Response to “The Marketing of Serotonin” on BMJ


The BMJ article on The Marketing of Serotonin has stirred some interest. There are some  highly technical comments on the BMJ site but of course the key point behind the piece is the rather obvious fact that twenty-five years ago many people were saying it was all a myth. The extraordinary Michael Leunig nailed it twenty years ago in the sketch above. (Leunig is wonderful across the board and razor sharp on medicine and mental health).

So did the BMJ know what they were doing when they sent the article to SMC leading to the extraordinary new Switch on Anti-Depression (SAD) theory?

I thought they were making a mistake, but maybe not. The figures for impact from Altmetric show a lot of interest.

Serotonin and Depression

There are good grounds for a lot of people to be very angry.

The lawyers for several pharmaceutical companies for instance claim to be very angry and upset by recent posts mentioning that finding out about things such as the idea that lowered serotonin was a myth could provoke murderous fantasies in some people, most of whom would do nothing but simmer and seethe. They have been even more upset at the suggestion that while some of us can view all this as “academic” others might be radicalized and might storm the offices of pharmaceutical companies or journals.

See War on Civilization and Pharmaceutical Rape.

serotonin and depression2

Our rulers are exquisitely aware of the potential for violence in those who are oppressed – those who are powered out. The violence inflicted on us – mostly by White Males – from Ferguson and Charleston to Baltimore  playing out across television screens for the last year offers just one example. They expect Us to be as violent back as they are to US, and they tend to take pre-emptive action. At the first FDA Prozac and suicide hearings, the Chairman Daniel Casey wore a bullet-proof vest.

Clearly there has been no endorsement here for violent action but as one correspondent (MMC) put it, we sent Marlboro Man packing and something similar is needed here.

serotonin and depression3

Better Die on your Feet than Live on your Knees sounds violent but was in fact the rallying cry of the Non-Violent Resistance movement that began in Ireland in the 1870s with Michael Davitt and later extended to Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King.

If you want to see what is involved, fill a RxISK report on your behalf or someone close to you and take it to your/their doctor.  There is a good chance you’ll find out just how violent the system is.

But keep knocking until you find a doctor who listens, let us know about them and we can build networks that can change medicine. It is only going to change from the Bottom Up.


Mad in America hosts blogs by a diverse group of writers. These posts are designed to serve as a public forum for a discussion—broadly speaking—of psychiatry and its treatments. The opinions expressed are the writers’ own.


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  1. Pretty daring call for fighting back, I must say. I think that with the newly reactivated civil rights movement, and with the increasing anger among the public about how a tiny group of rich people exploits all the rest of us, hopefully our movement for human rights in the “mental health” system won’t be far behind.

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    • Change is definitely needed, Ted … on many levels.

      And the US founding fathers warned us this all would happen some day. Thomas Jefferson said, “If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of all property until their children wake up homeless on the continent their Fathers conquered….”

      And we now have these exact same “too big to fail” banks and corporations (and industries, like big Pharma) trying to take over the entire world. And actually, the Holy Bible warns us that an evil world empire will eventually arrive, too. It rather seems we’re already there, at least to me.

      And Dr. Healy is correct. “Our rulers … expect Us to be as violent back as they are to US, and they tend to take pre-emptive action.” The rulers being the banks and corporations, and those bought and paid for by them – I guess this would be the military / financial / medical / pharmaceutical / big government industrial complex, or some such thing? But some of us aren’t violent, and believe the pen is mightier than the sword.

      I personally was a little confused, as I was recovering after a pre-emptive attack by doctors who who wanted to cover up child abuse for a religion and were paranoid of a nonexistent malpractice suit, who defamed me, drugged me, and even wrote in my medical records, “thought she was the second coming of Jesus.” To realize my husband somehow got me on a corporate steal from me list, while I was being made sick. And now almost all my enemies are thieving corporations, despite the fact I’m just a mild mannered person. Is that a fair fight? I’ve now been party to, I think, eleven class action lawsuits due to corporate malfeasance by banks and insurance companies. Haven’t received compensation for any of the medical / pharmaceutical crimes yet, despite one former doctor having been arrested by the FBI.

      It’s a sick society we currently live in, and one that was prophesied. We need the big corporations, banks, and industries broken up; government power curbed. Because, as we all know, power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

      Perhaps, no offense Dr. Healy, it’s good the medical community is starting to realize they are not immune from the evils of the corporations either. Keep up the good fight, and let’s pray the pen is mightier than the soon defunct monetary system, and the all evils the worship of it has brought about.

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      • Healy wrote, “We are living in a New Censorship. This is an era when efforts to adhere to the norms of medicine and science by bringing treatment related adverse events to light risk being interpreted under trade agreements as an interference with the capacity of corporations to trade so that governments are all but obliged to shut down criticisms of corporations or their products.” on

        I pressume this is a reference to TTIP and other such trade agreements.

        From this I say Capitalism drives you mad, then it sells you snake oil and when you point out the snake oil made you ill they shut you up and sue you.

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    • But a good one. I did confront all of my psychiatrists and did a fair deal of oppression in return but in the end it helped me survive. You have a better chance to live if you fight than if you surrender. Psychiatry is a crime against humanity.

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  2. Marlboro man was easy to expel because no one thought incipient cancer or heart disease caused smoking. (Though it is plausible that heart disease would.) When smokers got cancer or heart disease, it was attributed to smoking.

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  3. Yes, a civil movement for a long-term change is required if laws are to change, but only if enough citizens will understand and know the truth that medications have few or any identifiable biological targets. The mythology has to be exposed. The medications are big business and make a lot of money for shareholders. In my case, whistleblowers are punished and become “outliers.” Alas, too many are suffering now from medications and their side-effects which become permanent and more disabling than reasons the medications were prescribed, rightly or wrongly, in the first place. Jane Reoch

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  4. “They expect Us to be as violent back as they are to US, and they tend to take pre-emptive action. At the first FDA Prozac and suicide hearings, the Chairman Daniel Casey wore a bullet-proof vest.”

    It sounds like an admission of guilt. These guys are not just stupid or even willfully ignorant – they know full well they’re committing an atrocity.

    In fact there is no bigger coward that then one who supposedly feels no fear – a psychopath. Maybe to be courageous you have to know fear.

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