Rethinking Depression: Drugs Aren’t Solving the Problem

Here you go, take your sugar pills

I recently read some studies that indicate that in most cases where an adult gets positive results from taking anti-depressants, there’s a good chance that they are just experiencing a placebo effect. The placebo effect is a well-documented phenomenon and one that has been observed for what seems to be several centuries and yet there’s a staggering amount of people giving that perplexed look when you bring it up and they say “the what now?”

Fix Yourself

So here’s the bad news in all of this. Anti-depressants aren’t going to fix how you feel and they definitely aren’t going to fix your life. I actually fielded a question online where somebody wanted to know, genuinely, if anti-depressants would improve their self-esteem. No, sorry. In fact, it would seem that they don’t fix much of anything, really.

“Do you notice a difference from taking your medication?”

The drugs don’t really work. I’ve asked dozens of people if they felt like their anti-depressant was helping or if they noticed a difference. An occasional adult will tell me that they feel better and that it really helps them but I almost never encounter a teenager that says that they feel better from taking it. It’s far more common, instead, for them to tell me that they had to stop taking it because they suddenly felt suicidal and damn near went through with it. People ask me frequently if they can stop taking it because they don’t think it’s doing any good. I’m not a doctor but I always tell them not to stop taking it cold turkey. This also a good way to have your emotions completely crash and end up on the psych floor at the hospital because you were seriously contemplating suicide. Don’t stop cold turkey.



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Scott Carter

Scott Carter


Therapist, philosopher, social scientist, renaissance man, own worst enemy.