I know why this story in Discover: Psychologist Says Antidepressants Are Just Fancy Placebos can't possibly be true.
The story contends that ant-depressant drugs are pretty much just an expensive sugar pill.
First, backing up one step - scientists absolutely agree that depression (and related anxiety issues) are created by a chemical imbalance. The drugs are known to "normalize" neurotransmitters.
Irving Kirsch, professor of psychology at the University of Hull in the U.K. is reportedly an expert
on the placebo effect (if you think it will help you, it will help you), Kirsch maintains that he has scientific evidence that
anti-depressants do not correct brain chemistry gone awry. He says, the drugs are not much more effective against depression
than are sugar pills. Of course, Mr. Kirsch is out hyping a soon to be released book.
Here's how I know this Kirsch guy is wrong: DOGS!
When given the same anti-anxiety type drugs to dogs - the drugs work! For example, a drug called Reconcile helps dogs with separation anxiety (Reconcile, approved for use in dogs is Prozac). Xanax is used for dogs fearful of thunderstoms. There are many examples of how drugs in this classification work, effectively helping dogs.
Of course, dogs (and cats) don't know from the placebo affect.