What is the Chemical Imbalance Theory?


The Chemical Imbalance Theory – also called the “monomine” or “biogenic amine” theory – proposed low levels of one or more of the neurotransmitters serotonin, dopamine, epinephrine in the central nervous system caused mental disturbance i.e. depression, anxiety, psychosis.

Believing You Have a Chemical Imbalance and Have to Take Psychotropic Medications for Life is Not True – and Causes Much Harm.

It was a great hypothesis that has been proven false.

“Not only is the chemical imbalance theory of mental disorder unsubstantiated by any empirical research, but it has also been widely and publicly refuted by a number of prominent psychiatrists…”

Source: On the Myth of the Chemical Imbalance – No, You Don’t Have a Chemical Imbalance in Your Brain.

No prescribed psychotropic medication corrects an identifiable imbalance in the brain. They affect neurotransmitters, yes, and cause a change in functioning.

Related post: How Was the Chemical Imbalance Theory Developed?

Long term these medications are disabling and cause many additional health problems such as obesity, heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, liver and kidney damage, sexual dysfunction, etc.

Chemical Imbalance Theory Still Promoted But is Unfounded

“A long overdue debate is raging about the chemical imbalance theory of depression. Having been deluged with this idea for two decades now, the general public has come to believe that it is a scientifically proven fact.”

“An LBC radio presenter recently announced that he had suffered from depression and he knew it was a chemical imbalance. ‘All the goodness is flushed out of the brain [and you have to] top it up now and again; that’s why you need medicine,’ is how he expressed it.”

“Pharmaceutical industry propaganda has led the way in advocating this view, but the medical profession continues to endorse it too.”

“On 18th March 2014, viewers of This Morning, a national UK television programme were advised by the programme’s resident General Practitioner, Dr Chris Steele, that depression consists of a chemical imbalance in the brain caused by depletion of serotonin.”

Source: The blog of British psychiatrist Joanna Moncrieff

Your Brain Chemicals May Be Affecting Mood But Doctors Do Not Know Why or How

Manic Depression is not fake, phony, someone wanting attention, someone recovering from addiction or sexual abuse… it is a very real physical illness.

A physical illness that has primary symptoms identified (presently) as mental. So how else would you understand it from a medical standpoint than something going on with the functioning of the brain?

And that there are things in the brain such as levels of neurotransmitters or other pathology that effect mood i.e. contribute to the highs and lows of the illness.

That all makes sense.

What you want to find out is what has created that illness state in your body, caused your particular genetic-environmental-situational vulnerability to manifest as mental illness.

And to clearly understand that a multitude of things are most likely at play, not simply some messed up neurotransmitter levels that a medication will fix.

It’s a fantasy. We have all been duped.

The Chemical Imbalance Fairy is for Fairy Tales

Even if the mental health professional (psychiatrist, psychologist, mental health advocate) thinks it is in the patients best interest to say things they know are not true like that the Chemical Imbalance Theory is valid and scientifically proven… it is still a lie.

You can click your heels twice… it’s still a lie. Go to bed, have sweet dreams. There will still be no Chemical Imbalance Fairy when you wake up.

For health professionals to use this lie to keep folks on medications that are not medically proven to be a treatment for their symptoms but are proven to cause serious side effects is unethical at the very least.

Life is hard. Complete shit at times. Everyone suffers to some extent.

Making someone sicker is not going to help them live a better life.

There are Medical Treatments for Mental Illness – Other Than Psychotropic Medications

Feel hopeless now, like there is nothing that will help you? That if psychiatric medications (most likely the primary care you’ve been given) are snake oil, nothing can be done?

That is not true! There are many medical causes of mood disturbance and many available treatments.

Read about a child who spent six months in a psychiatric hospital with no improvement of symptoms, then healed with micronutrients: Child Healed with Micronutrients.

Learn about Kelly Brogan M.D.’s online treatment program – available to anyone and low cost – that is helping many heal from emotional-physical-mental symptoms: Vital Mind Reset.

I want Bipolar 1 Disorder – i.e. actual Manic Depression – to be better understood from a biological standpoint.

And for others to have better care by psychiatrists and doctors for mood disorders than I was given when I became ill.

Or at least more options other than just brain damaging psychotropic medications.

Peace. Molly



  1. Why do we continue to call neurotoxic chemicals “medications or “antidepressants or “antipsychotics? As Moncrieff well knows, and as Breggin has pointed out, these psychotropic, neurotoxic drugs have nothing to do with medication or healing. They are DRUGS.

    Why do we continue to use euphemisms such as “medication? And as Auntie rightly notices, hardly any one will really be able to make an informed choice about psychotropic drugs because hardly anyone knows the real history of these drugs. Even if they did, hardly anyone knows the true history of psychiatry. Thus, no one is making an informed choice about these neurotoxins.

    They are making choices based on deception and misinformation. They are making choices based on psychiatric propaganda. This is not informed decision making. The information will come later, when in their drug induced, zombie like state, they realize that they have been duped by psychiatry and the pharmaceutical industry.

    But even that will be difficult because of what Breggin has shown in his descriptions of “medication spellbinding, namely, the difficulty of perceiving the iatrogenic harm that is caused by psychotropic drugs.

    March 6, 2018
    • Molly said:

      I agree with everything you say – is so true. To quote you: “They are making choices based on deception and misinformation.” EXACTLY.

