Psychotherapy and Depression

2787 Words12 Pages
Introduction Major depression, in itself, is a debilitating mental disorder that negatively impacts most or all aspects of a sufferer’s life and often times can even lead to suicide. Just to give a few numbers, at least 1 million people worldwide every year take their own life (Hawton and Heeringen 1372-81), half of which are caused by the possession and improper or unsuccessful treatment of major depression (Chehil and Kutcher 30-33). In light of these dark statistics, the benefits and limitations of the main treatments for major depression, antidepressants and psychotherapy, are not only worth investigation, but with thousands of lives on line, vital to the human race. However, to take it further, there is much to be said of human nature in general as it relates to how people respond to the biological treatment of antidepressants as opposed to the cognitive and sociocultural treatment of psychotherapy. Is it possible that the various symptoms of sadness and hopelessness characteristic of major depression can be cured simply by balancing the chemical messengers in charge of happiness and motivation in the brain or must the need to be perceived and understood through therapy be satisfied? Are we, as humans, simply biological machines, or is there something more? Considering the research question: “How do the benefits and limitations of antidepressants and psychotherapy in reducing symptoms of major depression give a better understanding of human nature regarding the different psychological perspectives?” this essay will argue that while treating major depression biologically with antidepressants can be successful, there is more credit due to psychotherapy as treatment because people are social beings with conscious, cognitive th... ... middle of paper ... ...Nurnberger, and Gershon. "Genetic Basis of Depression." APFCC. APFCC, n.d. Web. 03 Dec. 2013. Perris, Carlo, I. M. Blackburn, and H. Perris. Cognitive Psychotherapy: Theory and Practice. Berlin: Springer, 1988. Print. Schildkraut, Joseph J. "THE CATECHOLAMINE HYPOTHESIS OF AFFECTIVE DISORDERS: A REVIEW OF SUPPORTING EVIDENCE." American Journal of Psychiatry 122.509 (1965): 509-22. Print. "Treatment Options for Depression." Cleveland Clinic. Cleveland Clinic Foundation, 2009. Web. Wang PS, Lane M, Olfson M, Pincus HA, Wells KB, Kessler RC. Twelve month use of mental health services in the United States. Archives of General Psychiatry. 2005 Jun;62(6):629-640. Wexler, B. E., and D. V. Cicchetti. "The Outpatient Treatment of Depression: Implications of Outcome Research for Clinical Practice." Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease 180.5 (1992): 277-86. Print.

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