The chemical imbalance theory of depression is dead – but that doesn’t mean antidepressants don’t work | Christopher Davey

Medicine is pragmatic. It has often established that a treatment works well before it has understood how

The chemical imbalance theory of depression is well and truly dead. A paper by Joanna Moncrieff and colleagues, longtime critics of the effectiveness of antidepressants, has caused a splash. The paper provides a summary of other summaries that confirm there is no evidence to support the idea that depression is caused by disturbance of the brain’s serotonin system.

They have done us a favour by corralling the evidence that says as much, even if we knew this to be the case.

This article first appeared in the Conversation. Christopher Davey is head of the department of psychiatry at the University of Melbourne

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