a medication like an anti-depressant along with regular psychotherapy experience some relief from their symptoms; however, there are a small percentage who do not.  If you have been told by your medical doctor that you have treatment-resistant depression, it would be a good idea to try treating your depression without medication and with a more holistic approach.

#3 You are committed to treating depression holistically.

Committed is the key word here.  There are ways to treat depression more holistically and without medication.  Treating depression holistically is certainly not as easy as taking a pill on a daily basis; however, some people just prefer this route. 

Holistic treatment does take more commitment and work than taking a daily anti-depressant. If you want more information on treating your depression holistically, check out my article “6 Ways to Treat Depression Holistically.” 


If you are struggling with depression symptoms, need someone to talk with, and live in the Orlando, FL area, give Allison a call at Life Counseling Solutions at 407-622-1770 to schedule an appointment. She also offers 15-minute free phone consultations to answer any questions you may have about the counseling process.

Allison Petro is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor specializing in couples, women’s issues, treating depression holistically, and children. For more information about the author visit her full bio here.