John's Blog

The Blog of John Gibson, PhD

The Consumer Reports Survey on Anxiety and Depression

A recent article in the July 2010 Consumer Reports presents the results of a survey they did with their readers about getting help for Anxiety and Depression.

Conclusion: their sample of readers felt both that both “talk therapy” (psychotherapy) and medication were each effective, but combining the two yielded the best results.

No surprise, here. These findings are very much in line with the behavioral research on the topic. (True clinical studies typically measure outcomes and employ appropriate control groups.)

I often see people in my practice who do not want to go on medication, largely because of side effects. I’m not against medication; I just happen to provide therapy. If my patients want medication I will happily refer them and let them come to their own conclusions about the value medicine in their lives, which I think is the best way to do it. On occasion, I will also see a patient who does not want talk therapy, but only wants the pills. I have no objection to this, either.

What I do find, however, is that often medication treatment alone is good so long as one stays on the medication. If the medication is discontinued -- without psychotherapy -- the symptoms may relapse. This, too, is in line with current research.

A different view of antidepressants was discussed in this post: Antidepressants Don’t Work...Can this be true?

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