Antidepressants don’t work for people who are not depressed

I saw an article Antidepressants don’t work – official study on my friend’s delicious page. Knowing his political inclinations, I promptly recognised the subtext big bad companies making millions by selling snake oil.

In cases like this I always go to Slashdot Science to find proper discussion and second opinions. And here it was:

The study did not find that “Antidepressants work no better than a placebo”. What it seems to have found is that there is an indication that antidepressants do work for people who do have a serious depression, while there is little indication it works better than a placebo for lighter (possibly misdiagnosed) cases.

So, antidepressants have no measurable effect on those who are not depressed.

However, the study states that the difference is only due to severely depressed patients being less susceptible to placebo effect. So we haven’t got that settled yet. The industry backlash is yet to come.

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