Therapy with Medication for Treating Depression

Do I still need therapy if I am already taking medication?

Although therapy may be adequate alone for mild cases of depression, it is most optimal to be in therapy when taking medication. Studies have shown that therapy and medication together have the best efficacy. Although medication can treat your depression independently of therapy, it will not change environmental circumstances, will not change your coping skills, and will not change your personality or improve your self-esteem. Keeping in mind that depression is typically caused by a culmination of biological, psychological, and social factors, it makes good sense that addressing the psychological and social underpinnings of your depressive episode is warranted. Although you cannot change your “biology” or genes, you can use therapy to change other contributors to depression. Ideally, the risk then of future episodes can be reduced, as medication is generally not considered a life-long solution for managing depression, except in cases of more severe or chronic illness. Once in remission, an attempt to remove the medication is typically made. This is apt to be more successful when therapy has been or currently is in place.