The Couple Who Medicates Together
Could a pill be the key to marital bliss?
The answers, like most debates about antidepressants' benefits, risks, and limitations, are complicated and controversial. One key finding is that, while antidepressants can significantly reduce symptoms of major depression—including prolonged and pronounced hopelessness, self-doubt, unexplained pain—up to 40 percent of people don't benefit from the drugs at all (and those who do may have to cycle through several prescriptions before finding the right one).
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Another eyebrow-raiser? A large 2010 study funded by the National Institute of Mental Health culled data from multiple randomized, placebo-controlled drug trials and concluded that antidepressants are basically no better than placebos for the treatment of mild to moderate depression. This is particularly startling because surveys (formal and informal) suggest the majority of people seeking treatment for depression may not meet the formal criteria for the condition but are still enduring everything from agitation and excessive rumination to feeling unusually down or disconnected. So if antidepressants may barely help individuals, according to the data, is it crazy to think they might help couples?
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