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Study: Placebo performs as well as antidepressant drugs in treating depression

Thursday, January 12, 2012 by: Jonathan Benson, staff writer
Tags: placebo, depression, antidepressants


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(NaturalNews) The more that researchers truly study the effects of antidepressant drugs on depression patients, the more it becomes painfully obvious that these mind-altering medications are utterly useless. A new study conducted by the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) has revealed that antidepressant drugs work no better than talk therapy, placebo pills, or basically anything else, at relieving depression.

Funded in part by the drug industry, the new study follows the same pattern as several other recent studies that, even though they were not intended to do so, actually expose antidepressant drugs as a scam. Though the study's authors and various commentators were quick to dismiss the findings as not necessarily indicative of the fact that antidepressants provide no medical benefits, any reasonable person looking at the study with an open mind can clearly see that this is, in fact, the case.

For the study, which was published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, researchers randomly assigned 156 depression patients to either take the antidepressant drug Sertraline (Zoloft) daily for 16 weeks; a form of psychotherapy called supportive-expressive therapy twice a week for four weeks, then weekly for 12 weeks; or take inactive placebo pills for 16 weeks.

At the conclusion of the study period, researchers reported virtually no difference at all among the groups in how depression patients responded to their treatments -- roughly 25 percent from each group saw an improvement in their depression symptoms, while the rest continued to struggle with their symptoms.

"I was surprised by the results," said lead researcher Jacques P. Barber, dean of the Institute of Advanced Psychological Studies at Adelphi University in Garden City, New York. "They weren't what I'd expected."

And to those who put their faith in Western medicine's drug-based solutions for depression, how could the results not be surprising? After all, a study such as this one is an embarrassment to both the drug and mental health industries, as it shows that their so-called solutions are no better at treating depression symptoms than taking a sugar pill.

It's not that the drug doesn't work, it's that everything works, including the drug!

And in trying to gloss over the results, some outside commentators inadvertently admitted that virtually anything can work to treat depression -- yes, anything. Dr. David Mischoulon, an associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, for instance, actually told Reuters Health that, rather than disprove the effectiveness of antidepressants, the study actually shows that "everything seems to work to some degree."

So when a scientific study proves that a certain pharmaceutical drug fails to live up to its hype, experts trying to defend that particular drug just have to claim that everything, including that drug, can be helpful in treating a condition, and voila, it is still effective. This is, of course, an amazingly unscientific and absurd way of looking at the findings, but it is the only way apart from scrapping the useless drug that its defenders can (very poorly) try to justify its existence.

Sources for this article include:

http://old.news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20111221/hl_nm/us_antidepressant

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