Depression treatment is not a simple one-size-fits-all formula. Perhaps because Depression itself, is such a complex human condition, with multiple causes, it cannot be over-simplified. The pharmaceutical industry has marketed antidepressants and other psychiatric drugs with such force, that the general public along with their doctors, have accepted the notion that "chemical imbalances" in the brain are the primary reason for depression and other psychiatric disorders.
The idea that any subtle imbalance -- which today's technology is barely capable of perceiving -- could be corrected by a crude, foreign chemical compound, is absurd, and untrue.
Psychiatrist Peter R. Breggin, MD gives an in-depth explanation in his book, Medication Madness of the dangers of psychiatric medications. He reveals that drug makers research and produce drugs that disrupt and alter rather than balance the brain. And they do this on the false premise that a person with depression (or any other psychiatric problem) needs their brain to be abnormally altered because their brain is imbalanced to begin with. There are more than 200 million psychiatric drug prescriptions written every year.
Depression treatment needs to be, first and foremost - care of the soul. For all of human history, we have experienced depression. Animals also can experience depression, when deprived of their basic needs -- food, shelter, warmth, proper nutrition, and especially - love.
The first course of action, should not be a pill.
A first-line depression treatment should be to give people a place to talk, a place to be understood, to instill hope, and to offer love, before rushing to permanently alter the person's brain chemistry with medication.
I've seen far too many people given medication as a first intervention, rather than as a last resort. Even young teens and children. This is an outrageous and irresponsible use of medical treatment for personal issues that are almost always based on emotion, relationships, stress, self-esteem, unresolved loss and trauma and other psychosocial issues that have nothing to do with any biologically based "illness." Those cases of depression that are not purely related to emotional/psychological causes, are often related to food allergies or poor nutrition. Using a chemical to correct these problems is similar to putting poisonous pesticides on a field of vegetables instead of feeding and strengthening the crops with natural fertilizer.