Anti-depressants do have their place in treating depression. But my experience as a Hastings counsellor is that many people are reluctant to start taking medication if other choices are available.
However, the evidence suggests that anti-depressants are sometimes the only choice offered and that the increasing rate of prescribing them is faster than the increased rate of depression. These conclusions come in a report by the OECD, a research body for the leading developed countries. ‘Health at a Glance’ indicates that the use of antidepressants has increased significantly in most countries surveyed since 2000.
The report points out that one explanation includes the extension of indicators of some anti-depressants to milder forms of depression, anxiety disorders and phobias. But other research suggests that worldwide rates of depression have not increased in step, although depression is being diagnosed more in certain countries. It appears that anti-depressants are being prescribed more frequently, but for milder conditions which weren’t previously thought to need them.
If anti-depressants always worked all the time, with no side effects, this wouldn’t be a problem. But they don’t work for everyone and some people are troubled by side-effects.
Anti-depressants are better regarded as part of an overall plan for dealing with the issues troubling us. The natural partner for medication can often to be talking therapies such as counselling.
This can give us the chance to really explore the underlying causes of depression – as well as anxiety, anger, and relationship problems. Once we understand why we feel or behave the way we do we have a better chance to make better choices for the future, freed of some of the burdens of the past.
As a fully qualified counsellor and an accredited member of BACP, I have substantial experience in working with clients who want to work through their depression or other issues in this way. I am able to offer a safe, accessible and personalized approach to client issues for people in the Hastings area.