Virtually all the information in this article is based on a huge study which was overseen by the United States government and takes into account over 100,000 pieces of research, carried out over a fifteen year period.
Of particular interest was the comparison between medication and therapy for the treatment of depression. I expect that millions of people are taking drugs of one kind or another for their depression. Not only does your doctor prescribe drugs on your first visit, but you’re bombarded with advertisements on television for this drug and that drug; each one, you’re told, better than the rest.
However, it should be understood that antidepressants treat only a common symptom of depression, not depression itself. Now we can start to understand why these drugs are effective in roughly one third of the people to whom they’re given, partially so in another third, and the remainder receive no benefit at all.
Another problem is that the side effects of a lot of these drugs are worse than the depression itself. This is why the rate of relapse is so high. The other thing to look at is why, if these drugs are so good, is there an 80% chance of having another bout of depression,
If depression is really making your life a misery, then in the short term, antidepressants can bring a very welcome relief. There are some who say that because of the high number who discontinue being treated by drugs, the treatment should be long term and high dosage, because depression is a chronic disease. This is decidedly misleading.
But if we consider that depression will last for about eight months if not treated, that the medication should be taken for six weeks before it’s even known whether it has any effect, and if it does, then it’s continued for another six months.
Now, as far as therapy is concerned, a combination of interpersonal, cognitive and behavioural have a far lower rate of relapse. Relaxation techniques are definitely recommended as well. These help to calm the emotions and the three therapies that have been mentioned may be entered into more effectively and faster.
When depression is treated by antidepressants, the result is almost always a chemical imbalance. The one result of antidepressants which is useful, but should not be the only treatment, is lifting severe depression quickly.
Psychotherapies in some cases can worsen depression, because they aren’t all the same.
The best and quickest way to beat depression is to cut out this awful negative brooding. The more you sit around, on your own, brooding, the worse depression will be.