Placebos are Just As Effective as Antidepressants...But Neither Cure Depression
An independent study was just released showing that antidepressants really aren't any more effective than placebos. (Read more about these findings here.) I'm not surprised; pretty much anyone I've known personally who has been on these drugs doesn't seem to get any better, they just kind of stay the same, at best.
But I do think the drugs do something to your brain, which is probably why people feel like they are getting their money's worth. I've tried antidepressants a long time ago; I can't use them because I'm allergic (as in I could have a seizure). I've also tried St. John's Wort a handful of times (which was probably a bad idea considering I'm seizure prone), and my brain always felt a bit "funny" on it. But does a temporary increase in seratonin really cure depression in the long run? Umm, apparently not.
Here's my bigger picture view on this: Placebos may be just as effective as antidepressants but neither are really all that good at permanently curing depression.
Psychiatry has really dropped the ball on finding ways to really cure depression. Maybe they won't ever have the answer. I'll tell you what worked for me: A lot of meditation and energy healing.
To me, the really radical work being done in this arena is happening in the alternative medicine world, where treatments such as acupuncture or mind-body practices such a yoga can make lasting permanent changes. Will these things ever become mainstream, though? I hope so.