Jung At Heart

...Ramblings About Psychotherapy and Whatever Else Comes to Mind...

Yup -- I'm talking about depression and medications again

That commercial running these days about "Depression hurts", seemingly implying that most of any time which is not wonderful must be due to depression, really annoys me. To me, it is clear that the drug company is working at extending the population of potential recipients. Take a look at their Symptom Body Map -- why just about anything you experience could be a sign of depression and thus mean you should be taking their drug.

Commercials for medications of all kinds are annoying enough, but what if you learned that the medications being promoted are no more effective than placebos?  Thanks to Psych Pundit I was reminded again of the outcome of the study done a few years ago to look at several antidepressants. Because the response to placebo alone is quite high, there is no way to determine if the effects attributed to the actual drugs are placebo effects or due to pharmacological effect. In other words, we don't know if these drugs, with their side effects, actually work much at all!

Other studies PsychPundit cites show 24 percent of patients taking St. John's wort had full responses to treatment versus about 32 percent for placebo and 25 percent for sertraline. -- that last drug, sertaline, is Zoloft -- and placebo was most effective. Plus there's the 1998 article, Listening to Prozac but hearing placebo.

This data has been around for 8 years now. The reports are out there. But unless you dig, you would not know that in fact, these drugs are far less effective than the drug companies have led us to believe. Plus, as PsychPundit tells us, about half of all patients stop taking their meds within the first month. So we start with medications that are less effective than advertised and fewer than half of patients who are prescribed them stick with them.

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