Psychiatrists, doctors and researches continue to put their faith in some magic bullet drug even though they understand how complex and unique each human brain is and how its structure and function is built by experience that no drug can understand.
Both sides ignore the obvious. From all my experience, 99% of moderate depression and anxiety is not caused by chemical imbalances, mostly it’s caused by unresolved trauma or their creating anxiety (that may lead to ‘chemical imbalances’…). Resolving trauma and related emotional problems is the only rational way to treat such disorders and give people their lives back. Since this type of treatment can be completed in less than a month in most cases, why are we still wasting time feeding seriously ill people through such trials? And whilst on the subject, how does it remain ethical for the other 50% – the placebo group to get no treatment at all? It might suit the researchers but it’s not in the patients’ interest.
Imagine going to your doctor because you’ve been depressed for ages and have a poor quality of life. You get two choices:
(1) Enter a six month drug trial, which probably takes many months to begin and it’s probably taken a number of interviews and delays to get to this point. There’s a 50% chance you will be given a placebo. Antidepressants drugs typically have significant side effects (from suicide to body odour) which are unpredictable. It’s unknown what the long term consequences to the person’s mental health and life outcome will be.
(2) Book an appointment with a psychologist for proven, effective treatments of depression, say with a Cognitive Hypnotherapist (1 month) or CBT (2-3 months). No drug side-effects, you can start immediately.
For doctors and psychiatrists (not even to speak of the drug companies…) it’s clearly in their interests to keep you attached to the ‘chemical imbalance’ explanation of depression and anxiety.
I find it difficult to understand how fully informed people go for choice (1) so I have to question. Just how vigorously the doctors and researches explain these options to these vulnerable people? For doctors and psychiatrists (not even to speak of the drug companies…) it’s clearly in their interests to keep you attached to the ‘chemical imbalance’ explanation of depression and anxiety. But people in fiduciary roles have a higher standard of care than the person on the street, so I struggle to understand how these trials get filled. At best anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medication cover-up unwanted emotions. In principle it’s no different to getting drunk or stoned to avoid unwanted pain; this is typically where people end-up after years of needing a treatment and not getting one. Apparently, these prescription drugs ‘help some patients cope’. Frankly, I don’t think this this qualifies as a ‘treatment’ but I know there are far more qualified, better respected and better paid people out there still in bed with the medical/chemical model of depression. And look where that’s got us.
You might also like this article: Diagnostic labels are a barrier to quick change.