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A recent study in Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics suggests that both psychotherapy and antidepressants are both quite effective in reducing depression. However in contrast to medication, the benefits of psychotherapy appear to be longer-lasting. The authors of the study used PET imaging, clinical evaluations and a variety of psychological instruments to measure the changes.
The study suggested that “SSRI medication, although leading to decreased symptoms and increased functioning in the short run, nevertheless is associated with an incomplete recovery of the serotonin system after treatment.” It is believed that treatment of depression with just medication could be related to higher relapse risk.