Tag: chemical imbalance myth
Despite new claims that their study provides "clear evidence" linking serotonin and depression, their data actually supports the opposite conclusion: serotonin levels did not correlate with depression.
Anders Sørenson is a Danish clinical psychologist with a special interest in psychiatric drug withdrawal. He has undertaken research which assesses the state of guidance on psychiatric drug withdrawal and paid close attention to tapering methods with the aim of identifying approaches which might make withdrawal more tolerable for people.
With these twelve facts, you are equipped to defend against the misinformation propagated by academic psychiatry, Big Pharma, and the laypeople they target. You are encouraged to use this knowledge to (firmly but respectfully) challenge statements you hear in passing or from loved-ones such as “He is mentally ill,” “I have a chemical imbalance and these drugs help correct it,” or any other commonly accepted falsehoods that the above facts expose.
The spurious chemical imbalance theory of depression is arguably the most destructive thing that psychiatry has ever done. Worldwide, millions of individuals are taking antidepressants, often with a cocktail of other drugs, because they have been told the blatant falsehood that they need the pills to combat a brain illness.
If the "Chemical Imbalance Theory of Mental Disorder" is a mirage, if not a frank deception, then what theory are psychiatrists using to justify prescribing their drugs? What is the current accepted theory or model of mental disorder by which psychiatry justifies not just its extensive and unequalled powers, but its very existence?
Psychiatrist Ronald Pies published a recent piece in the Psychiatric Times titled "Debunking the Two Chemical Imbalance Myths, Again." The subtitle: "A little learning is a dangerous thing." And indeed it is. But not nearly as dangerous as a psychiatrist with a head full of spurious diagnoses and a ready prescription pad.
A growing number of people are seeking an alternative approach to healthcare; one that focuses on achieving optimal well-being rather than symptom management, and views the health of mind, body and spirit as interconnected. The Science and Pseudoscience of Mental Health podcast will explore insights and innovations from this integrative perspective.
An interview with journalist and author Johann Hari about his latest book: Lost Connections: Uncovering the Real causes of Depression and the Unexpected Solutions, in which he learned that almost everything we have been told about depression and anxiety is wrong.
From Quartz: Despite its inaccuracy, the chemical imbalance theory of mental illness continues to persist in public consciousness. The prevalence of this myth may be...
Researchers are constantly hunting for chemical variations in people with emotional problems. But even if chemical differences are someday found, why would we assume that these chemical processes cause abnormal behaviors or moods, as opposed to being mere correlates of them at the chemical level?
I was recently asked to contrast my views on psychosis and recovery with those offered by NAVIGATE, a US government (NIMH) sponsored program aiming to guide early intervention programs for psychosis. This inspired me to inquire into what NAVIGATE does tell people and families about psychosis and recovery. What I found, unfortunately, was quite disturbing.
Generally, most people, even little people, recognise that Santa is just a game. Children perhaps wholeheartedly believe in the story for a while but flaws in the narrative soon become apparent. Unfortunately, not nearly enough people recognise that the chemical imbalance is also a charade.
The assertion that the so-called antidepressants are being over-prescribed implies that there is a correct and appropriate level of prescribing and that depression is a chronic illness (just like diabetes). It has been an integral part of psychiatry's message that although depression might have been triggered by an external event, it is essentially an illness residing within the person's neurochemistry. The issue is not whether people should or shouldn't take pills. The issue is psychiatry pushing these dangerous serotonin-disruptive chemicals on people, under the pretense that they have an illness.
Not all people who have letters after their names are actually "gods" or even people who have any special powers to know things about us more than we can learn about ourselves, about our own bodies, and our own minds. Blindly following what someone says we need to be doing for our own health (mental or physical) and well-being just because they have a white jacket on (so to speak) is usually not in our best interests.
Psychiatry would long since have gone the way of phrenology and mesmerism but for the financial support it receives from the pharmaceutical industry. But the truth has a way of trickling out. Here are five recent stories that buck the psychiatry-friendly stance that has characterized the mainstream media for at least the past 50 years.
Depressed, anxious, and substance-abusing people can beat themselves up for being defective. And psychiatrists and psychologists routinely validate and intensify their sense of defectiveness by telling them that they have, for example, a chemical-imbalance defect, a genetic defect, or a cognitive-behavioral defect. For some of these people, it feels better to believe that they are essentially defective. But the “defect/medical model of mental illness” is counterproductive for many other people—especially those “untalented” in denial and self-deception—for whom there is another model and path that works much better.
There is an enormous irony in a psychiatrist using the epithet "thought police" to express censure, when it is psychiatry itself that routinely incarcerates and forcibly drugs and shocks people on the grounds that their thoughts and speech don't conform to psychiatry's standards of normality.
We have lost our ability to tolerate distress, to find meaning in emotion, and purpose in experience. As the sociologist Nicolas Rose has noted, we have recoded our moods in terms of neurochemistry. Emotions no longer have context. They are aberrations in neurochemistry. I’m no longer hurting because I’m lonely, but because I’m running low on endorphins. Buprenorphine for depressive despair reinforces the belief that emotions should be obliterated, and can only be done so through modulating biochemistry.
Let us put the final nail in the coffin of the neurotransmitter myth of big Pharma and the APA. The idea that psychiatric issues come from some quantitative soup of neurotransmitters in the synapses of the brain is completely wrong. Yes there are neurotransmitters in the brain. However, serotonin does not create symptoms.
This past Saturday, I was on my way back from Europe to Boston, and while on a stop in Iceland, I checked my email and was directed to a new blog by Ronald Pies in Psychiatric Times, in which he once again revisited the question of whether American psychiatry, and the American Psychiatric Association (APA), ever promoted the idea that chemical imbalances caused mental disorders. And just like when I read his 2011 writings on this subject, I found myself wondering what to make of his post. Why was he so intent on maintaining psychiatry’s “innocence?” And why did it matter?
In this truly remarkable — and meticulously researched — volume, Dr. Lynch annihilates psychiatry's cherished chemical imbalance theory of depression. Every facet of this theory, which the author correctly calls a delusion, is critically analyzed and found wanting. Please read Depression Delusion, keep it close to hand for reference, and encourage others to read it also. Ask your library to buy a copy. The spurious chemical imbalance theory is now so widely accepted that it will take enormous efforts to dislodge it. In any debate on this matter, Dr. Lynch's book will, quite literally, put the facts at your fingertips.
The promotion of the chemical imbalance theory did occur, and continues to occur, and is a most shameful chapter in psychiatry's history. It is arguably one of the most destructive, far-reaching, and profitable hoaxes in history. I could not begin to estimate the number of clients I've talked to over the years who told me that their psychiatrists had told them they had a chemical imbalance in their brains, and that they needed to take the pills for life to correct this imbalance. Even today, I regularly receive emails from readers contesting the assertions in my posts and telling me in no uncertain terms that they have chemical imbalances in their brains that cause their problems.
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