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Depression is not the result of a chemical imbalance

According to a review by University College London, low serotonin levels are not the actual cause of depression

The study discovered that depression might be more strongly associated with adverse life events that affect mood.

According to primary author Joanna Moncrieff, a professor of psychiatry at UCL, "there is no strong evidence that serotonin disorders, specifically lower levels or reduced levels of serotonin, cause depression.”

Researchers reexamined studies on serotonin and depression and discovered no difference in serotonin levels between thousands of patients and healthy control volunteers.

Stressful life events, on the other hand, were discovered to have a considerable effect on people's likelihood of becoming depressed - the more stressful life events a person encountered, the more likely they were to be depressed.

According to studies, up to 85% to 90% of the general public believes that low serotonin levels or a chemical imbalance are to blame for depression. The researchers claim their findings are significant in light of this.


There is evidence that people who think a chemical imbalance is the source of their low mood are less optimistic about their chances of recovering.

According to the experts, it is inappropriate to inform patients that a chemical imbalance is the root cause of their depression. The study found that although antidepressants can work, they must achieve this via a different route.

Experts cautioned patients from quitting their medicine in response to the research.

Depression symptoms vary from person to person. While many people have mild episodes of depression, for some, depression can be life-threatening due to an increased risk of suicide. Existing therapy, such as different forms of antidepressants and psychotherapies (talking therapies), are efficient, secure, and not addictive.

Due to the variety of symptom patterns associated with depression, two depressed individuals may exhibit symptoms that appear to be in stark contrast. For instance, while some people experience sleeplessness, others sleep more when they are depressed.

Antidepressant medications have consistently been shown to be effective in the treatment of depression and even to be life-saving. Nothing in the most recent study alters this.


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