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When Are Anti-Depressants a Good Idea?

The Pros

Medication is a blessing for thousands of people who struggle with psychological issues such as anxiety, depression, mood disorders, and thought disorders. Pervasive or overwhelming negative moods can be debilitating, and can include things like panic attacks, ruminations, and major depression. When feelings are so intense that it is difficult to function normally, medication can be a huge relief, and essential to begin to get back on track.

The Cons

While medication can be a godsend for people who are struggling, there is a tendency in our culture to discount and discredit our emotions in favor of “being okay” all of the time. If we medicate away every feeling of sadness or anxiety we may be cutting off parts of our emotional guidance system that are trying to let us know about what we need to make healthy decisions. Turning off our feelings can cut us off from the motivation that may be the catalyst of personal evolution.

A Balance

Although some folks are genetically more susceptible to having certain kinds of disorders, the latest research suggests that a combination of susceptibility combined with stressful life events are what trigger mood disorders. Furthermore, it can be tricky to imply causality. Although the term “chemical imbalance” is thrown around frequently it is still unclear whether some people feel bad because their brain chemistry is out of balance, or if their brain chemistry variations are being caused by their world views, life events, or pervasive mood states.

If you are considering medication it may be important to strike a balance. Wanting to feel better now is understandable, and you may also take into consideration the life circumstances or ways of being that may also be contributing to feeling badly. If negative feelings are a symptom of changes or personal evolution that is being blocked, they will return when medication is discontinued. At the same time, if you have a strong family history of depression or anxiety, medication may be an important part of how you take care of yourself long term.

In either case, talking with a skilled therapist to figure out what is going on, and what the right choice for you is, may be very helpful.