About Careers Internship MedBlog Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

Depression Not Caused by Low Levels of Serotonin: David Healy, Psychiatrist

by Dr. Trupti Shirole on April 24, 2015 at 4:54 PM
 Depression Not Caused by Low Levels of Serotonin: David Healy, Psychiatrist

It is commonly believed that depression is caused due to low levels of the chemical serotonin in the brain and that effective treatment raises these levels. However, Professor David Healy from Hergest psychiatric unit in North Wales, claimed that this widely held belief about depression is a myth.

Healy said, "The serotonin reuptake inhibiting (SSRI) group of drugs came on stream in the late 1980s, nearly two decades after first being mooted. Drug companies marketed SSRIs for depression, even though they were weaker than older tricyclic anti-depressants, and sold the idea that depression was the deeper illness behind the superficial manifestations of anxiety. The approach was an astonishing success, central to which was the notion that SSRIs restored serotonin levels to normal, a notion that later transmuted into the idea that they remedied a chemical imbalance. In the 1990s, no one knew if SSRIs raised or lowered serotonin levels. They still do not know. There was no evidence that treatment corrected anything."

Advertisement

The leading psychiatrist suggests that the myth co-opted many, including the complementary health market, psychologists, and journals. Healy said, "But above all the myth co-opted doctors and patients. For doctors it provided an easy short hand for communication with patients. For patients, the idea of correcting an abnormality has a moral force that can be expected to overcome the scruples some might have had about taking a tranquillizer, especially when packaged in the appealing form that distress is not a weakness. Meanwhile more effective and less costly treatments were marginalized."

The study is published in the British Medical Journal.

Source: Medindia
Font : A-A+

Advertisement

Advertisement
Advertisement

Recommended Readings

Latest Mental Health News

How is Schizophrenia Genetically Linked to Cardiovascular Risk Factors?
Schizophrenic patients have a genetic link to increased cardiovascular risk factors, especially smoking and body mass index.
Anxiety & Depression - Early Hints to Multiple Sclerosis
Mental health issues such as anxiety and depression could be precursors to multiple sclerosis (MS), even before the classic MS symptoms appear.
Predicting PTSD Resilience Through Post Traumatic Brain Activity
Studying brain circuits tied to PTSD's progression from acute to chronic states is vital for grasping its pathophysiology and crafting targeted treatments.
High Depression Rates Among Canadian COPD Patients During COVID-19
Older adults with COPD were roughly twice as likely to develop depression if they faced functional limitations.
Comparing Suicide Risk and Depression Screenings for Identifying Patient Risk
In most scenarios, depression screening tools demonstrated superior performance compared to suicide risk screenings.
View All
This site uses cookies to deliver our services.By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use  Ok, Got it. Close
MediBotMediBot
Greetings! How can I assist you?MediBot
×

Depression Not Caused by Low Levels of Serotonin: David Healy, Psychiatrist Personalised Printable Document (PDF)

Please complete this form and we'll send you a personalised information that is requested

You may use this for your own reference or forward it to your friends.

Please use the information prudently. If you are not a medical doctor please remember to consult your healthcare provider as this information is not a substitute for professional advice.

Name *

Email Address *

Country *

Areas of Interests