Most common brain hack: antidepressants

Fluoxetine HCl 20mg Capsules (Prozac)
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Probably the most widely used brain hack is the use of antidepressants. Is this a good hack or bad hack?

Recent data indicates the most widely prescribed drug in America are antidepressants. Between 1995 and 2002 the use of antidepressants have climbed 48%. According to some this is resulting in the numbing of America, and author Charles Barber argues that not only are antidepressants over prescribed but some research indicates that SSRI antidepressants (Zoloft, Paxil, and Prozac) may increase risk of suicde (though I am sure this is controversial).

A recent meta-analysis study (freely available here) also indicates that except for the most severe cases of depression antidepressants are no more effective than placebo. This does not necessarily argue against the use of antidepressants because the placebo had a real effect. You could say they why not just use the placebo? But for the person suffering depression you still have to let them think they are getting the real thing to get the positive placebo effect – and that is not easy to do.

Tomorrow I will give you a further twist in the antidepressant story.

5 comments for “Most common brain hack: antidepressants

  1. January 11, 2009 at 7:26 pm

    Great post! I agree with it, antidepressant drugs is commonly and widely used this days. It is necessary to be aware about its effect to the user. Thank you for sharing your fresh ideas, hope to hear from you soon. Cheers.

  2. Ward
    January 11, 2009 at 8:43 pm


    I agree that we need to be aware of the good and bad of any of the drugs we consume. And it is very hard for the normal user base to know the full story out there – whatever that happens to be.

    thanks for the comment.

  3. August 9, 2009 at 4:00 pm

    Hi all,
    I just finished reading an article about the use of Antidepressants doubling in the USA from 1996 to 2005. As an acupuncturist and energetic healer I have learned to re frame the way I think about depression.I see depression is an intelligent signal arising form our body when we refuse to listen to its message. When we drug ourselves to not feel the pain of what we are doing to our own being we have lost the tread back to our health. We give our power over to an external substance and lose all sense of our own sovereignty.


  4. January 10, 2011 at 12:01 am

    I think its always better to cure the root problem rather then using Antidepressants.

  5. Ward
    January 10, 2011 at 3:05 pm

    If possible I agree. But not always easy to identify and treat.

    thanks for your comment