Well, I wrote a huge post, and FitDay ate it, which sometimes happens. Basically, the high points are as follows:
I personally don't have experience with antidepressants, or any other psychotropics. My conclusions come just from my profession and what I've seen over 15 years in practice. I've seen antidepressants work. I've seen them not, and I've seen them come with wicked side effects.
That being said, my Ph.D. is a research-based degree, but I have a clinical practice. I do therapy, not research. I have the background of the science, but I'm not in the pocket of any drug company and never have been. I never, ever, advocate using medication without therapy, and often do therapy with folks who do not need and/or do not want medication. Most of my patients are not on medication.
I always advocate starting with therapy and lifestyle factors. However, in the case of vegetative depression, suicidal depression, or intractible depression, medication can be helpful. I have seen patients who don't have the will or energy to get out the bed, let alone process their issues using insight-oriented therapy, and if an antidepressant can get them to where I can work with them, then I'm truly okay with that.
My main concern was that, given that this is a newcomers' thread, that no one feel isolated or criticized because he or she happened to choose medication as an option for him- or herself. A lot of folks on here have done just that, and I would hate for someone to read this thread and think that they would not be accepted because of a personal choice that is their right to make. Consequently, I simply presented the other side of the argument.
I am not saying that your post was dogmatic at all. However, we sometimes have some individuals who post with the attitude that their way is the only way (search for Zorba's posts if you want an example), and it is quite polarizing; I tend to be very hyprvigilant for that. It is wonderful to be passionate about one's point of view, and I don't disagree with the basic premise of yours, but in the long run, there are two sides to every issue, shades of gray for every black and white, and exceptions to rules, and I felt that it was important to state them for others who may be reading through, if only to illustrate that everyone needs to do what's right for them, provided they're being honest about what that is.
"If you drop an egg, you don't say, 'Oh, shoot' and drop the other 11, do you?"
-Source unknown, but obviously brilliant
Reached goal 4/16/2010...but kind of afraid to look these days