Many people wonder which is the better route to take when they are depressed, anxious or otherwise suffering from a psychiatric illness. I recently came across an interesting article that looked at this topic. The article, entitled, Psychotherapy Versus Second-Generation Antidepressants in the Treatment of Depression: A Meta-Analysis, was published in 2011 in the Journal of Nervous & Mental Disease – – a journal for psychiatrists (the folks who prescribe such drugs).
The meta-analysis of a bunch of other studies essentially reported that good psychotherapy was essentially the same in treating depression compared to medications in the short-term. And good psychotherapies had better efficacy in the long run.
The take home is that medications are often a good band aid (and nothing is wrong with band aids!) for depression, but if you want to prevent the depression from returning, psychotherapy is a better way to go. I would add that other studies have demonstrated that a combined approach (meds and therapy) is often the best way to treat moderate to severe depression and other conditions.