Survey: Depressed Americans prefer pills to therapy

This is not surprising. A Consumer Reports survey of over 1,500 Americans with clinical depression suggests that far more people embrace pills than embrace talk therapy, despite the fact that those who attended at least seven therapy sessions reported as much symptom relief as those who relied on drugs alone. Four in five respondents, in fact, replied that they would rather go the pharmacological route.

This is understandable, given that taking a pill as a lot less work and, in many cases, is a lot cheaper than visiting a therapist. But this doesn’t take into account efficacy, and many people have spent years trying to find an SSRI or other drug that produces the desired effects.

Of course, this is a false dichotomy, since many people on medication are also in therapy. But it’s clear that people are hungering for a magical solution to a complex problem, and it’s unlikely that clinically depressed people will ever fully return to baseline using pharmacotherapy alone.

Of ancillary note: More and more people who seek help for mental-health problems report anxiety as one of their symptoms, and the type of therapist people employ (psychiatrist vs. psychologist vs. social worker, etc.) does not appear to have an effect on the efficacy of therapy.

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  1. #1 by Julie on June 17, 2010 - 5:29 pm

    Ancillary: dead on. Years of therapy did nothing for my anxiety. Running fixed it. Or maybe I just outgrew it. Another friend with a severe form of situational anxiety (she had trouble with authority figures) found help in Cognitive Behavior Therapy, where traditional talk/insight-oriented therapy methods had failed.

  2. #2 by kemibe on June 17, 2010 - 5:33 pm

    I could benefit from any number of typical “treatment” modalities, but only when I’ve got running as a foundation. One nice thing about being out of shape and deciding to run every day only after reaching a hypoxic environment is that it takes nothing to wipe me out. 60 minutes and I sleep like a baby, at least for now, and ample sleep sets me up to feel and behave like (dare I say it) a normal person.

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