Q: I see all these ads on TV about medications to help with depression, and I think I may be depressed. Should I just try and get the meds, or what would be right way to go about it?

A: The very first thing is to get a proper diagnostic evaluation to determine if you do have depression including severity level and type. This can be done by a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor, Marriage and Family Therapist, Psychologist, Psychiatrist or many Medical Professionals are willing to do this. The professional completing the evaluation will be able to discuss treatment ideas with you at that point.

Some ideas to consider would be that studies seem to indicate that some forms of depression have a hereditary basis and there is a chemical imbalance that can contribute to some of the symptoms. So medication can be the major part of appropriate of treatment for some depression.
However, to assume this is true all types of depression is false. Studies show that depending on the type of depression, either counseling, medication, or a combination of both is the most effective. Many times depression can be situational, a learned response, or due to environmental factors. Just taking pills without addressing the underlying cause can lead to simple masking of symptoms with no real improvement. For example, imagine you start having painful constant headaches. Someone tells you to take aspirin, so you do and your headache goes away as long as you keep taking aspirin. Does that mean that you headaches were due to a chemical imbalance of lack of aspirin? You would probably say no. It would be important for you to attempt to discover the cause of your headache so you can attempt to correct it with proper treatment rather than just mask the symptoms with aspirin. Otherwise you would probably just become dependant on pain pills and never get the proper help. That can be the same problem with just deciding to take pills for depression (or anxiety or whatever) without getting a proper evaluation. You could end up just masking symptoms and addicted to pills with no real improvement. Instead proper diagnostic evaluation can lead to proper treatment, which can lead to real healing and health, not just a temporary fix.

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