The question of the pharmacological efficacy of medicative interventions is on the forefront of the conflict between two schools of thinking in contemporary society.
When do Meds Make the Difference? by Tori DeAngelis, published through the American Psychiatric Association (see reference below) address their perspective on its answer.
When suffering from a psychiatric condition, whether it be depression, anxiety or some other debilitating illness, the choice to start psychotropic medicine can be difficult. People are concerned about side effects of drugs and the possibility of becoming dependent on them.
There is also stigma related to taking psychiatric medications. DeAngelis writes an important article about research done on the effectiveness of psychotropics, psychotherapy by itself or a combination of the two. The consumer is left to choose one of these three options.
I agree with the points written about the positive results of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy used in treating both depression and anxiety. CBT is an empirically supported therapy for many mental health issues. As a professor of social work at Southern Connecticut State University in New Haven, I make it a priority to educate students to use treatment interventions which have been researched and proven to be effective.
Jeff Matranga, psychologist, is quoted in the article stating that research is valuable to the clinician to choose a treatment intervention. The therapist should absolutely educate himself on current research, however, the research should also be made aware to the public and the specific client who is seeking the best treatment option. The client's choice to go on psychotropic medicine should be an educated choice itself. It is unrealistic to think that the provider can solely choose the best option for the client. It should be a collaboration between the provider and the client.
Health care decisions such as these should be a collaborative approach between the professional and the client. Then the client would have the necessary facts to make an educated choice, not one made on opinion or perception of stigma.
When do Meds Make the Difference? by Tori DeAngelis, APA, February 2008, Vol 39, No. 2, Print version pg 48.