Psych Central

Comments on
Best of Our Blogs: December 10, 2010

By Brandi-Ann Uyemura, M.A.
Associate Editor

If your goals in life are to be your best and live your best life, then what happens when mental illness takes a hold of you and everyone you hold dear? More importantly, what happens when one of the best treatments for depression is no longer being used? It’s kind of like the philosophical riddle, “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?”

If no ones using psychotherapy, is it still relevant and effective?

Our World of Psychology post on psychotherapy and its decline as a treatment for depression sparked a conversation yesterday on Facebook. I was surprised to learn that many of our commenters cited things like cost, convenience and comfort level (as in not having to deal with the difficulties psychotherapy often brings about) as reasons for the decline. It was very similar to what was suggested in the post.

It had me wondering if this is reflecting a shift in our values and views as a society. As we become more accustomed to instant gratification, are we beginning to gravitate toward easy fixes via medication instead of taking the time and hard work necessary to get to the heart of our problems?

2 Comments to
Best of Our Blogs: December 10, 2010

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  1. I wonder if there is a similar trend in people seeking help for anxiety. I do know that many – not all – of the people who come to me for depression, anxiety and other mood conditions, come because medications haven’t worked for them, worked with bad side effects, or because they don’t want to use them at all or not long-term. And some come because they don’t feel quite like themselves on medications or because they don’t want to lose the potential for growth and healing by just medicating symptoms.

    There’s not much marketing done promoting those reasons – especially the last ones – for using psychotherapy; but ads for psychotropics are common.

    Now that some of the big pharmaceuticals are backing off anti-depressant research, they may spend their advertising dollars elsewhere, too. It will be interesting to see how the trends change, if they do change.

  2. Hi Catherine,

    Thanks for your comment! You bring up an interesting point and a hopeful one at that. I think it’s wonderful that some of your clients are coming in because they perceive psychotherapy as an opportunity for self-growth and healing. Maybe as there are less advertisements on medication and more people coming in because they have had difficulty with medication, they will become more open to what psychotherapy has to offer. I appreciate your comment and your feedback.

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