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Antidepressants Are No Better Than Placebos

March 11, 2008 | 38,618 views

depression, antidepressantsAntidepressant drugs, including the best-selling Prozac, simply do not work as advertised, according to a comprehensive review by U.S. and Canadian researchers.

After examining all data available for the drugs -- including clinical trials that manufacturers did not publish at the time -- it was found that patients taking the drugs improved just as much as those taking placebo pills. The only exception was among severely depressed patients, who improved slightly more on the drugs than the placebos.

This study is unique in that it is the first time a study has been done using a full set of data for the antidepressants Prozac, Seroxat, Effexor, and Serzone.

"Using complete data sets (including unpublished data) and a substantially larger data set of this type than has been previously reported, we find the overall effect of new-generation antidepressant medication is below recommended criteria for clinical significance," the authors wrote.

Dr. Mercola's Comments:

It’s been known for years that placebos, or sugar pills, work just as well as antidepressants, but it is still amazing what comes out when you are actually able to see the whole picture. In this case, after the researchers got their hands on all of those unpublished studies (by taking advantage of freedom of information rules from the Food and Drug Administration) it came out that antidepressant drugs don’t work.

They don’t work. Yet, they are being prescribed to 118 million Americans each year -- and the four most commonly prescribed are also three of those that this study found to be just as effective as popping a sugar pill: Prozac, Effexor and Serzone (Paxil is the fourth).

Now, here’s something to think about: there are 118 million prescriptions for these drugs each year, yet, according to the National Institute of Mental Health, depression affects approximately 14.8 million American adults in any given year.

Who is receiving the 100+ million doses of “extra” antidepressants? People with pain, people with anxiety, people who want to quit smoking, people with sleep problems, fibromyalgia, overreactive bladders, and even some people who simply want to lose weight.

In short, there are large numbers of people who are taking these drugs, and paying for these drugs, for wildly different problems, when perhaps a simple tool that they already possess could do the same thing, for free, a sugar pill. But what would work even better is to use another solution that is also free: your mind.

Can Depression be Treated With Your Mind?

Depression is a serious illness and one that clearly needs to be addressed, as it is the cause of loads of pain and suffering. But the reason why some people experience benefits after taking an antidepressant drugs is not, as this study proves, because of the drug itself. It is because the person believed that the pill would work.

This is why, when given a sugar pill, it is possible to experience relief from a wide range of symptoms, as long as you believe the pill will help you.

This placebo effect has, in fact, been proven to be real in one of the most prestigious journals in the world, Science.

Most doctors only superficially acknowledge the power of placebo and do not even begin to fully utilize the power that it represents.

Your subconscious mind is basically neutral. It will implement just about any command that you continuously feed it and sincerely believe in. This concept is explained very clearly in this great video on The New Biology, but the bottom line is that if you believe something will heal you, then there’s a good chance, even a 100 percent chance, that it will.

So, why spend money on an antidepressant that has potentially dangerous side effects, when you can use your mind instead?

To do this, I suggest using an energy psychology tool such as the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). For serious problems such as depression, it would be prudent to contact a health care professional who is trained in the technique. You can use Gary Craig's list of EFT Practitioner Referrals to do this.

What else can you do to help ease depression? Here are three additional tips:

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