Depressed? Drugs or therapy?
Unfortunately, drugs still get more attention than therapy. Americans have been shown to prefer these to therapy. Almost 80% of all people suffering and treating depression just take a pill to ease symptoms. Consumer Reports has come up with this percentage after surveying patients about treatment options and preferred drugs. Research concluded that the most popular class of drugs is the SSRI. You might not have heard of this class but you’re sure to have heard about Prozac which is just one of the drugs that belongs to this class. You might wonder how Prozac is still in the lead after this much time and with all the speedy progress in medical care. Well, there are many presumably more effective anti-depressives out on the market but these are pricier, which wouldn’t matter as much if they hadn’t had so many side-effects that scare people away from buying them.
The best alternative to drugs is therapy. This is probably more effective on a long term and can help you defeat depression for now and for good. Therapy can also teach you how to cope better with it and manage to keep your normal life despite its disruptions.
Research has actually concluded that patients can benefit just as much from therapy as from drugs if not more. This was inferred from a survey of 1,500 readers by the consumer group. The people surveyed claimed that seven sessions of therapy had benefited them just as much as drugs used to. The curious part is that it isn’t even important if the therapist is a psychiatrist, a psychologist or a social worker. It would seem that any real, authentic and receptive conversation could count as therapy.
People also tend to use more drugs than therapy also because they are prescribed antidepressants for depression or anxiety and they are less often sent to therapy. About 80% are just prescribed pills. Even mild conditions are sometimes treated with drugs. This can do more than alleviate symptoms, this can aggravate the depression on a long term.
So let’s take a look at the popular use of antidepressants and at which of them are most appreciated by patients. Patients reported to be happiest with SSRI (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor). Apart from Prozac, this class also includes Eli Lilly, Pfizer Inc’s Zoloft and Celexa or citalopram. Lexapro from Forest Laboratories is another choice many make.
These work but, most importantly, don’t have as many side effects as the main competitor class SNRI (serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors). This class includes the new and enhanced antidepressants mentioned above and many people have complained of many side-effects they can have. If however, these are the ones prescribed to you, they might actually be more suitable for your condition and you might take greater risks opting for the other class. The SNRI class includes drugs like venlafaxine and Lilly’s dulexotine, sold as Cymbalta.
Curious about the side-effects? This might scare you but it shouldn’t really surprise you if you’ve had any experience with antidepressants, but the most common side effect is impotence, loss of sexual interest or ability. Still, progress has been done with these drugs as less people complain about this side-effect that a few years ago.
There are certainly a lot of options you can pick from and one may become your life partner but are you sure you’re done fighting the depression. If it’s a mild one you might have chances to fight it off without just depending more and more on drugs. You can even consider taking a mild antidepressant and combine it with therapy. The best way to go about this issue is, however, to first try therapy and only of your condition is too severe and unbearable should you start on drugs.
Therapy can help you become more independent and can get you back on track without just postponing emotional breakdowns. Sure enough, you have to be strong and it won’t be easy. You’ll need the support of friends and family but you have a good chance of overcoming it.11