On “Antidepressants” and why Medicine has failed us.


Depression and Medication

Tell me why is it that doctors with little to no psychotherapy background can and do prescribe antidepressants without requiring the patient to see a psychotherapist first?


That is like having a Basketball coach write you up a fitness routine for your Baseball practice. Yes, they both apply to the human body but they require completely different studies and techniques.


Medicine has failed us.


Medicine has overmedicated us and has told us that we need to suppress, manage, and/or control our emotions. Medicine has told us that depression is an illness for which we need medication to cure. Medicine has completely neglected the role of psychotherapists in the treatment of depression when they freely prescribe antidepressants without having the patient see a psychotherapist first.


“Antidepressants”


Just the word suggests that we believe that depression is something that needs to be eliminated.


Depression is not an illness. Depression is a set of signals that we call “symptoms'' that prompt you, guide you, and give you just the information that you need at the precise time that you need it. These signals have a reason to exist and present themselves in the time and form in which they are presenting themselves. Instead of suppressing or numbing them with medication, we need to pay attention and discover why these signals are coming up in the first place.


Medicine failed us as it tried to find the cure for depression in the biochemistry of the brain without taking into consideration the role of the mind. If depression were an “illness” (which is not), it would be an illness of the mind, not the body. The mind needs healing first, and then the body will heal. Sometimes, we NEED the depression. We NEED to feel depressed. We need to DE-PRESS. Nothing that happens to the human body is an illness in and of itself. The body responds to the mind. The body is the physical representation of the mind.


Medicine does not cure depression because the mind cannot be found in the brain. The mind and the brain exist in two fields. The mind is the stadium in which the player plays. The mind contains the body in which a human exists. The body is only a tiny and limited physical expression of the limitless and infinite mind. We think that the body is what is “real” because we can see, hear, and touch it. However, close your eyes and you do not see the body anymore and you can only “feel” what exists. When you close your eyes, you open your eyes to the mind and what really exists that is timeless and infinite.


Medicine failed us because it only focuses on the body when we are more than our bodies. Giving a person medication for depression (without first having psychotherapy) is as if we have a child that keeps yelling: “my stomach hurts” and we give the child medication to mute its vocal chords so that the child stops yelling that their stomach hurts. The child will stop yelling that its stomach hurts, but that does not mean that its stomach has actually stopped hurting. It simply cannot tell anymore.


When you take an antidepressant without having regular psychotherapy it is as if you are telling your body to stop telling you how painful it is without really addressing the pain and the source of it. Medication tries to trick the body into feeling “good”, but this “good” feeling is not real until you really address what is hurting in the mind.


Taking medication for depression without psychotherapy is like only medicating half of our body while completely neglecting the other half. It simply will not work and will not alleviate depression. Medication without psychotherapy does not cure depression, it prolongs it. It is, after all, a drug.


I am not against medication. I am only against medication without psychotherapy. Medication has its time, value, and place. I have referred many clients for medication. I have taken medication myself and I know and have seen it work with the right combination of psychotherapy and medication. You don't always need both, but psychotherapy must come first.


The best treatment for depression is psychotherapy with the right combination of medication; only if medication is necessary and recommended by a psychotherapist. I don't believe people should be medicated without the recommendation of a psychotherapist. I think what needs to change is that psychotherapy must come first, then medication when necessary. Sometimes it is necessary, but it is not primordial. Doctors should require a patient to be seen by a psychotherapist before freely prescribing antidepressants.


If you experience depression, seek psychotherapy first, then follow their recommendations for medication.


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Silvia Avila

Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor 

IL #180.008964

Bridgeport Art Center

1200 W. 35th Street

Chicago, IL 60609

silvia@silviaavila.com

​Tel: 773-850-7366