Irving Kirsch: Antidepressants and the Placebo Effect

July 9, 2010

For many years, the medical and scientific communities have largely accepted as factual the widely-held theory that clinical depression is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain – especially with regards to the neurotransmitter serotonin. However, repeated meta-analyses of the FDA-submitted clinical trial data do not seem to support this belief. Conversely, there is significant evidence that the patient benefits of antidepressants are largely – if not completely – due to a placebo effect.

In this podcast, we speak with Dr. Irving Kirsch, professor of psychology at the University of Hull in the United Kingdom and the author of The Emperor’s New Drugs: Exploding the Antidepressant Myth. Be sure to join us as we discuss the real story behind the effectiveness of antidepressants and why they may not be the “wonder drugs” we think they are.