Tag: Serotonin Theory of Depression
With the chemical imbalance theory falling out of fashion, researchers examine the claim that psychiatry never truly endorsed it.
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.
In the September, 2015 issue of JAMA Psychiatry, a team of Swedish researchers published a study evaluating the serotonin system in persons with social anxiety. the findings here are in direct contradiction to what the pharmaceutical companies would have us believe: that anxiety and depression are caused by deficit levels of serotonin. There was an editorial by the authors in the same issue which attempted to obfuscate the findings by referencing the heterogeneity in persons who exhibit social anxiety. Unfortunately, neither the article or the editorial referenced the work of neuroscientist who for the past 30 years have been investigating what happens in the brains of animals that are subjected to uncontrollable stress.
A recent article on the website i09 titled, ‘The Most popular Antidepressants are Based on an Outdated Theory” has again raised the issue of Chemical Imbalances. It is interesting that the author of the i09 piece cites Dr. Peter Kramer and states, “Some psychiatrists vehemently disagree with the way journalists and other psychiatrists have pushed back against the chemical imbalance theory….” In both cases he cited what he considered the best evidence in support of the theory, but he did not discuss the research in any depth. Back in 2008, we took an in-depth look at the evidence that Dr. Kramer used to support the chemical imbalance theory. When one takes a closer look at that research we do not think it supports the theory. For this reason, we are reposting our 2008 essay about this.