62 of 68 people found the following review helpful
Hope as Placebo,
This review is from: The Emperor's New Drugs: Exploding the Antidepressant Myth (Hardcover)
Irving Kirsch presents exquisite and exhaustive research which concludes antidepressant drugs are in fact, placebos. He explains why and how placebos work. He argues against the chemical imbalance theory of depression and says it has never been proven. He also compares outcomes of Cognitive Behavioral therapy with and without antidepressant medication and concludes that a patient's "hope" for recovery is the fulcrum on which successful treatment rests. As a clinician, I have experienced the power of hope in alleviating suffering in moderately and severely depressed diagnosed patients and those in the throes of an existential crisis, which often is misdiagnosed as depression or an anxiety disorder. Sometimes in treatment, less is more. Kirsch states that SSRIs can help ... as much as any placebo... but instilling hope in a patient is what really works; there are no detrimental side effects, and hope and tools aquired in CBT have been shown to have more lasting results.