'The myth of the chemical cure'
Taking a pill to treat depression is widely believed to work by reversing a chemical imbalance.
Dr Joanna Moncrieff
Mental health expert
Medication is a mainstay of mental health therapy
If you've seen a doctor about emotional problems some time over the past 20 years, you may have been told that you had a chemical imbalance, and that you needed tablets to correct it.
It's not just doctors that think this way, either.
Magazines, newspapers, patients' organisations and internet sites have all publicised the idea that conditions like depression, anxiety, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder can be treated by drugs that help to rectify an underlying brain problem.
People with schizophrenia and other conditions are frequently told that they need to take psychiatric medication for the rest of their lives to stabilise their brain chemicals, just like a diabetic needs to take insulin.
The trouble is there is little justification for this view of psychiatric drugs.
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