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The Secret Power of Sugar Pills

New research suggests that antidepressant medication for those with bipolar disorder is no more effective than a sugar pill placebo.

Bipolar disorder, a mental illness characterized by severe mood swings, is usually treated with mood-stabilizing drugs such as lithium, valproate, or carbamazepine.

However, antidepressant medications are often also used to treat downward mood swings, although they are thought to increase the risks of manic episodes.

Researchers studied 366 participants at 22 sites across the country. They were treated with either one of two antidepressants -- bupropion (Wellbutrin) or paroxetine (Paxil) -- or with a placebo. After 26 weeks, just under one-quarter of those treated with antidepressants stayed well for at least eight consecutive weeks ... but so did just over one-quarter of those treated with the placebo.

However, about 10 percent of each group experienced emerging symptoms of mania, meaning that the antidepressants did not trigger manic episodes more strongly than the placebo.

New England Journal of Medicine, Vol. 356, No. 17, April 26, 2007: 1711-1722

Yahoo News April 26, 2007

PsychCentral March 29, 2007

Dr. Mercola's Comment:

You can add bipolar disorders to the ever-growing list of conditions for which antidepressants do nothing.

Credit should be given as much to the power of the placebo as to the uselessness of drugs like Wellbutrin or Paxil, but there are certainly far better and safer methods at your disposal to manage the pain untreated emotions can have on your mind and body than any health-harming antidepressants.

Wellbutrin, of course, is one of 10 antidepressants cited in an FDA advisory for prompting signs of suicidal behavior, and Paxil can make you both suicidal and twice as prone to violence. Both sound ideal for your mental health, don't they?

Most people are oblivious to the amazing potential of the "placebo" effect. It is not a false or fake reaction at all. Quite to the contrary, it is an absolutely amazing demonstration of the power of your mind to manifest miraculous healing changes.

Don't believe me?

Well then you must review the powerful article I posted five years ago that is an amazing testimony to my claim. It was a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, multi-center trial at some of the best hospitals in the world and published in the most prestigious medical journal in the world.

What did it show?

It demonstrated that if a person believed they were going to have surgery for a physically damaged knee and had a fake surgery that they thought was real, they received the same benefit as those who actually had the surgery.

It was their mind, NOT the surgery, that was responsible for the benefit.

Amazing, absolutely amazing. Yet even though this study was published over five years ago, virtually no one uses it to shout to the world the power of your mind to influence your health.

One of the most practical solutions for implementation of this effect is energy psychology, and Emotional Freedom Technique is the tool we use in my practice. It is, without any doubt, question, or reservation in my mind, one of the finest healing tools you could have access to.

I recently gave an hour-long interview with a film crew doing a documentary on EFT, and in the course of the interview I remembered something I realized many years ago but forgot about.

I believe EVERY parent needs to know EFT and use it every night when they do their good night ritual with their children. It can be used in conjunction with prayer to help resolve any emotional challenges the child had during the day.

There is no question in my mind that this is one of the most powerful practices you can adopt to improve the health of your child. Most know how passionate I am about the power of nutrition to change your life, but it is my belief that this simple practice has far more potential to improve your child's health than even the most perfect diet.

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