There’s a perception at times that because we practice a non-diagnostic approach, are critical of the medical model and express concern about how antidepressants and other psychiatric medications are marketed that we’re anti-medication. Not only is that just not true–it concerns me. Many people who come to see us are struggling with serious pain–and even when it’s not so serious, they need all the help they can get. For many, many people who seek therapy for depression and anxiety (it should be noted that antidepressants treat anxiety as much as–if not sometimes better than–depression), these medications can be terribly helpful.
Are they for everyone? No. Can they be dangerous? Of course. And they don’t make everything better. I want people to hurt less. Perhaps not as the “good enough” end goal, but if someone is in pain and medication can help, they ought to consider that. At times, they can help someone who is depressed or anxious be able to tolerate some of the painful work of therapy.
However, more than the medications themselves, the marketing of antidepressants by drug companies have changed the way we view therapy and how to “fix” emotional pain. And this deserves to be looked at seriously.