Manufacturing Depression

From The Guardian:

Painting-by-Daniel-Cacoua-001 Gary Greenberg is a psychotherapist who joined a clinical trial for an antidepressant at a time when he was mildly depressed. He was diagnosed as severely depressed, got better, and found that his pill was a placebo. His book contains a major attack on antidepressants, and he blames the drug companies for the false advertising of their positive effects. He is also very critical of the concept of depression itself.

He is right that quite a lot of random clinical trials have failed to demonstrate the effectiveness of antidepressants – as opposed to placebos – in curing depression. However, he ignores the evidence that, for severe depression, they really can help. He accuses the drug industry of downplaying the numerous side-effects, such as the 774 papers showing their effect on sexual performance. In addition, he argues that the industry has successfully campaigned to persuade doctors and the public that they suffer in enormous numbers from a disease called depression when in fact they might not. Only someone who has not been seriously depressed could accept that. He suggests that those who benefit from antidepressants that raise serotonin levels might instead be thought of as suffering from Prozac-deficit disorder.

His main thesis seems to be that depression is not a disease or an illness.

More here.