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Author Topic: Study finds common antidepressants don't work on most people
Sineed
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posted 26 February 2008 02:57 PM      Profile for Sineed     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
They looked at data from the FDA regarding fluoxetine (Prozac), nefazodone (Serzone), paroxetine (Paxil), and venlafaxine (Effexor) and found that for many people they worked no better than placebo.
quote:
These findings suggest that, compared with placebo, the new-generation antidepressants do not produce clinically significant improvements in depression in patients who initially have moderate or even very severe depression, but show significant effects only in the most severely depressed patients. The findings also show that the effect for these patients seems to be due to decreased responsiveness to placebo, rather than increased responsiveness to medication. Given these results, the researchers conclude that there is little reason to prescribe new-generation antidepressant medications to any but the most severely depressed patients unless alternative treatments have been ineffective.

From: # 668 - neighbour of the beast | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
M. Spector
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posted 26 February 2008 03:05 PM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
How depressing!
From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
N.R.KISSED
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posted 26 February 2008 03:16 PM      Profile for N.R.KISSED     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
It's not depressing because people get better with or without them of course without them is cheaper and side effect free.
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M. Spector
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posted 26 February 2008 03:18 PM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
It's depressing because society spends billions of dollars a year enriching the pharmaceutical companies' shareholders for nothing.
From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
kropotkin1951
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posted 26 February 2008 03:23 PM      Profile for kropotkin1951   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Not only don't they work but they have potentially lethal side effects for some people. So when are we going to arrest these irresponsible drug pushers.
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oldgoat
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posted 26 February 2008 09:16 PM      Profile for oldgoat     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Can't say I'm really surprised. In terms of personal experience, I've tried all kinds over many years. I've never really known if I was just getting better on my own through natural cycles, because the decision to start them, at least for me, comes at a pretty low point. They at least sometimes provide a certain numbness.

I stopped using them for a number of years, and just worked with lifestyle adjustments. Tried them again last fall, which I found a bit rough, and got blown away by side effects. Stopped after a month.

This is not scientific, but it's heart warming. A client of mine suffered from really bad depression (as well as sundry other diagnoses, but the depression was real enough). She said and did almost nothing. So I went for a visit, and walked up the few steps toward the living room. She said "I got a" and before she could get the words "Jack Russel Terrier pup" out of her mouth, I had the thing launched at my chest. It was actually on top of my head licking my ear. (those familiar with the breed will know they have a special relationship with gravity) Funnest client visit I've had in years. She plays with it, walks it many times a day, is animated and laughs.

Best damn anti depressant ever.

Her psychiatrist of course, when he cut her meds back took full credit for a good treatment regimen.


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marzo
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posted 27 February 2008 02:56 AM      Profile for marzo     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
This is further evidence to support my view that psychiatry is a pseudo-science. Psychiatrists are as useless and pernicious as scientology, even more so because this fake science has social respectability and government support.
The health care industry is full of charlatans and quacks, and it is in psychiatry that false hope and fake medicine can be very clearly seen.

From: toronto | Registered: Feb 2006  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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posted 27 February 2008 03:41 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Wouldn't it be fun if doctors could come up with a few good brand names for placebos and give them out free as "samples" from their offices.

"Here, I just got a shipment in of these samples, so just take these, no need to buy them since I have so many, and you should hopefully be feeling better soon."


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
rural - Francesca
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posted 27 February 2008 04:33 AM      Profile for rural - Francesca   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Hang on.

There are real people dealing with serious mental illnesses, that do require medication and do respond to medication.

The problem lies in a society where feeling "blue, sad, tired, stressed" etc is no labeled as depression, when it really is no a "biochemical" depression but more of a mood disorder.

People with that type of depression need to look at lifestyle and stress and see what can be done about it. Oldgoat's example is perfect. Being obligated to the life of an animal gave this woman purpose and cause outside of her depression and motivated her to keep moving.

For many people it's a case of getting out of the rut and doing something.

But the industry would have us believe that just feeling blue requires medication, it does not.


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margrace
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posted 27 February 2008 05:05 AM      Profile for margrace        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Hi Francesca, my daughter trained as a pychiatric nurse and ended up thoroughly disinchanted with the Dr.s, with the drug pushers and the huge increase in certain labels.

