--Original published at Makayla Hockenbrock
A common mental illness expressed in the United States is major depressive disorder. This disease can be treated in many ways; however, the two most common treatments are psychotherapy and prescribed medication. Psychotherapy is also commonly referred to as cognitive therapy and does not use any sorts of drugs. People who struggle with depression, tend to be back and forth on what is the best option for their situation. Some do not like to be dependent on a pill to make them feel better, and others do not like talking to other people about their personal life problems. The question becomes, which of these two methods is the most effective when treating major depressive disorder. Both treatment options have evidence that they are effective in some ways.
In some cases, the studies that were conducted to compare these two treatments used older medications instead of newer medications that are used today, which could unfairly favor psychotherapy, being as the older medications might have more severe side effects and be less effective (Spielmans, 2014). In long term cases, studies have shown that psychotherapy has greater effects than medications do, if the therapy is performed by suitably trained specialists. Looking at the short-term effects, these two approaches to treatments are similar (Spielmans, 2014). An investigation completed by Kathryn McHugh and her colleagues, concluded that people who need treatment for depression prefer medications over psychological therapies by 3 to 1. Also, according to McHugh, there is a decrease of patients who choose to receive psychotherapy treatments (Whitbourne, 2015). Medication is easily accessible and does not take up anyone’s time. They also do not require the individual taking them to change anything about their life. All they must do is take the medication once or twice a day and let it do its job and move on with their life (Derksen, n.d). If someone with depressions chooses to seek help, they can either see their doctor or see a psychiatrist. If they see a doctor, the doctor will most likely prescribe them with a medication that will suppress how they are feeling. If they see a psychiatrist to receive psychotherapy, they will develop skills to shape new ways of thinking about the situation that is making them depressed. The psychiatrist and the individual will work together to talk things out and discuss possible solutions to the problem at hand (Benefits of Psychotherapy, 2018).
In my opinion, after reading articles from doctors and credible websites, seeking psychotherapy as a form of treatment for depression is better than medication because you are trying to solve the problem, so you don’t feel depressed anymore. When you take medications, they might take away the depressed feeling, however they don’t solve the problem and make the feeling go away, you just do not notice it. Also, the amount of side effects medications can have can sometimes be detrimental to one’s body and cause other issues on top of the depression. After doing some research, that is what seems to be a common argument about medications. There is an option to use both treatments together if one decides to do so. Either treatment is an effective way to treat one’s depression.
Spielmans, G. (2014, January 01). Cognitive Behavioral Therapy versus Medications for Depression: How Do They Compare? Retrieved from https://pro.psychcentral.com/cognitive-behavioral-therapy-versus-medications-for-depression-how-do-they-compare/
Whitbourne, S. (2015, July 21). Psychotherapy vs. Medications: The Verdict Is In. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/blog/fulfillment-any-age/201507/psychotherapy-vs-medications-the-verdict-is-in
Benefits of Psychotherapy. (2018, January 9). Retrieved from https://www.goodtherapy.org/benefits-of-therapy.html
Derksen, S. (n.d.). Medication versus Therapy. Retrieved from https://www.drsyrasderksen.com/medication-vs-therapy.html