Our expert says:
Its not some mystic internal message that arrives. Evidence shows that antidepressants alone do help many depressed people, even without counselling. The reason why I and others emphasize the importance of having CBT tyope counselling as well, is that the antidepressants obviously can only correct the chemical imbalances, not solve the life probnlems which may help create and prolong a depression. Antidepressants ( ADs ) need to be prescribed, so should come from a psychiatrist in the first place, and a GP perhaps on a continuing basis. The prescription should follow a proper assessment and a diagnosis based on internationally recognized criteria for Depression. WHen they are prescribed, the doc should discuss this with you, and explain side-effects, risks, and bnefits, how it will take 2 weeks or more for them to produce their full potential benefits, why one needs to remain on them for months, even after one starts to feel better, so that the recovery can become more stable and lasting, and when and how to plan to come off them gradually.
We know that if there is a true significant depression, properly diagnosed, without treatment, by AD plus/minus counselling, there is a higher risk of suicide, and the prospect of a year or more of unrelieved misery, even if there may be a spontaneous relief of the specific depression eventually. It also appears, from the research, that the longer an initial depression remains untreated, the more likely subsequent episodes become, the worse they may be, and that they may become more difficult to treat the longer depression has remained untreated in the past 9 this applies to numerous psych conditions ).
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