The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on Friday cleared pilots who have depression to regain their flying privileges, with one tiny caveat — they have to be taking one of only four “approved” antidepressants. I can only express my extreme disappointment at this decision because while it has the potential to help pilots take to the air again if they were suffering from depression, it fails to recognize other effective treatments for depression.
Apparently, the FAA doesn’t recognize the effectiveness of psychotherapy in the treatment of depression. This despite something on the order of four decades’ (or more) worth of research demonstrating its effectiveness for everything from mild to severe depression. In fact, if anything, there’s more research that calls into question the effectiveness of these four antidepressants than there is showing they help.
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