Natural Alternatives to Antidepressants for Mental Health


Antidepressants are useful medications that can help many people with an unseen disease that can ruin many lives.  Unfortunately, some antidepressants come with violent side effects, they can make depression worse, and they can also interact with other medications.

If you are looking to decrease the amount of pills you take for your mental support, then here are a few alternatives that can help you manage and support your mind.

St. John’s Wort

Historically, St. John’s Wort has been one of the number one go to’s when it comes to managing depression. For centuries doctors have used the beautifully flowering plan to help calm patients even though the reason why it helps isn’t fully understood.

In a more recent study, it was found that St. John’s Wort acts like an SSRI in some ways by allowing more seratonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine to stay in the body instead of being taken and reused again.

This is what makes St. John’s Wort work well for mild to moderate depression.


One of the best antidepressant medication substitutions is marijuana.  Studies from Israel to Colorado have looked at how the quick growing weed can be used to increase serotonin and dopamine in the body.

The largest warning that comes with marijuana use as an antidepressant is don’t take it along with antidepressants if you can.  This can exacerbate symptoms and should be discussed with your doctor to ensure medications won’t react.

Lemon Balm

Some forms of depression are connected more deeply to an anxiety feedback loop that can make life very difficult and make one feel almost manic.  Lemon Balm is a great way to help decrease the anxiety that results in a depressive episode.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, lemon Balm is used as a sedative that helps soothe anxiety and can help calm a depressive episode.  Teas are often available online or in store and are easy to access.

Talk Therapy

For some, being able to talk about the feelings of depression are enough to help deter depressive episodes and provide the patient with enough tools to help them through episodes.

This is not a one-size-fits-all remedy.  Therapy can help many people through tough times and for others, talk therapy can instead be harmful.  This is why it is important to try this as a natural alternative rather than rely on talk therapy as an alternative.

Physical Movement or Exercise

One of the best alternatives to antidepressants is physical movement and exercise that actually gets you to sweat.  The movement pushes through what emotions are being felt in the body and externalizes them to whatever movement you are making.

Yoga, resistance bands, weight lifting, HIIT, Orange Theory, it doesn’t matter.  Moving the body releases dopamine and serotonin and also reduces cortisol when done properly.

Creative Therapy

Creative therapy isn’t just about throwing paint and glitter on something to make yourself feel better.  There is more of an intent behind Creative therapy.  There are also several forms of creative therapy.

From painting to sculptures, it’s important to remember that the entire idea of creative therapy is to do what releases the depression from your own mind.  The other goal is to also increase serotonin and dopamine by working with your hands.

There are guided creative meditations that you can find online that also might help when you are starting to work with this natural alternative.

Omega 3 Fatty Acids

The physical aspects of depression are no joke.  Even though most depression stays within the mind, other aspects of depression are increased inflammation, joint pain, muscle aches, headaches, and more.

This is why fatty acids can be very helpful when using natural alternatives to antidepressants.  While not enough research has been done to prove how effective fatty acids are for treatment, they are known to help reduce symptoms.

Vitamin B

One of the final alternatives to antidepressants is Vitamin B.  Vitamin B is known to help with decreasing cortisol in the body and balancing mood altering hormones.  If you decide to try vitamin B, make sure that you also discuss this with your doctor just in case your vitamin B levels are already high.

If vitamin B levels get too high in your bloodstream they can instead backfire and cause damage to you and your mind rather than help.


Even though antidepressants help millions of people daily, that doesn’t mean that they are for everyone, not everyone wants to take another pill and some people would rather use nature to help their minds come back to a place of balance.

No matter what you are going to try as a natural alternative for antidepressants, make sure you are communicating with your doctor and watching your own behavior to make sure you stay healthy!

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