Do antidepressants work? There’s an intriguing body of research that suggests the power of antidepressants doesn’t come from chemicals in the drugs, but from the power of placebo. Not everyone agrees, though. We speak to researchers and medical professionals on either side of the debate, and some wedged in-between -- Prof. Peter Kramer, psychiatrist and author of Ordinarily Well: the Case for Antidepressants; Prof. Irving Kirsch, psychologist and author of The Emperor’s New Drugs: Exploding the Antidepressant Myth; psychiatrist and radiologist Prof. Helen Mayberg; and psychiatrist Prof. Gregory Simon.
Crisis Hotlines: US National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (2755) US Crisis Text Line Text “GO” to 741741 Australian Lifeline 13 11 14 Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention
Credits This episode has been produced by Heather Rogers, Diane Wu, and Shruti Ravindran. Our senior producer is Kaitlyn Sawrey. Edited by Annie-Rose Strasser and Caitlin Kenney. Fact checking by Michelle Harris. Sound design and music production by Matthew Boll, mixed by Martin Peralta and Matthew Boll. Music written by Bobby Lord and Martin Peralta.
- 2008 study suggesting that antidepressants are not much better than placebo for people suffering in severe depression.
- 2016 study suggesting that antidepressants were way better than placebo in treating people suffering from severe depression.
- 2016 study on how drug companies under-report side effects in clinical trials.
- 2003 round-up of the most common side-effects of antidepressants.
- 2013 study which uses brain imaging to try to pinpoint whether patients would respond better to medication or psychotherapy.
Science Vs has gone bilingual! La Ciencia Vs is the Spanish-language version of the show, and today we’re introducing the amazing hosts, Dr. Leonora Milán and Dr. Alejandra Ortíz, and sharing the Serial Killers episode: Asesinos Seriales. Find more episodes — like Veganos, Placebo, ASMR, Ejercicio — on the La Ciencia Vs feed on Spotify.
There’s an Adderall shortage across the U.S., and it’s causing huge problems for people with ADHD. But on the flip side, we hear people saying that we shouldn’t be giving this drug out anyway. So we wanted to know: What is Adderall, exactly? What is it doing in people’s brains? And is there any truth to this idea that Adderall is like meth — could it be dangerous? We talk to psychiatrist Prof. Rach...