Antidepressants are now one of the most widely prescribed drugs in the world. If you ask those who take them, they'll tell you how much better they feel. Do they feel better because of some secret ingredient in the drugs or a special formulation? That's what the drug companies want you to believe. But there's a nasty little secret about antidepressants that the drug companies don't want you to know.
A Harvard scientist has found that the reason antidepressants work has nothing to do with any of the active ingredients in the drugs. It has to do with the placebo effect!
That's right! People feel better when they take antidepressants because they think they're supposed to feel better. They might as well take a sugar pill. Many doctors have figured this out and will first prescribe a sugar pill to see if it helps. It usually does.
What's amazing about this assertion is that researchers say that two-thirds of those who take antidepressants don't feel better. Of the one-third who does feel better, many of them are simply responding to the placebo effect.
Psychiatrist Irving Kirsch from Harvard questions whether they work at all. You can see why. But he said it doesn't matter what type of pill doctors give for treating antidepressants - they can give barbiturates, pain pills, tranquilizers, even supplements - and they all have the same effect on depression.
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Kirsch has studied placebos for 30 years. And he says they can work miracles. That's because taking a placebo actually changes the way you think. This change in thinking can alter mood, blood pressure, pain, and many other parts of your body.
Kirsch says the effect isn't just a smokescreen. The change in thinking has a very real physical impact on your body.
Obviously, if antidepressants don't work - and they have terrible side effects - there's no reason to take them. And every reason to avoid them. But what about nutrients? Should you take nutrients to treat your depression? My response is "Why not?"
In some cases, nutrients will outperform placebos (unlike the antidepressants), sometimes completely correcting the problem. I'll have more on effective nutritional treatments for depression in future issues of Nutrient Insider.
Your insider for better health,
Steve Kroening is the editor of Nutrient Insider, a twice-a-week email newsletter that brings you the latest healing breakthroughs from the world of nutrition and dietary supplements. For over 20 years, Steve has worked hand-in-hand with some of the nation's top doctors, including Drs. Robert Rowen, Frank Shallenberger, Nan Fuchs, William Campbell Douglass, and best-selling author James Balch. Steve is the author of the book Practical Guide to Home Remedies. As a health journalist, Steve's articles have appeared in countless magazines, blogs, and websites.
You can watch a fascinating video about Dr. Kirsch at http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=7399362n&tag=api