June 27, 2022 – Their rationale for conducting the study was their belief that “Despite plenty of effective antidepressant (AD) treatments, the outcome of major depressive disorder (MDD) is often unsatisfactory, probably due to improvable exploitation of available therapies.”

As the researchers put it, the problem is not that antidepressants are ineffective but rather that these treatments are simply not used enough. They argued that the “available therapies” need to be “exploited” more.

Their study tested this proposition. In a real-life setting, people with MDD were given these treatments as needed, including multiple medications, hospitalization, and add-on psychotherapy. If these treatments were effective—and simply not being used enough—then this study should show an extremely high success rate since everyone in the study received some or all of these treatments.

Yet their study showed dismal results. Despite aggressive treatment, only 24.2% of the participants were rated as “responding” to treatment—much less recovering from depression.

The researchers rated 34.3% as non-responders and noted that the remaining 41.4% became “treatment-resistant”—which is the stigmatizing psychiatric term for when multiple medications fail to help people. 


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