There has been a lot of research into the clinical and physiological effects of antidepressants but less into their social and psychological effects. Qualitative research aims to look into this kind of issue, looking at what service users say among themselves, in focus groups and in interviews with researchers and aiming to pull out themes from the material rather than numerical quantitative results. Researchers in the U.S. analysed 227 postings in Internet discussion groups for people taking antidepressant medication. They found that there were four main themes to the postings: general side effects, sexual side effects, giving advice and frustration with physicians. The posters saw themselves as ill and rather ineffective patients but at the same time felt that they deserved good treatment and that they had their own medical expertise.
Pestello, Frances G. and Davis-Berman, Jennifer - Taking anti-depressant medication: a qualitative examination of Internet postings Journal of Mental Health August 2008, 17(4), 349-360