Readers respond to the debate on the efficacy of antidepressants and to Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett’s piece exploring her own experiences with depression

The letter from Drs Moncrieff and Middleton (24 February) regarding the study on the efficacy of antidepressants (The drugs do work, says study of antidepressants, 22 February) raises serious concern and requires a response. Moncrieff and Middleton write as co-chairs of the Critical Psychiatry Network, whose website promotes their singular views; no clinician that I know subscribes to it.

They claim that responses to antidepressants are modest at best. This is because in any large study there will be patients who show good response and others who show modest response. When averaged this can result in a modest response for the group. My clinical experience of 30 years is that many people with depression can achieve full recovery on antidepressants or, if a modest recovery, they are then able to engage with talking therapies to achieve a better response. Why some people respond better than others to antidepressants is still a question needing an answer.

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Mental health is a level of psychological well-being, or an absence of a mental disorder; it is the "psychological state of someone who is functioning at a satisfactory level of emotional and behavioral adjustment".