Do Antidepressants Work?
Antidepressants have been hailed as miracle drug rock stars and vilified as brain-changing happy pills. All promotion aside—good or bad—are they effective? The Savvy Psychologist Dr. Ellen Hendriksen digs though the data.
According to the Mayo Clinic, about 13% of Americans—more than 1 in 10—take an antidepressant. Of women between the ages of 50 and 64, nearly 1 in 4 take an antidepressant. Second only to antibiotics, antidepressants are the most commonly prescribed class of medication.
To clarify, when I say antidepressant, I mean the most common of many classes of antidepressants—the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs, like Prozac, Celexa, Lexapro, Paxil, or Zoloft. They’re safer and cause fewer side effects than other, older types of antidepressants.
So, do they work? Or do they not work? The answer to both questions seems to be yes. I know that’s a frustrating answer. So let’s look at each side. We’ll start with the claim that they don’t work.
"But science is just theories!"
"There’s no proof Global Warming is a man-made. The climate has changed naturally in the past!"
"I refuse to vaccinate my children. Vaccines cause autism/contain toxic ingredients, etc."
"If humans evolved from apes, why are there still apes?"
"The Earth is only 4,000 years old. It says so in the bible!"
"The Moon landings were faked!"