Is Therapy Better Than Medication?

mental-health-therapist

Increasing amount of research show that various forms of talk therapy including cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy and traditional psychotherapy are as effective if not more effective than medications. For mental health conditions like depression and panic disorders, for example, many patients choose therapy over medication and find results. Though mental health conditions involve an imbalance in the brain, they also involve a history of trauma, abuse, abandonment, insecurity, low self-esteem, and more. In addition, living with mental health condition and seeking treatment for the first time means having lived without the support of any practical tools or applications for coping with difficult emotions and managing stress in life.

Huffington Post reports that recent research found patients prefer therapy over medication for the treatment of their mental health condition. Analyzing 186 studies involving over 17,000 patients, the American Psychological Association “found that patients were as much as three times more likely to refuse or not complete their recommended mental health treatment if it took the form of psychotropic medicine such as antidepressants, instead of psychotherapy.”

Medication can be an effective and necessary part of a more holistic treatment plan, yet only does part of the job when it is a standalone method. The study found that people who had a diagnosis of depression and social anxiety were twice as likely to turn down medication. As to why patients felt more inclined to choose therapy over medication, the study did not analyze. According to the article, the analysts have some theories. “Patients may feel that therapy takes a more in-depth approach as a way to tackle the complexities of mental health disorders…”

One of the reasons patients may choose therapy is because it is work, as well as result of the work, they can see. Though what happens in therapy isn’t tangible, it is experiential. Patients witness their own breakthroughs and transformations as therapy goes on. Medication is simply consumed and then works somehow in the brain. Most patients focused on wellness aren’t going to dive deep into the psychopharmacology of their medications. Yet, they have the ability to witness first hand their psychotherapy.

 

Treating mental health conditions and co-occurring substance abuse should take on a holistic approach. Aurora Recovery Center believes that the most effective healing takes place mentally, physically, and spiritually. Let our us light the way to your lifelong recovery. For more information on our treatment programs, call us today at 844-515-STOP.

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