Editorial in The Lancet Psychiatry helpfully calls for a “dispassionate analysis of the evidence” about psychiatric medication. It seems to be particularly concerned about what it calls “Hooked on happy pills” headlines that have appeared in British newspapers over recent years (see one example).
By criticising these articles without dealing with the issues, the editorial could be taken as another example of minimising the significance of antidepressant discontinuation problems (see previous post). This issue does need to be taken seriously.
Why doesn’t The Lancet Psychiatry commission a review of the evidence? Or more generally, why doesn’t it commission an analysis of the placebo amplification hypothesis of antidepressant efficacy (see previous post). Rather than platitudes in an editorial, it should be doing its job of analysing the evidence. There are too many issues about psychiatric medication that are being fought out in the press rather than psychiatric journals dealing with these matters scientifically.