January 6, 2010
MISSING THE POINT ENTIRELY:
Do You Really Need That Antidepressant? (Deborah Kotz, January 6, 2010, US News)
Consider this: Antidepressants are the most widely prescribed drugs in the United States, with 10 percent of women and 4 percent of men taking them. Yet a new review published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association finds that some of the most popular drugs actually don't work better than a sugar pill in the majority of these folks. The study did find, however, that the medications do work effectively in those with really bad depression, the kind that completely interferes with the ability to work, feel any pleasure, sleep, eat normally, and engage in the normal routines of life.
What's shocking to me is how many people—especially women—are put on these drugs for mild mood problems that don't fall into the category of truly, utterly "black dog" depression. That's probably the fault of primary-care physicians, who often don't screen properly for depression before writing a prescription.
It is, of course, the fault of the patients who demand a treatment for their non-condition. But, as the study reveals, they can just be dosed with sugar pills and they'll go away happy. Posted by Orrin Judd at January 6, 2010 6:50 PM