Medication and Depression
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Depression can be a very serious illness. Most people do not die from mental or emotional illnesses (although they often wish they would!) But depression left untreated can lead to suicide. Thus depression is one of the few mental illnesses that has a significant mortality associated with it.

In severe cases of depression, we often will refer the client out for a medication evaluation. Depending on the physician's recommendation, antidepressants may be prescribed. Antidepressant medication does not result in a 'lift' or a euphoria. Rather, it raises the floor for the depressed client. Depression often feels as though you were in a deep pit, significantly below ground level. Antidepressant medications raise the floor of this pit so that you can approach normal levels again.

By themselves, antidepressant medications often will not resolve the depression. They can bring the floor up, but they do nothing to resolve the underlying reasons why you got depressed in the first place. Psychotherapy is necessary for that. So if you happen to be taking antidepressant medication without psychotherapy, call up a psychotherapist and get into treatment as soon as possible. Otherwise, when you discontinue the medication, the depression will often return.

In other words, be sure to treat the cause, don't just put a band-aid on the symptom!

 

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