Many depressed individuals tend to reject antidepressant medications for medical and personal reasons, such as long-term safety concerns, health contraindications, dissatisfaction with relapse rates, and suboptimal symptom relief (Segal et al., 2003; Williams et al., 2000).
A substantial portion of depressed patients have minimal or no response to even aggressive medication protocols (Hirschfeld et al. 2002).
A meta-analysis of empirically supported psychotherapies showed improvement for 50% of depressed patients, with typically more residual symptoms than for antidepressants (Westen et al., 2001).
This reality led us to the development of alternative treatment options for depression, from combined therapy–medication group protocols to application of meditative techniques to psychotherapy.
In our future medicine, anxiolytic agents such as SSRIs or diazepam may not be the first choice to treat anxiety disorders associated with stress, as far as CAM procedures (meditation, Yoga, Tai-chi, exercise, and acupuncture, etc.) are able to reduce symptoms.