For decades now the public has been told that depression is caused by a chemical imbalance and that antidepressants work by targeting this mechanism. Millions of people have decided to take antidepressants based on this information.
The Great Serotonin Swindle tells the story of a scientific myth and its consequences. It traces the history of the serotonin theory of depression from its development in the 1960s, through its inculcation into popular culture in the 1990s, to the recent revelations that it is not supported by evidence. The story illustrates the power of human interests to shape what passes as scientific knowledge, and provides people with essential information about depression and antidepressants they will not readily find elsewhere.
Joanna Moncrieff obtained her medical degree from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne. She is Professor of critical and social psychiatry at University College London, and also works as a consultant psychiatrist in the National Health Service in London. She has written two academic books about psychiatric drugs published by Palgrave Macmillan, a guide for the public, published by PCCS Books, and a guide for therapists commissioned by the All Party Parliamentary Group for Prescribed Drug Dependence. She has been awarded large government grants to study psychiatric drug treatment, and has p...
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