Irving Kirsch has the world doubting the efficacy of antidepressants. Do they work, or are they no better than placebos? Like his colleagues, Kirsch spent years referring patients to psychiatrists to have their depression treated with drugs. Eventually, however, he decided to investigate for himself just how effective the drugs actually were.
With 15 years of research, Kirsch demonstrates that what everyone “knew” about antidepressants is wrong; what the medical community considered a cornerstone of psychiatric treatment is little more than a faulty consensus. But The Emperor’s New Drugs does more than just criticize: it offers a path society can follow to stop popping pills and start proper treatment.
About the author: Irving Kirsch, PhD, a native of New York City, is a professor of psychology at the University of Hull, United Kingdom, as well as professor emeritus at the University of Connecticut. He lives in Hull, England.
“[Kirsch’s] case that the drugs’ benefits are due to placebo and enhanced placebo effect is fascinating and demands urgent research…Clearly, it’s time for a big rethink of what constitutes mental illness and about how to treat it.” (
“ The Emperor’s New Drugs absolutely dismantles the case for antidepressants as a pharmacologically effective treatment.” ( Psychology Today)
“[A] spare, remarkably engrossing book…Kirsch is a faithful proponent of the scientific method, and his voice therefore brings a welcome objectivity to a subject often swayed by anecdotes, emotions, or…self-interest.” ( New York Review of Books)
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Great insights, but depression not a disease?
MH, big pharma and the Placebo Effect