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Again, chemical imbalance is a myth. Stop the lies, please.


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Altostrata

I don't argue if people like their drug. Usually they don't want to hear about the drawbacks. It's better for you to save your attention for those who want it.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

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Thank you for your thoughtful post.    This site has a policy of avoiding discussion of how neurotransmitters might cause various behaviors, emotional states, and psychotropic-related sympto

We are sitting on one of the biggest scandals in human history.

Shep,   I came across this in my research.  It may explain some of it.   "The drug companies don't control us psychiatrists, but they told  us that if we don't lend credence to the

  • Mentor
Yesyes123

I don't think there's many young people here so I'm updating you guys on the yougster's world

 

This is a song released a few weeks ago by a very popular artist:

 

https://youtu.be/Gh8Gl2GwB6s

 

 

The lyrics go:

 

"I'm running low on serotonin
Chemical imbalance got me twisting things
Stabilize with medicine
There's no depth to these feelings…"

 

That's all I'm gonna say...

July 2015 - Started Escitalopram 10mg (Lexapro) at age 15. Took it everyday until July 2020 (5 Years)

July 2020 - Turned 21 started tapering off until August (TOO FAST TAPER/ ALMOST SAME AS COLD TURKEY)

August 2020 -  Clear Manic episode (nothing absurd or life threatening)

September 2020 - Start feeling a bit weird

October 2020 - Crashed. The absolute worst time of my life. 

Late October 2020 - Reinstated Escitalopram 10mg. Perscribed Antipsychotics (Lithium, Seroquel) REFUSED

Early November 2020 - Psychiatrist wrongly upped the dosage to 15mg. Still taking 15mg / day as of today. 

 

22 January 2021: 

Beginning to stabilize on 15mg/day Escitalopram (Lexapro) 🧠

Taking 25mg Magnesium Citrate 4x per day / 2000mg Vitamin C Prolonged Release + Kiwis + Fresh Fruit / Salmon everyday for Omega3 Fatty Acids

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Yesyes123
On 6/3/2014 at 2:08 AM, Petunia said:

"Contemporary neuroscience research has failed to confirm any serotonergic lesion in any mental disorder, and has in fact provided significant counter evidence to the explanation of a simple neurotransmitter deficiency.

 

Modern neuroscience has instead shown that the brain is vastly complex and poorly understood. While neuroscience is a rapidly advancing field, to propose that researchers can objectively identify a “chemical imbalance” at the molecular level is not compatible with the extant science. In fact, there is no scientifically established ideal “chemical balance” of serotonin, let alone an identifiable pathological imbalance. To equate the impressive recent achievements of neuroscience with support for the serotonin hypothesis is a mistake."

 

From: 

Serotonin and Depression: A Disconnect between the Advertisements and the Scientific Literature

Jeffrey R Lacasse,  Jonathan Leo

Published: November 08, 2005

 

This excerpt alone is one of the most important things that the medical community need to be awakened to.

July 2015 - Started Escitalopram 10mg (Lexapro) at age 15. Took it everyday until July 2020 (5 Years)

July 2020 - Turned 21 started tapering off until August (TOO FAST TAPER/ ALMOST SAME AS COLD TURKEY)

August 2020 -  Clear Manic episode (nothing absurd or life threatening)

September 2020 - Start feeling a bit weird

October 2020 - Crashed. The absolute worst time of my life. 

Late October 2020 - Reinstated Escitalopram 10mg. Perscribed Antipsychotics (Lithium, Seroquel) REFUSED

Early November 2020 - Psychiatrist wrongly upped the dosage to 15mg. Still taking 15mg / day as of today. 

 

22 January 2021: 

Beginning to stabilize on 15mg/day Escitalopram (Lexapro) 🧠

Taking 25mg Magnesium Citrate 4x per day / 2000mg Vitamin C Prolonged Release + Kiwis + Fresh Fruit / Salmon everyday for Omega3 Fatty Acids

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Yesyes123

I think we need to find some gratitude amongst all these lies.

