Good to see the recent spate of publicity for a study that hacks the legs out from under the antidepressant medication industry.
Currently the most viewed health article from the Washington Post website is about this study: “Only Severely Depressed Benefit From Antidepressants: Study“, and if you search Google News for the study’s author, Irving Kirsch, you find dozens of stories in the last 48 hours. It’s gone hot, and rightly so.
The whole 50 years of the Serotonin hypothesis that justifies these medications is a minefield of dressed-up science and warped philosophy.
It’s just over 20 years since the wonder drug Prozac came onto the market, and the field has just kept expanding with new variations on the theme.
All this was meant to be backed up by highly rigorous and validated science.
Well it was only last month that a study into the reporting of those research findings showed that the benefits of antidepressants was universally less than claimed. In some cases more than half of the reported benefit of a particular anti-depressant was shown to be due to selective reporting of the available research.
The current study goes even further and questions whether there is any benefit at all in anti-depressant except in severe cases of depression, and even in these cases there was very little effect.
As disheartening as this is for people who are depressed, I hope this study really starts to clear the air on this topic.
But a note…
What if you are currently taking ‘anti-depressants’? – or whatever these drugs should now be named instead.
Keep taking them for the moment at least.
Discuss with the person who prescribed them for you, and make sure you have alternative plans for managing your mood, and that you understand the process for weaning off the medication.
If you think there is nothing else that can help your depression, you might find new choices with this:
-Dr Martin Russell