What is the role of complementary and alternative medicines (CAM) treatments in major depression?

Use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is common in individuals with depression and other mental disorders. These treatments can include over the counter nutraceuticals such as St. John’s Wort, SAM-e, and omega-3 fatty acids, or other therapies such as exercise, light therapy, and meditation. While these can sometimes be added as adjuncts to existing treatments, they are generally not recommended as first-line therapies for moderate to severe clinical depression. Because nutraceuticals can have side effects and interact with pharmacological treatments, any decisions to use them should always be made in conjunction with your provider.

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