 

Here's what I mean:

 

 

July 2015 - Started Escitalopram 10mg (Lexapro) at age 15. Took it everyday until July 2020 (5 Years)

July 2020 - Turned 21 started tapering off until August (TOO FAST TAPER/ ALMOST SAME AS COLD TURKEY)

August 2020 -  Clear Manic episode (nothing absurd or life threatening)

September 2020 - Start feeling a bit weird

October 2020 - Crashed. The absolute worst time of my life. 

Late October 2020 - Reinstated Escitalopram 10mg. Perscribed Antipsychotics (Lithium, Seroquel) REFUSED

Early November 2020 - Psychiatrist wrongly upped the dosage to 15mg. Still taking 15mg / day as of today. 

 

22 January 2021: 

Beginning to stabilize on 15mg/day Escitalopram (Lexapro) 🧠

Taking 25mg Magnesium Citrate 4x per day / 2000mg Vitamin C Prolonged Release + Kiwis + Fresh Fruit / Salmon everyday for Omega3 Fatty Acids

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hey

 

As long as we can't measure neurotransmitters levels in the brain and how they change over time etc... surely we will never know for sure if it is a chemical imbalance or not - and hence we cannot rule it out...

 

From a scientific perspective, the windows and waves pattern definitely lead me to believe it's more a chemical factor than a physical change in the brain. The reason being:

 

-It's a known fact that chemically, the balance in the brain can change a lot very rapidly, depending on the circumstances (happy/sad/frustrated/scared/relaxed etc).

-It's also a known fact that the way the brain is physically wired changes over time - but on a much longer time horizon. For example, weeks or months of therapy can drastically help retire your brain, but this won't be done over night.

 

For me the windows and waves patterns are definitely a sign that it is more likely due to chemical changes than physical ones. Consider the following:

 

-The rapidity of the onset of symptoms in a wave: one event such as exercising too much, an argument or stress factor, a piece of bad news or even changes in the weather, can trigger a wave that last for days. these things also trigger a change in neurotransmitters produced (almost instant) - but they don't however affect your brain physically to the point of rewiring it in a certain way . people who get depression etc don't develop such a condition in the space of a few seconds, where as a wave can be initiated in a matter of an instant - just like your chemical balance can change in a matter of minutes. 

The same way, symptoms can vanish over night.... 

 

To me it's likely physical changes would lead to a much more linear progress in terms of remission. of course it could fluctuate a bit, but it's hard for me to believe you could have a normal month and then back to feeling bad upon waking in the morning for no reason. 

 

As for anyone who doesn't believe in the chemical balance changing majorly and rapidly in the mind, or affecting how you feel / your emotions in a super rapid way - a simple example is found in many recreational drugs for which we know how they affect the mind. For example cocaine will give a powerful feel good boost within seconds, ecstasy also depending on how it's taken... the come downs also back the chemical balance aspect as you can feel properly awful, they usually come by waves too, but it goes away after a day or two as things even out in your mind.  

 

The point is: to me the rapidity of onset and how quickly the symptoms go away points towards chemical changes rather than any physical changes to the brain. 

 

The way I see it it also doesn't really matter: we'll never know for sure, and even if we did, it wouldn't really make the healing faster. 

-July 2019: 300mg Lyrica

-November 2019: 50mg Amitriptyline, upped to 100mg in December

-Jan 2020: down to 50mg Amitriptyline

-March 2020: stopped Lyrica successfully.

-May-June 2020: taper down to 0 AMT

-July 2020: back on 50mg AMT

-Dec 2020: 37.5mg AMT

early Jan 2021: 31.25mg AMT

Late Jan 2021: 25mg AMT

March 2021: back to 50mg AMT

Late April 2021: 75mg AMT

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  • Mentor
Yesyes123

We are sitting on one of the biggest scandals in human history.

July 2015 - Started Escitalopram 10mg (Lexapro) at age 15. Took it everyday until July 2020 (5 Years)

July 2020 - Turned 21 started tapering off until August (TOO FAST TAPER/ ALMOST SAME AS COLD TURKEY)

August 2020 -  Clear Manic episode (nothing absurd or life threatening)

September 2020 - Start feeling a bit weird

October 2020 - Crashed. The absolute worst time of my life. 

