VISTAS Online is an innovative publication produced for ACA by Dr. Garry R. Walz and Dr. Jeanne C. Bleuer of Counseling Outfitters, LLC. Its purpose is to provide a means of capturing the ideas, information and experiences generated by the annual ACA Conference and selected ACA Division Conferences. Papers on a program or practice that has been validated through research or experience may also be submitted. This digital collection of peer-reviewed articles is authored by counselors, for counselors. VISTAS Online contains the full text of over 900 proprietary counseling articles published from 2004 to 2017.
Candidates for Antidepressants: Assessing a History of Early Life Stressors
Depression may be a debilitating condition. Many individuals turn to antidepressants to treat their symptoms. Research suggests that while many individuals report success and symptom reduction with antidepressant usage, a large portion of individuals with depression do not respond to antidepressant treatment. The etiology of depression for many individuals may be attributed to early life stress (ELS). ELS may lead to a malfunctioning stress response system. For example, stress hormone levels may be elevated in those individuals with a history of ELS. Most antidepressants are designed to affect the neurotransmitters serotonin, norepinephrine, and or dopamine and not stress hormones. For those individuals who are nonresponsive to antidepressant treatment, they may need a medication that alters stress hormones. When counseling clients using antidepressants, counselors should be prepared to serve as a medication manager and liaison between the client and antidepressant prescribing physician.