This article was originally published on The Post Millenniala part of Human Events Media Group.
A new report says that antidepressants are more effective than sugar pills only 15 percent of the time and have other side effects. Some experts have said that the United States has a “generation of guinea pigs“when it comes to how many adolescents are prescribed these medications. Since the 1980s, psychiatric drugs known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs, which include Zoloft, Lexapro, and Prozac, among others, have been heralded as a revolution in the treatment of depression and have become a mainstay of mental health treatment.
According to news weekIn 2019, 43 million or one in eight Americans were taking an SSRI. The outlet noted that those numbers have likely increased over the COVID-19 pandemic due to growing anxiety and doctors calling on the phone with so many new prescriptions for Zoloft. The drug was prescribed so frequently that the FDA warned of drug shortages. Doctors with very little psychiatric training prescribe SSRIs to children and adults.
Some patients may even continue taking SSRIs simply to avoid withdrawal symptoms that were thought to be temporary and mild. Doctors told many patients that they were experiencing a relapse of their depression.
About 26 million people, which is more than 60 percent of Americans taking SSRIs, have been taking the drugs for more than two years, six million have been taking them for a decade or more, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. and Disease Prevention.
The consensus is that SSRIs help some people with severe depression, but those patients are the minority of people who take the drugs.
In a new study, Dr. Mark Horowitz, a research scientist at University College London, wrote “The Serotonin Depression Theory: A Systematic Overview of the Evidence.”
The document debunked the foundations on which pharmaceutical companies marketed drugs like Prozac, Lexapro and Zoloft to consumers for decades, such as; the idea that depression is associated with deficits in the concentrations or activity of the brain chemical serotonin.
dr Joanna Moncrieff, Professor of Critical and Social Psychiatry at University College London, lead author of the serotonin paper, told the outlet: “We have a misconception of what psychiatric drugs do. This idea that they work by attacking biological mechanisms underlying factors that produce the symptoms of mental disorders are not really supported by evidence of any type of mental disorder, be it depression, schizophrenia or whatever.
He stated that the drugs alter “normal brain states” and “normal mental states and processes” in ways not unlike recreational drugs such as alcohol.
He added that with SSRIs, the small benefits seen in placebo-controlled trials can be attributed to emotional numbing that reduces the intensity of feelings that cause depression and anxiety, at the expense of a more complete experience of life’s ups and downs. and the depression that sometimes follows reduction in SSRI use is caused by chemical dependence on the drugs themselves.
Recent studies cited by the media have linked stress to depression. dr Michael Thase, a professor of psychiatry at UPenn’s Perelman School of Medicine, said stress hormones cause the brain to become flooded with the neurotransmitter glutamate, putting it in a state of chronic overstimulation. More glutamate is released from lack of sleep, which can cause an inability to function in daily life, creating more stress.
After the article was published, the US Food and Drug Administration released an analysis of all antidepressant clinical trial data in its files. The study concluded that the active ingredients in 10 of the most commonly prescribed antidepressant medications made a significant difference in just 15 percent of patients who took them, typically those patients with the most severe depression.
According to news weekOne reason may be that SSRIs are effective for many people not because of the drug but because of the placebo effect, that the patient creates an expectation of cure that results in improvement. The outlet cited research that the placebo effect is successful in 30 to 40 percent of depression cases.
dr Erick Turner, a former FDA clinical reviewer who is now a professor of psychiatry and pharmacology at the Oregon The University of Health and Sciences recalled discovering multiple negative tests in the first psychotropic drug application it reviewed for the agency in the late 1990s, and was so surprised that it immediately reported it to its superiors.
hey said news week that his boss said, “It happens all the time,” before revealing that, according to his estimates, about 40 percent of antidepressant trials came back negative or failed.
In December, the US Surgeon General issued a mental health crisis notice warning that from 2009 to 2019, high school students reporting persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness increased by 40 percent and included more than a third of students and that the pandemic has only worsened things.