A Chemical Imbalance Doesn’t Explain Depression
The causes of depression are extremely complex
You would be forgiven for thinking that depression has a simple explanation.
The same mantra — that the mood disorder comes from a chemical imbalance in the brain — is repeated in doctors' offices, medical textbooks and pharmaceutical advertisements. Those ads tell us that depression can be eased by tweaking the chemicals that are off-kilter in the brain. The only problem — and it's a big one — is that this explanation isn't true.
The phrase "chemical imbalance" is too vague to be true or false; it doesn't mean much of anything when it comes to the brain and all its complexity. Serotonin, the chemical messenger often tied to depression, is not the one key thing that explains depression. The same goes for other brain chemicals.
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