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There is no evidence that people with depression have a chemical imbalance notes Robert Whitaker
Sunday, June 19, 2016 10:08 am Email this article
There is no scientific evidence that people with depression have a chemical imbalance. This was promoted to market the drugs, but is not based on science according to author and journalist Robert Whitaker as he noted in a 2010 interview that he did with Joseph Mercola, DO.
National Institutes of Mental Health concluded that there is Nothing Wrong with the Serotonergic System in Depressed Patients Depressed
Whitaker notes that in 1983 — four years before Prozac was released in 1987 — the National Institutes of Mental Health concluded basically there is no evidence that there is anything wrong in the serotonergic system of depressed patients.
The chemical imbalance theory of depression is ‘scientific nonsense’
The idea that antidepressants fix a chemical imbalance “is scientific nonsense,” Whitaker notes.
“It has NEVER been proven.
“It was NOT about science.
“It was about marketing.
SSRI don’t fix chemical imbalances, they CAUSE chemical imbalances
In fact, later he talks about how these drugs CAUSE chemical imbalances.
He notes that SSRI’s REDUCE serotonin levels and REDUCE the number of serotonin receptors.
Robert Whitaker says,
“And the other thing that you have to understand then is if you don’t start off with the serotonergic problem when you’re depressed, like you don’t have low serotonin, but now you put yourself on a drug and this drug blocks then normal reuptake of serotonin, your brain actually will undergo changes to try to compensate for that blockade and what happens, the brain changes in two ways, the pre-synaptic neurons actually put out less serotonin and your post-synaptic neurons actually pair away the density of the their serotonergic receptors.
“So, you start out with a normal serotonergic system.
“You go on an antidepressant and you actually physiologically end up with a low serotonergic state.
“This is very well understood.
“So, in essence, I know this sounds ironic, but these drugs cause the very thing that was hypothesized to cause depression and that is for this low physiological state.”
”... in 1996, Steven Hyman who is then head of the NIMH [ National Institute of Mental Health ], today he is Provost of Harvard University — He’s a neuroscientist — He published this paper called Initiation and Adaptation: A Paradigm for Understanding Psychotropic Drugs.
“And here is how he said that drugs like antidepressants work.
He says they work by, “Perturbing neurotransmitters systems not balancing them” and in response to that perturbation, he said.
“The brain undergoes these compensatory adaptations” that I’ve just explained and then he says, at the end of this adaptation, the brain is operating in a manner that is, “Both qualitatively and quantitatively different than normal.”
So these [drugs] are not normalizing agents from a scientific point of view, really they are abnormalizing agents…
“So, this is really key.
“Are these normalizing agents? No.
“Are they abnormalizing agents? Yes.”
Dr. Mercola says, “Yeah, the ultimate irony is that the drugs are causing the very things that they were designed to cure.”
Robert Whitaker’s Book
Robert Whitaker is the author of the wonderful book Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America .
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