Millions of people struggle with depression every year.
Untreated depression leads to lost productivity at work, relationship dysfunction and poor physical health. Many people think that depression is just something they have to live with or that it will go away on its own. But, with the right combination of treatment, healing is within your reach.
The Effectiveness of Meds
Antidepressants are the second most commonly prescribed medication, after meds to lower cholesterol. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 11 percent of Americans over the age of 12 are currently taking an antidepressant.
Antidepressants were first introduced in the 1950s. Researchers have continued developing new antidepressants ever since and the antidepressants of today are much different than those from that period. Furthermore, antidepressants didn’t become widely used until Prozac hit the market in 1987.
Today’s antidepressants are most likely to be either in the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) class or the serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) class. Studies have shown that SSRIs and SNRIs provide remission from depression symptoms for 31 percent of people at three months and for 65 percent of people at six months.
It’s true that antidepressants don’t cure everyone and there haven’t been enough long-term studies to see their effectiveness after six months. But millions of people do experience some good results.
The Effectiveness of Therapy
Unfortunately, many people with depression find that meds alone aren’t effective enough to completely overcome their symptoms. Based on studies, some people don’t get relief at all from their depression with antidepressants.
Therapy can help people to manage their depression effectively.
Depression has a psychological component often helped by a dynamic therapist. He or she can help you identify your own self-defeating patterns. Some people only have situational depression, which can be resolved by discussion and processing the experience.
However, it is clear too that depression also has a biological basis. This element causes it to become more chronic in many patients. In these cases of more serious and chronic depression, medication is necessary as well.
Meds and Therapy: The Combination that Works
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, combining antidepressants and therapy is a one-two punch effective in treating many types of depression.
1. CBT Therapy
The specific type of therapy that is most helpful employs aspects of cognitive-behavioral training. This therapy type helps you to retrain your thought processes.
Many people with depression are caught up in the same unhealthy thought patterns that perpetuate more depression. Cognitive-behavioral therapy helps you to recognize negative thought patterns and redirects your thoughts in a more positive manner. Because this gives you a better sense of control over your thoughts, you feel more empowered.
Feeling empowered is a great antidote to depression.
2. Antidepressant Medication
However, as previously noted, therapy alone cannot overcome any biological basis for depression. For this reason, many patients still need antidepressant medication.
The right combination of meds and therapy can complement each other. Together, they bring about a more well-rounded form of healing than either treatment alone.
All in all, the best type of treatment takes a holistic approach to treating the patient: body, mind and soul. We encourage patients to take medication as their doctors recommend it and continue doing so.
Moreover, we also believe strongly in the value of therapy to help each person address the unique challenges in their lives. We even bring in other family members when appropriate to help improve relationships.
Depression is caused by more than one factor. So, it makes it sense that it is treated by more than one approach.
To read more about depression counseling and treatment, click here. If you have additional questions or are interested in setting up a complimentary 30-minute consultation or appointment, do call my office at (941) 306 1235 or send me an email at [email protected].