Depression Treatment Beyond Pills

Taking pills may seem like a quick and easy solution to low moods, but drugs are not a panacea for depression treatment.

Depression treatment is big business in the US. Half of U.S. adults are experiencing some symptoms of depression since the COVID-19 pandemic began, according to a new study from JAMA Network Open. That’s 3 times more than prior to the pandemic. Drug companies are profiting as many turn to antidepressants for relief.

More than one in ten adults in the US take antidepressants. Almost 85% of these psychiatric medications are prescribed by primary care physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants in short and brief office visits. These providers may or may not have the specialized training necessary to create comprehensive depression treatment plans and are pressed for time. There is no question that antidepressant drugs save lives, yet they do have some drawbacks.

We continue to learn more about psychiatric medications, and it is important to be educated about any medication you take.  Psychiatric medications can actually increase violent or suicidal behavior in some patients. Antidepressants have warnings about potentially dangerous side effects. They can be difficult to stop taking, with significant withdrawal symptoms. Studies have found that most SSRIs do not just decrease negative emotions, but dampen all emotions for many patients, including love, happiness, and joy.

In many cases the benefits outweigh the risks, any often medication is necessary to get back on track. Drugs should not be the first or only line of depression treatment, however. Taking pills may seem like a quick and easy solution to low moods, but drugs are not a panacea for depression treatment. Taking the time and effort to develop brain-healthy habits, build skills, and change negative behavior and thought patterns is necessary for real and lasting results.

Your brain, your body, your thoughts, your social and work interactions with others, and your deepest sense of meaning and purpose are what create the issues that affect your mind. You must address all of these factors to truly heal from depression. Individual counseling at Take Charge, Inc. can help you to do this work and create a path forward to feeling better and living the life you want.

October is National Depression and Mental Health Screening Month. If you are suffering, please don’t wait. Your mental well-being is more important than ever during these difficult times, and waiting until life gets back to “normal” is likely to make your symptoms worsen over time. For more information about depression treatment or counseling for anxiety or trauma, call Take Charge, Inc. at (913) 239-8255 or click here to schedule an appointment.

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