It’s time for a change in the treatment of depression

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THE anti-depressant industry has taken what I consider to be another hit, following a report that the drugs don’t correct a so-called “chemical imbalance”.

The idea of correcting chemical levels in the brain has been described in a report published in the British Medical Journal as the “marketing of a myth.”

Over the years, there has been a continual stream of controversy surrounding this classification of drugs, resulting in, what I believe to be, pharmaceutical and psychiatric spin doctors working overtime to try to find some positive spin to give to prescribers and consumers.

It is my belief that the fact that a lot of people, including some psychiatrists, have bought the spin is testimony to an outstanding marketing campaign.

It has convinced those looking for answers to life problems that have been unscientifically labelled as mental “disorders”.

If you stripped away all the perceived spin and really looked at the facts, you would see there are no physical or biological tests to determine the existence of a chemical imbalance.

In other medicine you can observe a tumour or a broken bone, or a flesh wound, but you can’t see a chemical imbalance.

It is my understanding that there is no scientific evidence that can demonstrate such a thing.

Instead, as far as I am concerned, you’re just going to have to believe the psychiatrist when he or she says you have one.

You could take it one step further.

What would happen if you did take the drugs to resolve the imbalance and then went back to find out if you then had a correct balance of chemicals in your brain?

Don’t hold your breath.

There isn’t a test to determine the existence of a chemical balance either.

There’s only psychiatric opinion, and that’s not real medicine, in my view.

To add insult to injury, drug regulators in the UK and around the world have to issue warnings for anti-depressant drugs relating to effects of the drugs, specifically suicidal thoughts and suicidal behaviour.

Worldwide, there have been 99 drug regulatory agency warnings that anti-depressants cause side effects.

Of those warnings, 35 concerned suicide, suicide risk, and suicide attempts.

There have also been 119 studies in 12 countries on anti-depressant-induced side effects.

Of those studies, 23 of them concerned anti-depressants causing suicide, suicide risks and suicide attempts.

Psychiatrists and drug companies commonly say benefits of taking the drugs outweigh the risks.

A person must be allowed to make a fully-informed choice about the consequences of taking these drugs.

It’s time for a change.

Brian Daniels,

National spokesperson,

Citizens Commission on Human Rights (UK),

East Grinstead.