The Emperor's New Drugs: Exploding the Antidepressant Myth 1st Edition, Kindle Edition
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- Length: 243 pages
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“[Kirsch’s] case that the drugs’ benefits are due to placebo and enhanced placebo effect is fascinating and demands urgent research…Clearly, it's time for a big rethink of what constitutes mental illness and about how to treat it.”
Literary Review (UK)
“[B]rilliantly subversive… a fascinating and disturbing book.”
Kelly Lambert, PhD, Professor of Psychology, Randolph-Macon College; President, International Behavioral Neuroscience Society; Author of Lifting Depression
“Considering the crude and nonspecific therapies that have been historically available for depression, the thought of a pill acting as an effective agent against the tumultuous symptoms of this disease was appealing to everyone in the mental health industry. But, as Irving Kirsch points out in this provocative and informative treatise, The Emperor’s New Drugs, this dream ultimately turned out to be a fairy tale. There was no prince of healing to provide the promised relief for patients. Kudos to Dr. Kirsch for his impressive scientific investigative reporting described in this book, forcing our attention away from the fairy tale and toward the reality of more effective treatment strategies for depression.”
David D. Burns, author of Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy
“A beautifully written, profoundly important book.”
Druin Burch, author of Taking the Medicine
“A terrific account of how optimism, greed and scientific incompetence have misled us about the nature of depression and the drugs we throw at it.”
“[The Emperor’s New Drugs] absolutely dismantles the case for antidepressants as a pharmacologically effective treatment.”
From Publishers Weekly
- ASIN : B0035YDM6C
- Publisher : Basic Books; 1st edition (January 26, 2010)
- Publication date : January 26, 2010
- Language : English
- File size : 752 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 243 pages
- Page numbers source ISBN : 0465022006
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #683,431 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Pseudoscience on full display. I was able to learn more about mental illness and myself within the first 6 months of reading books and materials online than all the Dr's. I was seeing combined. I saw the truth and I ignored it over the last 20 years seeking a pill, an easy answer, a single answer to a much simpler set of problems that I was having. I was struggling with anxiety, depression, and OCPD (official diagnosis after being institutionalized). It took 20 years, 27 drugs and one trip to an inpatient facility to get that final diagnosis, which is pointless because the treatments have never worked for me and it's all based around the same categories of drugs I have already tried. So no matter how many times the diagnosis changes I am stuck trying the same classes of drugs.
The simple answer is modern psychiatry has no answers, they don't know how it works or why it works (when it does). They have no tests to figure out what they should try etc. I have a few genes that predispose me to have anxiety, depression, and oppositional defiant disorder. None of the mutations I have are the big genes linked to depression and anxiety. I have had these test results for a decade not one Dr. would ever listen to me, no Dr. would take genetic expression into consideration evidence, tests, proof of any kind means nothing to the Dr's. I have had experiences with. It was always a new diagnosis a new explanation, I might as well have been stuck in a revolving door.
My point is not to say the drugs will not work for you, I know a few people that the drugs have helped but those people had very different life experiences from mine. My anxiety issues had been present since the age of 3-4 and I had developed OCD behaviors as coping mechanisms and developed a very rigid OCPD way of thinking as a way to control my own inner world. Because I could not control the chaos around me. The whole nature vs nurture argument, basically the drugs caused me personally to feel worse. I have the liver enzyme mutations that cause me to poorly metabolize these drugs which leads to auto-intoxication, and to akathisia induced impulsivity. In my experience the drugs made me much sicker than I actually was, I didn't need the drugs. I needed a better diet, more frequent bowel movements, exercise, friends, a significant other, a part-time job, a dog etc.
But perhaps what encourages me most about this book (which is also why I recommend it to anyone) is that during the final chapter, he does not just leave the reader depressed over knowing that antidepressants are effective placebos. He actually walks the reader through possible alternative treatments. In other words, he deconstructs the so-called Antidepressent Myth, then offers his readers solutions the problems that depression continues to pose. It's a brief chapter, but effective nonetheless.
I recommend this book particularly for the student of psychology because it is a great demonstration of how to take complicated research in the social sciences and make it accessible to all readers, something we psychologists ought to do a lot more of. (I speak as a psychologist; there are plenty of other professionals who ought to also take page out of Kirsch's book, figuratively speaking, and let us in on all their secrets.)
All around, a great book.
Kirsch examined the clinical trial data, and found that the placebo effect can easily account for 100% of patients' response to antidepressants. These drugs outperform sugar pills in clinical trials, but only by a small amount, and perhaps only because their side effects are so obvious that participants know when they're getting the real drug.
Everyone who is considering antidepressants should read this to understand their treatment options. Psychotherapy, exercise, and herbal treatments are effective without the side effects of drugs.
Top reviews from other countries