What is the Slow Medicine approach to depression?


Slow medicine pays attention to the symptoms and physiological causes of depression, and it also addresses the whole life and whole being of the person who is suffering. This approach recognizes depression not as a generic set of symptoms, but rather, as a constellation of symptoms that are unique to each individual. Slow medicine refrains from the catch-all diagnostic word “depression” and instead sensitively focuses on the particulars of each individual’s life—including physical, environmental, psycho-social and relational circumstances that may be contributing to the symptoms one is experiencing.

In this regard, people are recognized to be unique, even though many of their symptoms are similar. For those with severe symptoms, it might be advisable to utilize a pharmaceutical intervention (at least initially), complemented by slow medicine—which is likely to reduce the amount of pharmaceuticals necessary over time. For those with mild or moderate symptoms, it is more often effective to begin with slow medicine.

Here’s how the slow medicine approach works:

Through a gentle, step-by-step process, Slow medicine guides you on identifying and incorporating into your life everything that activates your body’s healing response mechanism and returns your body to balance. Slow medicine optimizes the food you eat, the amount and quality of time you spend in nature, the outlets you have for creative self-expression, the fun physical activities you do, the environment inside and outside your home, your daily spiritual practice, your engagement in healthy relationships and communities, the pursuit of your life’s purpose and more. While identifying and incorporating these lifestyle pieces may seem like a tall order, you get to do it slowly, on a timeline that works for you—whether over the course of a year or a decade.

Slow medicine is what you might call the “long game” for treating depression.

Continue Learning about Depression Treatment

Depression Treatment

Depression Treatment

Because it is a multi-faceted condition, treatment for depression is multi-faceted as well. Minor depression can often be treated with therapy and a few simple lifestyle changes, while chronic or major depression treatment can req...

uire medication in addition to therapy. In some severe cases, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) may be used. It's important to work with your mental health professional to determine which course of treatment for your type of depression is most appropriate.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.