Medication Vs. Therapy for Depression | Mental Health Blog
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Medication Vs. Therapy for Depression

medication and therapy for depression

Depression is more than feelings of sadness or loneliness; it is a disorder that can interfere with a person’s everyday life.

Without proper depression treatment, the symptoms may get worse and could lead to self-harm or worse. Because of this risk, it is important get help sooner rather than later, but what is the best type of treatment? There is a growing debate on the benefits of counseling versus medication for depression.

Taking Antidepressants for Depression

Depression is more than an emotional battle and talking it out may not be sufficient for everyone. In these cases, medication may be part of the answer. There are several different types of medication for depression. Some may be more effective than others depending on the individual, and finding the right medication may require a bit of trial and error. Overall, antidepressants have been found to be most effective for severe or chronic depression. In fact, evidence suggests that the more severe the depression, the greater the benefits from taking antidepressants will be.1

The problem with antidepressants and the reason that some people may shy away from using them is that they may be accompanied by some negative side effects. It is best to talk to your doctor regularly and report any unpleasant symptoms.

Counseling for Depression

When comparing antidepressants versus therapy for depression, it is not surprising that many people initially choose the latter. The idea of taking antidepressants or going to a mental health facility may be intimidating. They may prefer to seek out help with a counselor or support group instead. For some people, cognitive therapy can be as effective as antidepressants for the initial treatment of depression.2

Unfortunately, counseling once or twice a week may not be enough for some people. For people who are not seeing enough improvement but still want to avoid medication, a more intensive therapy routine, such as a mental health PHP, may be a good solution.

Choosing Between Medication vs. Therapy for Depression

Depression can vary in type and severity, and not everyone will respond to treatment in the same way. Because everyone is unique, treatment should be tailored to meet the needs of the individual. Some people will find success in therapy alone; while others may require medication to see real improvement. One study found that after 16-weeks of treatment, there were no differences in outcome between those who were taking antidepressant medication versus those doing cognitive therapy.3 If you are debating whether to opt for medication or therapy for depression, it is important to take into account the severity of the depression and consult a doctor. Both can be effective on their own, but sometimes the greatest success may come from a combination of medications and counseling for depression treatment.

At Banyan Mental Health, we offer mood disorder treatment in Boca that focuses on the individual. Our trained staff members will conduct a full health assessment before treatment begins and create a specific treatment plan based on the results. This treatment plan will also be adjusted as necessary depending on how the patient responds.

Mental health disorders should not control a person’s life. Whether you or a loved one is struggling with poor mental health, you do not have to go through this alone.

To speak with one of our admissions specialists or to get more information about our programs at Banyan Mental Health, call us today at 888-280-4763.


  1. NCBI - Depression: How effective are antidepressants
  2. JAMA - Cognitive Therapy vs Medications in the Treatment of Moderate to Severe Depression
  3. NCBI - Cognitive therapy vs. medications for depression: Treatment outcomes and neural mechanisms

Alyssa is Banyan’s Director of Digital Marketing & Technology. After overcoming her own struggles with addiction, she began working in the treatment field in 2012. She graduated from Palm Beach State College in 2016 with additional education in Salesforce University programs. A part of the Banyan team since 2016, Alyssa brings over 5 years of experience in the addiction treatment field.

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