Personal Perspective on the Systematic Review of Serotonin Imbalance Hypothesis for depression and Mechanism of Action for Antidepressants

This interview with Dr. Mark Horowitz is conducted by Fauzia Khan and has been published in The Physician. The abstract says:

“Fauzia Khan meets Dr Mark Horowitz, Trainee Psychiatrist and Clinical Research Fellow in the NHS. Mark talks about his journey into psychiatry, his personal experience of using antidepressants and the withdrawal effects he experienced. Mark also discusses his research interests and the recent umbrella systematic review he co-authored with Professor Joanna Moncrieff on the serotonin theory of depression.”

The interview begins:

Tell me about your background and journey into psychiatry.

I grew up in Sydney, Australia and come from a very neurotic Jewish family –similar to those portrayed in Woody Allen’s films. I decided to become a psychiatrist early in medical school, aiming to fix my family and myself. Medical school did not suit me very well, and I was miserable, leading to my being diagnosed with depression and prescribed antidepressants. I was also interested in neuroscience, the mind, and psychoanalysis, so I think it was inevitable that I ended up in psychiatry. In the early 2010s, I undertook a PhD looking at the biology of depression in the brain using a model of stem cells from the human brain. I was interested in stress, stress hormones, and why antidepressants work, and as I was also on antidepressants at the time, I was interested in working out whether we could improve these drugs …”

You can read a transcript of the interview from here.

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