For decades, those diagnosed with depression have been told they suffer from a “chemical imbalance.” This explanation involves neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, thought to be the main neurochemical responsible for major depressive disorders. Growing research challenges this theory and the need for medication therapies for depressive symptoms. This brief summarizes new findings examining the theory that depression is caused by a chemical imbalance and calls for healthcare professionals and patients to consider the market influences and social structures that impact health.
Mental Health, Depression
Mental and Social Health | Psychiatric and Mental Health | Social and Behavioral Sciences
For More Information
The author would like to thank Alexandra Punch and Shannon Monnat for providing feedback and edits on prior versions of this brief.
Brown, Austin. (2023). The End of the “Chemical Imbalance” Theory of Depression - What Now? Lerner Center Population Health Research Brief Series. 206. https://surface.syr.edu/lerner/206
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