In December 2017 Dr. M. Yapko, a renowned psychologist and expert on depression and anxiety, shared the latest research on depression and its treatments during the international conference of psychotherapy in the USA.
He raises legitimate concerns about the traditional treatment of depression with anti-depressants:
Concern #1: The One-Dimensional Nature of a Purely Biological Perspective on Depression.
‘What about all the other factors that contribute to depression?’ Dr. M. Yapko questions. It is very convenient for the pharmaceutical companies to impose the idea that depression is ‘a chemical imbalance in your brain which can be restored only by anti-depressants’. Of course, it is very financially rewarding for the pharmaceutical companies to have as many people as possible on anti-depressants and keep them on medication for as long as possible, but that doesn’t address all the social, perceptual, cognitive factors that contribute to depression.
‘Concern #2: The Passive Definition of the Client’s Role in the treatment which involves only anti-depressants. The unfortunate messages that a client gets is: ‘You don’t have to change your life, you don’t have to learn any new skills, you just have to take your medication on time.’ The reality is that the client has to be an active participant in the treatment: he or she needs to learn the skills that will help them deal with life problems effectively, get over depression and prevent depression episodes in the future.
Concern #3: Economic Corruption and Undue Influence Researchers, Journal Editors and Clinicians are not Greed-Free. A lot of so called researchers are paid handsomely to advocate for the benefits of anti-depressants. A lot of clinicians have an invested financial interest in prescribing people anti-depressants and keeping them on medication for years.
Concern #4: Pseudo- scientific False Advertising. The “shortage of serotonin” is a heavily touted hypothesis with little empirical basis and considerable contradictory evidence.
Concern #5: Conflicting Data About Drug Safety that Confuses Almost Everyone.
Be afraid… Be very afraid. But, there’s really nothing to be afraid of… (we hope). In other words, the side effects can be detrimental in many ways and yet we are told that ‘there is nothing to be afraid of’.
Concern #6: Drugs are OVERprescribed.
Concern #7: Side –effects Can be More Than Just an Irritant. Side-effects can reduce or prevent participation in treatment, complicate symptoms and serve to reinforce depression!
Concern #8: The Arguable Therapeutic Efficacy of Anti-depressants. This issue alone makes all the other concerns secondary.
Patient expectations largely dictate anti-depressant response! In a study published in the British Journal of Psychiatry (September 11, 2015) , researchers reported that “people’s expectations about how effective their anti-depressant medication is going to be almost entirely predicts their response to it. Giving patients a placebo pill as active therapy during an 8 week period results in very similar reductions in symptoms…Investigators at UCLA led by Afndrew Leuchter, MD, found that patients assigned to either active anti-depressant therapy or placebo pills had little difference between outcomes!!! See Medscape, September 15, 2015 for details of the research.
Suggesting a drug will cure depression misses the inescapable point…Depression is more a social than medical problem.
How often are other people at the heart of one’s depression? Rejection, loss, betrayal, humiliation, abuse, and abandonment are all common points of depression’ s origin- and they are all social phenomena.
And, how often is it our misperceptions about others that lie at the base of depression? Seeing rejection where there was none? Feeling left out despite invitations to join? Missing social cues and misinterpreting others’ motives?
No Amount of Medication or Purely Biological Treatment Alone Can Teach a Client:
- More effective coping skills
- More realistic explanatory styles
- Healthier relationship styles
- More flexible and discriminative cognitive skills
- Sophisticated problem-solving skills
- More effective decision-making strategies
- How to build and maintain a support network
- How to transcend an adverse personal history
- How to build a realistic and motivating future
Why are children and adolescents the fastest growing age group of depression sufferers? There are many reasons…some are intrapersonal, others are interpersonal.
Consider the effects of technology on relationships, sleep, a felt connection to nature, values, etc.
Parents’ Depression Can Intensify Their Children’s Depression
- Formerly depressed adolescents with depressed parents tend to experience severe depression as adults more often than those with non-depressed parents
- Depressed male teenagers with depressed fathers are seven times more likely to attempt suicide as young adults than depressed male teens with unaffected fathers (Rohde et al., J of Abnormal Psychology, 2005,114(3)
A World Health Organization (WHO) Declaration and Prediction.
A dozen years ago, WHO declared depression the FOURTH most significant cause of suffering and disability worldwide (behind heart disease, cancer and traffic accidents); WHO predicted that depression would become the SECOND most debilitating human condition by the year 2020 Sadly, we reached that mark late last year (2013).
If you are depressed, the most effective approach to help you get over depression is a combination of psychotherapy and clinical hypnosis. Dr. M. Yapko teaches clinicians internationally to apply clinical hypnosis to enhance and speed up the process of effective recovery.
At Light Your Star we use the psychotherapy and clinical hypnosis approach that Dr. M. Yapko teaches clinicians around the world and we can help you overcome depression without any medication naturally and effectively.
We offer a free 45 min initial consultation to discuss your challenges and to design an individual treatment program that would be the most effective for you. Call the nationally accredited hypnotherapist/psychotherapist/life coach Sviatlana Starr from Light Your Star now on 0414 737 965 to arrange for your free consultation.
Dr. M. Yapko’s notes that he was handing out at the conference are still available on:
You can also read these scientific articles that attack Anti-depressant medication, so that you can educate yourself about how Pharmaceutical companies created a ‘myth of the chemical cure’ and how they contribute to the mental illness:
- The Emperor’s New Drugs: Exploding the Antidepressant
Myth by Irving Kirsch, Ph.D.
- Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs,
and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America by
- Let Them Eat Prozac: The Unhealthy Relationship Between
the Pharmaceutical Companies and Depression by David
- Mad in America: Bad Science, Bad Medicine, and the
Enduring Mistreatment of the Mentally Ill by Robert Whitaker
- Manufacturing Depression: The Secret History of a
Modern Disease by Gary Greenberg
- Comfortably Numb: How Psychiatry Is Medicating a
Nation by Charles Barber
- The Myth of the Chemical Cure: A Critique of
Psychiatric Drug Treatment by Joanna Moncrieff, M.D.
- Sex, Lies, and Pharmaceuticals: How Drug Companies
are Bankrolling the Next Big Condition for Women by
- Pharmageddon by David Healy
- Crazy Like Us: The Globalisation of the
American Psyche by Ethan Watters
- Inside the Battle to Define Mental Illness by
Gary Greenberg in Wired magazine. Online:
- Skills, Not Pills by Michael Yapko. Online: