As a chiropractor in San Diego, I see many patients suffering from everything from back pain to stress and more. Researching some of the latest studies helps me help my patients in many ways. And since pain being a common cause for depression, I find this article fitting.
Napoleon Hill, author of the self-help bible “Think and Grow Rich”, is quoted as saying: “What the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” He also said we become our dominant thoughts. Research is showing he may be 100% accurate with those statements… especially the latter. Here is why: Starting in 1998, studies began to raise questions about the “scientific proof” behind the widespread use of antidepressants versus placebos.
University of Connecticut researchers, Irving Kirsch and Guy Sapirstein, found antidepressants seemed to get results, but so did placebos. In 38 studies conducted with over 3,000 depressed patients, placebos improved symptoms 75 percent as much as legitimate medications.
“We wondered, what’s going on?” said Kirsch in a 2010 interview with Newsweek. The medical community, skeptical of his analysis, asked him to instigate a more comprehensive study with the results of all clinical trials conducted by antidepressant manufacturers, including those unpublished – 47 studies in total.
Over half of the studies showed no significant difference in the depression-alleviating effects of a medicated versus non-medicated pill. With this more thorough analysis, which now included strategically unpublished studies from pharmaceutical companies, placebos were shown to improve symptoms 82 percent as much as the real pill.
According to the Citizens Commission on Human Rights International: “However, if experts and antidepressant manufacturers are aware of this, the general public certainly isn’t … Millions of people every year feel better, simply because they believe they’ll feel better.”