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For mild to moderate depression, antidepressants are no better than a placebo, Irving Kirsch, PhD
Sunday, August 14, 2016 10:45 am Email this article
For mild to moderate depression, antidepressants are no better than a placebo, Dr. Irving Kirsch, a psychologist from Harvard University who has been studying placebos for 36 years, said in an interview on Sunday, February 19, 2012 on the television show "60 Minutes".
"The difference between the effect of a placebo and the effect of an antidepressant is minimal for most people", Dr. Kirsch said.
"Whatever difference there would be, would be clinically insignificant."
"If they were mildly or moderately depressed, you don't see any real difference at all," Dr. Kirsch notes 4.5-miuntes into the video.
"The only place you get a real difference is at the extreme levels of depression." (4.5-minutes into the video).
The Placebo Effect
People get better when they take the drug, but it’s largely due to the placebo effect
“Yes, people get better when they take the drug, but it is not the chemical ingredient in the drug that’s making them better, it’s largely the placebo effect,” Dr. Kirsch stated.
The video can be viewed here
The 14-minute video is posted here.
This article was originally published on Feb 22, 2012.
About Irving Kirsch, PhD
Irving Kirsch, PhD: Associate Director of the Harvard-wide Program in Placebo Studies
Here is description of Irving Kirsch from the Harvard-wide Program in Placebo Studies
“Irving Kirsch, PhD, is a faculty member at Harvard Medical School and Professor Emeritus of Psychology at the University of Hull, United Kingdom, and the University of Connecticut. Irving is noted for his research on placebo effects, antidepressants, expectancy and hypnosis. He is the originator of response expectancy theory and his analyses of clinical trials of antidepressants have influenced official treatment guidelines in the United Kingdom.
“Irving received his PhD in psychology from the University of Southern California in 1975. In 1975, he joined the psychology department at the University of Connecticut, where he worked until 2004, when he became Professor of Psychology at the University of Plymouth. He moved to the University of Hull in 2007 and joined the faculty of the Harvard Medical School in 2011.”
Contact Info for Irving Kirsch, PhD
Irving Kirsch, PhD
Harvard Medical School
Educ & Glob Prog Admin c/o Sally Andrews
641 Huntington Ave
Boston, MA 02115
Dr. Kirsch’s Book
Dr. Kirsch’s Book about the antidepressant myth
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