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Michelle Gottlieb Psy.D., MFT, LPCC
Individual, Couple and Family Therapy
Resolving issues from your past that block your future

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October 2003


As anyone who knows me can attest, I am not a pusher of medication. I feel that many people and their doctors choose medication to smooth out issues rather than to really deal with them. And do not even get me started on how we often over-medicate our children.


That being said, I do feel that medication can frequently be an important adjunct to treatment of a problem. Depression is often a bio-chemical issue. Our brain chemistry is messed up. Now, studies have shown that talk therapy does change brain chemistry; however, it may not be rapid enough or a big enough change to help someone cope with life. If we are struggling with hormonal imbalances, no amount of talking is going to fix that. Hormonal imbalances can wreak havoc on a person and her relationship, which anyone with PMS or living with a woman with PMS can attest.


Another idea that I recommend to the people that I work with is to try medication for a short period of time. Let’s use the medication to help you to focus enough to process what you need to and to learn new skills. Once you have those things dealt with, let’s, with your doctor’s permission and supervision, slowly back out of the medication and see how you are doing.


There are some people that will be on medication for the rest of their lives. It does not mean that they are weak or crazy. If you had diabetes, wouldn’t you take your insulin? This is no different. Your body is not making what it needs, or is making too much of it. Just like with any other process in our body.


So, if someone recommends an anti-anxiety or anti-depressant, don’t freak out or beat yourself up. Assess the situation and see if you have done everything that you can prior to taking the medication, discuss with your doctor if this is for short-term or long-term and, once you are on it, do not stop on working on finding ways to work through your issues!


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