Dr. Pies and The Chemical Imbalance Deception

This article by Philip Hickey has been published by Mad in America. It begins:


For the past several years, the eminent and scholarly Ronald Pies, MD, psychiatrist, of SUNY Upstate Medical and Tufts Universities, has labored the point that psychiatry has never endorsed the simplistic chemical imbalance theory of ‘mental illness’.  As various anti-psychiatry bloggers, including myself, began to accumulate a great many instances of prominent psychiatrists doing just that, Dr. Pies began digging himself in on this particular topic.  In Nuances, Narratives, and the ‘Chemical Imbalance’ Debate (April 2014, Medscape), he wrote:

‘In short, the ‘chemical imbalance theory’ was never a real theory, nor was it widely propounded by responsible practitioners in the field of psychiatry.’

And here can be found:

‘I have no doubt that some patients heard the phrase ‘chemical imbalance’ from some hospital-based psychiatrists, and I agree that more could have been done by those of us with academic and research experience to ‘debunk’ this notion. But too many critics constantly claim that ‘psychiatry’ endorsed the ‘chemical imbalance theory’ when this was simply never the case – if, by ‘psychiatry’, we mean the profession as a whole.” (April 13, 2014 comment in the post The ‘Chemical Imbalance’ Myth, by Chris Kresser, MS)

Of course, we don’t mean ‘the profession as a whole;, a standard that would have to embrace every single psychiatrist in the world.  We mean the great majority, including the profession’s luminaries such as Dr. Pies himself! …”

You can read more from here.

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