--Original published at Sarah's Insight
There is a lot of controversy over whether medication or therapy is better when seeking treatment for a mental health condition. Major depressive disorder is the most common mental health condition in the U.S. and can be treated with either medication or psychotherapy. There are many reasons why each of these treatments are better than the other. Psychotherapy is a talk therapy that allows the client to speak with a professional about how they feel, which is great for people with major depressive disorder because it makes them feel heard and they are able to be given coping mechanisms from the therapist based on what they tell the therapist. Psychotherapy is not categorized as one thing, there are many different kinds of psychotherapy that the therapist would be able to decide what technique they would use based on the client. All types of psychotherapy teach individuals about depression, help the client understand, express and control their feelings more effectively, and transform their negative feelings to be more positive and uplifting.
There are many traits that make up a good therapist;
sophisticated, builds trust, acceptable, influential, optimistic, reflective, and hopeful.
By having a therapist with these traits, the use of psychotherapy as treatment is better than medication because it is more cost effective and leads to less relapse. In a study performed by Boadie W. Dunlop, M.D., people with depression were more likely to refuse medication than to refuse psychotherapy, and those who were treated with medication were more likely to drop out of treatment earlier than those who were being treated with psychotherapy.
There are a lot of people who do believe that medication is a better alternative to treating major depressive disorder. Kathryn McHugh did an investigation of the McLean hospital where she discovered the majority of patients preferred medicinal treatment over psychological treatment. It has been proven that medication will help relieve depression, but it is difficult to prove that psychotherapy can do the same thing. Although psychotherapy has been deemed evidence-based, people find it hard to believe that this is true and trusting the studies that prove this, which is why many people still prefer medication over psychotherapy.
It was very difficult to find articles about why medication is more effective than psychotherapy when used for mental illnesses and I think this is because many people are now looking for the healthiest and most effective way to get help. I think that many people are afraid of medication and are aware of all the harm it can do. Psychotherapy is a healthier and safer way to get help for mental illnesses because it doesn’t come with side effects or a list of dangers, it’s a client telling the therapist how they feel and being able to confide in someone they trust and getting support and coping strategies that are healthy and helpful specifically for them that can be changed according to the specific client at any time.