She knows there are people who are mentally sick and must be kept on their meds but she also has a hard time with Dr. pushing meds on women who, in her opinion, do not need them. She would agree compelely with you.


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RosaL
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posted 27 February 2008 08:44 AM      Profile for RosaL     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by margrace:
Hi Francesca, my daughter trained as a pychiatric nurse and ended up thoroughly disinchanted with the Dr.s, with the drug pushers and the huge increase in certain labels.

She knows there are people who are mentally sick and must be kept on their meds but she also has a hard time with Dr. pushing meds on women who, in her opinion, do not need them. She would agree compelely with you.


I spent years in the mental health system. (I wasn't "mentally ill", but I have a disability that was taken for "mental illness". Well, not just the disability but the effects also of the way I was treated because of it. It's a long and miserable story.) I agree that there are people whose problems are fundamentally biological mental illness. But a large number of people in the system are not ill - they're suffering the effects of poverty, oppression, violence, abuse, etc. But we live in a society that prefers "there's something wrong in their brains" (so give them drugs) to "there's something wrong in a society that breaks people and causes this kind of suffering" (so we need to help these people to have some kind of life and we need to change the way our society works).

The other appalling thing about the system is that you have people from the "top layer" of society (psychiatrists) purporting to "diagnose" and "treat" people who, for the most part, are on the "bottom layer" of society.

ETA: I have many good things to say about the nurses!

[ 27 February 2008: Message edited by: RosaL ]


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aka Mycroft
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posted 27 February 2008 10:28 AM      Profile for aka Mycroft     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Sineed:
They looked at data from the FDA regarding fluoxetine (Prozac), nefazodone (Serzone), paroxetine (Paxil), and venlafaxine (Effexor) and found that for many people they worked no better than placebo.

How depressing.


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Michelle
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posted 27 February 2008 10:34 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by M. Spector:
How depressing!

Indeed!


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Timebandit
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posted 27 February 2008 11:44 AM      Profile for Timebandit     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Well, this has got me wondering...

My mother has suffered from chronic depression most of my life. It made for some fairly difficult times, especially in my "tween" and teen years, having to deal with her illness as well as all the bumps that go along with that time of life. She did seek treatment, but it didn't help much.

It wasn't until my father died, when she was in her mid-fifties, that she tried Paxil and became a completely different person. The difference was astounding. More energy, more positive outlook on life, less critical and temperamental.

Now I wonder if we'd just given her a placebo 20 years earlier how different our lives would have been.


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oldgoat
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posted 27 February 2008 11:58 AM      Profile for oldgoat     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Regarding Francesca's post, I take her point, and I believe there are those for whom it may be of some help. It may have had some good effect for me at some point.

Depression can be hugely debilitating and immobilising, and before I got some insight into what was going on with me, I had some really "lost' times.

It is generally accepted by main stream medicine that the best treatment involves the triad of meds, counselling, and lifestyle. Under lifestyle, exercise and activity is almost a must, and relationships can be looked at under lifestyle or counselling.

A big problem is finding a medical practitioner who will give more than a cursory nod beyond medication, if they do that at all. I think the other two pillers are far far more vital, and when properly addressed can remove the need for meds.

I will also add that good counselling is hard to find, and can be pretty difficult when you do, and never underestimate the degree of difficulty, painful difficulty, which can be involved in the simple phrase "addressing lifestyle issues".


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1234567
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posted 06 March 2008 12:04 PM      Profile for 1234567     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
A big problem is finding a medical practitioner who will give more than a cursory nod beyond medication, if they do that at all.

I know that when I was an abusive relationship I went to the doctor and he asked why I was losing so much weight and I told him my problems, he gave me Valum. Years later I realized that if I had taken those pills, I might still be in that relationship!


From: speak up, even if your voice shakes | Registered: Aug 2007  |  IP: Logged
RosaL
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posted 06 March 2008 12:10 PM      Profile for RosaL     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by 1234567:

I know that when I was an abusive relationship I went to the doctor and he asked why I was losing so much weight and I told him my problems, he gave me Valum. Years later I realized that if I had taken those pills, I might still be in that relationship!


Yeah, I'm glad you didn't take them.

