Here’s some of the more common reasons given for why drug abuse is acceptable, if it’s prescribed by a doctor of psychiatrist:
- People have chemical imbalances in their brains, that the mood-altering drugs put ‘right’.
- They work – they work to alleviate depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, mania, ‘ADHD, and a few other things besides.
- Doctors and psychiatrists know a lot more than we do; we can trust them to do the right thing for our mental and physical health, and we should never question their judgment (even if sometimes, a lot of things just aren’t adding up in the advice we’re receiving.)
Let’s go through these reasons one by one, to see if they really stack up. First up, the infamous ‘chemical imbalance’ theory of mental illness. Reams and reams has been written on this subject, but you can sum it up like this:
No chemical imbalance has ever been scientifically-proven to be the cause of mental illness.
That’s the cold, hard facts, and I challenge anyone reading this to send me a scientific study (or preferably, a bunch of them) that unequivocably disproves this. But you don’t have to take my word for it. Let me quote you some statements from the book, Blaming the Brain:
Edward Drummond, M.D., Associate Medical Director at Seacoast Mental Health Center in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, informs us: “First, no biological etiology [cause] has been proven for any psychiatric disorder…in spite of decades of research.…So don’t accept the myth that we can make an ‘accurate diagnosis’.…Neither should you believe that your problems are due solely to a ‘chemical imbalance.’”
Psychologist Bruce Levine, Ph.D., concurs: “Remember that no biochemical, neurological, or genetic markers have been found for attention deficit disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, depression, schizophrenia, anxiety, compulsive alcohol and drug abuse, overeating, gambling, or any other so‐called mental illness, disease, or disorder.”
Charles E. Dean, M.D., says that people are “convinced that the origins of mental illnesses are to be found in biology, when, despite more than three decades of research, there still is no proof…The absences of any well‐defined physical causation is reflected in the absence of any laboratory tests for psychiatric diagnoses—much in contrast to diabetes and many other physical disorders.
“[T]here are no tests available for assessing the chemical status of a living person’s brain.” – Elliot Valenstein, Ph.D.
I know that this can be a lot to digest in one go. You can find a few more quotes HERE, and at the end of this article, you’ll find a few books I recommend – all extensively quoting peer-reviewed scientific research – to help you ascertain the facts for yourself.
But the take-home point is this: no-one has ever proved the chemical imbalance theory for mental illness, which is why there are no tests you can do to ‘prove’ you have a mental illness.
In the next post, we’ll take a look at the next common argument: “but the drugs actually work!”
- Pharmageddon – David Healy
- Anatomy of an Epidemic – Robert Whitaker
- The Emperor’s New Drugs – Irvin Kirsch