There was an Article published this week in the China Daily entitled “Antidepressants do help mildly depressed“. Link.
The Article suggests that following a review of past studies, people with mild depression may benefit from taking antidepressants. The Article includes a quote from a doctor who worked on the study, Dr David Hellerstein, who stated “I think there’s a valid concern … that if someone has not-that-severe depression that hasn’t lasted that long, maybe it will get better itself or with therapy”.
Dr David Hellerstein, from the New York State Psychiatric Institute and Columbia University further stated that the question of whether or not to prescribe medication shouldn’t necessarily come down to how severe the depression is but rather how long symptoms have lasted. Although he states that people with “transient depression” shouldn’t be taking the risk of being on meds, the Article gives the overall impression that antidepressants can and do help the mildly depressed.
Reuters Health also reported on the study, here, where Dr Hellerstein was quoted again “Drugs may come with side effects, including insomnia and stomach aches, but they’re usually minor”. No mention of suicide or homicide Ideation then Dr. Hellerstein?
It’s no secret that the major pharmaceutical companies have targeted China in the last few years as this Article suggests, entitled “Lundbeck sees China as land of opportunity for Lexapro”. Link.
The problem is that because of the serious side effects of this medication, it is only approved for Major Depressive Disorder, MDD. Articles like the one in the China Daily are misleading the Chinese public, as it was designed to do, I’m sure.
Dr Hellerstein’s declarations of interest include Eli Lilly, Pfizer, Forest Pharmaceuticals, GlaxoSmithKline, and Bristol-Myers Squibb, all of whom manufacture psychiatric drugs.