Depression has become increasingly commonplace in the United States over the past decade. Psychotherapy used to be the common treatment for depression, but recently anti-depressant medication has been taking over psychotherapy as depression's most prominent treatment. Sadly, this shift is not being made because it is the more effective approach, but because of aggressive marketing by pharmaceutical companies. Furthermore Psychiatrists are selling out to the drug companies instead of acting in their patients' best interests. Because of this, patients diagnosed with depression are being lulled into a dependency on medication for good moods.
Depression is the most common mental disorder in the United States. In fact, it is diagnosed so frequently that it has been dubbed the "common cold of psychopathology" by psychologists (Gerrig, 487). In response to this growing problem, guidelines have been established for the treatment of depression. According to the American Psychiatric Association (APA), most patients are best treated by a combination of anti-depressant medication and psychotherapy (Beutlar, 21). However, despite this guideline, an increasing number of depressed patients are being put exclusively on a regiment of anti-depressant medication by psychiatrists (Stafford, 2). So, the question before us is "Why would psychiatrists do this?". It can't be because the use of medication is effective on its own. Studies, such as Karl E. Miller's, have shown that the use of anti-depressant medication alone is no more effective in the treatment of depression than therapy. In fact, according to psychologist ToniAnn Serpe (MA),
a treatment regimen comprised exclusively of medication can be even worse because "Medication does not help patients learn the skills to deal with their depressive feelings. Many become dependent
on the medication to feel good." This is especially important because, even for depression patients who report improvement... [continues]
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