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Antidepressants and the placebo debate

Some think that anti-depressant medications are prescribed way too frequently in many people, so they are highly overused group of medications. Many can’t distinguish depression caused by some actual situation and clinical depression. The later is known to be caused by imbalance of certain chemicals in the brain, and anti-depressant drugs are enormously important for these patients.

These medications are not and should not be used as quick solutions, although some medical professionals still think of anti-depressants in such manner. Anti-depressants are not medications to cure loneliness, bad marriage or some financial problems, but maybe placebos can find their way in these situations.

Problems with Anti-Depressants

Drugs that work against depression are not always useful, and some people might experience problems when taking them. For patients suffering from bipolar disorder, anti-depressants may provoke increased psychotic symptoms and rapid mood changes. These patients may hear voices and hallucinate, as well as suffer from paranoia, all caused by the use of anti-depressant medications. Placebos are also not useful in this occasion, and these people usually end up using anti-psychotic and some other drugs to resolve current situation.

People suffering from anxiety also won’t improve their problem by using anti-depressants. Grief is also something that won’t get better if you start using these drugs. Patients often find out that after several different medications, what really works for them is talking to some support group or their psychiatrist. 

Studies about Anti-Depressants

According to some recent scientific research, placebo has been found to give good effects if given to people suffering from depression. The results were comparable to those of proper anti-depressant medications, if the patients suffered from mild case of depression.

Many people often wonder about the studies on effects of anti-depressants, because these studies seem to miss real situation when using these drugs. Also, there are claims that the ongoing researches are not useful, for they will only “reveal” what's already known about these drugs. The whole truth is that anti-depressant don’t work for some people, and it's up to scientists and doctors to reveal exact reasons why they don’t work.

As the solution, many believe that doctors should concentrate on the problem of their patients, instead prescribing anti-depressants to everyone at all times. Severe depression and suicidal thoughts should still be treated by prescribed anti-depressants, since these medications have proven to be very efficient and saved thousands of lives. However, for mildly depressive patients, placebos might be as good solution as real medications.

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