Talk vs Drug Therapy

As many as 20 million Americans suffer from depression and anxiety.

Now they have more treatment options than ever. Consumer Reports asked readers about their experiences. Call for Action's Betty Sexton tells us what they learned from the survey.

Commercials like this one for Zoloft, one of the leading antidepressants, account for some of the $275-million spent last year on ads for these medications.

So which approach for treating depression and anxiety is more effective? Consumer Reports' survey of more than 3,000 magazine subscribers turned up some interesting results.

Donato Vaccaro says drug therapy relieved symptoms faster, but does have definite drawbacks. “it can take a lot of trial and error to get the right medication that works for your depression or your anxiety.”

More than half the people surveyed say they had tried at least two different antidepressants. And many of those surveyed said the side effects from the drugs were significant ranging from weight gain to loss of libido.

When it came to talk therapy, consumer reports found while it took longer to get results... It could be just as effective as drug therapy, especially for those whose number of visits was at least 13.

But the best results were reported by people whose therapy was a combination of the two. The bottom line, consumer reports says no matter which therapy you choose, significant relief is possible.

"In fact the overwhelming majority of people who sought help for anxiety and depression found relief. It was very encouraging news actually."

And now that TV's famous mob boss has opened the door, maybe more people will take the first step to getting help. Another interesting result from the survey going to a psychologist or social worker was perceived to be just as effective as seeing a psychiatrist.

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