Therapy vs. Antidepressants – Which One is Better?

If you are someone who has been experiencing depression, you may recognize that you need help, but you may be confused as to what therapies will work best for you.

In today’s world, where there seems to be a pill to treat pretty much everything, many people assume that a prescribed antidepressant is the best option for them. In fact, a psychiatric review by R. Kathryn McHugh, MD of McLean Hospital in Belmont, MA, found that the bulk of individuals in need of depression and/or anxiety treatment preferred pharmacological interventions to psychological at a ratio of 3:1.

From the study: “The past 10 years have seen a substantial increase in the prescription of antidepressant medications, which surpassed all others as the most commonly prescribed class of medication in the US in 2005.”

Other studies over the years have shown the advantages of skipping drugs altogether and opting instead for psychotherapy. Much of this stems from the fact that commonly prescribed antidepressants often come with a list of nasty side effects, which is not something someone suffering from depression needs to deal with.

Is One Option Better Than the Other

The short answer to that question is no. When it comes to mental health and well-being, a one-size-fits-all approach simply doesn’t work.

In my experience helping patients over the years, I have found that a good majority of them can get a handle on their depression symptoms through talk therapy without the need to prescribe any medications. Then again, there have been those clients whose symptoms were so severe, medications were required at first to help them manage. Over time and through cognitive-based therapies, we were able to eventually ween them of the drugs.

My best piece of advice would be to find a therapist you feel comfortable with and let them evaluate you to see if you are a candidate for drug therapy or not. You can then work with them to get your symptoms under control and eventually learn some tools and techniques to naturally help you cope while at the same time uncovering where the depression stems from.

If you are suffering from depression and confused about which form of therapy is right for you, let’s talk. I would be happy to discuss how I may be able to help.

 

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