The Antidepressants Debate

Many of my clients often ask me if they should take antidepressants.  I often suggest that they education themselves by going to their psychiatrist, primary care doctor, and/or naturopathic doctor to really determine what steps they wish to take in regard to medication.  It is my client’s decision ultimately yet I am intrigued by the medical findings that are published.  In an article in Psychotherapy Networker this month, Preston takes a closer look at this debate.  In 2010, he found an article published by Jay Fournier and his colleagues in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).  Fournier found that:

“antidepressants’ effects are minimal to nonexistent in treating mild to moderate depression when compared to placebos.” (p. 19)

Fournier went on to work with Irving Kirsch who found similar effects.  When examining the studies, Preston goes on to warn the reader before considering never using antidepressants.

“But before clinicians completely reject the use of antidepressants, it’s important to look more carefully at the medical treatment of depression and consider the number of issues not addressed by Kirsch article.” (p. 20)

In my practice, I support my client being as informed as possible in his or her own treatment choices.  It is also essential that the side effects of any medication be discussed with your doctor.  Some clients choose to work with a naturopathic doctor to try ways to get support without the use of medication.  Overall, the more informed you are, the better.

Source: Preston, J. (2012, January/February) It’s more complicated than that: Probing the complexities of the antidepressants debate.  Psychotherapy Networker, 19-20.