Tag Archives: depression and antidepressants

Depression – Challenging the Status Quo

Depression - Challenging the Status Quo

By now, the belief that depression is a biological disease that arises from an imbalance of serotonin and the improper function of neurotransmitters is widespread, with the typical course of treatment involving the long-term medication of these imbalances — a very lucrative prospect for Big Pharma.

Perhaps it is sadly unsurprising, then, that this belief about depression may be incorrect, and the adoption of it so widespread owing to the influence of the pharmaceutical industry. It is coming to light that this industry has been engaged in study suppression, falsification, strategic marketing, and the use of “financial incentives” to woo the field of academic psychiatry into agreeing with its favored approach, leading to a staggering 11 billion dollars’ worth of antidepressant sales in 2011 alone.

According to Dr. Ben Goldacre, the member of the Royal College of Psychiatrists and research fellow at the London Institute of Psychiatry, the issue of study suppression has a long and sordid history. Over the last 15 years, it was found that 50% of the 76 studies analyzed by Dr. Goldacre were positive and 50% were negative—and yet, only a few of the negative studies ever saw the light of day, with almost all of them remaining unpublished. In 2004 alone, approximately 50% of those studies that weren’t already suppressed by the pharmaceutical industry found that antidepressants have little more effect than a placebo on many of those with depression—and in children, they are even less effective.  Even in the “positive” studies, when one reads the “fine print”, one discovers that an antidepressant only has to be 10% more effective than a placebo to be deemed a useful drug. Ergo, every day, thousands of people are being prescribed drugs that only need to work about 10% of the time, and which often come with a significant list of harmful side effects.

Obviously, this kind of logic simply doesn’t mesh with real science, where theories must be correct 100% of the time to be considered truly valid.