Medication doesn't have to be the first stop in treatment.
Doctors routinely treat depression symptoms by handing out prescriptions for anti-depressants. The pharmacology industry and insurance business as well as popular culture and media have made medication the first step in treating depression.
There are people who really need medication to be able to get up in the morning and be functional, and medication does have its place under certain conditions.
In my opinion, the majority of people suffering from depression could benefit from psychotherapy to address both the symptoms of and causes of depression. Understanding how the depression resulted from personal and family interactions is a major step to helping resolve and lift the depression. At its most basic, depression is a ‘depressing’ of emotions and there is a psychological burden to pushing feelings down and burying them.