Published in The Times at 12:01AM, May 2 2014
While the drugs’ effects are debatable in mild cases, they are more effective as severity increases
Sir, Depression can be a debilitating and lethal illness. Medication is a vital part of the treatment of the severest cases. Successful treatment with antidepressants definitely does not do “more harm than good” as you report (Apr 30).
We do not dispute that these drugs are of potentially less value for mild depression, but their effectiveness is maintained as the severity of the depression increases. Is that true of psychological treatment or exercise?
Depression is serious: 6,500 people commit suicide each year in the UK. Many of them are never offered antidepressants, and the blanket condemnation of antidepressants by Professor Peter Gøtzsche and colleagues will increase that proportion.
- Professor David Nutt (Neuropsychopharmacology Unit, ICL)
- Professor Stephen Lawrie (Division of Psychiatry, Edinburgh)
- Professor Sir Simon Wessely (Royal College of Psychiatrists)
- Dr Seena Fazel (University of Oxford)
- Professor Guy Goodwin (European College of Neuropsychopharmacology)
- Professor Dinesh Bhugra (World Psychiatric Association)