As a clinician working with parents who are seeking support for their children and teens I am often asked the question, Do you think I should put my child on medication? The therapy vs. meds debate has been active for several years. The truth is there is no right or wrong answer. There are benefits to both, and there are a number of factors that should be considered when comparing medication and therapy. Some of those factors include, the diagnoses, symptoms, and the desired outcome.
The main benefit to mental health medication is that they are readily available and there is not much investment of time. Medication can quickly alleviate symptoms to provide rapid relief. For parents or young adults who are struggling medication might seem like the quickest way to get a sense of normalcy. On the flip side of that medications may cause side effects, have high costs, or they may not even work at all. Another major down fall is there is sometimes a risk of addiction. Before you consider any medication, you must talk to your doctor about the short-term and long terms effects medication could have on your health and body. Gather as much information as you can so you can make well informed decision.
The main benefit of therapy is that it resolves the underlying problem and or problems. Medication can relieve symptoms but the problem that caused the issue still persists. This could cause more difficulties in the future. Psychotherapy is known to be an effective treatment for a range of psychological disorders, and it still works even if medication doesn’t. When you are considering therapy its important you know the different modalities that are available. There is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy-CBT, Psychoanalytical Therapy, Group Therapy, Accelerated Resolution Therapy-ART, Dialectical Behavior Therapy-DBT, Solution Focused Therapy and many many more!
At the end of the day, it is your choice. Do not let a partner, teacher, or therapist pressure you into doing either. Whether it is medication, therapy, or both. Choose to commit to your healing process, it may not be easy but it is worth it.