Late October 2020 - Reinstated Escitalopram 10mg. Perscribed Antipsychotics (Lithium, Seroquel) REFUSED

Early November 2020 - Psychiatrist wrongly upped the dosage to 15mg. Still taking 15mg / day as of today. 

 

22 January 2021: 

Beginning to stabilize on 15mg/day Escitalopram (Lexapro) 🧠

Taking 25mg Magnesium Citrate 4x per day / 2000mg Vitamin C Prolonged Release + Kiwis + Fresh Fruit / Salmon everyday for Omega3 Fatty Acids

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Surviving82

@HugHK, this is a very interesting discussion (referring to your last post in this thread). I am wondering all the time about the windows and waves and how it is possible to have them on such a regular schedule. You referred to people with depression, well as far as I know, many people with depression (or anxiety) also have a similar daily variation in their symptoms. Usually, mornings are the worst and evenings are best. I used to hung on some mental health forums and many people said that they cannot even eat before a certain time in the afternoon because of how bad their condition is, but after a certain hour it is improving. They don't call it windows and waves but to me, it resembles them a lot. Definitely similar to what I have been going through lately (before 5PM - blah, and then after 5PM things start to rapidly improve and I eventually end up in the nearly if not completely normal state). 

 

As far as "physical" changes, if they were, we could have seen them on the imaging. These are likely chemical changes in the neurotransmitters, but it doesn't mean that they are permanent, or that one needs medication to correct them. As you said, cognitive efforts to change reactions and responses to things via therapy or self-help can change brain chemistry just as well (although the change will be more gradual). Just as stressful events can change it too, leading to a bout of depression or anxiety. That is why mental health is so difficult - so may things can affect it in different ways. And no, there are no people with "permanent chemical imbalance" from birth. Although if someone has been accustomed to react in a certain way to things (depressive or anxious) for a long time (especially from childhood), I guess you can say that their brain chemistry has become imbalanced. Again, doesn't mean they absolutely need medication; consistent behavioral and thought changes will eventually correct it, although it may take a long time (and quite a bit of work).  

 

These days my threshold for becoming anxious is very low, often I don't even need anything at all to become anxious. I think this is because my CNS is sensitized. So that is how I try to handle it. Once I feel anxiety, I acknowledge it but try to remain calm (to the best of my ability), and send back the "message" that everything is good and there is nothing to be anxious about. I feel that every time I succeed with this, my brain gets a little bit desensitized, and next time it reacts with less anxiety. Doing this over and over again little by little changes my brain chemistry toward being calmer and less sensitive. Once I started practicing this about 3 weeks ago, I feel gradual, but noticeable improvements in my physical and mental symptoms. And no need for medication, fingers crossed!

My thread: https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/24990-surviving82-my-story-wd-from-antidepressants-please-help/

2016-2017: sertraline for approx. 1.5 years for anxiety and OCD outbreak following birth of my son (all the way from 2mg to 200mg), rapid tapered from 150mg for about 6 weeks without issues. Approximately 2 years psych drug free.

 

Nov 2019 - Feb 2020: fluvoxamine to prevent anxiety/OCD outbreak following birth of my daughter. Had to go off due to constant somnolence.

Feb 2020 - Dec 2020: started escitalopram while rapid tapering fluvoxamine. After 9 months decided to get off due to weight gain, rapid tapered from [I think] 15mg for about 6 weeks without immediate issues.

March-April 2021: started excessive strenuous exercise and dieting regimen for weight loss. Was doing great (or so I thought) for 3 weeks until early April 2021 when out of nowhere massive panic attacks, other dysautonomia symptoms. AWFUL CRASH.   

Mid-April 2021: fluoxetine 10mg for 1 week then 20mg for 1 week. Massive side effects, suicidality. Was told to go CT. Side effects gradually started resolving.

Mid-Late May 2021: sertraline for 11 days, fine at low doses but same side effects as prozac at 25 to 50mg. Was told to either drop CT or hold at 1/4 of a 25mg pill. 