If I hadn't stopped taking the pills I was given, I think I'd be dead. But I'm happy as a clam


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Makwa
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posted 06 March 2008 12:43 PM      Profile for Makwa   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
RosaL, I agree with you about the social and historical aspects of so-called 'psychological' illnesses, but when one is deep within what was once called the 'sloth of despond,' it can be a very dangerous place. I can only speak for myself, but being prescribed effexor was an unanticipated and extraordinary relief from feelings and thoughts which led me to numerous suicidal attempts, hospitalizations and jailings.

Of course, that is only a small part of the story, and the rest is being played out between myself and my skilled and thoughtful psychiatrist. However, I would not minimize the relief such meds offer many people, myself included.

To add: perhaps as noted above, such meds are best utilized by those who have major and potentially dangerous depressive episodes.

[ 06 March 2008: Message edited by: Makwa ]


From: Here at the glass - all the usual problems, the habitual farce | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged
Coyote
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posted 06 March 2008 01:12 PM      Profile for Coyote   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I'm glad there are people who can get better without the use of pharmaceuticals of any kind. I agree that there is likely a tendency to over-prescribe.

But some people do need these drugs (maybe not these ones in specific, but in general). They have helped alot of people.


From: O’ for a good life, we just might have to weaken. | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged
ElizaQ
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posted 06 March 2008 02:21 PM      Profile for ElizaQ     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I had one brief experience with drugs like this. At one point I realized that something was very wrong and after a couple of friends who saw the change urged me to see the doctor...after a bit of thinking -- hard to do when one is depressed like that. I personally found it a really hard thing to do as have been a propronent of herbal type medicine for years and generally treat pretty much any illness I have in this way. I was at the point though where I barely had the motivation to do...anything...let along all the things I knew I should be doing to help get better, things like diet, exercise etc etc.
So I reluctantly agreed to try a pill. At the same time the doctor did blood tests and I was severely deficient in B-12...like really low...something I found out a week or so after I started taking the pills. Now to me this deficiency was a major symptom and pointer at the problem but my doctor disagreed and said that although a B-12 deficiency can effect the brain it isn't known to be connected with depression. Yeah okay I thought.
So on my own I changed my diet. I was vegetarian at the time and although I thought I was doing what I needed to get the B-12 something obviously wasn't working. I started to eat meat again. It was also a time of great stress..school and work and I think the combo wore me down to the point where things got out of kilter.

The pills though did make me feel better and gave me the energy I needed to get off the couch and do what I needed to do beside the pills. The 'brain cloud'(the only way I can describe it) lifted. After the prescription ran out I was supposed to get a refil but I didn't get it. The doctor told me that in order for it to work I would need to be on them for at least to six months. I got a phone call and then had a bit of an argument about it...she told me that there was no way that it could be what I thought it was and that I should take the pills. I told her flat out no, that while I appreciated the 'kick-start' they gave me to help get my brain back in gear and thus a healthy lifestyle in gear that it was all that I needed. I ended up promising her that if I was feeling bad again I would go back.

Well that was years ago and I've been fine ever since. I don't regret taking those pills at all, they served a purpose and I'm grateful that they existed at a time when I was really bad off. On the other hand it really got me thinking about whether there are other cases where the potential 'organic' reasons combined with the social reasons are some of the causes of depression and are simply missed or pushed off as not relevant. In my case I'm convinced that I was suffering from the effects of a bad diet because once the B-12 went up I was fine. I also have to wonder what would have happened if I hadn't had the personal knowledge that I did and went by just what the doctor said (being the authority)...would I still be on them and none the wiser?


From: Eastern Lakes | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged
RosaL
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posted 06 March 2008 02:26 PM      Profile for RosaL     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I don't deny that some people have biologically-based "difficulties". And even people whose problems are socially-based often need something to get them through, either temporarily or, sometimes, even permanently. I know many people are in unbearable pain and that it is dangerous. (I speak from experience.) I know drugs can give a person enormous relief. (So can some other things I won't mention.) People need to do what they need to do to survive. I don't even deny that there are some good psychiatrists.

My point wasn't: nobody should take any psychoactive drugs. My point was about the role psychiatry all too often plays as ideological support for the kind of society we live in. (I spoke out of my own experience, too, and since I don't want to describe that in much detail on the internet, it's not surprising that what I am trying to say is unclear.)

[ 06 March 2008: Message edited by: RosaL ]


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