According to a study, antidepressants are not as beneficial in treating depression as different types of talk therapy. This study was conducted by international researchers and published in PLOS Medicine.
The results of this study are significant because they demonstrate that patients have options other than potentially dangerous drugs like Paxil or Effexor, which are commonly-prescribed forms of SSRIs. The serious adverse effects linked to using drugs like Paxil and Effexor include violent and suicidal thoughts and behavior and birth defects (PPHN, spina bifida, oral clefts and heart, lung and brain defects); what’s more, the drugs are proving to be no better than placebos in treating the symptoms of severe depression.
The researchers, led by Jürgen Barth from the University of Bern in Switzerland, conducted the study by analyzing data collected from examining 198 published studies that involved more than 15,000 patients that were in receipt of drugs as part of their treatment for depression, as well as behavioral activation, cognitive behavioral therapy, problem solving therapy, psychodynamic therapy, social skills training and supportive counseling. What the researchers found was that all seven therapies worked better at reducing the depression symptoms.
“We found evidence that most of the seven psychotherapeutic interventions under investigation have comparable effects on depressive symptoms and achieve moderate to large effects vis-à-vis waitlist,” the authors stated. “All seven psychotherapeutic interventions achieved a small to moderate effect compared to usual care.”
This study just shows that previous studies that compared various forms of talk therapy to the use of drugs like Paxil and Effexor are gaining steam. Hopefully, doctors will start to use the data collected from these studies to stop being so quick to prescribe potentially harmful drugs and start recommending talk therapy first.