For the past five years, and in my recent book Obsession: A History, I have been questioning the effectiveness of Prozac-like drugs known as SSRIs. I’ve pointed out that when the drugs first came out in the early 1990s there was a wildly enthusiastic uptick in the prescribing of such drugs. Doctors were jubilantly claiming that the drugs were 80-90 percent effective in treating depression and related conditions like OCD.
In the last few years those success rates have been going down, with The New York Times pointing out that the initial numbers had been inflated by drug companies suppressing the studies that were less encouraging. But few if any doctors or patients were willing to hear anything disparaging