Depression is a difficult condition, one that is also very self-sustaining. Depression changes the way a person thinks and how their body reacts. Someone with depression may view neutral or even lightly positive events more negatively, which in turn makes them feel more negative. They may also have low energy, causing them to withdraw from friends and family in ways that also create more depressive symptoms.
But depression can often respond very well to the right treatments. Psychotherapy, for example, is considered very effective for most patients as a way to manage depression in the long term.
The problem that many people with depression face is that their depression symptoms make it harder to fully engage in depression treatments. That is why it is often best to take a more holistic approach.
Medication as a Gateway to Therapy
Many people see medication and therapy as two opposite solutions. You either get medication that you take to treat depression, or you go through therapy to get help without medicine. But as psychiatrists, we often see both as complementary solutions.
First, depression medication gives you relief from these self-sustaining symptoms. Medicine gives you a much needed break. Anti-depressants can help people see the world in a positive light again. It can also rebuild your energy levels to help you engage in emotionally healthy activities.
It also makes it easier to pursue and commit to therapy. This is why medication is complementary to psychotherapy. By relieving some of the symptoms, patients can then better engage with psychotherapy techniques for depression. This gives the patient the tools they need for long term management, eventually making it possible to reduce or eliminate medication use.
There are some patients that solely need therapy. There are others with symptoms that require long term pharmaceutical care. But many patients find themselves in between. They need medicine to help them get relief from the self-sustaining and heavy symptoms of depression first, and then use that new energy to better manage the symptoms through therapy.
Learn more about receiving treatment for depression from an experienced psychiatrist by contacting Aware Behavioral Health, today.