Combining Medication and Depression Therapy

Combining Medication and Depression Therapy

Team Uncategorized

In 2021, the National Institute of Mental Health estimated that 8.3% of the U.S. adult population experienced at least one major depressive episode. That’s 21 million people! While there is not a one-size-fits-all solution for depression that works for everyone, practitioners do have an array of treatment methods at their disposal to combat symptoms. These methods fall into one of two categories - pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy. 

What is Pharmacotherapy?

Pharmacotherapy is defined as the treatment of a health condition using pharmaceutical products (i.e. medications). Pharmacotherapy is also known as drug therapy or medication therapy. There are several pharmaceutical products used to treat depression. While medication can be very effective in calming depression symptoms, some patients may find it difficult to find the best medication for their symptoms that doesn’t have debilitating side effects.

What is Psychotherapy?

Psychotherapy is the use of psychological methods to treat health conditions. Psychotherapy typically includes personal interactions with a therapist at set intervals and is also known as talk therapy. There are many types of psychotherapy, with several proven to be effective as depression treatments. Many patients prefer to avoid using medication and opt for psychotherapy only as a treatment.

Better Together

While pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy are effective at treating most cases of depression when used independently, using them together, known as combination therapy, yields much more success. It is suspected that these amplified results are due to these therapies having different effects on the brain that work synergistically. Not only is combination therapy better at treating the symptoms of depression, it is also more effective at preventing recurrence of symptoms than either therapy used alone.

Common Medications Used for Depression

There are several medications that are commonly used to treat depression, including:

  • Fluoxetine
  • Citalopram
  • Sertraline
  • Paroxetine
  • Escitalopram
  • Venlafaxine
  • Duloxetine
  • Bupropion
  • Mirtazapine
  • Trazodone

Common Therapies for Depression

Psychologists and therapists can use a variety of psychotherapy methods to treat depression and prevent recurrence, including:

Frequently Asked Questions About Depression Therapies

I’ve already tried one medication for depression that didn’t work for me…will all depression medications not work for me either?

There are many different medications that have been used successfully to treat depression symptoms in patients, but they don’t all work the same way. Different classes of medications interact differently in the body, so just because one medication didn’t work for you doesn’t mean others won’t. Work with your psychiatrist to find the right combination of therapies for you, including medications.

Are there any psychotherapy alternatives for patients with busy schedules or no transportation?

Many psychiatry offices are offering virtual appointments for patients who cannot visit in person for whatever reason. Consult with your psychiatry office to find out about the alternative appointment options they offer.

Depression Treatment in New England

At South County Psychiatry, we use all available treatment methods to help our patients with depression, including both pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy. We understand that every patient is different and will require a different approach for optimal treatment. To start your journey to healing from depression, schedule an appointment with us by calling 401-268-5333 or requesting an appointment online at the location closest to you.