This is a response to the “A New Focus on Depression“, by Richard A Friedman MD in the New York Times, December 23, 2103.The reasons for such a low ‘success’ rate is because the neurobiological model for depression itself is not true. Let’s start with the 30% – 50% so-called remission rate. This means that anti-depressant drugs do not work from 50% to 70% of the time. If we then really look at the imprecise, non-clinically related definitions of depression itself, we will find that it is even lower. In fact the treatments are barely better than placebo. Its time to stop pretending that drugs are even a treatment for depression, They are not efficacious, they are addictive and habituating, one develops drug tolerance, never mind their destructive side-effects – vertigo, lightheadedness, burning or tingling sensations in the skin, difficulty with gait and balance, blurred vision, tremors, twitches, and restlessness. Sometimes there are hallucinations. Anti-depressants do not put neurotransmitters into balance, they throw them out of balance. Patients cannot get off antidepressants because their symptoms return even stronger due to simple biofeedback circuits resulting in the fact that serotonin is insufficiently produced as a result of the drugs. Patients think their depression has returned and thank god they are on them in the first place. It takes over a year of slow detox to recover from anti-depressant addiction.
Instead of wasting all this money to search deeper in the brain for the cause of depression, we are looking in the wrong place. Despite the failure of brain psychiatry, these experts continue to get great press and they promise more in the future ,which never happens. We should be really cautious about honoring such continuous failure. Depression is not a neuro-biological brain problem. It is the result of a damaged Play of Consciousness”. It is caused by the adaptation, in consciousness, of a ‘self’, in the context of certain temperaments, which has been damaged by deprivation and abuse in the formative years. The treatment for depression is psychotherapy which addresses the damaged ‘play of consciousness’ and fosters a new one to be written. The biochemistry of the brain goes into balance all by itself. Good psychotherapy, which addresses these issues, is responsive and efficacious. (And I am not talking about cognitive behavioral therapy). I have been a practicing psychiatrist for the past forty years.