April-May 2021: trazodone 50mg PRN for sleep. Do not take every day, the only side effect I noticed is dry mouth.

June 8, 2021: stopped all psych meds. Truing to trust that with God's help, my body will heal on its own. 

Other: Hashimoto thyroiditis for 11 years (on levothyroxine 125mcg), history of anxiety/GAD including health anxiety, OCD. History of autonomic dysfunction (migraines, vasovagal episodes).

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Here is a website dedicated to calling psychiatry out for their lies:

 

DEMAND CHEMICAL IMBALANCE RETRACTION

 

I saw that website linked in Dr. Jessica Taylor's recent twitter thread on this subject:

 

Dr. Jessica Taylor - twitter thread on debunking the chemical imbalance lie

 

Dr. Taylor is a forensic psychologist who is presenting some really great research debunking this lie, including a list of her favorite books on this subject. 

Drug free May 22, 2015 after 30 years of neuroleptics, benzos, z-drugs, so-called "anti"-depressants, and amphetamines 

 

My Success Story:  Shep's Success: "Leaving Plato's Cave"

 

And what is good, Phaedrus, and what is not good — need we ask anyone to tell us these things? ~ Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice, but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

 

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  • Administrator

Another gem from Dr. Jessica Taylor, short and sweet, debunking the chemical imbalance lie: 

 

Twitter - Dr. Jess Taylor - Trauma informed approaches means asking the right questions - and not seeking to pathologise anyone

Drug free May 22, 2015 after 30 years of neuroleptics, benzos, z-drugs, so-called "anti"-depressants, and amphetamines 

 

My Success Story:  Shep's Success: "Leaving Plato's Cave"

 

And what is good, Phaedrus, and what is not good — need we ask anyone to tell us these things? ~ Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice, but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

 

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Altostrata
On 7/2/2021 at 6:46 AM, Surviving82 said:

As far as "physical" changes, if they were, we could have seen them on the imaging. These are likely chemical changes in the neurotransmitters, but it doesn't mean that they are permanent, or that one needs medication to correct them.

 

Thank you for your thoughtful post. 

 

This site has a policy of avoiding discussion of how neurotransmitters might cause various behaviors, emotional states, and psychotropic-related symptoms because

 

1. Despite decades of many publications about this topic, all outgrowths of the "chemical imbalance" theory, nobody knows anything about it. Not psychiatrists, not neuroscientists, not addiction medicine, and not people commenting about it on social media.

 

2. Despite it being a sciencey-sounding myth, there are thousands of Web sites and posts discussing "chemical imbalance" as though it was a real thing. We believe we don't need to add to this pointless, uninformed discussion by providing space for it here.

 

3. Hundreds of neurotransmitters, many not completely identified, run our bodies and brains. Only a few have become famous, due to publicity dating from the '70s related to the psychiatric drug development leading to the sale of antidepressants in the '90s. That publicity presented the "chemical imbalance theory" as the reason such drugs would be effective. However, this theory has been thoroughly, unquestionably debunked.

 

4. Despite the hype, no psychiatric drug is as targeted as claimed. They all act on more than one neurotransmitter system. Some of these secondary actions have not been completely identified or quantified.

 

5. Throughout our bodies, neurotransmitters and other hormones are constantly running our physical processes through a complex web of interactions and feedback mechanisms. Until our bodies stop functioning, they are never in a static state or particular relationship. Any function requires a combination of such messengers. Though glamorously sciencey, imaging does not identify the activity of hormones (it mostly reveals blood flow, organs, and tissues).

 

6. Members of this site who have had neurological imaging (including Amen Clinics' SPECT imaging) for withdrawal symptoms or adverse effects almost always report nothing shows on the scans. A very few have found organ or tissue abnormalities that probably were pre-existing or coincidental and not related to the drugs (though possibly related to a history of alcohol use), and may have generated symptoms causing them to seek psychiatric treatment.

