Book Review: Dr Terry Lynch – “Depression Delusion” (Volume One- The Myth Of The Brain Chemical Imbalance)


I would like to thank Dr. Terry Lynch for forwarding me an advance copy of his book for review :”Depression Delusion” (Volume One, The Myth Of The Brain Chemical Imbalance). I have been honored to get to read it before the general release in September 2015.

The basic premise of Terry’s book is to bury the so called ‘chemical imbalance theory’ once and for all. After reading through the 336 pages of his brilliant ‘depression delusion’ I think I can confidently say that Terry has not only buried the ‘chemical imbalance’ hypothesis but he has also given it its last rites, danced around it merrily at its wake, incinerated it thoroughly in the crematorium, and then plunged its ashen remains to the bottom of the Atlantic ocean. This is the definitive book on ‘the chemical imbalance theory’. It is a game-changer in terms of how people will perceive psychiatric diagnoses, the psychiatric establishment view, and the biological perception of depression. Terry covers literally hundreds of examples of how this fraudulent theory has permeated psychiatry, mental health discourse, patient’s minds (and how they think about their condition) and the mental illness lexicon. Furthermore, when tackling these examples of chemical imbalance absurdity, Terry also completely deconstructs them, tears them up, and then consigns them to the dustbin of pseudo scientific nonsense where they belong.

Terry’s book has been long overdue. This theory needed to be buried. It’s interesting  though that already the psychiatric community is trying to distance itself from its association with the ‘chemical imbalance theory’. It’s a theory which was used prolifically by pharmaceutical companies, GP’s and psychiatrists alike for many years (and it still is used widely), therefore it’s strange to see that some of those in the mental health arena who once embraced, marketed and perpetuated it so readily are now trying to back track and claim otherwise. For an example, of how psychiatry is now trying to re-write its own history, in regards to the chemical imbalance fraud, see these absurd comments recently by the UK head of psychiatry, Prof. Simon Wessely:


“…Top mental health professionals have always known that depression might not be caused by serotonin levels alone, but the public never got the memo. Professor Sir Simon Wessely, President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, says that SSRIs are indeed helpful in the treatment of depression when combined with psychological treatments, but added that “most researchers have long since moved on from the old serotonin model…”

    Simon Wessely seems to saying that this fraudulent, unprovable, pseudo-scientific model for depression treatment was really nothing to be concerned about anyhow, that it’s old hat now and psychiatry has moved on (has he told his patients that? and is he going to make a public announcement or apology?). Not only is the theory itself nonsense, but psychiatry hasn’t moved on and the theory is still being propagated. It is also an insult to all of us who were prescribed SSRI anti-depressants and told by our GP’s and psychs at the time that we had a serotonin deficiency, or our brains didn’t make enough of it, or that we were somehow ‘chemically imbalanced’. In one glib sentence, Simon Wessely dismisses a decades long massive scientific fraud; as if the harm of patients on SSRI’s was merely a kind of blip in the pursuit of bio-markers in psychiatric history. Simon wants to wipe this decades long fraud away and pretend that it was really no big deal after all; as if he doesn’t quite know what the fuss is about. I find this extremely concerning, however, Simon is the UK’s psychiatric figurehead, so perhaps its not too surprising that he would say something so utterly devoid of compassion. I guess the lives of the millions of people who have been duped by pharma and psychiatry over the years just isn’t that important in Wessely’s world.
    Simon also seems to be implying that like lobotomies, ‘homosexuality classified as a psychiatric illness’, and other psychiatric follies, we can now move on from the mistake of the chemical imbalance theory too. I guess we can now look forward to psychiatry’s next experiment on us… thanks Simon, as one of those who was damaged by this folly for over 3 years on Seroxat, I feel much better now knowing that it was all bollocks anyhow, I need not have suffered those horrible Seroxat side effects, because psychiatry has moved on, the theory was nonsense… better luck next time…
…deeply disturbing and disappointing attitude indeed from Simon Wessely..

I would like to thank Terry Lynch though for writing such an incredible work on the ‘chemical imbalance’. Terry is one of the few ethical doctors in the public eye who actually values his patients and doesn’t think that they are merely fodder for psychiatric ‘human experimentation’. He really does care (Simon Wessely take note). I believe that ‘Depression Delusion’ will be a ‘go to’ text in the canon of ‘mental illness literature’ over the coming years and decades, and I also believe Terry’s ‘depression delusion’ will rock the psychiatric establishment to its core. For anyone interested in the dire state of the ‘mental health’ services,  the subjectivity of psychiatric theory (and how it harms not helps patients) how we got here, what needs to be done in the future, and how we need to change things, Terry’s book is essential reading. Highly recommended.


(and I can’t wait to see how its received in the psychiatric arena, and beyond)

terry-lynch-book

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