Twenty-plus years of research on antidepressants, from the old tricyclics to the newer selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) show that their benefit is hardly more than what patients get when they take a placebo.
More and more scientists who study depression and the drugs that treat it are concluding that antidepressants are basically expensive Tic Tacs.
Research has found that patients do improve, often substantially, on SSRIs, tricyclics, and even MAO inhibitors. This improvement is the basis for the ubiquitous claim that antidepressants work.
But when researchers compare the improvement in patients taking the drugs with the improvement in those taking dummy pills, they find that the difference is minuscule.
Nonetheless, the number of Americans taking antidepressants doubled in a decade, from 13.3 million in 1996 to 27 million in 2005.
This is a very important point, folks. In many cases, your beliefs are as or more effective than pills when it comes to achieving health.
The second article linked below frowns on the notion of homeopathy, because some people think it may work as a placebo. But the article shouldn't be so dismissive. The placebo effect is very powerful. Thousands of clinical studies have found that the placebo effect can aid in healing or even cure disease.
What it comes down to is the crucial mind-body connection. Those who have hope and belief in the solutions they try will likely find them working. That's why it is so key to keep your health freedom, and pay attention to the huge corporations that continually discredit alternative methods.
Typically, more natural healing techniques won't harm you, and many of the drugs will. In time, energy medicine will be better understood, and perhaps this placebo element will be utilized in such a way that no pill will ever be necessary -- your mind will be stimulated to heal on its own. Similarly, those who pray or meditate for healing should not be ridiculed either.
Simply labeling something as a placebo and not pursuing it any further misses a key point. The so-called "placebo effect" may very well point the way to the future or medicine.