Peter Kramer's New Defense Of Antidepressants

Download Audio

With guest host Jane Clayson.

Antidepressants are everywhere. Psychiatrist Dr. Peter Kramer, who first told us to “Listen to Prozac, ” makes the case again.

A portion of the cover of Dr. Peter Kramer's new book, "Ordinarily Well." (Courtesy Farrar, Strauss and Giroux)
A portion of the cover of Dr. Peter Kramer's new book, "Ordinarily Well." (Courtesy Farrar, Strauss and Giroux)

Psychiatrist Peter Kramer made a big splash in the early ‘90s with his book ‘Listening to Prozac.’ Today, Kramer is out with a new book coming to the defense of antidepressants. A lot of newer medical studies say they may not work.  But the studies are flawed, he says. Listen to the doctors who prescribe them. One in eight Americans use them.  They work. This hour On Point, a new look at antidepressants. -- Jane Clayson


Dr. Peter Kramer, psychiatrist and clinical professor emeritus of psychiatry and human behavior at Brown University. Author of the new book, "Ordinarily Well: The Case for Antidepressants." Also author of "Listening to Prozac" and "Against Depression." (@PeterDKramer)

Maria Kovacs, psychologist and distinguished professor of psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

From The Reading List

New York Times: In ‘Ordinarily Well,’ Peter D. Kramer Goes to the Antidepressant Ramparts — "Depression is confounding. It resists neat categorization and morphs over time. But the one thing Dr. Kramer finds consistently — in his practice, but also in the research he re-examines in new ways — is that antidepressants work in cases both mild and severe. He cites studies that show antidepressants’ efficacy in other contexts entirely: helping patients in the aftermath of a stroke, for instance, or in countering the effects of the drug interferon."

 STAT News: Most antidepressants don’t work on kids and teens, study finds — "The vast majority of antidepressants given to kids and teens are ineffective and potentially dangerous, according to a new study in The Lancet. Of 14 regularly prescribed drugs, only one — Prozac — proved effective enough to justify giving to children and teens, the researchers found."

The Lancet: Comparative efficacy and tolerability of antidepressants for major depressive disorder in children and adolescents: a network meta-analysis — "When considering the risk–benefit profile of antidepressants in the acute treatment of major depressive disorder, these drugs do not seem to offer a clear advantage for children and adolescents."

Read An Excerpt Of "Oridnarily Well" By Dr. Peter Kramer

This program aired on June 16, 2016.


More from On Point

Listen Live