“For decades, we’ve been told by health, media, and governmental authorities that depression is caused by a lack of serotonin in the brain and can be effectively treated with antidepressant drugs. Today, millions of people around the world believe in the veracity of this clear, compelling story: surveys conducted in the West have found that 85-90% of people believe in the chemical imbalance theory of depression. In America, alone, one in seven people is on an antidepressant. Most antidepressant users have been on them for more than two years.
If this story was true, rates of depression diagnoses would have presumably dropped over the years. But they haven’t, and recent research findings shed light on why this is the case: the notion that depression is a matter of imbalanced chemicals with an effective pharmaceutical intervention is mythology. What does this mean for us, individually and collectively, in our arduous human quest to resolve emotional pain? And what does it mean for the psychiatric profession, and for the research industry, as well, that this mythology was propagated for decades without scientific evidence, underlying countless millions of individual decisions to prescribe or take these drugs?
Join Laura Delano as she facilitates an ICI Roundtable Discussion with a few of the authors behind this recent research: Professor Joanna Moncrieff and Dr. Mark Horowitz, who will discuss their co-authored systematic umbrella review on the serotonin theory of depression; and Professor Irving Kirsch, who will discuss his co-authored comprehensive data analysis of antidepressant efficacy trials. They’ll outline what they found in their respective analyses, discuss possible limitations to the data they analyzed, chat about the criticism and resistance they’ve encountered, and talk candidly about what their findings suggest regarding where we all might go from here.”