They're nothing compared to those cancer patients. If they'd just buck up... Actually, JarodRussell, mental illness has a strong biological/physiological foundation. The brain is a part of the body, after all. There are now genetic tests that accurately detect schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia can also be seen in brain structure. Even mental illnesses we traditionally think of as having a stronger psychological base, like eating disorders, have mounting evidence to show that there may be a much stronger physiological component than once thought. Medication certainly isn't the answer for everyone, but the idea that it treats only the symptoms and not the cause of depression displays a very simplistic understanding of mental illness. You are right that depression always has a cause, and like many illnesses, the cause is usually a combination of both environment and physioligy. Sometimes that cause is more situational, and in that case medication could be used to treat the symptoms in the hope that it could function as a crutch while the patient works on resolving whatever issues are contributing to the depression. However, sometimes the cause is more physiological, and while non-pharmacological treatments can be successful in treating individuals suffering this kind of depression, medication is often the best choice.