Drugs to treat depression are a scam designed to enrich Big Pharma bosses and keep patients chronically ill, a study has found.
The review, which analysed existing studies, found there is no evidence that depression is caused by low serotonin levels or that depression is caused by a chemical imbalance.
The results of the study calls into question what antidepressants actually do.
Researchers say their findings are groundbreaking as studies show that up to 90% of the public believes that depression is caused by low serotonin or a chemical imbalance.
Metro.co.uk reports: Most antidepressants are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), and were originally said to work by correcting abnormally low serotonin levels.
There is no other accepted way by which antidepressants affect the symptoms of depression.
Lead author Joanna Moncrieff, a professor of psychiatry at UCL is a consultant psychiatrist at North East London NHS Foundation Trust (NELFT).
She said: ‘It is always difficult to prove a negative, but I think we can safely say that after a vast amount of research conducted over several decades, there is no convincing evidence that depression is caused by serotonin abnormalities, particularly by lower levels or reduced activity of serotonin.
‘The popularity of the “chemical imbalance” theory of depression has coincided with a huge increase in the use of antidepressants.
‘Prescriptions for antidepressants have risen dramatically since the 1990s, with one in six adults in England and 2% of teenagers now being prescribed an antidepressant in a given year.’