All Truth passes through Three Stages: First,
it is Ridiculed. Second, it is Violently Opposed... Third, it is Accepted as being Self-Evident.
- Arthur Schopenhauer (1778-1860) By AntidepressantsFacts
NL/United States
2000 - 2016

  The Serotonin Deficiency "Bio-Chemical Imbalance" Theory/Myth  
The Serotonergic "Bio-Chemical Imbalance" Theory/Myth

Pharmaceutical "direct-to-consumer" advertising campaigns have largely revolved around the
claim that SSRIs correct a "biochemical imbalance" caused by a lack of serotonin in the brain.
Are the claims made in SSRI advertising congruent with the scientific evidence? NOT AT ALL!
In fact, modern neuroscience provides significant counterevidence to the serotonin deficiency theory...
The FACTS: Modern Neuroscience Research Fails to Confirm Serotonergic 'Chemical Imbalance' in Depression
Depression?   Where is the Scientific Evidence of any "Chemical Imbalance"...
SSRI-antidepressant advertising campaigns have claimed that depression is linked with an imbalance of the neurotransmitter serotonin, and that SSRIs can correct this imbalance. This theory of a "bio-chemical imbalance" is heavily flawed. Scientifically speaking, there is no causal relationship whatsoever between "low serotonin" and "depression."

Studies that were performed to evaluate the effect of depleting serotonin levels in humans in order to induce depression, reaped no consistent results. Low serotonin levels did NOT produce an increase in clinical depression in healthy humans. (click to observe study). In fact, researchers found that huge increases in brain serotonin, arrived at by administering high-dose L-tryptophan, were ineffective at relieving depression. (click to observe study)

So, are (SSRI) antidepressants an answer? Do they correct a particular chemical imbalance somewhere in your brain? No, they don't. Antidepressant-drugs are not correcting any "bio-chemical imbalance" but putatively interact with serotonergic neurons, whereupon serotonin levels raise in your complete body, not solely the brain, increasing the risk of the potentially fatal toxic hyperserotonergic state of the Serotonin Syndrome.

Since we now know that low serotonin levels do not have any scientifically proven causal relationship with depression, one could ask if it is worth taking any risks with one's system by ingesting an agent that can drastically alter and damage your entire personal system in ways that medical science doesn't even understand?

Medical research in a study dating 25 sept, 2004 shows us clearly that serotonin toxicity can even appear rapidly in a few hours after taking a single therapeutic dose of SSRI medication. In Bio-Psychiatry it is a common thought that SSRI's are believed to have their effect by inhibiting the re-uptake of serotonin (downregulation of transporters) and thereby gradually increasing serotonin outside the tissue cell wall (extracellular) in the synaptic gap between brain cells (neurons) in the brain. In this important study, Zoloft (Lustral, sertraline) was given to monkeys for 4 weeks to establish how long it would take before Zoloft would have it's effect on serotonergic neurons and thus elevation of serotonin. In contrast with the commonly accepted SSRI theory, it was observed that serotonin levels raised NOT gradually, but rapidly and dramatically and kept on raising during these 4 weeks, an effect that can NOT be ascribed solely to a "re-uptake inhibition" of serotonin!

Seventeen (17) years after introducing the first SSRI-antidepressant on the market in 1987, "Medical Science" discovers its prescription drugs to "work" in toxic ways to be never expected... antidepressant-drugs that were brought onto the market as "safe and effective."... and still these toxic antidepressants are on the market...

In numerous case reports/studies (more...), one side of the dangerous risks by ingesting antidepressants have been exposed, ranging from: mental state, perceptual, emotional and psychological changes to suicidal, aggressive and/or homicidal thoughts & behaviours, self-harm and failed/succeeded suicide attempts.

Fortunately and finally in October 2004, the MHRA in the United Kingdom as well as the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) in the United States of America acknowledged antidepressant prescription drugs to induce suicidal thoughts and behaviours in children, adolescents and adults of which causal relationship has been proven. Hence it is ordered that ALL antidepressants carry the prominent "black-box" suicide warnings.

