精神病學堅信60年的憂鬱症「科學」理論終於被推翻了?

中文新聞稿

公民人權協會(Citizens Commission on Human Rights, 縮寫CCHR)是成立53年的國際組織,專責監督心理衛生領域的醫療人權。日前國際CCHR總部,對世界精神病學協會(WPA)發布一份聲明,敦促旗下的所有精神科醫生,針對任何關於「大腦化學失衡導致精神障礙」的主題,應從網站上刪除。(註1)

因為,就在今年七月(2022),倫敦大學學院的數位資深科學家,回顧了幾十年來發表的 17 項關於「血清素低下會導致一個人憂鬱」的大型研究,結論卻是所有研究都沒有令人信服的證據。這個被精神科宣稱了六十年的「神話」,終於破滅。(註2)國際CCHR 自從1980年代晚期,便一直在揭露這個事實:腦內化學不平衡理論,是精神科沒有科學依據的行銷活動。化學物質失衡的神話唯一的功能,是打開了每年156億美元的全球抗憂鬱劑市場。國際CCHR總裁Jan Eastgate稱讚倫敦大學(UCL)精神科的相關研究,是精神病學研究的里程碑,因為它戳穿了近代史上最大的心理衛生領域的行銷活動之一。

論文主要作者 喬安娜·蒙克里夫教授(Joanna Moncrieff)說:「『化學失衡』的理論很巧合地造成抗憂鬱症藥的大賣。」[2]

雖然該理論可追溯回1950年代,但它在1980年代被運用來發表百憂解,作為「心理治療領域的革命」並且推廣至90多國。到了2005年,全世界超過5400萬人在吃抗憂鬱藥來治療不存在的化學失衡。[3] 到了2016年,這個數字幾乎兩倍成長,達到1億人口數在吃百憂解。

根據CCHR的研究報告,今日美國有驚人的4500萬人在吃抗憂鬱藥,其中2100萬人在17歲以下。

這項發表在《分子精神病學》上的研究稱,公眾被錯誤地引導相信血清素異常或其他生化異常是他們情緒的原因。 抑鬱症是化學失衡的結果這一觀點影響了人們是否服用或繼續服用抗抑鬱藥的决定,“可能會阻擋人們停止治療,可能導致終生依賴這些藥物”。[2]

自1989年以來,在美國準予百憂解後,CCHR已經將這一點向消費者揭露了化學失衡的謊言和傷害。

1991年,CCHR協助發起了食品和藥物管理局(FDA)諮詢小組聽證會,調查百憂解可能導致暴力和自殺行為的證據。 [4]這一發現可能會對新推出的行銷理念產生負面影響,即如果治療抑鬱症的藥物可能會導致暴力,那麼化學失衡會導致抑鬱症。 小組中的精神病醫生與抗抑鬱藥製造商存在利益衝突,拒絕接受證據,這並不奇怪。

“化學失衡”理論可能催生了其他危險的想法,如“血清素缺乏假說”可能是暴力行為的原因,而不是用於治療暴力行為的藥物。 [5]精神病學家和同事繼續拒絕接受抗抑鬱藥會在一些服用者中引發暴力不良反應的證據,而抗抑鬱藥的廣泛使用與學校和社區中無意識暴力行為的新增不謀而合。

2022年2月,聯合國人權專員報告稱,過度依賴精神健康藥物是“實現健康權利的重大障礙”。[6]

化學失衡是最重要的障礙之一。

CCHR臺灣分會(CCHR Taiwan)也敦促臺灣精神醫學會及其成員儘快删除「低血清素導致抑鬱症」的說法和資訊。 因為這些說法沒有科學依據。


Psychiatry’s 60-year-old ‘scientific’ theory of depression finally overturned?

