The most recent statistics about U.S. anti-depressant use, released last Wednesday by the National Center for Health Statistics, show 11 percent of Americans ages 12 and older take the medication…and that is only one-third of people with severe depression that need antidepressants to function. This statistic disturbs me because it seems to assume
that taking antidepressants is all that’s needed to help people function. Medication only masks the symptoms of depression, not getting at the cause, which is the role of a psychotherapist or counselor, nor dealing with the spirit which is that God-breathed part of us that is a reality we cannot ignore if we want to triumph over depression.
I have nothing against medication. As a coach to those who are in serious or major depression, I recommend they see a psychiatrist to obtain a medication that brings stability. A psychotherapist or a spiritual counselor are hard pressed to offer effective assistance to someone in a depressive or panic crisis. However, I also know that prescribing an anti-depressant is not an exact science; and the first prescription may be just what a person needs, may not make any difference, or may in fact make a person more depressed. The latter happened to me twice. But more of that later. Please remember, triumph over depression is body, soul, and spirit. Ignore one of these at your peril.