I have been dealing with depression for some time now as a result of mixed emotions since the death of my brother in 2009 (when I was 17 years old) and now the recent deaths of my boyfriend’s father this past February and my own father this past May. That makes my time experiencing depressive characteristics roughly 5 years. I have seen therapists in the past, including hypnotherapy, and get massages to help relax nearly every 2 weeks, which only seems to help temporarily as my moods vary daily. As time goes on I am feeling more hopeless towards the idea of ever been legit happy again for a long period of time without analyzing things and having lack of confidence and forgoing doing other activities to sleep/lay around. Am I going to be able to overcome this without getting prescribed to antidepressants?

A. It is possible to overcome depression without antidepressant medication but the medication might expedite your recovery. You didn’t say why you are opposed to antidepressant medication but some people simply prefer to be medication-free. Generally speaking, studies show that the combination of medication and therapy may be the most comprehensive form of depression treatment but some people are able to recover without either.

You have tried therapy in the past seemingly without much success. It may be because you haven’t found the right therapist. It takes time to find the right therapist.

Above all, it’s important to find a competent therapist. You should interview four or five therapists minimum before you decide which one to choose. Choose the one with whom you feel the most comfortable. After each session, you should feel a slight improvement or at least a deeper understanding.

Focus on trying to find a good therapist. Take time to interview as many therapists as necessary to find the best match. Not all therapists are the same. Some are better than others. Finding the right therapist is well worth the effort. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle