, Volume 39, Issue 2, pp 83-91
Date: 13 Aug 2008

Antidepressants, Psychotherapy or their Combination: Weighing Options for Depression Treatments

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Psychotherapy and antidepressant medications are the two preeminent treatment choices for depression. This article puts each of these treatments into perspective by presenting an overview of what is currently known about their effectiveness either singly or in combination. Discussion of placebos, common factors among therapies, relapse rates, depression severity, patient treatment preferences and exaggerations in pharmaceutical advertising provide guidance for clinicians in deciding on the best course of treatment. Overall, research reveals the importance of psychosocial factors, no matter what the mode of treatment, and the need for fostering a collaborative bond between clinicians and their patients. We argue that empirical evidence points to making psychotherapy the initial treatment choice for most cases of depression.