Furthermore, in numerous other case reports/studies, also reversal as well as permanent damage to vital organs as a direct result of antidepressant use has been confirmed. So why taking such a huge risk in order to find instant relief from prescription drugs that have been proven to damage your health? Prescription drugs that indeed have been proven to powerfully alter your mind and perception, unfortunately with all tragic consequences? But most important, why taking such a huge risk by ingesting an agent which alters your personal chemistry, NOT on the basis of evidence, but on the basis of a THEORY, "working" in a manner that Medical Science can not even properly explain?...

The "Chemical Imbalance"...just an unproven theory...
Are "chemical imbalances" real? Psychiatrist David Kaiser commented on psychiatry’s promotion of such imbalances to the public in the December, 1996 Psychiatric Times. "Unfortunately what I also see these days are the casualties of this new biologic psychiatry, as patients often come to me with many years of past treatment. Patients having been diagnosed with "chemical imbalances" despite the fact that no test exists to support such a claim, and that there is no real conception of what a correct chemical balance would look like."

Additionally, Kaiser points out that "modern psychiatry has yet to convincingly prove the genetic/biologic cause of any single mental illness. This does not stop psychiatry from making essentially unproven claims that depression, bipolar illness, anxiety disorders, alcoholism, and a host of other disorders are in fact primarily biologic and probably genetic in origin, and that it is only a matter of time until all this is proven".

Kaiser is not alone in his opinion. Psychiatrist Loren Mosher resigned from the APA after 35 years of membership stating that "what we are dealing with here is fashion, politics, and money. This level of intellectual/scientific dishonesty is just too egregious for me to continue to support by my membership". [David Kaiser, Against Biologic Psychiatry, in Psychiatric Times, Vol. 13, Issue 12, 1996, internet article text does not include page numbers]

The "Chemical Imbalance" is Born...
In 1963, a time in U.S. psychopharmacological infancy, LIFE magazine introduced the broad public to the concept of brain chemical imbalances. Psychiatrists had been experimenting with drugs, particularly LSD, and astounding themselves at the wide variety of behaviors, emotions, and personality changes they could induce in someone with only a tiny spec of the drug. A hypothesis was born out this. If such wide variations in behavior could be made with such a small amount of a drug, which no doubt affected the brain, then any variations from "normal" behavior must be due to extremely fine changes in brain chemistry.

The idea that some other external cause of behavioral disturbance could exist seemed to be discarded. Brain chemistry simply needed to be "balanced". Psychologists such as B.F. Skinner said that scientists could and should control human behavior and predicted that in the future an individuals mood, emotions, and motivation would be maintained at any desired level through the use of drugs.

In 1967, psychiatrist Nathan Klien, an MK-Ultra participant, made a chilling prediction which showed just how much psychiatry wanted to use drugs for behavior control, not for "treating mental illness". Klien had been studying the effects of psychiatric drugs on "normal humans" and reported that "...the present breadth of drug use may be almost trivial when we compare it to the possible numbers of chemical substances that will be available for the control of selective aspects of man’s life by the year 2000...if we accept the position that human mood, motivation, and emotion are reflections of a neurochemical state of the brain, then drugs can provide a simple, rapid, expedient means to produce any desired neurochemical state we wish. The sooner that we cease to confuse scientific and moral statements about drug use, the sooner we can consider the types of neurochemical states that we wish to provide for people". [EIR, British Psychiatry: From Eugenics to Assassination, Anton Chaitkin, October 7, 1994, p.39]

Psychiatrists had decided they would provide the public with the types of chemical personality they saw fit. What would follow in the years to come would be the medicalization of any behavior psychiatry deemed "inappropriate". As David Kaiser had noted, psychiatrists cannot measure levels of neurotransmitters in the brain in the way doctors can measure sugar levels in a diabetic patient. The question must be asked then, how can you balance or adjust something which cannot be measured? More importantly, does an actual chemical imbalance exist? Parents are told routinely that children given an ADD diagnosis have a chemical imbalance and that amphetaminelike drugs will balance the child's brain chemistry.

