The Emperor's New Drugs by Irving Kirsch
Exploding the Antidepressant Myth

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Do antidepressants work? Of course—everyone knows it. Like his colleagues, Irving Kirsch, a researcher and clinical psychologist, for years referred patients to psychiatrists to have their depression treated with drugs before deciding to investigate for himself just how effective the drugs actually were. Over the course of the past fifteen years, however, Kirsch’s research—a thorough analysis of decades of Food and Drug Administration data—has demonstrated that what everyone knew about antidepressants was wrong. Instead of treating depression with drugs, we’ve been treating it with suggestion.

The Emperor’s New Drugs makes an overwhelming case that what had seemed a cornerstone of psychiatric treatment is little more than a faulty consensus. But Kirsch does more than just criticize: he offers a path society can follow so that we stop popping pills and start proper treatment for depression.


About Irving Kirsch

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Irving Kirsch, Ph.D., a native of New York City, is a professor of psychology at the University of Hull, United Kingdom, as well as professor emeritus at the University of Connecticut. He lives in Hull, England.
Published January 26, 2010 by Basic Books. 242 pages
Genres: Health, Fitness & Dieting, Nature & Wildlife, Professional & Technical, Science & Math, Education & Reference. Non-fiction

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Publishers Weekly

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When he began a new research project on antidepressants and placebos (a meta-analysis of a large number of published studies), practicing psychotherapist and research psychologist Kirsch (How Expe

Jan 25 2010 | Read Full Review of The Emperor's New Drugs: Expl...

Tampa Bay Times

Though clinical trials are supposed to be double-blind (neither patient nor evaluator knows who's getting drug and who's getting placebo), patients in clinical trials can often figure out when they are receiving the investigational drug because they experience pronounced side effects.

Mar 06 2010 | Read Full Review of The Emperor's New Drugs: Expl...

The New Yorker

Online version of the weekly magazine, with current articles, cartoons, blogs, audio, video, slide shows, an archive of articles and abstracts back to 1925

Mar 01 2010 | Read Full Review of The Emperor's New Drugs: Expl...

The New York Review of Books

The FDA approves drugs only for specified uses, and it is illegal for companies to market them for any other purpose—that is, “off-label.” Nevertheless, physicians are permitted to prescribe drugs for any reason they choose, and one of the most lucrative things drug companies can do is persuade p...

Jul 14 2011 | Read Full Review of The Emperor's New Drugs: Expl...

Psych Central

Are placebos — sugar pills — just as effective as antidepressant medications in the treatment of mild and moderate depression?

Feb 20 2012 | Read Full Review of The Emperor's New Drugs: Expl...

Cure: A Journey into the Science of Mind Over Body, is an excellent new book by science journalist Jo Marchant, which explores the healing (and harming) power of the mind and emotions over the body.

Mar 01 2016 | Read Full Review of The Emperor's New Drugs: Expl...

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