Just read this interesting article in NYT, it seems like antidepressants are not very usueful for most people.
Do Antidepressants Really Work? – The New York Times:
The study included people who took all types of antidepressants, including selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors like Prozac, serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors like Effexor and older antidepressants such as clomipramine and phenelzine. Researchers assessed both mental and physical quality of life with a survey that asked questions about subjects’ physical health, energy levels, mood, pain and ability to perform daily activities, among other things.The paper found no significant differences in the changes in quality of life reported by the two groups, which suggests that antidepressant drugs may not improve long-term quality of life.
Sounds like these meds could be useless, but since they are widly prescribed; the big pharma makes a lot of money from them.
Clinical trials suggest that although antidepressants do improve depression symptoms over the first few months, their benefits are modest and are much less pronounced among people with mild depression compared with those with severe depression.
Some doctors, for instance, have argued that the improvements people experience while taking antidepressants are not much larger than what they might experience taking sugar pills.
“They have marginal effects in the short term compared to placebo,” said Mark Horowitz, a research psychiatrist at University College London. That’s not to say that many people don’t feel better taking the drugs — it’s just that much of their improvement could stem from the placebo effect, rather than the medication itself.
Yet, I know of people who swear that they make a huge difference in their lives, and reading the comments for this article sure shows that most people think they allow them to have a better life while taking them. I think there still needs more to be done and study around the issue.