David Healy, Professor of Psychiatry at the Hergest psychiatric unit in North Wales claimed that depression is not due to the low levels of serotonin in the brain.
David pointed to a misconception that lowered serotonin levels in depression are an established fact and that effective treatments raise these levels, which he described as "the marketing of a myth."
Healy suggested that the myth "co-opted" many, including the complementary health market, psychologists, and journals. But above all the myth co-opted doctors and patients, he said; 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 tranquilizer, especially when packaged in the appealing form that distress was not a weakness, he further added.