Oh, what a controversial and overwrought topic this is. The current science indicates that Depression is a biological, chemical illness that is brain based. So therefore, can be treated with medication. Well of course our bodies are more complicated than that…duh. Our bodies are composed of many systems that are integrated and symbiotic. Medication is very important for many people in managing their disease. I know it is absolutely essential for me. I have been on antidepressants of different varieties for the past 15 years. Am I dependent? No, I’m chronically ill. My disease can be managed primarily with medication. I have also pursued alternative treatments such as acupuncture, chinese herbal medicine, diet, exercise, EFT (emotional freedom technique), massage therapy, physical therapy for pain management, etc. While all these things have been somewhat helpful, I continue to require medication. They are not “happy pills” or designed to create a better lifestyle. They keep me from being so utterly despondent that I want to stay in bed FOREVER, or have nightmares about planecrashes/violent deaths/lightening storms, or obsess about plowing my car into a tree. Boy, those were some really dark days.
That kind of talk probably scares the bejezuz out of some people. But the brain chemistry does strange things when it doesn’t work properly. Thoughts become obsessive, negative, dark. Guilt can be overwhelming, with worry and anxiety consuming the majority of what used to be sensible, rational thinking. Worrying about what others think about you, if you have offended someone inadvertently, and if people like you, or are talking about you behind your back. It’s like high school in your head. With all this nonsense going on, of course you can’t concentrate, work suffers, family life suffers. People do begin to act differently around you and you can justify your paranoia! Anyways, the meds clear out this toxic anxiety driven chatter so you can get back to yourself. Then you can actually accomplish something with a therapist.
Of course medication doesn’t work for everyone. And there is some research that indicates that medication and talk therapy can be equally effective. But with my genetics, and history, I wouldn’t be here without them.