Depression and ‘Chemical Imbalance’ — Big Pharma Profits From Theory Scientists Say Doesn’t Exist
After reviewing decades of research, a group of University College London scientists concluded there’s no evidence changes in serotonin levels cause depression. But the chemical imbalance theory — which overnight gave drugmakers a highly profitable income stream, doctors a ready-made, patient-pleasing tool, the media, reliable new advertisers and Wall Street, hot new stocks — remains popular.
By Martha Rosenberg
“Lexapro appears to relieve the symptoms of depression and anxiety by increasing serotonin,” says an ad on the Bonkers Institute, a website that archives drug ads and also satirizes pharma claims and shaky science.
“Zoloft works to correct a chemical imbalance in the brain which may be related to symptoms of depression,” another ad says.
“Paxil CR blocks serotonin from being reabsorbed back into the sending nerve cell. This process increases the availability of serotonin to the receiving nerve cell and may help message [depression] transmission return to normal,” a third ad says.
As many Epoch Times readers may have heard, the serotonin “chemical imbalance” theory of depression was recently put to rest by a group of University College London scientists in the journal Molecular Psychiatry.
After reviewing decades of research, there’s no evidence that serotonin levels or serotonin activity are responsible for depression, they wrote.
- Similarly to the Cabals that control research in Alzheimer’s, Cancer, and Lyme/MSIDS (among many others), a cabal has also controlled mental health with a false narrative that has literally driven the entire mental health field.
- This control has snuffed out any dissenting voices – forcing the flow of money, research, and effort through a narrow straw of singular thought.
- In mental health, the singular narrative is the basis for profitable selective seratonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) drugs used for depression despite being questioned for decades by scientists.
- SSRIs have caused severe side effects, withdrawals, and are known to increase bone loss and fracture risk, as well as the risk of the dreaded intestinal condition of Clostridium difficile, yet prescription rates continue to rise. The good news for Big Pharma is that these side effects will necessitate yet more prescriptions – making lifelong customers. What a business model!
- Harvard Health Publishing estimated that about 1 in 4 American women in their 40s and 50s were taking antidepressants
- The faulty “chemical imbalance of seratonin causing depression” theory allowed drug makers and doctors a ready-made, patient pleasing tool not to mention hot new profitable stocks. Worldwide sales of SSRIs have been estimated to soar as high as $18.29 billion by 2027.
- Psychiatrists and the American Psychiatric Association (APA) are highly funded by Big Pharma – and 70% of the authors of the APA’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders were funded directly by Big Pharma (sound familiar?). These, BTW, were the first to push back against the Molecular Psychiatry article refuting the serotonin theory.
As Mark Horowitz, co-author of the Molecular Psychiatry article, put it, “One interesting aspect in the studies we examined was how strong an effect adverse life events played in depression, suggesting low mood is a response to people’s lives and cannot be boiled down to a simple chemical equation.”
- Do not stop SSRIs abruptly
- Doctors have failed to warn patients that if they attempt to go off the drugs they may have dizziness, nausea, headache, and brain zaps. One patient who attempted to go off them experiences what feels like an electrical current in his head – forcing him to remain on them.
- The article points out that this has drawn huge backlash from psychiatrists, most of which are affiliated with Columbia Universityʼs College of Physicians and Surgeons, an institution that received a $250 million gift from former Merck CEO Roy Vagelos and his wife, Diana, in 2017.
- Drugs can do numerous things at once and one of the things antidepressants do is numb your emotions. There also may be an anti-inflammatory component to them but there are other methods to treat depression, including exercise and cognitive behavioral therapy, which have proven efficacy with additional benefits and no side effects. There are also numerous anti-inflammatory supplements and other methods that are successful:
- https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2020/10/01/study-shows-dsm-works-for-lyme-reduces-inflammatory-markers-antibody-titers/ Just be aware of the potential for psychosis
- https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2018/05/15/overview-of-anti-inflammatory-diets/ I’ve recently discovered that diet plays a huge role in my inflammation/pain. I find the usual culprits of gluten, dairy, sugar, and alcohol to exacerbate my pain.
Regarding depression, and mental health in general, I found that my low mood paralleled with how I felt physically. In other words, the worse I felt physically, the worse I felt mentally. Getting to the root of the problem (infections) with appropriate, effective antimicrobial treatment is key and the best and first place to start; however, as always – we are all so very different.
Some patients will really have to deal with past trauma like my husband. The more trauma that happened to you before you became infected, the more this will rear its ugly head. Nobody really talks about this, but it is yet another crucial issue as we must deal with the body, mind, and spirit. Since Lyme/MSIDS infects the brain, it does a number on your emotions as well as your hormones, neurotransmitters, etc. – all of which can extrapolates out to having to deal with things you thought you had forgotten or dealt with long ago. Nope. It all comes back to haunt you in the wee hours of the night when you have unrelenting insomnia. Developing tools/skills to deal with this will be another challenge in this pot-holed riddled journey. I’m no expert in this but for us we talked and prayed a lot – often between the hours of 3-5 a.m. Here’s a few resources, particularly on fear as this is a common emotion of Lyme/MSIDS patients as they struggle with feeling no longer in control of their body and mind:
- transcend-fear-pdf Dr. Joe Ladapo, the surgeon general of Florida released a new book on how he overcame trauma
- fear-appeal-used-in-public-health-messaging-pdf Dr. Peter Breggin, psychiatrist, discusses “Fear Appeal “(an entire school of research in public health) and COVID Perception.
Inflammation appears to be a huge disease driver and lowering inflammation will help every other issue. There are many things you can experiment with at home and as always – bounce things off of your doctor to make sure what you add doesn’t have negative interactions with what you are already taking. Lyme literate doctors are versed in all of this as it’s a common problem for those struggling with infections.
My only advice is only try ONE thing at a time so you can track progress and know if it’s helping or not. No sense in paying for things that don’t work. If it doesn’t help – drop it and move on to experiment #2, 3, 4 and so on until you find something that helps. IF something helps BUT you can still improve, then it’s time to begin layering in other things ONE AT A TIME, making sure to keep track of responses. This has been how we have gotten to the other side of health. Effective, antimicrobial treatment for Lyme/MSIDS was the BIG important necessary step, but then we have had to add in many supplements/treatments to lessen and eliminate symptoms that remained.
Knowing when something is driven by infection vs when something is driven by inflammation, or other causes will test your sleuthing abilities like nothing else.
Notice how the patient in the article had a mold problem. In my experience, patients who have tick-borne illness and mold are some of the sickest people I know. The mold MUST be dealt with or the patient will not improve. The same could be said about having MCAS, the inability to detox, and so many other issues.