Placebos are Just As Effective as Antidepressants...But Neither Cure Depression

  • Posted on: 28 February 2008
  • By: mokshalom

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.


All of us have different DNA and different metabolisms. Some herbs and vitamins work better than others. The first thing that is needed is proper nutrition and a good physical exam. As the director of Novus Medical Detox, I often see patients who are on alcohol or opioids, central nervous system depressants, also taking antidepressants. When they detox they find they don't need the antidepressants.

This is good news because a Swedish study showed that 52% of the 2006 suicides by women on antidepressants. Since antidepressants work no better than placebos and are less effective than exercise in dealing with depression.

There is a prescription drug epidemic and these are leaders in the list of terribe abuses.

Steve Hayes