Spotlight Blog #3

Major Depressive disorder is one of the most common illness in the United States but can be treated using psychotherapy or by using medication. Some medications are prescribed by doctors to combat the effects of depression in the brain. According to Healthline, medications can be very effective in treating mental illnesses such as depression. One of the most commonly prescribed types of medicine for patients with depression is Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs). SSRIs are used to limit the uptake of serotonin, this leaves more serotonin to work in the brain. Serotonin is a hormone that is associated with contributing feelings of happiness throughout the body. The same idea is used in SNRIs or Serotonin Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors, which also allow for more norepinephrine to be contained in the brain. Antidepressants are a type of medicine used to treat depression when SSRIs are ineffective. They can treat depression symptoms, as well as anxiety symptoms in patients by balancing neurotransmitters within the brain (Healthline). Another reason medication is considered more beneficial than psychotherapy is because compared to using regular medication, psychotherapy can be a long process until feelings of hope and expectancy are seen by the patient (Schwartz). Where as medication can help relieve stress and feeling in short-term responses. In fact, more people are turning from psychotherapy, towards medication because of this reason as well as having a much affordable cost for patients.
However, in the long-term psychotherapy can be a more effective way to overcome any mental illness, including depression. By not becoming reliant on medication and working through the illnesses themselves. When patients overuse medications, the natural brain functions to regulate hormonal balances are compromised. This leads to permanent functional loss in the brain which can make the body rely heavily on medications. The process to undo this is called withdraw and can be painful as well as timely. Even though psychotherapy is not easy during the beginning sessions of therapy it can be much more helpful than continual use of medications. Over time, it is possible for the patient to become self sufficient without the need for therapy sessions (Whitbourne). Among many patients experiencing both psychotherapeutic treatment and medication, many of them prefer psychotherapy over medication because of the lack of health risks and feeling of being in control of the patient’s depression (American Psychiatric Association).
My perspective is that psychotherapy is the much better choice to medication. Medication is never a completely safe option especially when putting foreign materials into your system. Anything that can change the overall balance of hormones and the body’s own process of homeostasis is potentially dangerous to the person’s overall wellbeing. I feel the credibility of the psychotherapy sources were very reputable especially because the authors are the American Psychiatric Association and a PHD psychiatrist Susan Krauss Whitbourne. The sources that support using medication over psychotherapy are not as valid. The article written by Healthline does not provide much information as to how the medication works to help cope with the symptoms of depression. After my research I still believe that psychotherapy is a more beneficial treatment option to major depressive disorder.

Whitbourne: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/fulfillment-any-age/201507/psychotherapy-vs-medications-the-verdict-is-in
Healthline: https://www.healthline.com/health/depression/medication-list#dopamine-reuptake-blocker
Schwartz: https://www.mentalhelp.net/blogs/psychotherapy-vs-medication-for-depression-anxiety-and-other-mental-illnesses/
American Psychiatric Association: http://www.apa.org/monitor/2011/10/psychotherapy.aspx

 

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