(ed: this is a recommended-read..the best thing i have read on depression – pretty much ever..)
We all know that when you take selfies you take 30 pictures – throw away the 29 where you look bleary-eyed or double-chinned and pick out the best one to be your Tinder profile picture.
It turned out that the drug companies – who fund almost all the research into these drugs – were taking this approach to studying chemical antidepressants.
They would fund huge numbers of studies – throw away all the ones that suggested the drugs had very limited effects and then only release the ones that showed success.
To give one example: in one trial the drug was given to 245 patients but the drug company published the results for only 27 of them.
Those 27 patients happened to be the ones the drug seemed to work for.
Suddenly Professor Kirsch realised that the 70% figure couldn’t be right.
It turns out that between 65 and 80% of people on antidepressants are depressed again within a year.
I had thought that I was freakish for remaining depressed while on these drugs.
In fact Kirsch explained to me in Massachusetts I was totally typical.
These drugs are having a positive effect for some people – but they clearly can’t be the main solution for the majority of us because we’re still depressed even when we take them.
At the moment we offer depressed people a menu with only one option on it.