Challenging the Myth of Medication in Mild and Moderate Depression and Anxiety, a Psychological and Philosophical Perspective | Beatrice POPESCU
Abstract: The integrated model of mental health recommends nowadays the collaboration between psychiatrists, psychotherapists and clinical psychologists. It is currently the agreed model in the managed health care system in the West and research has shown that mixing the medical model with the psychological model both in theory and practice elicits the best outcomes and guides the client towards recovery. In this paper I will challenge this view on a particular area of psychopathology, mild and moderate depression and anxiety, showing that in these particular situations, 15-20 sessions of psychotherapy are sufficient and efficient for recovery and there is no further need for medicating the client, unless the client himself desires this particular type of psychiatric approach. I will also focus on a target group, pregnant women who fear toxic reactions for the fetus and don’t consider taking antidepressant and anxiolytic medication out of fear of adverse reactions. I will also explore the ethical implications of prescribing these target groups medication against their will. CBT, REBT and Existential Psychotherapy are effective options to treat both the symptoms and causes of mild and moderate anxiety and depression, whilst exercise, nutrition and mindfulness meditation can also be effective treatments (Lake, 2008). Since medications such as antidepressants have recently become the treatment of choice in United States with a 147.5% increase in antidepressant prescription rates between 1990 and 1998 (Clarke & Gawley, 2009) and with a 10.9% decrease in the utilization of psychotherapy, my paper aims to balance this approach in the favour of psychotherapy as a first choice option.
Keywords: Psychotherapy, ethical issues, medicalization; moderate depression and anxiety.
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