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ET EXTRA: Protecting Your Life: Depression And Pills

23 May

Today’s Shameful Behavior Award is presented to the antidepressant drug companies and the FDA.

The Literature section of the March 7 issue of the St. Petersburg Times contained a fascinating review (“Depression, Inc.” by Jonathan Rottenberg) of two books: Manufacturing Depression: The Secret History of a Modern Disease (by Gary Greenberg, a practicing therapist), and The Emperor’s New Drugs: Exploding the Antidepressant Myth (by Irving Kirsch, expert in statistics and clinical trial methodology).

The anti-depressant industry serves nearly 30 million Americans and provides income of 10 billion dollars a year to pharmaceutical firms. Both books question the honesty of this market, and — according to Rottenberg — do so in a thorough and entertaining manner.

For example, Greenberg attacks the subject from many angles — historical, scientific, clinical, and others — including enrolling in a clinical trial as a patient.

Kirsch points out that the drug companies, along with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) which approves their drugs, operate in a deceptive manner. The FDA allows the drug companies to pick and choose which clinical trial results they wish to publish. As Rottenberg states, “If a drug company does 10 trials and only two support the efficacy of the drug, they can elect to publish only those two.”

Depression symptoms when severe can be debilitating and dangerous, and require the immediate help of a qualified health care professional. This help, according to both authors, should not solely require the ingestion of expensive little pills.

-Ed Walker

 

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2 responses to “ET EXTRA: Protecting Your Life: Depression And Pills

  1. Barbara LoFrisco

    May 24, 2010 at 12:49 pm

    Certainly these drugs need to be studied and evaluated in a very careful and cautious manner- but as a clinician I have seen people improve from the drugs. Sometimes psychotherapy isn’t enough.

    However, people often ignore the simple things that could help- like exercise, sunshine and Omega 3 oils. There have been research studies on these things- we should not ignore them. They may not cure, but they could possibly help and aren’t expensive or dangerous.

     
  2. Costa

    June 7, 2010 at 9:39 pm

    However, people often ignore the simple things that could help- like exercise, sunshine and Omega 3 oils. There have been research studies on these things- we should not ignore them. They may not cure, but they could possibly help and aren’t expensive or dangerous.
    +1

     

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