Therapy More Effective than Medications for Anxiety — Placebos Also Effective


One-on-one Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is better than psychiatric medications or other common psychotherapeutic interventions for severe anxiety disorders in adults, according to a large meta-analysis of the scientific literature published in The Lancet Psychiatry. Various types of placebo treatments were also found to be effective.

The study was a collaboration between the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Oxford University and University College in London, and examined data from 13,164 participants with severe, longstanding social anxiety in 101 clinical trials.

“Individual CBT (which other studies have shown to have a lower risk of side-effects than pharmacotherapy) is associated with large effect sizes,” wrote the researchers. “Thus, it should be regarded as the best intervention for the initial treatment of social anxiety disorder. For individuals who decline psychological intervention, SSRIs show the most consistent evidence of benefit.” The researchers also noted that few trials had looked at combining medication with talk therapy, and “there was no evidence” that combining the two improved outcomes.

“Greater investment in psychological therapies would improve quality of life, increase workplace productivity, and reduce healthcare costs,” the lead researcher said in a Johns Hopkins press release.

Placebo interventions also performed relatively well in most trials, the researchers found. “Psychological and pill placebo had greater effects than waitlist; investigation of these effects suggests that non-specific factors might account for about half the total effects of individual CBT and SSRIs.”

(Full Text) Psychological and pharmacological interventions for social anxiety disorder in adults: a systematic review and network meta-analysis

Talk therapy — not medication — best for social anxiety disorder, large study finds (Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Press Release on ScienceDaily, September 25, 2014)


  1. Going to the Journal “report” this propaganda has common propaganda-move where the word disorder/disease are used near each other in the document – near the beginning (such as the second and third paragraph.

    Transitioning from one to the other, in a causal, this-is-standard, way – impresses on the reader that this is okay. Not to be thought about – now or anytime.

    The propaganda template used herein is a good example: they put disorder first and then disease second within the first ten words.

    They say “Social anxiety,” then disorder followed, causally, mater-of-fact by disease.

    They don’t want to put disease (or “illness” first) in the text here – in this propaganda piece, (and in other ubiquitous propaganda pieces disorder is ofttimes used first).

    Here in the 10 words of propaganda they boldly state the noun (the real, substantial thing that exists and needs no discussion) – “Social anxiety disorder” then quickly followed by “disorder” but at the end of a lugubrious six more words of propaganda script.

    Social anxiety disorder—a chronic and naturally unremitting disease

    For another example the American Psychology Association website quickly employs this propaganda writing concept.

    Here they do not use the word disease or illness in their construction of this propaganda. Can you see and explain how this is an example, none-the-less?

    Of handed, causal, straight-forward presentation style. (They are the Authority and they are just telling us what is what.)

    Headers 1 and 2:

    Header 1, Words 3 and 4 — “Ritalin debate”

    Header 2, Word 5 – “medications”

    Body of Text:

    “treatment” “disorder” “medication”

    “medication” “people with ADHD”

    “medication” “therapy”

    Header 3, “Stimulants”

    Body of Text:

    “stimulant medication” “helps children” “benefits” “medication” “prescriptions” “misdiagnosed”

    “stimulant treatment” “with ADHD”


    Now this is at the top for the Psychological Association – not the Psychiatric.

    It is in Authority voice, from the Authority (the A.P.A. Edifice, the Rock of U.S.A. Goverment Official Agency)) (telling us little-people the low-down on the (ersatz, synthesized).

    And note it is INDEPENDENT. This is the Psychology not the Psychiatry Association.

    The Official, Government Approved, U.S.A. Association. (So – These are expert professional leaders (!) (Endorsed by the USA Gov) and it is… of course… not-the-case that they have… their text — their official “statements” — planned and written for them by the same billion-dollar Propaganda, marketing, political leveraging firm… as other Independent unrelated sources do).

    Like a Television police detective script, an article in Scientific American magazine, a statement or Report by a Professor at a> Major U.S.A. University < books and statements from NAMI, articles in Science magazine, Skeptic Magazine, Shows on Public Radion.

    Different Independent

    "There is little evidence of harm. And the treatment is effective."

    It is not Independent. Propaganda concepts, texts, and actionary campaigns are crafted by the counterintelligence operatives.

    Report comment