VISTAS Online is an innovative publication produced for ACA by Dr. Garry R. Walz and Dr. Jeanne C. Bleuer of Counseling Outfitters, LLC. Its purpose is to provide a means of capturing the ideas, information and experiences generated by the annual ACA Conference and selected ACA Division Conferences. Papers on a program or practice that has been validated through research or experience may also be submitted. This digital collection of peer-reviewed articles is authored by counselors, for counselors. VISTAS Online contains the full text of over 900 proprietary counseling articles published from 2004 to 2017.
Encounters With, and Implementation of, Alternative Treatment Methods for Unipolar Mood Disorders
Cindy McCrea and Mary Pritchard
National numbers indicate that between 6.6% and 11.9% of the general population suffer from a mood disorder; 85% of these disorders are severe enough to negatively affect the individual’s life on a daily basis (Baumeister & Härter, 2007). In fact, a worldwide predictive model forecasts that by 2020 unipolar major depression will be second only to ischemic heart disease as the leading cause of disability adjusted life years (Murray & Lopez, 1997).
Although the increasing rates of mood disorders have led to a dramatic increase in the number of prescriptions written for antidepressants (Olfson et al., 2002), the harmful psychological (Balon & Segraves, 2008) as well as physical (van den Brand et al., 2009) side effects of antidepressants suggests the need for alternative treatment methods (Morey, Thacher, & Craighead, 2007). Research indicates that nutrition, supplements, and exercise, traditionally unutilized in the mental health care field, can be effective methods for treating unipolar depression and anxiety disorders (Broocks et al., 1998; Kaplan, Crawford, Field, & Simpson, 2007; Mulrow, Berner, & Egger, 2005; SanchezVillegas et al., 2007). However, it is unknown whether or not this research has been implemented into mental health practitioners’ training, repertoire, or practice.