Thomas J. Moore, Senior Fellow in Health Policy at George Washington University Medical Center writes that while some "claim hyperactivity in children is a ‘biochemical imbalance’ ...researchers cannot identify which chemicals...or find abnormal levels" in children. "The chemical imbalance theory has not been established by scientific evidence." [Thomas J. Moore, Prescription for Disaster, 1998, p.22]

It has been pointed out by psychiatrists themselves that the downfall of psychiatric diagnosis is that psychiatrists never look beyond symptoms. If a child is "hyperactive" - a symptom - the psychiatrists say, "He has hyperactivity!" Psychiatrist Sidney Walker says this is like telling your doctor you have a bad cough - a symptom - and getting a "diagnosis" of "coughing disorder", without finding out if the cough is caused from a cold, lung cancer, or tuberculosis. [Sidney Walker, The Hyperactivity Hoax, 1998 p. 6]

Psychiatrists never look beyond "symptoms", they merely classify symptoms as the "disease." Dr. Mary Ann Block says she hates to see children given labels of "hyperactivity" or "attention deficit disorder". In fact, she refuses to use such labels. She says, "How sad it is to see children drugged while their underlying health problems go untreated". [Mary Ann Block, No More Ritalin, Treating ADHD Without Drugs, 1996 p.49]

"Theory Begging"...
In psychology and psychiatry there is a phenomenon called "theory begging" which can explain the notion of "chemical imbalances." Theory begging is the reporting of a scientific theory as "fact" so often that it becomes accepted as fact within the profession despite having never been proven. For example, it is taken for granted by psychiatry that patients said to have "mental illness" have a "chemical imbalance" in their brain. The "chemical imbalance" is taken for granted, not actually found and verified by medical test. As Nathan Klien had said, psychiatry had "accepted the position" of "chemical imbalances," a position that has yet to be verified.

While the rest of medicine has made great advances in diagnostic techniques, psychiatry has lagged behind. In 1994 psychiatrists Richard Keefe and Philip Harvey explained the current process of psychiatric diagnosis:
"The process of diagnosis is very different in psychiatry. Since there are no clear indications of a specific biological abnormality that causes any of the psychiatric disorders, no laboratory tests have been developed to confirm or refute any psychiatric diagnosis." [Richark Keefe and Philip Harvey, Understanding Schizophrenia, 1994 p.19]

In fact, they state that psychiatrists must rely only on what they observe and what they are told from friends or relatives to make a psychiatric diagnosis. Could a cardiologist accurately and safely treat patients using this type of diagnostic protocol? Psychiatrist Mark Gold says that "up to 40% of all diagnoses of depression are misdiagnoses of common and uncommon physical illness... There are as least 75 diseases that first appear with emotional symptoms. People with these diseases often get locked up in psychiatric hospitals." [Mark Gold, The Good News About Depression, 1986, p.XV]

Gold admits that psychiatrists do not rule out other medical problems, rather, they rule in their diagnosis, failing to diagnose the nearly one hundred medical illnesses which contain "depression" as a symptom of that disease process. In a Florida study, 100 consecutively admitted patients to a psychiatric hospital who had been given a psychiatric diagnosis were given a complete medical examination. Doctors concluded that nearly half of the patients’ psychiatric problems were secondary manifestations of an undiagnosed medical problem. According to Gold, nearly all of these patients would have ended up warehoused in state run mental health facilities, which costs the patients their health with tax dollars paying for the negligence. Some patients die confined in mental hospitals as there real illness, cancer for example, goes untreated.

In the Florida study, psychiatrists missed diagnosing physical illness in 80% of the cases. Gold said he was "embarrassed" at how bad psychiatrists were at "doctoring" and that one third of psychiatrists admit feeling incompetent to give a patient a complete physical examination. [Mark Gold, The Good News About Depression, 1986, p.22-24]

Doctor Sydney Walker III, a neurologist, psychiatrist and author of A Dose of Sanity, says that psychiatric labels have "led to the unnecessary drugging of millions of Americans who could be diagnosed, treated, and cured without the use of toxic and potentially lethal medications".

