The Truth about Antidepressants

Benefits and Risks


When the symptoms of depression set in, sometimes the best way to come out of a depressive episode is to start with medication. Antidepressants, just like any other medication, has certain benefits and side effects. In this post, produced in cooperation with the Association of Biblical Counselors, Dr. Andrea Kim, board-certified psychiatrist and adjunct professor at Dallas Theological Seminary, explains the various benefits and risks when you take antidepressants.  



The benefits of antidepressants outweigh the risks. Antidepressants can stop suicidal thoughts to bring someone out of a depressive episode. Some side effects only last a few weeks as you get used to the medication, while others last for the duration of your prescription. Andrea said the severe risks of antidepressants rarely occur and can be monitored if the patient has a good relationship with their doctor.  

What hesitations or concerns do you have about antidepressants? Why?
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Do you have a good relationship with your doctor? How so? How do you two communicate about medication and treatment? If you don’t have a good relationship with your doctor, how could you take practical steps toward building trust with them or finding a doctor you do trust?
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Have you or someone you know ever taken antidepressants? If so, what kind of impact did they make? Would you agree that the benefits outweigh the risks? Why or why not? If not, would you ever consider taking antidepressants? Why or why not?
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What new insights did you gain about antidepressants from Andrea’s talk? How could you apply what you learn to your life this week?
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Depression isn’t an illness you should ignore. If you’re in a depressive episode, get help. Go to your doctor or look for a counselor or psychiatrist. Antidepressants play a limited but important role in curing depression—don’t be afraid if your doctor suggests taking them. Use what you know about depression to come alongside depressed friends and family members. Encourage them and check up on them this week.  


You can find more on depression from Andrea in the course You Can't Just "Get Over It." 


To learn more about The Association of Biblical Counselors, click here.