Chemical Imbalance – Not according to research

Apparently I’ve been as conditioned as most to ascribe depression & bipolar to a chemical imbalance.  God knows that the pharmaceutical companies certainly push that.  Apparently it was disproved a while ago.

The current trend is towards ascribing them to brain cell death & shrinkage.  I found an analysis of one article at PsychCentral by Dr Grohl.  The full article is about how the advent of Prozac caused brain science to reach some incorrect conclusions about why prozac was working.  The full article is at the Boston Globe.

I can’t believe just how far out of the mainstream this information has been kept, and that I hadn’t seen it before.  And I’m not exactly the least informed person out there.

I think that the FDA should require the same kind of warning on those drugs as the ones that you find on herbal supplements and quackery like ‘head on’.

I’ve got a LOT of research to do now.


~ by namegoeshere on August 15, 2008.

6 Responses to “Chemical Imbalance – Not according to research”

  1. lol. Those “head on” commercials crack me up.

  2. There is risk with most meds that people take. My mom has (I think) taken most of the ones for bipolar. Lithium, Depakote, Triliptal, ect. just finding the right one or ones that keep her in a “normal” state of being. I have read some of your blogs and I have to agree with someone who made the comment that all bipolar moms seem to be very similiar. I esp found your story about the road trip interesting because I have done that. When I was 15, my mother flew to to help my sister after she had her first child. Within a week my sister was calling my dad to tell him that she was becoming manic and needed to come and get her. My dad and I drove from Louisiana to South Dakota without stopping which took @ 36 hours. We stayed only a few hours then got back on the road and drove BACK with my manic mother. THAT was the trip from HELL. She got on a kick for about 6 hours asking repeatedly “What time is it?” I have never forgotton that trip. Once we got home there was the process of trying to get mom hospitalized. I can remember my dad sitting on my mom trying to make her take a sedative because she was so hyped up. I will be reading the rest of your previous blogs. I have started to think maybe blogging about the experiences I am having presently with my mom might help. I recently stopped seeing my mom due to her condition (lack of a better word) and have had alot of different feelings about it. I am the only one who has been there each time my mom went manic since my Dad had a massive stroke in 1994(he passed in 2001).

  3. These articles were very interesting I will be curious to see what you find in your research.

  4. I haven’t read all of your posts, but as someone who does have bipolar, and whose grandmother and a few other family members have bipolar, I have to say that it wasn’t drugs that caused my bipolar and my father wasn’t over 55 when my parents had me. Bipolar is a chemical imbalance, and we are predisposed to it genetically, and sometimes it nevers rears its ugly head and people are fine, but sometimes there are triggers and its ugly head rears into one’s life and from there it is both a curse and a blessing…In a way I am a bit taken back by the attitude that bipolar isn’t real…it’s as real of a chemical imbalance in the brain as diabetes is a chemical imbalance in the body…

  5. Melissa:
    The current research shows that the chemical imbalance is one of the effects of bipolar, not the cause of it. The treatments that moderate the level of neurotransmitters do so quite quickly, but there is a lag of days to weeks before any emotional change is noticed. That indicates that while the meds may be helpful, they aren’t ‘correcting’ a physiological problem, at least not the right one.

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