Medication Or Therapy? Which One Is Better?

Medication or therapy?  Which one is better?

When you see a doctor because of some kind of mental illness or mental problem, what should happen? The fact is, you are likely to be prescribed medication or referred to a psychiatrist. But not to a psychologist, not even if you ask for a referral to a psychologist. It literally begs the question: medication or therapy? Are Pills More Effective Than Psychological Therapy?

We choose (or are chosen for us) the easy way, the pill that will make all our problems go away. But they do not disappear. They are still there when you stop taking medication. Or do you take them for the rest of your life? So what is the solution?

Read on and find out  why a visit to a cognitive-behavioral psychologist is better, or at least the best complement to a treatment plan that might start with medication. 

Medication or therapy: a problem with psychotropic drugs

This article is not intended to try to put an end to psychotropic drugs forever. In reality, there are times when they are necessary and good. The crux of the matter is that they are imposed too much. 

Health professionals are aware of the side effects of these types of medications, both in the short and long term. But that is not the only problem. Their effectiveness is questionable in the treatment of certain psychological illnesses and they are prescribed only because they are the most economical solution of all in the short term,  because of our health system.

pile of pills

But their price in the long run is actually really high. After all, they can help with symptoms, but they often ignore the cause. So the diseases become chronic. As we can see, they have few advantages and many disadvantages.

So why are they used so much? On the other hand, it is explained by the economic interest in the pharmaceutical industry. On the other hand,  patients themselves want their discomfort to go away by taking the pill. They don’t want to see the effort in front of it.

Medication or therapy: why is cognitive-behavioral psychological therapy better?

But if I want to fix the problem quickly and “painlessly,” why is that a bad thing? Because it doesn’t really solve the problem. Let me explain. Yes, psychotropic medications may help reduce your anxiety or improve your mood while you are taking them. But what about after that?

What happens when you stop taking pills? That mental discomfort comes back. Why? Because you haven’t learned a method to master it. One thing we all know for sure is that life is going to throw us into situations where it is normal to feel bad. However, if we do not learn how to manage our negative emotions, they can change from temporary to very long lasting.

That is the problem. Medications can relieve your depression or anxiety, but  quality psychological therapy is what gives you the tools to manage your negative emotions on your own. Devices that you can continue to use when therapy is over.

woman at a psychologist's office

Medication or therapy: what kind of therapy does what medications do?

In addition to giving you emotion management techniques that you can take advantage of throughout your life, therapy  has no health risks or harmful side effects from psychotropic drugs. In addition, it is an economically cheaper option. But it has even more benefits than these.

For example, patients tend to follow psychological treatment better than the medication plan. The recovery rate is higher and the risk of recurrence is significantly lower. This in turn prevents diseases from becoming chronic.

Now let’s think about one thing: what do we value more, something easy or something that requires work? The latter, right? When we see our work producing results, we feel better. We feel a sense of joy and replenishment. So psychological therapy will not only teach you to control your negative emotions, but also to improve your self-esteem and mood.

In conclusion,  cognitive-behavioral therapy is the recommended choice as a treatment for most psychological disorders. Medication is necessary in severe cases, but it is almost always followed, or should be followed, by psychological treatment.

Photos:, Drew Hays and Breather.

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