Exposed: The Myth of Chemical Imbalances and Depression

May 25, 2007 by  
Filed under DEPRESSION

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By: Chris Green

If you’ve been told by a health professional that you are depressed because of a chemical imbalance within your brain, then you’ve been misled. Imbalances have never been proven to cause depression and here’s why this theory is seriously flawed.

Perhaps the biggest flaw with attributing the cause of depressive illnesses to chemical imbalances is one of order. The question is: What comes first, imbalances or emotional turmoil? If we look at somebody who has just been told of the unexpected death of a loved one and who enters into depression, we can see that it isn’t chemical imbalances that came first, it is the sad news that triggered the depression. If there are chemical imbalances, then you can clearly see they come AFTER the news and are therefore a SINGLE symptom.

What exactly is the nature of a chemical imbalance? If you eat too much sugar, do you experience an imbalance? How about chocolate? Smoking cigarettes or drinking alcohol – will these create imbalances? And what if you land the job you’ve always wanted – will the resulting joy cause a chemical imbalance?

Imbalances are given as the cause of depressive illnesses but what about the times when you were totally happy with your life? Was this because you had too much serotonin in your brain and if so, does this mean that you were ill during those times? Clearly not. So how can it be that when you’re very happy it isn’t an illness but when you’re depressed it is? And at what levels are chemicals balanced – when we feel neither happy or sad? That just doesn’t make sense.

A question about what happens after a course of antidepressants is also raised. Antidepressants are used to correct the chemical imbalance by raising levels of serotonin. So, when the balance is restored and the sufferer stops taking the drugs, will the imbalance happen again? So does this mean a sufferer has to remain on drug therapy for life or does it indicate that something else is at the root of stress, depression or anxiety. In the case of a sufferer stricken with grief, will a drug end the torment? How if it isn’t imbalances that have caused the grief?

You can see that the issues given above raise serious doubts about chemical imbalances causing depressive illnesses and explain why there is a lack of strong supporting evidence for the imbalance theory. The root cause of depressive illnesses isn’t to be found in depleted levels of chemicals in the brain but in the harmful and flawed modes of thinking performed habitually by all sufferers. Antidepressants will not help sufferers address this, but modes of thinking can be treated naturally and successfully and will lead to a permanent cure and is therefore much more effective than treating chemical imbalances.

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