Are Antidepressants Just Placebos with Side Effects?

12 Jul

I have first-hand experience of the devastation of depression, in myself and those close to me. Although I have been tempted to try antidepressants, I've never done so. Of course, like everyone reading this column, I know many people who have been treated with antidepressants--not surprisingly, because according to a 2005 survey, one in 10 Americans are now under such treatment. Some people I know have greatly benefited from their treatment. Others never find adequate relief, or they experience annoying side effects--such as mania, insomnia, emotional flatness or loss of libido--so they keep trying different drugs, often in combination with psychotherapy. One chronically depressed friend has tried, unsuccessfully, to stop taking his medications, but he experienced a surge of depression worse than the one that led him to seek treatment. He accepts that he will probably need to take antidepressants for the rest of his life. [More]