Tag Archives: pill

Mad World:”A pill to make you numb, a pill to make you dumb, a pill to make you anybody else”— Marilyn Manson

If you’ve ever watched two episodes of House M.D., you know the routine. The doctors are on a mad rush to get a diagnosis, throwing one treatment after another at the symptoms to see if it works. All tests have been inconclusive, all theories have been shot down, and the only thing that can save the day is the last minute epiphany of a brilliant and eccentric doctor. If you take away that last step you get a somewhat less interesting show where the patients always die, but also a much better metaphor for the psychiatric industry.

Let’s put on our diagnostic whiteboard the term “chemical imbalance”. What is the cause? Unknown. What are the physiological signs of a chemical imbalance? Since there is no control model for a chemically balanced brain, there are no physiological signs of an imbalance.

False peace of mind – Antidepressant Placebos

Beginning in 1998, a series of studies have repeatedly questioned the difference in efficacies between antidepressant drugs and placebos. Pioneering analysis work done by University of Connecticut researchers Irving Kirsch and Guy Sapirstein confirmed the effectiveness of antidepressants – but also their inert counterparts. In 38 studies conducted with over 3,000 depressed patients, placebos improved symptoms 75 per cent as much as legitimate medications.

“We wondered, what’s going on?” said Kirsch in a 2010 interview with Newsweek. The medical community, skeptical of his analysis, asked him to instigate a more comprehensive study with the results of all clinical trials conducted by antidepressant manufacturers, including those unpublished – 47 studies in total.

Over half of the studies showed no significant difference in the depression-alleviating effects of a medicated versus non-medicated pill. With this more thorough analysis, which now included strategically unpublished studies from pharmaceutical companies, placebos were shown to improve symptoms 82 per cent as much as the real pill.