Charles B. Inlander, president of The People’s Medical Society, and his colleagues write in Medicine on Trial, "People with real or alleged psychiatric or behavioral disorders are being misdiagnosed - and harmed - to an astonishing degree... Many of them do not have psychiatric problems but exhibit physical symptoms that may mimic mental conditions, and so they are misdiagnosed, put on drugs, put in institutions, and sent into a limbo from which they may never return...." [CCHR publication, Psychiatry: Committing Fraud, 1999, p.14]

Doctor Walker refers to a case from Frederick Goggan’s book, Medical Mimics of Psychiatric Disorders, in which a 27-year-old executive was hospitalized after attempting to kill herself by overdosing on the antidepressants prescribed by her psychiatrist. The attempted suicide followed a year of psychotherapy that had failed to relieve her fatigue, cognitive problems, and despondency. This time, however, doctors did a thorough physical exam and found what the psychiatrist didn’t even look for. She had hypothyroidism which can manifest with "listlessness, sadness, and hopelessness" She was given thyroid supplements and has since been free of all "psychiatric symptoms" and has "thrived both personally and professionally."

In another case reported by Dr. Walker, John, a happy and successful family man, began suffering from inexplicable sadness and exhaustion. Unable to concentrate at work, he cut down his overtime, slept in late on weekends, and lost control of his emotions, inexplicably subjected to fits of uncontrollable weeping. He saw three doctors, two of them psychiatrists, who saddled him with a variety of DSM labels and treated him with 26 different drugs. A fourth doctor conducted a thorough medical diagnostic and physical evaluation and found that John was suffering from a slow-growing tumor of the brain lining. John’s tumor was removed, and his sadness and fatigue rapidly cleared. [CCHR publication, Psychiatry: Committing Fraud, 1999, p.15]

Prescription Medication-Induced Imbalance in Personal Bio-Chemistry...
If you don't have a biochemical imbalance before starting Prozac, you certainly will have one once you are on it! Prozac has been shown to have drastic effects on the brain's serotonergic system. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter, or chemical messenger, that normally connects to receptor sites and fires nerves. Prozac prevents serotonin from being removed from the active place where it's working in the brain. It keeps the sparks alive longer, and as a result, a lot of excess firing takes place. The brain doesn't like all the overstimulation and eliminates 30-40 percent or more of receptors. The brain, in effect, is saying, I'm not going to have receptors for all this serotonin. It's a compensatory mechanism for the overstimulation. Receptors can be compared to catcher's mitts. The balls being thrown are like serotonin. After awhile the brain just eliminates its catcher's mitts. It says, I'm catching too much serotonin. I'm going to get rid of my catcher's mitts.

Eli Lilly Pharmaceuticals knew about the disappearance of receptors from their laboratory experiments. What they failed to study, however, was whether or not receptors ever come back. The experiment, which would have been simple to perform, could have consisted of stopping the drug, waiting a couple of weeks, sacrificing some of the animals, and then seeing if their brains had come back to normal. The information could also have been indirectly gleaned from performing spinal taps on human beings before and after they had taken Prozac, to see if the breakdown products indicated that the brain returns to normal. Neither of these approaches were ever attempted. Obviously, Lilly is not concerned with this issue.

Mass Hysteria & Mind-Altering Meds: Lifting Mood? or just altering Perception as any other Street-Drug?
Since Prozac's release, millions of Americans have come to depend on it and to believe that their lives are better because of it. Concerning this reality, Breggin says:
"First of all, I don't think Prozac should have been approved. But now that it's out there it shouldn't be taken away from anybody who thinks that it's helping them. People should be warned, however, about its dangerous effects. If, for example, Joseph Wesbecker committed a mass murder while on Prozac, then we're weighing the potential good of the drug against some real disasters. The other issue to look at is why people like to take drugs..."

The fact that people might feel helped by a legal pharmaceutical drug doesn't necessarily mean you or I would feel helped by it... Mind-altering medication such as Amphetamine, Cocaine, Ecstacy (XTC), Heroine.. (all once legal pharmaceutical drugs...) ALL make people feel like they are on top of the world... for a certain period of time... but at cost of what... we all know...

Evidence from the FDA trials suggests that Prozac is a very poor drug. Even a New York Times article recently said that follow-up studies show Prozac as not very effective. But when you give something to people and tell them it's a miracle, they'll believe it... Also, the drug does have stimulant effects... so does Cocaine and all of those other illegal street-drugs... And while we no longer believe that stimulants should be given for depression, certainly people can feel like it's helping them."...

NL/United States
2000 - 2016