Do You Need An Antidepressant?

Here is a simple method of telling whether you actually have to take an antidepressant, based on solid science.


Leave comments, refer your colleagues and clients.

By |2015-05-29T12:32:59+00:00May 29th, 2015|Diagnosis in mental health, Psychotherapy|9 Comments

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  1. Marlyne May 29, 2015 at 3:01 pm - Reply

    Thank you for this. I found it very helpful. I admire the way you share information.

  2. Perri May 29, 2015 at 6:35 pm - Reply


    Excellent presentation on depression. Simple, easy to understand, and effective. You are an amazing presenter. Thanks for all that you do for our profession.

  3. Leslie Feder May 30, 2015 at 2:17 pm - Reply

    This will be helpful! and I will use the CES-D. Thank you! I’m already on your mailing list as I attended one of your CEU’s some years ago.

  4. Thorsten May 30, 2015 at 2:49 pm - Reply

    Dear Dr. Johnson,

    first of all thank you very much for your well informed and very helpful series of videos! I already watched a few of them and benefited from them personally and in my work. I read the article by Fournier and a few other ones for a paper I just wrote on Anidepresants and I interpreted the results a little differently. What they seem to say is that ADs up to a HDRS score of 25 (Kirsch et al put that number at 28) are in fact working for people BUT not more than a placebo would do. So, in a way, they DO help people with moderate and mild depression but not more than a sugarpill would do that they really believe in.

    I think we are left with an ethical dilemma here because if we tell people these drugs don’t work (which in a pharmacological sense is true) we take away a way of healing from them (that is, in fact, just make-believe, but still works.) I would choose to always inform my clients about this but as I see it in many other doctors’ offices these practitioners make a different choice.


    • Dr.J June 1, 2015 at 1:57 pm - Reply

      I just say that the antidepressants are mostly helpful only for people in the Severe range. I don’t use the Hamilton, as I said, so I translated the scores into where they’d be on the CES-D. That is, if they want antidepressants, I’m glad to help them track the effect and to do things to enhance the effect of the drug, such as exercise and eating changes.

  5. rachel jessen, lcsw May 30, 2015 at 8:52 pm - Reply

    Thanks so much for sharing and explaining about the cesd. I have been using it for years and think it’s very helpful for the very thing you’re talking about–defer medication unless scores are elevated.

  6. Pavlína Strnadová June 3, 2015 at 12:16 pm - Reply

    Dear Dr. Johnson,
    I’d like to share your articles in Czech Republic (for others: it’s in Europe :-).
    I wanted to add the link (or translation) to CES-D, but I’ve found CESD-R here:
    Perhaps you have said it and I didn’t understand, but are those limit values the same?
    Thank you very much,

    • Dr.J June 3, 2015 at 3:52 pm - Reply

      I don’t know who has done this “revised” version. I think I would stay with the usual control limits. I hope you found where you can download a version from me! That is the traditional version.

  7. Elise June 4, 2015 at 8:24 pm - Reply

    Hi Lynn — Thank you for this. By way of context I’m a “follower” of Barry Duncan & the Heart & Soul Change folks. Been using & talking about CDOI in my private practice & at the medical clinic where I consult for 10 years. Two thoughts about this video: 1. Other reasons besides cost to not take anti-depressants for folks in the low-mod range: taking the Rx likely diminishes time & effort spent in other + anti-depressant steps & poor info about long-term effects on organs & other body parts as insufficient profit for pharmaceutical companies; 2. I may be wrong but I thought you meant to include the citation to the article you were referencing. Didn’t see it. Many thanks for your work. Elise Bon-Rudin, Ed. D.

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