‘Chemical imbalance’

There’s a lot of chat around at the moment about ‘chemical imbalance’… and I’ve written a lot over the years about it and here’s a link to the collected articles.

The term Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SSRI) was invented by a marketing company to sell Seroxat/Paxil to the public. Along with this serious medical sounding piece of jargon, came the fairy tale of the ‘chemical imbalance’

When I started taking Seroxat in 1997, I wanted to know how this great new drug worked – the PIL (the leaflet that came with the tablets) told me “it boosts the levels of serotonin in your brain and that’s what makes you stop feeling depressed”. It’s a simple chemical imbalance said the PIL.

In 2003, GSK said in it “Seroxat is one of a group of medicines called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and works by bringing the levels of serotonin back to normal.”

All lies. The chemical imbalance ‘theory’ HAS NEVER BEEN PROVED.

• I have challenged Glaxo many times before through these pages to tell me exactly how Seroxat actually works. They can’t tell me.

• I have asked what the ‘normal’ brain level of Serotonin is – is it 5? Is it 50? Is it 500? It can’t be measured.

• I have asked them how brain levels of Serotonin can be measured in living humans. It can’t be measured.

Maybe the Royal College of Psychiatrists and their hashtag – #ADsMythBuster – can answer the three simple questions above – but somehow I doubt they will be able to…


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