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Old 06-20-2011, 06:24 AM
 
Location: Las Flores, Orange County, CA
26,362 posts, read 55,916,172 times
Reputation: 16417

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Are antidepressants glorified placebos? The Chart - CNN.com Blogs
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Old 06-20-2011, 07:13 AM
 
Location: Midwest
5,096 posts, read 3,290,812 times
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Another couple saps write books. I don't like antidepressants, but they do help some people. Would a sugar pill do as well? Not for those with real depression. So much they still don't know about the brain and depression.

1. "Our understanding of categories of mental illness and their treatments has been influenced by drug companies, through both legal and illegal marketing." Duh, and who let that happen? How about that Doc?
2. " Mental illness is not caused by chemical imbalances in the brain". Talk about generalizations, but thats what Doctors tend to do. In some cases I believe it is caused by an imbalance, in some cases it isnt. Doc's over prescribe, like a script writing machine. They do not know if its an imbalance or not yet they prescribe, assume, one size fits all and don't much care anyway. The majority of them fit this profile.

"antidepressants work merely because patients believe they work, and the pills' side effects reinforce that belief." Yeah, if it were only that easy. Another quack writes a book that has never experienced living with depression, or most likely even talked with people that have it.

"Kirsch speculates that, in fact, the side effects themselves are what convince patients that their antidepressants are working, and lead to them saying they feel less depressed."

It means they are doing something, that hardly means its something positive, the side effects often force a patient to give up on that particular medicine. Because I have side effects to a med, has nothing to do with its lessening my depression. People maybe sheeple, but those that have had depression awhile are usually not stupid about medicines or have any illusions that side effects equal relief of depression. What a bunch of rubbish.
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Old 06-20-2011, 04:12 PM
 
Location: Barrington, IL area
1,593 posts, read 1,508,042 times
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I don't know about depression, but I was on SSRI's for anxiety and the answer is NO, they are not. The withdrawal is awful though.
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Old 06-20-2011, 04:17 PM
 
Location: Las Flores, Orange County, CA
26,362 posts, read 55,916,172 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gramirez2012 View Post
The withdrawal is awful though.
Sounds like you pulled off them too quick.
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Old 06-20-2011, 04:42 PM
 
Location: Lompoc,CA
1,176 posts, read 3,034,892 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gramirez2012 View Post
I don't know about depression, but I was on SSRI's for anxiety and the answer is NO, they are not. The withdrawal is awful though.
Too fast of a wean? Im weaning off Paxil,the supposedly WORST one to
wean off of and Im doing ok. Nothing horrendous!

Deb
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Old 06-20-2011, 04:58 PM
 
Location: Barrington, IL area
1,593 posts, read 1,508,042 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles View Post
Sounds like you pulled off them too quick.
I think when I finally stopped taking it I was at a 5 mg dose of citalopram. Very small dose. I don't know how fast of a wean is too fast. It was done under a doctor's supervision. Fortunately, it only lasted a couple of days - I've read stories of people having withdrawals that last up to 3 weeks.
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Old 06-26-2011, 04:38 PM
 
Location: In a house
19,145 posts, read 13,980,680 times
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Ok so I will admit some do need an antidepressant....for me just getting off it finially and over the withdrawls was the best antidepressnt I have ever had! My Dr. diagnosed me incorrectly and I tried about 10 different kinds of A/D's believing I was dsepressed. Not bad coming off Paxil Deb--Effexor was horrible and I weaned each and every time with each and every A/D. I have recently been diagnosed with ADD by a new Dr and life is so much better and no SSRI's!
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Old 07-03-2011, 05:22 AM
 
Location: Colorado
20 posts, read 99,469 times
Reputation: 28
Default It would be bloodletting all over again

This is a fascinating possibility. As a person who is taking a mood stabilizer and an atypical antipsychotic, I am very interested in whether they are doing anything good and whether it has just been regression to the mean that has made them appear to do something good. I am worried by the thought that the drugs I take to keep my brain in balance could shrink my prefrontal cortex.

I see that Dr. Angell was the keynote speaker at a meeting organized by The Center For Inquiry, which puts her in the "good" column of my mental little black book (The Skeptics Society Forum • View topic - Darwin Memorial Lecture - Marcia Angell). (I wish I knew how to put in a hyperlink.)

If it turns out that mental illnesses such as schizophrenia really are best explained by people like Jacques Lacan and Ken Wilber, I will eat my hat. Really. I'll cut it up, soak it, butter it and eat it. That's a straw man or false dichotomy of course, but it's one possibility! I thought the evidence was pretty good that depression etc was the result of abnormal brain function, although I have read that not everybody with depression etc has abnormal MRIs. That latter bit alone would seem to be a nail in the coffin of at least one purported explanation of depression.

The ramifications of the findings of these three authors would be huge, if they bear out. But I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop. There is a second half of the article I haven't found yet and so assume hasn't been published. I'm counting on Dr. Angell to wrap up her thoughts with some important critical reflections on the three books; but it may be hoping too much, wanting what I already believe to be true so much I'm blinding myself. Maybe it'll just wrap up as one would expect, with a "Well, isn't that all just fascinating? It has been fun stirring the pot. Hope I ruffled some feathers and got my name out there a lot more. Now I'M going to write a book people will buy."

I will feel like a fool if neurotransmitter imbalances aren't the cause of severe mental illness. And I think the evidence will bear that out. The CNN article mentioned something Angell did not, that the more severe the depression the less placebo effect had to do with outcome. There has probably been a lot of broadening of the diagnostic criteria in practice that has let in lots more people who don't suffer from severe mental illness. The blues is no longer something to write music about, it's something to take powerful drugs for. I don't know people whom this has happened to, but i hear they are out there. I hear we are being over-medicated. But if severe mental illness can't be treated effectively with placebos but CAN be with antidepressants, which is apparently true, the death knell is not sounding for the chemical-imbalance theory of mental disease.

What do you think?
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Old 07-04-2011, 05:14 AM
 
2,063 posts, read 3,142,373 times
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Lightbulb Simply put...

All they do is mask the problem. Find the problem and fix it.
Koale
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Old 07-04-2011, 08:22 AM
 
27,935 posts, read 22,163,650 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Koale View Post
All they do is mask the problem. Find the problem and fix it.
Koale
Oversimplified statement. The best use for a/d's is to use them to clear your head and lift the depression and/or anxiety while you work on making structural change in yourself through therapy. The a/d's give you a head start. Drugs ALONE aren't going to solve everything.

And no, there was not terrible withdrawal weaning myself from my SSRI.

Re the OP's question--no, they are not placebos. I can remember asking my pdoc after a couple of months, "Does EVERYONE ELSE to get think this clearly all the time?????" He laughed, and said yes. (Obviously, not "everyone".)

I've been off the SSRI for a few years, and sometimes I miss that clarity of thinking that was possible then, but I've learned to manage my stuff and would prefer not to be on meds.
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