 

7. Each person is subject to biorhythms on daily, monthly, or seasonal cycles. Many of our bodily sensations are related to this. For example, there is a rise in cortisol, the activity hormone, in the very early morning, to prepare us for waking up. This gradually decreases over the day, the body slowing down until melatonin, the sleep hormone, rises when it gets dark. This is probably why people who are sensitized by withdrawal may feel more activated in the earlier part of the day and calmer towards evening.

 

These biorhythms are present in all living things and not related to "chemical imbalance". They are normal hormonal activities. Unfortunately, they may be perturbed by the effect of chemicals such as toxins, alcohol, and drugs.

 

So, to sum up, except for biorhythms, which are maintained by an orchestra of hormones, we don't refer to neurotransmitter activity to explain anything. Nobody knows anything about it, and we don't, either.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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On 8/1/2021 at 4:43 AM, Altostrata said:

 

Thank you for your thoughtful post. 

 

This site has a policy of avoiding discussion of how neurotransmitters might cause various behaviors, emotional states, and psychotropic-related symptoms because

 

1. Despite decades of many publications about this topic, all outgrowths of the "chemical imbalance" theory, nobody knows anything about it. Not psychiatrists, not neuroscientists, not addiction medicine, and not people commenting about it on social media.

 

2. Despite it being a sciencey-sounding myth, there are thousands of Web sites and posts discussing "chemical imbalance" as though it was a real thing. We believe we don't need to add to this pointless, uninformed discussion by providing space for it here.

 

3. Hundreds of neurotransmitters, many not completely identified, run our bodies and brains. Only a few have become famous, due to publicity dating from the '70s related to the psychiatric drug development leading to the sale of antidepressants in the '90s. That publicity presented the "chemical imbalance theory" as the reason such drugs would be effective. However, this theory has been thoroughly, unquestionably debunked.

 

4. Despite the hype, no psychiatric drug is as targeted as claimed. They all act on more than one neurotransmitter system. Some of these secondary actions have not been completely identified or quantified.

 

5. Throughout our bodies, neurotransmitters and other hormones are constantly running our physical processes through a complex web of interactions and feedback mechanisms. Until our bodies stop functioning, they are never in a static state or particular relationship. Any function requires a combination of such messengers. Though glamorously sciencey, imaging does not identify the activity of hormones (it mostly reveals blood flow, organs, and tissues).

 

6. Members of this site who have had neurological imaging (including Amen Clinics' SPECT imaging) for withdrawal symptoms or adverse effects almost always report nothing shows on the scans. A very few have found organ or tissue abnormalities that probably were pre-existing or coincidental and not related to the drugs (though possibly related to a history of alcohol use), and may have generated symptoms causing them to seek psychiatric treatment.

 

7. Each person is subject to biorhythms on daily, monthly, or seasonal cycles. Many of our bodily sensations are related to this. For example, there is a rise in cortisol, the activity hormone, in the very early morning, to prepare us for waking up. This gradually decreases over the day, the body slowing down until melatonin, the sleep hormone, rises when it gets dark. This is probably why people who are sensitized by withdrawal may feel more activated in the earlier part of the day and calmer towards evening.

 

These biorhythms are present in all living things and not related to "chemical imbalance". They are normal hormonal activities. Unfortunately, they may be perturbed by the effect of chemicals such as toxins, alcohol, and drugs.

 

So, to sum up, except for biorhythms, which are maintained by an orchestra of hormones, we don't refer to neurotransmitter activity to explain anything. Nobody knows anything about it, and we don't, either.

 

 

But then how do you explain the almost immediate change in 'feeling' which follows taking some drugs such as Xanax, alcohol, cannabis etc?? if you just consume them here or there they don't change the structure of your brain. And as such the only thing they would change is the chemical balance in your mind? And yet the change in the way you feel is very real - and cannot be linked to anything else than the change in chemical balance. you don't rewire your brain by drinking a bottle of wine or smoking a joint.

 

No one can rule out that psyche meds cause physical changes in the brain when they are taken for a long time (they probably do), but it also seems absurd to rule out the existence of a chemical imbalance.

