2000 years have passed since Cicero said that: “experience is the best teacher” [Usus magister est optimus]
This is the current dictionary definition of experience:
As a doctor, scientist, and artist I have come to consider experience from many stances. I welcome every view from every stance.
A recent publication of a meta-analysis on antidepressant prescribing has encouraged a wider sharing of experience. My sense of this wide-ranging discourse is that we all share a determination to ease suffering.
Following the publication and reporting of this meta-analysis, some senior colleagues have made, or shared public comments, that invoke war-like or shaming terms:
“All in all it has been a bad few days for the anti-medication cult and their followers”
“It feels like there is a war on antidepressants at the moment”
Some of my senior colleagues, including the President of my College, have publicly shared this:
Fact: The Cipriani Lancet meta-analysis of antidepressants efficacy, was based on (an average) of 8 weeks study (experience).
Almost a decade ago. I asked Professor Ian C. Reid: “What is the ‘appropriate” duration of antidepressant treatment?” After a number of communications, Professor Reid replied:
Ian Reid was quite brilliant. I trained in psychiatry with Ian. I was surprised to find how difficult he found my question.
A few years later this letter was published in the BMJ:
My “issue”: that science must carefully listen and consider all experience. Otherwise it is no longer science and “data” will be meaningless. Cicero understood this 2000 years ago. I worry that some Professors of today may not.