Medication not the way out of depression

Psychotherapist Kyle Macdonald writes

Ask most people what the first thing someone should do if they?re depressed or anxious and most will likely say: see your GP.

Likewise, most people would think the first treatment you’re likely to get offered would be medication, specifically anti-depressants. At least in New Zealand, you’d be right. But you might be surprised to know not only is this not good practice, it may also be unhelpful.

The two big mental health research and good practice agencies in the world, the National Institute of Clinical Excellence in the UK (or NICE which is a great acronym), and the American Psychological Association in the USA (the APA) are clear that the first line of treatment for depression and anxiety, especially in the mild to moderate range, should be talk therapy.

Not only that, but there is also a lot of studies that show that most of the anti-depressant medications aren’t very effective for mild to moderate range depression and anxiety, and certainly not as helpful as talking with a psychotherapist or clinical psychologist. Not only that but when therapy is combined with medication for severe depression, both in combination are more effective than either on their own.

This is why people like me get so fired up about the lack of funded and affordable talk therapy options available in New Zealand right now. Read more »


Lufthansa has some ‘splaining to do

 Photograph: Michael Mueller/AP

Photograph: Michael Mueller/AP

The Germanwings co-pilot said to have deliberately crashed his plane with 149 others aboard into the French Alps reportedly suffered serious depression six years ago.

Andreas Lubitz sought psychiatric help for “a bout of heavy depression” in 2009 and was still getting assistance from doctors, German daily Bild reported on Friday, quoting documents from Germany’s air transport regulator Luftfahrtbundesamt (LBA). Read more »

Podcasts live now

The other night I was on Mike Kings Nutters Club discussing my battle with depression and?calls on talkback.

Originally I was meant to do just two hours, but we were having a blast so Mike asked me to stay for the full 4 hours.

The podcasts are now?available?in the iTunes store (free)

Thanks To Boris, Mike and the team for the opportunity.