KAOHSIUNG, TAIWAN, September 12, 2022 / — Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) is a 53-year-old international organization, human rights in the field of mental health. Recently International CCHR issued a statement to the World Psychiatric Association (WPA) urging all its psychiatrists to remove from the website any topic of “brain chemistry imbalances leading to mental disorders”. [1]

A landmark study has debunked one of the biggest mental healthcare marketing campaigns in modern history—that a “chemical imbalance in the brain causes depression” requiring antidepressants to correct it. Scientists at the University College London reviewed 17 major studies published over several decades and found no convincing evidence to support the theory. [2] The research confirms what CCHR has been exposing since the late 1980s: the chemical imbalance theory has always been a marketing campaign with no basis in science. The fact is, the chemical imbalance myth has helped drive $15.6 billion-a-year global antidepressant sales. In light of the study’s damning findings, media dubbed this the “$15 billion hustle.”

Lead author Professor Joanna Moncrieff said: “The popularity of the ‘chemical imbalance’ theory has coincided with a huge increase in the use of antidepressants.” [2]

Although the theory dates back to the 1950s, it was used in the late 1980s to launch the first SSRI antidepressant, Prozac (fluoxetine) as the next “revolution in mental health treatment” and was marketed in more than 90 countries. By 2005, more than 54 million people worldwide were taking antidepressants to treat a non-existent chemical imbalance. [3] That figure nearly doubled to 100 million in 2016.

In the U.S. today, an astonishing 45 million Americans of all ages take antidepressants, of which 2.1 million are aged 0-17, per statistics CCHR obtained from IQ Via data tracking.

The study, published in Molecular Psychiatry, says the general public has been falsely led to believe that abnormalities in serotonin or other biochemical abnormalities are responsible for their moods. The idea that depression is the result of a chemical imbalance has influenced people’s decisions about whether to take or continue antidepressants and “may discourage people from discontinuing treatment, potentially leading to lifelong dependence on these drugs.” [2]

Since 1989, following the approval of Prozac in the U.S., CCHR has exposed the chemical imbalance lie and the disservice to consumers who were told this.

In 1991, CCHR helped instigate a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory panel hearing into the evidence that Prozac could induce violent and suicidal behavior. [4] The finding of this had the potential to adversely impact the newly launched marketing of the idea that a chemical imbalance caused depression, if the drugs prescribed to treat it could chemically induce violence. It was not surprising that the psychiatrists on the panel, steeped in conflicts of interests with antidepressant manufacturers, rejected the evidence.

The “chemical imbalance” theory potentially spawned other dangerous ideas such as that the “serotonin deficiency hypothesis” could be responsible for violent behavior—rather than the drugs used to treat it. [5] Psychiatrists and colleagues continued to reject the evidence that antidepressants can induce violent adverse reactions in some people taking them, while wide usage of antidepressants has coincided with increased acts of senseless violence in schools and the community.

In February 2022, the UN Human Rights Commissioner reported that there is an overreliance on mental health drugs which are a “significant obstacle to the realization of the right to health.” [6]

The chemical imbalance lie has been one of the most significant obstacles.

CCHR Taiwan, the Taiwan chapter of CCHR, also urge the Taiwan Psychiatric Association and its members to remove the statements and messages that “low serotonin causes depression” as soon as possible. Because those statements have no scientific basis.

[1] https://www.cchrint.org/2022/08/04/an-open-letter-to-the-world-psychiatric-association/
[2] Joanna Moncrieff, Ruth E. Cooper, Tom Stockmann, Simone Amendola, Michael P. Hengartner and Mark A. Horowitz, “The serotonin theory of depression: a systematic umbrella review of the evidence,” Molecular Psychiatry, 20 July 2022, https://www.nature.com/articles/s41380-022-01661-0
[3] Melissa Braddock, “Prozac: Purpose Antidepressant,” Chemical & Engineering News, 20 June 2005, https://cen.acs.org/articles/83/i25/Prozac.html
[4] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FxJomeak4V4
[5] https://www.reuters.com/article/us-serotonin/serotonin-levels-affect-brains-response-to-anger-idUSTRE78E6D420110915https://www.news-medical.net/health/Serotonin-and-Aggression.aspx
[6] Annual report of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and reports of the Office of the High Commissioner and the Secretary-General, 49th session, 28 Feb.–1 Apr. 2022


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