Famous Quotes & Sayings

Irving Kirsch Quotes & Sayings

Enjoy the top 31 famous quotes, sayings and quotations by Irving Kirsch.

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There seem to be many causes of depression. One cause is profound loss, grief. Economic hardship we know is linked to depression. We don't have a full picture. — Irving Kirsch

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Anything that instills a sense of hope will at least temporarily help treat depression. — Irving Kirsch

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I do a lot of research on the placebo effect, not just in depression but in irritable bowel syndrome, pain, arthritis of the knee, migraine, asthma. — Irving Kirsch

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Psychotherapy works, and some types of therapy have been shown to be much more effective than antidepressants over the long run. — Irving Kirsch

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To someone who is not currently on anti-depressants, I would suggest trying other treatments first - for example, psychotherapy. — Irving Kirsch

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When people recover from depression via psychotherapy, their attributions about recovery are likely to be different than those of people who have been treated with medication. Psychotherapy is a learning experience. Improvement is not produced by an external substance, but by changes within the person. It is like learning to read, write or ride a bicycle. Once you have learned, the skills stays with you. People no not become illiterate after they graduate from school, and if they get rusty at riding a bicycle, the skill can be acquired with relatively little practice. Furthermore, part of what a person might learn in therapy is to expect downturns in mood and to interpret them as a normal part of their life, rather than as an indication of an underlying disorder. This understanding, along with the skills that the person has learned for coping with negative moods and situations, can help to prevent a depressive relapse. — Irving Kirsch

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Depression comes back over time in about 90 percent of people on antidepressants. Studies show that relapses are far less common when people are treated with psychotherapy. — Irving Kirsch

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Depression is a serious problem, but drugs are not the answer. In the long run, psychotherapy is both cheaper and more effective, even for very serious levels of depression. Physical exercise and self-help books based on CBT can also be useful, either alone or in combination with therapy. Reducing social and economic inequality would also reduce the incidence of depression. — Irving Kirsch

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If doctors just spent more time with their patients so they felt more reassured, that might help. — Irving Kirsch

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Nocebos often cause a physical effect, but it's not a physically produced effect. What's the cause? In many cases, it's an unanswered question. — Irving Kirsch

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The results of decades of neurotransmitter-depletion studies point to one inescapable conclusion: low levels or serotonin, norepinephrine or dopamine do not cause depression. here is how the authors of the most complete meta-analysis of serotonin-depletion studies summarized the data: Although previously the monoamine systems were considered to be responsible for the development of major depressive disorder (MDD), the available evidence to date does not support a direct causal relationship with MDD. There is no simple direct correlation of serotonin or norepinephrine levels in the brain and mood.' In other words, after a half-century of research, the chemical-imbalance hypothesis as promulgated by the drug companies that manufacture SSRIs and other antidepressants is not only with clear and consistent support, but has been disproved by experimental evidence. — Irving Kirsch

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Antidepressants can have troubling side effects and are addictive for some people. — Irving Kirsch

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Our analyses of the FDA data showed relatively little difference between the effects of antidepressants and the effects of placebos. Indeed, the effects were so small that they did not qualify as clinically significant. The drug companies knew how small the effect of their medications were compared to placebos, and so did the FDA and other regulatory agencies. The companies found various ways to make the data seem more favorable to their products, and the FDA helped them keep their negative data secret. In fact, in some instances, the FDA urged the companies to keep negative data hidden, even when the companies wanted to reveal them. My colleagues and I hadn't really discovered anything new. We had merely revealed their 'dirty little secret'. — Irving Kirsch

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There seems little reason to prescribe anti-depressant medication to any but the most severely depressed patients. — Irving Kirsch

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If you're taking an antidepressant, it's working, and you're not experiencing side effects, go on taking it. But if it's not working, or not working well enough, or if you have side effects you don't like, talk to your doctor about an alternative approach. — Irving Kirsch

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Physicians do not systematically prescribe placebos to their patients. Hence they have no way of comparing the effects of the drugs they prescribe to placebos. When they prescribe a treatment and it works, their natural tendency is to attribute the cure to the treatment. But there are thousands of treatments that have worked in clinical practice throughout history. Powdered stone worked. So did lizard's blood, and crocodile dung, and pig's teeth and dolphin's genitalia and frog's sperm. Patients have been given just about every ingestible - though often indigestible - substance imaginable. They have been 'purged, puked, poisoned, sweated, and shocked', and if these treatments did not kill them, they may have made them better. — Irving Kirsch