 

I also disagree with your last line. There are huge amounts of research online on the effects of some neurotransmitters (serotonin, dopamine, GABA etc) and on the parts of the brain that are linked to them. 

 

When we reach the boundaries of scientific knowledge, we get to the point where science relies of theories that may be incorrect, in which case they can be changed later when our knowledge increases. This actually happens a lot in physics for example, and it's proof that it's important to keep on open minded approach in sciences. 

 

But to rule out the main scientific theory to this day (which is that of the chemical imbalance, based on large amounts of research on the action of specific neurotransmitters), you would need groundbreaking research / proof that the theory cannot stand. And to this point, I have not seen any of that: far from it in fact. 

 

Essentially, can't prove it at this point, and can't rule it out. which is why it is being debated in the scientific community and isn't considered a slam dunk yet.

 

Personally I'm not sure what I believe anymore, as both arguments make sense to me. Perhaps, the truth will be closer to something in between. 

 

Usually when humans have a problem, a genius comes along and solves it. Let's hope doctors crack this on in the decades to come. 

-July 2019: 300mg Lyrica

-November 2019: 50mg Amitriptyline, upped to 100mg in December

-Jan 2020: down to 50mg Amitriptyline

-March 2020: stopped Lyrica successfully.

-May-June 2020: taper down to 0 AMT

-July 2020: back on 50mg AMT

-Dec 2020: 37.5mg AMT

early Jan 2021: 31.25mg AMT

Late Jan 2021: 25mg AMT

March 2021: back to 50mg AMT

Late April 2021: 75mg AMT

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Altostrata

We know that psychotropics such as psychiatric drugs such as Xanax, alcohol, cannabis etc. affect the nervous system, by definition. Of course you're going to feel different after taking any of them!

 

Some people find the effects of any psychotropic beneficial, some intolerable, and some none at all. Every single one of them has been found "effective for depression", which means nothing in terms of their biochemical activity. What it says is that people can be distracted from "depression" (which is felt individually and subjectively) by a psychotropic, which causes some upset in the nervous system.

 

Another interesting pharmacological characteristic shared by all psychotropics (and many other drugs) is that any beneficial effect wears off after a while because the body naturally adapts to them. This is called tolerance.

 

A corollary of that neurobiological adaptation is that going off any regularly ingested psychotropic may cause withdrawal syndrome. The risk of protracted withdrawal syndrome is also common across psychotropics.

 

See 

Lerner, A., & Klein, M. (2019). Dependence, withdrawal and rebound of CNS drugs: An update and regulatory considerations for new drugs development. Brain Communications, 1(1). https://doi.org/10.1093/braincomms/fcz025
 
Framer, A. (2021). What I have learnt from helping thousands of people to taper off antidepressants and other psychotropic medications. Therapeutic Advances in Psychopharmacology. https://doi.org/10.1177/2045125321991274
 
Hengartner, M. P., Schulthess, L., Sorensen, A., & Framer, A. (2020). Protracted withdrawal syndrome after stopping antidepressants: A descriptive quantitative analysis of consumer narratives from a large internet forum. Therapeutic Advances in Psychopharmacology. https://doi.org/10.1177/2045125320980573
 
 

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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Altostrata
12 hours ago, HugHK said:

There are huge amounts of research online on the effects of some neurotransmitters (serotonin, dopamine, GABA etc) and on the parts of the brain that are linked to them. 

 

Take a good look at this huge body of research. It is all speculative. There is no association between a single neurotransmitter and a specific part of the brain or psychiatric condition. By definition, neurotransmitters are not confined to a particular region. Their job is to be transmitters.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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Altostrata

Now, I have to warn anyone reading this topic. Further discussion of "chemical imbalance" or the serotonin theory of depression or the happiness theory of dopamine is a waste of time, with no more validity than "flat earth" theories.

 

If you must, please go elsewhere to chat about it. There are plenty of sites where people (some of them PhDs) freely trade their theories about neurotransmitters.

 

Reading these comments is not a good use of staff time. We all have plenty of other things to do, including taking care of our own lives.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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