Except in the more severe depressions, and bipolar depression, medication is usually an option, rather than a necessity. Antidepressant medication does not cure depression, it only helps you to feel better by controlling certain symptoms. If you are depressed because of life problems, such as relationship conflicts, divorce, loss of a loved one, job pressures, financial crises, serious medical problems in yourself or a family member, legal problems, or problems with your children, taking a pill will not make those problems go away.
However, some symptoms of depression, such as sleep and appetite disturbances, significant concentration problems, and chronic fatigue, interfere with your ability to make the life changes necessary to eliminate the depression. In more serious depression, suicidal thoughts and urges, and preoccupation with death, may require medication in addition to psychotherapy.
Antidepressant medication can help relieve those symptoms, and allow you to make needed life changes. The decision to take medication, in addition to participating in psychological treatment, should be discussed with your treating psychologist and your primary care physician. Your thoughts and feelings regarding medication, after considering information about both the benefits and risks involved, are an important part of a collaborative treatment approach between psychologist and client.
If medication is part of your treatment, either your primary care physician or a psychiatrist will supervise the medical part of your treatment, while you continue psychotherapy with a psychologist. If you have a chronic medical condition or a serious illness, and you are taking medication for that condition, then the medical specialist treating that problem should be involved in your treatment.