Some people refuse to treat their unhappiness with antidepressants. Alternative solutions exist, as good ... as long as you follow the directions.
St. John's wort: against mild forms of depression
When is St. John's Wort? Only mild and transient depression. The drugs derived from this plant are not reimbursed by Social Security.
It is advisable to try St. John's wort for two weeks and, if there is no improvement, consult a physician to eventually move to antidepressants.
Warning: these products may decrease the effects of many drugs, and especially oral contraception! "St. John's wort can undo the effects of the pill," warns Prof. Olié. The condom is recommended during this period.
Light therapy: against seasonal depression
When to use light therapy? To fight against seasonal depression, "blues hit" that manifests itself between October and March, when the day is shorter than the night. In general, the symptoms do not require medication and light therapy sessions are enough.
"This technique is faster than antidepressants, but it is not effective, says Dr. Christian Even, responsible for the unity of mood disorders at Sainte-Anne Hospital. 70% of patients respond to treatment. The sessions must take place every morning for thirty minutes to an intensity of 10,000 lux, and continue until remission in the spring. "
Warning: have at least 100 € for buying a device you use in your home. Before launching, it is best to check with a doctor that it is a seasonal depression, not to miss a more serious illness.
The doctor will also advise on the choice of the unit. That said, the lamps do not emit ultraviolet rays. Therefore no risk of burns.
Omega 3: to decrease depressive symptoms
When is omega 3? To prevent or reduce mild depression symptoms. Studies have shown that people, especially older, who consume lots of foods rich in omega 3 fatty acids, are less affected by depression.
It remains to establish a relationship of cause and effect. One thing is certain: Omega 3 is an essential component of the membrane of neurons and are indispensable for their proper functioning.
Warning: the interest of a supplementation is not proven. For now, other than simply to adjust his diet. Ideally eating oily fish three times a week. It is also possible dressing salads with rapeseed or walnut oil, rich in omega-3.
For those who do not like fish, omega 3 capsules are an alternative. Optimal cure is three months.
Spa treatments: for anxious patients
When to go on a spa treatment? For depressive or anxious patients. "The water cure is a very important alternative to drugs," says Dr. Olivier Dubois, a psychiatrist at Saujon in Charente-Maritime. He based his comments on a scientific study carried out last year. This work allowed to compare the effects of an antidepressant, paroxetine, a spa three weeks.
"Two months and six months later, the difference in favor of the treatment was significant," notes Dr. Dubois. The spa has a stimulating effect shower, the massages relieve frequent pain in depressed. And context brings some relief. Five spas have an orientation "psy" Saujon, Bagnères-de-Bigorre, Divonne, Neris and Ussat-les-Bains.
Warning: spa treatments are not suitable for major depression. "We can not handle very slow patients, who have lost interest in life. It takes a minimum degree of autonomy to come to treatment, "says Dr. Dubois.
Transcranial stimulation: When depression is resistant to drugs
When to use transcranial stimulation? For chronic depression resistant to medication. In practice, a magnetic field is directed at the patient's skull, which stimulates the nerve impulse transmission between neurons. No need for anesthesia. Positive effects on motivation and mood appear in a fortnight.
"In our department, we offer sessions of fifteen minutes, five days a week, for two to four months; and then once a quarter, "said Dr. Christophe Boulanger, a psychiatrist at the Sainte-Marguerite Hospital in Marseilles.
Currently, TMS complements the antidepressant treatment. But a study has just started in French hospitals to evaluate its effectiveness alone. "In five years, I think we will propose TMS alone," enthuses Dr. Boulanger.
Warning: this technique, still experimental, is made in a growing number of hospitals. Immediate side effects are minimal, but there are no known long-term risks.
Always further: Another technique, deep brain stimulation is experienced for very severe depression. Electrodes directly implanted into the brain, stimulating specific areas.
The anti-depression dietary Laëtitia Agullo, ed. Thierry Souccar.