What about “chemical imbalance”?

The “mental health” system has a theory that there is such a thing as “chemical imbalance” in the brain, necessitating drug therapy. But this has never been validated scientifically, even though many studies have tried to. Historically, the “biochemical imbalance” theory is rooted in the mechanistic view of the mind that came out of the industrial revolution and became prevalent in the mid-1800s, and developed as part of the push for psychiatry to be legitimized as a medical profession. More recently, the drive for profit from the drug companies has led to heavy promotion of the theory. Today, it is widely accepted even though it has no basis in science.

Two of the reasons that the theory is so accepted are:

  • Drug companies have a huge financial incentive to promote this theory as it creates profitable markets for psychiatric drugs. They do a great deal of advertising on this subject, presenting unproven hypotheses as if they were facts. If people can be convinced that they have chemicals missing from their brains, it’s a small step to convince them to take a drug to supply the missing chemicals.
  • All research on this issue has been done on people labeled “mentally ill” who have been taking psychiatric drugs. Recent independent research has shown that these drugs can cause brain damage. When one is studying people who are on drugs, there is no way to tell whether any damage one observes is caused by the drug, or by supposed “mental illness.” The damage caused by the drugs may be called “chemical imbalance.” The failure to study people who have never taken psychiatric drugs makes the results of studies funded by drug companies meaningless