Turns out antidepressants are even worse than ineffective: In a huge number of patients, they can actually make depression worse.

And that's not even including the people who take these meds and actually kill themselves -- a known side effect of some antidepressants.

Researchers looked at data from seven studies that compared either the drug Cymbalta or another SSRI antidepressant to a placebo and found that 76.3 percent of the patients responded to anything at all -- including the placebo.

They claim people who took the med did better than those on the placebo -- but then again, they only looked at six studies. Other studies have found that placebos work every bit as well as common antidepressants.

But the point here isn't the remarkable power of the placebo -- it's that at least the placebo didn't make the depression worse. You can't say the same about meds: Up to a fifth of all patients who took antidepressants ended up with worse depression.

Since close to 30 million Americans take antidepressants each year, that means nearly 6 million people are actually getting worse instead of better because of the "cure."

Some cure.

And along with making the depression worse, common antidepressant drugs have been linked to stroke, suicide, personality changes, cognitive decline and sex problems… just to name a few of the biggies.

I know that beating depression isn't always easy -- but you don't have to take those risks to do it. As I've told you in the past, St. John's wort has proven to be at least as effective as meds -- at least as effective as meds when they actually work, I should add -- with very little risk.

Another natural option is the amino acid SAMe, which is so effective it's widely used instead of meds in Europe. In addition, exercise, talk therapy and magnetic therapy have all shown they can help beat depression -- including the kinds of serious depression you think you'll never get over.

For more on the best ways to beat depression without going near a pill bottle, visit the Web site of the Health Sciences Institute and enter "depression" into the find a cure box.