Some cogent points on the value of antidepressants by Maura Kelly in the Atlantic, some cogent points on the value of antidepressants.
"[G]ood therapy is often very expensive--far more expensive than most people can afford, particularly because so many health insurance plans provide little or no coverage for it--whereas less-than-excellent therapy can contribute to a sense that one's problems are intractable, that things will never change. (I speak from experience.) Perhaps it's also worth noting that if developing a fitness habit were easy for the average person, then the obesity epidemic wouldn't be the most serious and costly health problem facing our country right now. And many seriously depressed people have a difficult time getting out of bed, to say nothing of going for a thirty-minute jog--though for some of us, like myself, our mental illness happens to come with a degree of obsessive-compulsiveness that often manifests itself at the gym."
And quoting Daniel Carlat, former author of The Carlat Psychiatry Blog and anything but a pill pusher:
Carlat, an associate clinical professor of psychiatry at Tufts University School of Medicine, wrote in to agree that "psychiatrists often overdiagnose disorders of questionable scientific validity, they have become overly fixated on medication solutions to life's problems, and many have accepted a steady flow of drug industry money, creating so many conflicts of interest that it is impossible to know who we can trust." But he also noted that "missing from her review is an unequivocal if perplexing truth about psychiatric drugs--on the whole, they work." (Carlat, let us remember, had no axe to grind; Angell had written favorably about his book.)
(HT to Andrew Sullivan)..
Of course it's important to realize--VERY important--that if you're a bit down you shouldn't simply go to your family practitioner for ten minutes and accept a prescription for antidepressants with no real examination of your symptoms.
Also check out one of Andrews Quote for the Day items here.