Monday, September 01, 2014


From AlterNet:

What If Everything We Know About Treating Depression Is Wrong?

A subset of the mice who couldn’t produce serotonin were given antidepressant medications and they responded in a similar manner to the drugs as did normal mice. Altogether, the study found that serotonin is not a major player in depression, and science should look elsewhere to identify other factors that might be involved. These results could greatly reshape depression research, the authors say, and shift the focus of the search for depression treatments. 

The study joins others in directly challenging the notion that depression is related to lower levels of serotonin in the brain. One study has shown that some two-thirds of those who take SSRIs remain depressed, while another study has even found them clinically insignificant.

Critics of common antidepressants claim they’re not much better than a placebo, yet may still have unwanted side effects. 

More here.

This study, if replicated, goes a long way toward confirming a sense I've had for some years now: psychiatrists have no idea what they're doing.  At least, not with depression, and probably not with lots of other mental illnesses.

Now, don't get me wrong.  I've known a person or two over the years with some severe psychiatric disorders, and psychiatry has allowed them to live relatively normal lives.  So I'm not dismissing the field outright.  But the regulatory capture of the FDA some years back by Big Pharma insiders, with its accompanying rush-to-market of all kinds of pharmaceuticals which in previous eras would have been held off the market for a lot more testing, has shifted a great deal of psychiatry's treatment emphasis to drugs, rather than other forms of therapy.  Indeed, at some point around the turn of the twentieth century, I started realizing that a LOT of people within my social sphere were taking prescribed psychiatric drugs.  From Ritalin, to Prozac, to Paxil, it seemed, and continues to seem, that an ever increasing percentage of Americans are zooming on weird legal and establishment-recommended bizarro brain drugs.

Then I started encountering people with that Prozac stare.  I've long felt like something really disturbing is happening, and it is: the country is being medicated, for better or worse.  Somewhere along the line, I watched a really good Frontline documentary called "The Medicated Child."  Overall, it's about how psychiatrists are using drugs on children that have not been approved for use on children.  That's frightening enough, but the film explains how psychiatrists actually approach psychiatric drugs for all their patients: in short, they take guesses, prescribe drugs, and then make more guesses based on reactions and side-effects--a not insignificant number of patients end up taking four, five, or even six kinds of drugs, all of them attempting to treat each other's side effects, and one of them, presumably, treating the ailment that got the patient in the doctor's office in the first place.  They're so medicated it's like they're not even human beings anymore.

It's insanity, but it's being pushed by the sector of the establishment charged with making us less insane.
Now it turns out that the field may very well not understand the brain chemistry for depression AT ALL.  And it's kind of weird that we're just now figuring this out.  According to the linked article, antidepressants don't have a much better effect than placebos.  That is, we already know that these drugs might not even work.  But still they prescribe, prescribe, and prescribe.  And people zoom, zoom, zoom.

You know me.  I think profit has very likely driven the whole thing.  That the drug companies have a product they want to sell, and, by golly, they're going to use their economic muscle to make sure that product sells.  And sell it does.  But it might not even work!!!  I guess enduring a nation of drug-addled, and still depressed, zombies is simply the price we all have to pay so that corporate fat cats can make shitloads more money than most of us do.  But man.  This is some cold-hearted shit.