Originally Posted by Black Mambo
This is pretty much why drugs for treating mental disorders must just be so damned complicated to study. Even if the science behind some of these drugs holds up, you're dealing with mostly (aside from schizophrenia and its ilk) a health problem that can't really be seen, so the effects of any drug are only what is relayed by the person taking them. And it's difficult to rely on people to be right about it, unless it's doing stuff to them that's thoroughly out of character (such as Ronette's suicidal feelings, and things like that) since the mind can be so powerful when it thinks something is going on when it's really not.
That's not to say I don't think these drugs work. But if the pharm. companies are withholding information that contradicts the supposed effectiveness of their drugs, then that's a pretty huge problem, to state the obvious.
Clinical studies are a weird thing.
I'm not an expert - I have a degree in psychology but as anyone will tell you that means very little in itself...
But I did learn a little about the way this stuff works. And I was just struck by how
a) Practically the only statistically reliable thing is that the majority of researchers find what the WANT to find - ie. the drug companies find SSRIs work and the therapy pushers find in favour of therapy.
b) All this research **** that makes it so much more complicated than you should be - researcher bias, the shift towards the norm (research finds in the second test the results tend to always normalise - I should probably bother to read up why the **** that is), spontanious recovery, placebo, the feelings of hope that come from receiving a treatment.
The thing is, they have all this evidence to support that monoamines (serotonin/noradrenaline) are affected by depression, but there is no evidence to support this as a cause
for depression. If it was the only influencing chemical factor in all depression then why all this clinical research that finds that drugs that are sorting out the monoamines are not helping many people with depression? And why evidence suggesting that other neurological differences in depression are as important as MAs?
Sure, maybe correcting serotonin imbalances will help (because this obviously has something to do with the symptomology of depression, and so many people have found SSRIs to be positive) but if they're only part of the problem then they are only going to treat some symptoms and seemingly in only some people.
I've never taken SSRIs, so I can't give a personal experience, but everyone I know who has is a bit "meh" about them - saying they helped a bit/not at all but generally they just took the edge off while it passed. While that is in a sense a good thing of course, and they're probably reliable in a clinical point of view in that they'll lead to maybe a reduced likelihood of suicide and the person being able to work sometimes, you still have to make it obvious "in many cases this will not go any way to actually helping". I've heard the same conflicting stuff about CBT, some it helps some it doesn't, but at least that heads for a cognitive cure
rather than dulling a few symptoms.
people on here have always impressed me with their encyclopedic knowledge of psychopharmacology, so I'm sure I'm about to be corrected but this stuff is pretty much the most interesting thing I learnt about in my stupidly expensive studies.