Monday, April 25, 2022

Blaming chemical imbalance in the brain for depression does not make sense

Ang et al (2022) found that 23 out of 30 papers between 1990 and 2010 reviewing the aetiology of depression explicitly discussed the serotonin hypothesis and that 11 of them unequivocally supported the hypothesis. Another 9 papers, mainly stressed that depression is caused by an interaction of a multiplicity of factors and acknowledged the inconsistencies of the research on serotonin function, but nonetheless suggested that serotonin abnormalities mediate depressive symptom production or effects of antidepressants. Only one paper discounted the hypothesis. Of another 30 papers specifically examining the link between serotonin and depression, 16 gave unequivocal support for serotonin having a direct role in the aetiology of depression and only one discounted or challenged the hypothesis. Six well-known psychiatry and psychopharmacology textbooks published in the same period all acknowledged that the serotonin hypothesis is ultimately a hypothesis and not necessarily proven, but nevertheless devoted considerable space to coverage of the theory, providing some degree of support or endorsement for the hypothesis. 

The article therefore confirms that the serotonin theory has been endorsed by the professional and academic community. Psychiatrists need to take responsibility for promoting the theory (see previous post). Psychiatry has always held out the hope that it will find the answer to mental illness but it needs to accept its limitations (see eg. another previous post). Although it may seem to make sense to us that we should be able to find a biological cause for mental illness, such as chemical imbalance in the brain, that doesn't justify wish-fulfilling unproven phantasies and even their publication in the academic literature (see yet another previous post). In fact, it's people that become depressed, not their brains, whether chemically imbalanced or not (see previous post).

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Goodness me, Dr. Double, when will psychiatry come up with a consensus of correct answers? What do you all learn with all of this university-and-beyond'education', ongoing debates and research, if you do not find answers? Answers which disprove so much of what is taught? Entire careers,from graduation to retirement,and no answers? Just more head-scratching? Bewilderment? How far HASN'T psychiatry come?

What do you all learn if ongoing 'learning' is all there is? Writing papers with highfalutin language which sounds good but is to no effect?

I have to there a pecking order in society which would be thrown out of balance if a correction occurred and patients were actually cured? It certainly seems so to me. There are the down-trodden and the down-treaders.

I've been through the system, been treated and cured of Depression–because my psychiatrist actually knew what he was doing. He told me the cause and I seem, now, to be wiser than so many psychiatrists. He completely rebuilt my broken personality, but then he destroyed me by the greatest of deception so that it would be all for nothing. He educated me in psychiatry and I learnt so much just by watching him work. I don't,for the most part, use highfalutin language and may, on occasion, use the wrong word even though the content is sound.

What I didn't know was that psychiatrists, too, have personality disorders. Mine hid his by saying little and letting me do all the talking. Behind the mild manner and 'professionalism' lurked a man with an intense hatred of women, and he destroyed me to get revenge. He is a narcissist, and I hadn't suspected a thing. Completely blindsided.

That is the problem. There seems to be a haven for personality disordered psychiatrists in this field. I have to question what attracted you all to it? To help people doesn't seem correct.