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According to an article in the Washington Post: The Food and Drug Administration has repeatedly urged antidepressant manufacturers not to disclose to physicians and the public that some clinical trials of the medications in children found that drugs were no better than sugar pills, according to documents and testimony released at a congressional hearing yesterday. Regulators supressed the negative information on the grounds that it might scare families and physicians away from the drugs, according to testimony by drug company executives. For at least three medications, they said, the FDA blocked the companies' plans to reveal the negative studies in drug labels. — Irving Kirsch

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The big bulk of the response to antidepressants is the placebo response. — Irving Kirsch

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Psychotherapy works for the treatment of depression, and the benefits are substantial. In head-to-head comparisons, in which the short-term effects of psychotherapy and antidepressants are pitted against each other, psychotherapy works as well as medication. This is true regardless of how depressed the person is to begin with.
Psychotherapy looks even better when its long-term effectiveness is assessed. Formerly depressed patients are far more likely to relapse and become depressed again after treatment with antidepressants than they are after psychotherapy. As a result, psychotherapy is significantly more effective than medication when measured some time after treatment has ended, and the more time that has passed since the end of treatment, the larger the difference between drugs and psychotherapy. — Irving Kirsch

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One problem I have with drug companies is that they don't make all their data public. — Irving Kirsch

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Depression is not caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain, and it is not cured by medication. Depression may not even be an illness at all. Often, it can be a normal reaction to abnormal situations. Poverty, unemployment, and the loss of loved ones can make people depressed, and these social and situational causes of depression cannot be changed by drugs. — Irving Kirsch

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In 2004, the FDA urged drug companies to adopt a 'Don't ask, don't tell' policy with respect to their clinical-trial data showing that antidepressants are not better than placebos for depressed children. If the data were made public, they cautioned, it might lead doctors to not prescribe antidepressants. The FDA believed that the jury was still out on antidepressants for children. Even if the clinical trials show negative results, an FDA spokesperson was reported to have said to a Washington Post reporter, it doesn't mean that the drugs are ineffective. The assumption seems to have been that doctors should prescribe medications that have not been shown to work, until it has been proven that they don't work. — Irving Kirsch

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Perhaps anti-depressants should be best reserved for the very extreme cases and, more importantly, for those who do not respond to alternative forms of interventions. — Irving Kirsch

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For people who are depressed, and especially for those who do not receive enough benefit from medication of for whom the side effects of antidepressants are troubling, the fact that placebos can duplicate much of the effects of antidepressants should be taken as good news. It means that there are other ways of alleviating depression. As we have seen, treatments like psychotherapy and physical exercise are at least as effective as antidepressant drugs and more effective than placebos. In particular, CBT has been shown to lower the risk of relapsing into depression for years after treatment has ended, making it particularly cost effective. — Irving Kirsch

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Perhaps 10 percent of patients who are prescribed antidepressants are really benefiting from the drugs' active ingredients. — Irving Kirsch

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The one thing we do know is that the chemical imbalance theory - the theory that people get depressed when they don't have enough serotonin in their brain - we know that that's wrong. — Irving Kirsch

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Not only are poor, unemployed, less will-educated and non-white people more likely to become depressed, but they are also least likely to benefit from treatment by either antidepressants or psychotherapy. That is why combating depression requires more than merely providing effective treatment for those who are already suffering from it. We also need the change the social conditions - such a racism, unemployment, poverty, unaffordable housing, and lack of adequate education - that put people at increased risk of becoming depressed. — Irving Kirsch

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The doctor-patient relationship is critical to the placebo effect. — Irving Kirsch

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There are a variety of techniques to help people change the kind of thinking that leads them to become depressed. These techniques are called cognitive behavioral therapy. — Irving Kirsch

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Many of the benefits of CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) can be obtained without going into therapy. There are a number of self-help books, CDs and computer programs that have been used to treat depression and some of these have been tested in clinical trials with positive results. I can particularly recommend these two books. One is 'Control Your Depression', the lead author of which is Peter Lewinsohn, a Professor of Psychology at the University of Oregon ... The other book that I can recommend with confidence is 'Feeling Good' by the psychiatrist David Burns. 'Control Your Depression' emphasizes behavioral techniques like increasing pleasant activities, improving social skills and learning to relax. 'Feeling Good' puts greater emphasis on changing the way people think about themselves. But both books include both cognitive and behavioral techniques. — Irving Kirsch

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Patients who trust their doctors and have a psychological expectation of getting better could trigger a reaction in their body. — Irving Kirsch