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Is it all in the mind?

June 18, 2010

We live in the age of quick solutions. If you’re feeling down go out shopping, if you’re really feeling blue then pop a pill. But the pills don’t seem to work, and it’s looking like the line that depression is a disease is just a ruse for big pharma to sell more product….

Last week Irving Kirsch, a professor at the University of Hull in the U.K., presented a study that found Prozac and its ilk are no more effective than placebos in treating depression. In his view, there is no substantial link between serotonin – the brain chemical that antidepressants are supposed to regulate – and chronic depression.

It’s a controversial study – one that many members of the psychiatric community reject out of hand – but it also raises a nagging question about depression: How did it come to be recognized as a disease in the first place?

Like Hirsch, psychologist and writer Gary Greenberg is part of a growing number of psychiatric professionals who have begun to publicly question the underpinnings of popular thinking on depression


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