Antidepressants – Do they work?

Do antidepressants really work?

There has been a longstanding debate surrounding the use of antidepressant medications to treat depression. Recent research has come out that indicates antidepressants effectiveness may be the same as using a placebo medication.

Placebo medication is essentially a sugar pill many studies use to compare true medications to. The placebo or sugar pill’s effectiveness seems to lie in people’s belief that by taking a pill they become “better”.

It is important to remember that antidepressant pills have helped millions of people; therefore this study doesn’t mean you should stop taking your medication. It does however indicate that they are not necessarily the best first option for treating depression.

Psychotherapy and counseling have been proven as effective for treating moderate, severe and even very severe depression. For some patients the combination of psychotherapy with an initial course of antidepressants can work even better, however the question has now become – how do the drugs work? The question mark is due to the idea that possibly medication with therapy works best because people believe they will.

Many people are hesitant to go on medication and this research indicates psychotherapy as a strong alternative to antidepressants.

If you or someone you know may be depressed it is recommended to obtain medical and psychotherapeutic advice to determine the best approach to help yourself or your loved one in overcoming their depression.

Depression versus Mourning.

What is the difference between depression and mourning?

Depression and mourning hold many similarities. Depression has been differentiated from mourning as depression has been viewed as a longer, ongoing sadness that impacts the person’s ability to function effectively in life. Everyone mourns differently; therefore someone in mourning could potentially meet the criteria for a Major Depressive Episode. With this in mind maybe we haven’t given enough thought to whether some people who are depressed are grieving some loss…

In a recent conversation with a friend she posed the question to me of whether maybe depression really is a type of mourning. Maybe people with depression are sometimes grieving the way they wish things were. We do know that depressed people tend to view the world in more negative and pessimistic ways; however, maybe it goes deeper.

Maybe the negativity we see in the thinking of depressed people is about their grief and loss of relationships, career dreams, family ideals or visions of success they saw for themselves.

By no means do I suggest everyone who is depressed is grieving or in mourning, however I do believe some people may be…

Ultimately, depression varies in how it develops and presents for each individual. I think the thoughts above remind us to treat each person as an individual. By understanding better those in mourning and in depression we can undoubtedly better help them to overcome their struggles.