Even though countless studies show that psychotherapy helps people living with depression and anxiety, drug therapy has become the most popular course of treatment over the past decade.
The American Psychological Association (APA) is hoping to balance that trend with an initiative launched today, Sept. 24, that will educate consumers about psychotherapy’s effectiveness and encourage them to ask their physicians about it as a treatment option.
“We get a lot of information about drug therapy from commercials and pop culture, but we hear much less about the alternatives,” said Katherine Nordal, PhD, executive director of professional practice at APA.
“Mental illness and depression get a lot of attention during October and that gives us a good opportunity to highlight the benefits of psychotherapy for these disorders. While medication can be an appropriate part of treatment, people should know that psychotherapy works!”
APA is introducing an animated video series about a fictional miracle drug called “Fixitol.” The videos are a parody on drug ads, drawing attention to the value of psychotherapy as a treatment option.
The Association is also providing resources on depression, how psychotherapy works and how to talk to your physician about getting started.
According to APA, depression is one of the most common mental health disorders in America. It says according to U.S. government health agencies an estimated one in ten adults report having depression.
Mental health problems lead to more than 150 million visits to doctors’ offices, clinics and hospital outpatient departments each year, making it one of the top three reasons why Americans seek medical treatment.
Between 1996 and 2008, the number of prescriptions for antidepressants more than doubled from 55.9 million to 154.7 million.