How many times do we hear of friends, family members and acquaintances rejecting conventional anti-depressant medication because of their side-effects?

Unfortunately, it is often the people who need them most who tend to reject them but they do not have any alternative strategies. An integrative medicine practice often has details of referral and support services in-house or externally which are valuable support for the patient /clients.

 The main thing is trying to persuade individuals to seek help from a healthcare professional. There are now Apps available from several organisations that can be very effective in seeking help for your friends and loved ones. A case in point is www.youthbeyondblue app called the ‘The Check-in App’. This App guides you to have a conversation with your friend who you feel may have depression. It covers topics on how to ask those difficult questions and be an empathic listener. Other available apps that may be useful are Operation Reach Out, Diary Mood Tracker, Talk Life, and Depression CBT Self-Help Guide.

Many integrative health care practitioners feel that it is important for the individual to start processing their emotions. This will help the individual discuss about the pain/ experience rather than be in the ‘avoidance’ mode which only creates more suffering. Unfortunately, key processing of the emotions occurs at the sub-conscious level, that is why at some stage persuading your friend to seek help from a professional is vital. It should be a healthcare professional / therapy that they feel comfortable with, otherwise the outcome may not be so favourable.

Integrative medicine also understands that this can be a difficult time if you are a parent or supporting a depressed partner. It is a roller coaster ride of seeing someone happy one day and the next day they feel low. Depression is very complex and it is a source of frustration for the carer who often lives treading on eggshells. A Huffington Post article written by Ruby Fremon shares some valuable advice on supporting a spouse with depression. She includes 6 strategies:

  • Show Them Unconditional Love
  • Support Them Even When They’re At Their Worst
  • Know When to Give Them Space
  • Understand What They Truly Need
  • Hold The Space
  • Create An Action Plan

For more information please visit:

Oftentimes, pharmaceuticals, herbals, vitamins, therapy is not the answer at that specific time, especially when the individual does not want any health care intervention whether conventional or integrative medicine. The best advice, as Ruby Fremon and those who have cared for people with depression is to show them unconditional love. This can be challenging and difficult, but the bottom line is talking paves the way for seeking help from a professional.