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Evaluate the Biological Treatments of Depression.

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By LarzyHass
Words 768
Pages 4
Antidepressants such as monoamine-oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) and trycyclics (TCAs) are effective in reducing depressive symptoms. Antidepressants have been tested in trials with placebos and have found to be effective in reducing symptoms of severe depression in around 65% to 75% compared with around 33% for placebos – Gitlin 2002. Gitlin carried out a clinical trial testing selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and placebos. He found that SSRIs were effective in reducing symptoms of depression in around 75% of patients compared with 33% for placebos. However the 33% of patients that felt better after taking the placebo drug suggests that the cause of depression is not all down to biological reasons but possibly cognitive too and that it may be about the way we think.
There were factors that caused limitations to this study, the study was correlational, and this means that the cause and effect was not established between depression and the supposed cause. Hollon did a follow up study to see whether or not SSRIs are effective in treating the actual cause of depression or not. He found that those who were withdrawn from cognitive therapy had a relapse rate of 31% and those withdrawn from drug therapy had a relapse rate of 76%. This shows that drugs only treat the symptoms of depression rather than the actual underlying cause of depression. Therefore it is palliative. It is clear that drugs do not necessarily offer a long term cure as in many cases; symptoms recur when the drugs are no longer taken.
To argue about appropriateness, MAOIs are not appropriate as they are associated with life threatening side effects such as cardiovascular disease and strokes. Many of the foods consumed in a normal diet contain tyramine which reacts adversely with MAOIs. Patients who are prescribed with MAOIs must restrict their diets. This is a hassle; the issue is that the…...

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