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The Idea That Depression is Caused by a Chemical Imbalance is “Not Grounded in Science” According to UK Study


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Millions of Americans take antidepressants every day.

In fact, roughly 13% of the population are currently taking them.

According to researchers in the UK, this is because they are under the false notion that depression is caused by a chemical imbalance.

A major scientific review recently found that there is “no clear evidence” that low serotonin causes depression.

Professor Joanna Moncrieff, a leading psychiatrist and author of the study had this to say:

“We believe this situation has been driven partly by the false belief that depression is due to a chemical imbalance.”

“It is high time to inform the public that this belief is not grounded in science.”

The Guardian has the breaking report:

Scientists have called into question the widespread use of antidepressants after a major review found “no clear evidence” that low serotonin levels are responsible for depression.

Prescriptions for antidepressants have risen dramatically since the 1990s, with one in six adults and 2% of teenagers in England now being prescribed them. Millions more people around the world regularly use antidepressants.

“Many people take antidepressants because they have been led to believe their depression has a biochemical cause, but this new research suggests this belief is not grounded in evidence,” said the study’s lead author, Joanna Moncrieff, a professor of psychiatry at University College London and consultant psychiatrist at North East London NHS foundation trust.

“It is always difficult to prove a negative, but I think we can safely say that after a vast amount of research conducted over several decades, there is no convincing evidence that depression is caused by serotonin abnormalities, particularly by lower levels or reduced activity of serotonin.

13% of Americans currently take antidepressants.

According to this new research, the idea that depression is caused by a chemical imbalance is “not grounded in science.”

Daily Mail has more details on the study:

Lead author Professor Joanna Moncrieff, a psychiatrist, said: ‘The popularity of the “chemical imbalance” theory has coincided with a huge increase in the use of antidepressants.

‘Thousands suffer from side effects of antidepressants, including severe withdrawal effects that can occur when people try to stop them, yet prescription rates continue to rise.

‘We believe this situation has been driven partly by the false belief that depression is due to a chemical imbalance.

‘It is high time to inform the public that this belief is not grounded in science.’

One in six British adults and roughly 13 per cent of Americans take antidepressants, figures suggest.

NHS data shows there has been a surge in prescriptions doled out in England, with 8.3million patients taking them in 2021/22, 6 per cent more than the previous year.

The most common are SSRIs such as fluoxetine (Prozac), citalopram (Cipramil) and sertraline (Lustral).



 

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