Reporting the Collapse of Depression Research is a Terrible Idea

Dr. Munr Kazmir
4 min readAug 16, 2022

Why responsible media outlets must do it anyway.

Photo by Myriam Zilles on Unsplash

After several rolling news-weeks filled with enough shocking revelations and events to populate an entire issue of the Weekly World News, most casual news readers might have missed the recent bombshell about SSRIs and depression.

“No evidence that depression is caused by low serotonin levels, finds comprehensive review,reported Science Daily on July 20, 2022.

The University College London found: “After decades of study, there remains no clear evidence that serotonin levels or serotonin activity are responsible for depression, according to a major review of prior research led by UCL scientists.”

“The new umbrella review- an overview of existing meta-analyses and systemic reviews- published by Molecular Psychiatry, suggests that depression is not likely caused by a chemical imbalance, and calls into question what antidepressants do,” the University College London reported.

“Most anti-depressants are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) which were originally said to work by correcting abnormally low serotonin levels,” the study admitted. “There is no other accepted pharmacological mechanism by which antidepressants affect the symptoms of depression.”

Why then do these drugs appear to help so many patients struggling with depression?

The authors of this new study believe the reason to be…placebo.

The placebo effect is something else scientists and medical professionals still can’t explain. Why placebos work on the human brain is one of the near-infinite mysteries science has yet to solve.

We may yet get an answer, however. There are hopeful signs, including the fact that we’ve managed to map the human genome, something scientists insisted only 20 years ago would never be possible during the lifetime of any human currently living.

The human brain, its many intricacies, its uniqueness in the animal kingdom, its evolutionary development, remains quite a cipher. Even the location of the human brain is a question neuroscientists and neurobiologists are struggling to answer.