Major Depression: The “Chemical Imbalance” Pillar Is Crumbling—Is the Genetics Pillar Next?

This article by Dr. Jay Joseph has been published by Mad in America. It begins:

The Pillars of Biopsychiatry

In a widely discussed July, 2022 analysis, psychiatrists Joanna Moncrieff, Mark Horowitz and colleagues reviewed numerous studies and found ‘no consistent evidence of there being an association between [the neurotransmitter] serotonin and depression, and no support for the hypothesis that depression is caused by lowered serotonin activity or concentrations.’1

The response by supporters of mainstream psychiatry was at times marked by personal attack and distortion, and other times by statements from academic psychiatrists that Moncrieff et al. found nothing new, and that psychiatry has known for many years that serotonin levels are not associated with depression. Yet as Robert Whitaker showed, psychiatry continued to promote the serotonin chemical imbalance story after knowing it was wrong, and ‘pharmaceutical companies, and academic psychiatrists…told us a story that their own research had shown to be false, and they did so because it benefitted guild interests and the financial interests of pharmaceutical companies.’

If psychiatry’s serotonin and ‘chemical imbalance’ pillars are now crumbling, the genetic predisposition (heritability) pillar remains in place—for now. In this article I review the evidence that psychiatry ceaselessly puts forward in support of the ‘heritability’ of major depression (hereafter, ‘MD’). I will first describe MD genetic studies based on families, twins, and adoptees, and then finish with a more detailed critical evaluation of MD molecular genetic studies, which have failed to discover genes shown to cause MD. The ‘genetics of depression’ story I will tell differs fundamentally from the story told in most textbooks, academic review articles, popular media accounts, and online sources …”

You can read more from here.

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