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Against Depression, a Sugar Pill Is Hard to Beat"

Essay by   •  November 15, 2010  •  Essay  •  400 Words (2 Pages)  •  1,415 Views

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"Against Depression, a Sugar Pill Is Hard to Beat"

For years, scientists have been trying to see which works better, the

anti-depressant or the placebo (a.k.a: sugar pill). After many studies and

prescriptions, sugar pills work just as well, if not better, than anti-

depressants do. Placebos help scientists realize if there is a difference

between really feeling better, or patients believing that they feel better.

Some doctors and psychiatrists disagree on why the sugar pills work;

some believe that they work because of psychotherapy. Others believe

that they only work because the patients believe that they will work.

In studies using St. John's wort, an herbal remedy for depression,

Zoloft, and the placebo, the results showed that the placebo cured the

most patients. Twenty-four percent of the patients taking the herbs were

cured, Zoloft cured twenty-five percent, and the placebo cured thirty-two.

Even more shocking, is the fact that the brain changes caused by the

anti-depressants looked almost the same as the brain changes caused by

the sugar pills. The results between the two pills were very hard, if not

impossible, to destinguish.

Even so, doctors still believe that drugs, or sugar pills, or not fully

effective on their own. They believe that anti-depressants blended with

psychotherapy will prove to have the best results. However, one

physician learned that less than one third of doctor visits were to

psychiatrists, while the rest were visits to regular physicians. Also, the

average patient with depression only visited their doctor about once a

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