      And not only does this lead to harm — the placebo effect makes the person think what they are being told is true i.e. they have an initial response that is perceived as improvement. Therefore, they do need the drugs, it is treating something, etc.

      Then when they get worse, like all do, think they have to stay on the meds as they are being responsible and treating their ‘chemical imbalance’. Then they lose the ability to truly heal – to search for root causes, deal with past or present traumas, grow as a human being. What psychological help and psychiatry should be about… the human soul, not Big Pharma.

      It’s a mess. And very complicated. Severe illness states may need to be stabilized, just like we would try and stabilize someone in cardiac arrest.

      But after, they should have access to accurate information (that the drugs are for crisis care, not a long-term solution) and access to medical treatments, legitimate care, like Kelly Brogan, M.D.s “Vital Reset” healing program for depression and other therapies offered by holistic psychiatrists and health providers who actually understand basic human biology, and the reality of psychotropic medications (they treat nothing, only suppress symptoms).

      A listing of providers and info on what treatments they offer here: http://www.bipolar1survivor.com/holistic-psychiatrists-in-the-united-states/.

      Thanks much for your comment and thoughts, Molly

      March 6, 2018
  2. Menka said:

    If there is some sort of imbalance in one’s mood it is possible for it to level out on it’s own…just like our circadian rhythms. This theory (taken as law) makes people think that they are just unfortunately imbalanced and that is it for them. Many of the psych medicines cause side effects that look like more or worsening symptoms of the originally diagnosed mental disorder. So they will never be “cured” or return to health from these man-made disorders. Especially not through psych drugs. Often times they just cause more suffering. But let’s be honest…nothing can be cured in life without getting to the root cause.

    March 31, 2017
    • Molly said:

      Exactly – exactly, exactly, exactly. Seriously… if only more folks understood this. It would put those forces that be (Big Pharma and puppet doctors) that are creating this massive influx of ‘iatrogenic bipolar disorder’ (BP-2, cyclothymic, etc.) out of business.

      And we would have better diagnosing, understanding and treatments (that actually treat an underlying cause, not just suppress symptoms and create more distressing effects) of mood disorders.

      Much of what is labeled ‘bipolar’ in teens and adults these days is primarily caused by the side effects of antidepressants. When it applys to children it is simply tragic.

      Thousands of children have died from psychotropic medications that the FDA then omitted from its official tallies. Think about that – if you want to get a better understanding of how these things ‘work’ in our current corporate-profit driven health care system.

      More info here: PAPA – Amazing Parents Fighting for All of Our Kids.

      March 31, 2017
  3. Waltstawicki said:

    We don’t cure diabetes with insulin, nor cancer with chemo. We don’t cure osteoporosis with boneva, nor siclecell with warfarin. We MANAGE the symptoms. allopathy at its most typical! Psychiatry is the same except it got burdened with mind and all the psychology trapping Freud took on to cover-up his clients ….. Another story. We need bipolar and schizo and all these under neurology where it belongs!!!

    Yes, isn’t it a pity they have to lie to get compliance.

    Now that mechanics has been scratched by Schroedinger’s cat and psychiatry is at its religious/philosophical dead end…now that allopathy has hit the wall of one disease one cause, one chemical one gene, one magic bullet coming never…perhaps we will start looking from a new, yet more ancient, perspective…..or we can keep suffering and wondering.

    Bipolar involves dozens to hundreds of genes as do autism, schizophrenia and major depression. We just got a list of genes, we know a few of the proteins they make, given certain conditions not unknown other conditions…but as for putting it together? Banned in the woods.

    December 28, 2016
    • Molly said:

      Quoted: “We don’t cure diabetes with insulin, nor cancer with chemo. We don’t cure osteoporosis with boneva, nor siclecell with warfarin. We MANAGE the symptoms. allopathy at its most typical! ”


      And so many don’t get that basic point. Then are misled into a psych med nightmare that can last months, years or a lifetime. Or worse – adverse reactions leading to behaviour causing harm to themselves or others.

      I don’t know about the ‘bipolar involves dozens to hundreds of genes’ part. That’s really just more guessing game confusing lingo that supports Big Pharma agendas. Not sure where you came up with that.

      What I think more of the issue is, is lack of understanding of basic biology. Because much of current ‘science’ and research is paid for propaganda. Sure, they get some verifiable results at times but what is reported is that which supports the agenda of the backers of the research. When studies prove adverse effects from psych meds, for example, it gets taken out of published results.

      Not exactly scientific, or ethical. And it’s been going on for decades.

      And the ‘genes’ focus is not really the direction that should be being taken. It’s not about the ‘genes’ – it’s about the expression of your genetic makeup and how and why it came to be.

      If that can even be identified. The ‘dozen to hundreds’ of things that are involved in someone who experiences an illness (mental, physical or combination) are those things that are playing a part in its creation. The things that are affecting your biological-genetic makeup.

      There may be one central gene to Manic Depression (the word ‘bipolar’ is extememly subjective and does not refer to a specific illness) – as it is proven to have an inheritable quality. But even then, the majority of those who have the ‘gene’ do not ever become ill.

      December 29, 2016
    • Harun said:

      “perhaps we will start looking from a new, yet more ancient, perspective”
      What do you mean ancient? In my mania (a year and a half has passed by) I was very interested in ancient civilizations and had a hunch that they had some technology that was different to today’s western civilization but maybe advanced in some ways. Your comment really piqued my interest. I would hope to see you expand your comment.

      March 21, 2017

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *