Since treatment by medication is the most effective treatment for depression and mental illness (schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, etc) and since not taking these medications, (antidepressants, anti-psychotics, mood stabilizers) or stopping them often results in altering the chemistry of the brain, then the question is: Why would you object to a person taking medication? And another question is: Why would you not encourage people to get help by taking these medications since they are not addicting or harmful to the brain but rather beneficial?
Please see below.
Depression is a neuron-degenerative disease . A leading expert in biological psychiatry research says, "So it's not as benign an illness as we used to suppose. It tends to be recurrent, it tends to run down hill; and so one should, in the face of several episodes, consider long-term preventative treatment to avoid all horrible consequences." This suggests that depression, even if it is occasioned by external tragedy, ultimately changes the structure, as well as the biochemistry of the brain. The Noonday Demon, An Atlas of Depression, pp 56,57. See also note 56, 57 end notes p.448.
Don't keep going on and off your medications!
Frequently patients who are on medication and responding to medication cease to be responsive if they keep cycling on and off the medications. There is an increased 10 percent risk that the depression will become chronic and inescapable. "It is sort of like a primary cancer that's very drug-responsive, but once it metastasizes, it doesn't respond at all."
Post explains, "If you have too many episodes, it changes your biochemistry for the bad, possibly permanently. At that point many therapists are still looking in the wrong directions. If the episode now occurs on automatic, what good is it to worry about the stressor that kicked off the original process? It's just too late for that. That which is mended can never be whole again." Solomon, Andrew. The Noonday Demon, An Atlas of Depression, See where the author Solomon has carried on detailed conversations with Robert Post, M.D, long time researcher with NIMH and John Greden, Faculty of University of Michigan. notes 56,57, end notes, pp 448, 449.
Depression damaging the brain
John Greden-- If you have too much stress and too high a level of cortisol for too long, you start destroying the very neurons that should regulate the feed back loop and turn down the cortisol level after stress is resolved. Ultimately, this results in lesions to the hippo campus and the amygdla, a loss of neuronal networking tissue. The longer you remain in a depressed state, the more likely you are to have significant lesions, which can lead to peripheral neuropathy; your vision starts to fade and all kinds of other things can go wrong." ( Ibid, p. 60 and end note 60, pp.448,449). See Sapolsky, Robert, Hippocampal damage associated with prolonged glucocorticoid exposure in primates," Journal of Neuroscience, 10, (1990)
"This reflects the obvious fact that we need not only to treat depression when it appears, but also to prevent it from recurring. Our public health approach at the moment is just wrong. People with recurrent depression must stay on medication permanently, not cycle on and off it, because beyond the unpleasantness of having to survive multiple painful depressive episodes, such people are actually ravaging their own neuronal tissue."John Greden Professor, University of Michigan.
This research is the reason we oppose our Christian brothers who counsel their clients to stop taking their medications. It is looked upon as a weakness to remain on psychotropic drugs and the result is painful mental illness, permanent brain damage and guilt for having to take medications in the first place. At Heartfelt Counseling Ministries we do biblical counseling, link clients to good psychiatric care, support them through their episodes and teach them about their illnesses.
Our book, Broken Minds, (Kregel 2005) chronicles our own story of mental illness, teaches what the bible says and gives the physical aspects of a disease that is crippling Christians who are being erroneously taught that their illnesses are a result of sin. If you want to be validated in your depression or other mental health disorder and spiritually encouraged, I would strongly suggest you order a copy of Broken Minds on our website. We don't blame you for being sick!