The Media and the Chemical Imbalance Theory of Depression

von freakoutcrazy

by Society


The cause of mental disorders such as depression
remains unknown. However, the idea that neurotransmitter
imbalances cause depression is vigorously promoted by
pharmaceutical companies and the psychiatric profession at
large. We examine media reports referring to this chemical
imbalance theory and ask reporters for evidence supporting
their claims. We then report and critique the scientific papers
and other confirming evidence offered in response to our
questions. Responses were received from multiple sources,
including practicing psychiatrists, clients, and a major
pharmaceutical company. The evidence offered was not
compelling, and several of the cited sources flatly stated that
the proposed theory of serotonin imbalance was known to be
incorrect. The media can play a positive role in mental health
reporting by ensuring that the information reported is
congruent with the peer-reviewed scientific literature.