Customer Review

9 of 84 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Lousy, 13 Sep 2009
A Kid's Review
This review is from: The Emperor's New Drugs: Exploding the Antidepressant Myth (Paperback)
If form wins over content than maybe this book might deserve some consideration. But it doesn't. Author's previous claim to fame was a book on sex therapy and he should have stuck to this exciting subject. Alas, he ventured into the field that he neither practices nor fully understands. This brief review in not the right forum to educate professor Kirsch (professor of what?) about psychopharmacology or questions his motives about writing the volume on the topic he knows so little about. I will say, however, that his passions are misdirected.

Armed with 20 years of psychiatric practice, 2 advanced degrees, and lots of common sense I advise Dr. Kirsch (Dr. of what?) to go back teaching about sex and stop bothering psycho-pharmers.

Michael Levin, MD, MS in Pharmacology
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Showing 1-10 of 20 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 14 Sep 2009 17:11:19 BDT
Last edited by the author on 14 Sep 2009 17:29:13 BDT
R. Culhane says:
Please, feel free to attempt to "educate" us all about the book's shortcomings. It would be more useful in this forum than mere ex cathedra statements backed up only by tedious claims to authority.

Posted on 20 Sep 2009 14:41:05 BDT
This reviewer questions clinical psychologist Irving Kirsh's motives for writing a review of antidepressants but, as the reviewer is a pharmacologist and psychiatrist, the argument clearly cuts both ways. More importantly, Kirsch's meta-analyses of the effects of antidepressants have been published in peer-review academic journals, and conform to internationally recognised standards of evidence based medicine. The reviewer's appeal to his "20 years of psychiatric practice, 2 advanced degrees, and lots of common sense", on the other hand, is reminiscent of the way in which previous generations of psychiatrists attempted to justify insulin coma and the prefrontal leucotomy. The reviewer might try reading Druin Birch's 'Taking the medicine' (Chatto & Windus, 2009) or Ben Goldachre's 'Bad science' (Harper, 2009) if he wants to understand what evidence-based medicine is all about.

Posted on 1 Dec 2009 22:41:25 GMT
As far as I'm aware, Professor Kirsch is a Professor of Psychology but I'm not really sure how relevant that is. I would be more convinced if the reviewer commented at all on the content of the book rather than trying to discredit the author? Have you read the book?

Posted on 16 Dec 2009 11:56:39 GMT
Mark Davis says:
I'm not aware that Irving Kirsch has written a book on sex therapy. He has written several on Expectation, Evidence Based Clinical Hypnosis, Clinical Hypnosis and Self-Regulation. He's also published meta analyses on anti-depressants vs placebo - especially controlling for active side effects. Other areas of note are important meta-analyses on CBT and CBT+Hypnosis as treatments for obesity. His acknowledged areas of expertise are particularly placebo, expectation and hypnosis (which he describes as a non-deceptive placebo).
Ad hominem arguments for a book review are utterly unhelpful.

In reply to an earlier post on 23 Jan 2010 21:54:03 GMT
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

Posted on 29 Mar 2010 22:54:17 BDT
K. J. Wright says:
Tell us Michael: is one of your degrees in common sense? Just sounds like you've got a lot to lose with this embarrassing truth coming out... Or did you just write the review to rub your qualifications in everyone's face, you facile son-of-a-b....

In reply to an earlier post on 18 May 2010 18:55:16 BDT
tee hee its getting rude : lifes not simple. Antidepressants help some people, some of the time with some of their problems but always at some cost - physical side effects or psychological consequence. Depression kills alot of people too, and the evidence for CBT and other therapies isn't as overwhelming as its weight given by NICE would suggest.
Life is hard and difficult individual judgements have to be made....
Of course its much more fun to shout and posture on imaginary moral high grounds. (yes I am a psychiatrist - one of the good/bad guys depending on which simplistic stereotypical position you wish to adopt.

Posted on 26 May 2010 10:12:17 BDT
Last edited by the author on 27 May 2010 08:28:26 BDT
"professor Kirsch (professor of what?)"

Umm, it tells you in the book, have you read it?

It is sad that with your claimed background and education you can add nothing but ad hominum to what otherwise could be a fascinating debate.

We are, I suspect, all wanting to get to the truth so to best serve a group of people who suffer. Help us do so by telling us why you think Kirsch is wrong and show us your evidence.

Posted on 15 Jun 2010 21:27:55 BDT
Have you even read the book before talking? Apparently, a study has been conducted, and it has been published for peer-review. If other scientists repeat the experiment with the same results again and again, it does not matter how many MD, MS, PhD o Nobel prizes you have, because science works on evidence, not on fancy authoritative degrees. If you and evidence differ, you are wrong; it is that simple. This is called scientific method, and I suggest you follow it if you want to call yourself a scientist, or have a little bit of credibility, otherwise you might as well argue that, along with your MD and your MS, you know you are right because God told you so.

Now, if you want to prove the author wrong, provide us with EVIDENCE from large and serious studies that show the opposite, with references, and then I will be the first one to be willing to hear what you have to say.

Posted on 1 Aug 2010 15:00:27 BDT
Tescodirect says:
I think this reviewer has got a little bit confused. I am not sure he has actually read the book, and has possibly got the author confused with someone else. The author of this book is a Professor of Clinical Psychology at Hull (which is clearly stated in the book), and has published extensively on the use of psychopharmacology. He has also collaborated with other highly respected academics, such as Joanna McCrief, who is a psychiatrist. This information is readily available to anybody who knows how to use a search engine. I could not find any reference to a book on sex therapy by this author, and his previous claim to fame was a meta-analysis on the effectiveness of anti-depressants, and several other related publications. I think the point is precisely that the author does know a lot about this topic.

Do not be put off reading the book by this review, as the reviewer clearly has his own agenda.
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