August 11, 2010

Surprising non-treatment for depression works as well as antidepressants

If you are one of the millions of Americans on antidepressants, there could be a better option — sugar pills. That's right! A recent study found that antidepressants are nothing but a hoax.

In this study, researchers reviewed 2,164 clinical trials of antidepressants. They found that a fake pill would work just as well as antidepressants. It likely would be cheaper and far safer too.

The reviewers discarded all but six studies for bad methodology. In other words, Big Pharma conducted only six out of 2,164 studies correctly. That should tell you something about Big Pharma's methodology. This is especially true when you consider what the reviewers found:

For people with "very severe" depression, the benefits of antidepressants over placebo were "minimal or nonexistent." Even people with "severe" depression (one step below "very severe") did not experience a significant effect from antidepressants.

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Those are powerful words. Surprisingly, they appeared in the Journal of the American Medical Association. JAMA rakes in big bucks from Pharma ads.

Psychiatrist David Hellerstein of New York admitted the study was well-done. But he says it evaluated only two drugs. This is true. The study looked at paroxetine (also known as Paxil, a modern SSRI class of drug) and imipramine (Tofranil, an older tricyclic drug). Hellerstein wondered if yet newer and more potent drugs might be more effective. So, he discouraged people from jumping the drug ship.

I disagree with Dr. Hellerstein, who wants comparative studies of yet stronger drugs. The two drugs selected are tried-and-true drugs. Psychiatrists have used them for many years. A new and improved drug is likely to give us nothing more than a new-and-improved placebo effect.

Some 27 plus million Americans now take this worthless class of drugs. The out-of-pocket cost of the drugs also doesn't reflect the cost of injuries they cause. In my father's case, this ran into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. And this is just one case.

"Our data should give some pause" to doctors and patients weighing antidepressants, author Robert DeRubeis said in a telephone interview. "They should give some consideration to other alternatives." I can't say it any better!

I've found that simply improving diet and removing toxins dramatically helps depression. Why? Your brain cells will create more energy. More energy translates to better function. Exercise, sunshine, meditation, prayer, and forgiveness may go farther than any chemical ever devised. I've listed many supplements that improve depression on my website. These include the omega-3 fatty acid eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), probiotics, vitamin D, melatonin, and selenium. You can read all about these and many other treatments for depression on my website.

Ref: JAMA 1-5-10.

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