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Humanist, humorist

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Barends Psychology Practice: The Chemical Imbalance Debate





Located in Ljubljana, Slovenia, Barends Psychology Practice brings together an international team of licensed psychologists offering a range of treatments both face-to-face and online. Our peaceful, friendly practice is an ideal setting where you’ll feel safe and confident to explore your mental health and emotional issues.

Face to face therapy: 

First session is free of charge.

Individual session of 45 – 60 mins.: € 45

Couples session of 45 – 60 mins.: € 45

Online therapy fees:

First session is free of charge.

Individual session of 45 – 60 mins.: € 45

Couples session of 45 – 60 mins.: € 45

Here's what they say about depression and the chemical imbalance.

"...depression and depression symptoms can be caused and triggered by a chemical imbalance in the brains." (Source)

So, I asked for proof of this dangerous claim.














In essence, Niels Barends, who is the owner of Barends Psychology Practice, wants proof that the chemical imbalance theory (he claimed) can be disproven. Isn't this like saying, I saw a tooth fairy last night and it's up to you to prove that I didn't?

Furthermore, Barends is claiming that he is not  a "big fan of medication" yet by touting the chemical imbalance nonsense he is showing his patients that they have something wrong in their brains. Remember, a chemical imbalance is, apparently, something that can be corrected by medication. Just pick up any patient information leaflet for any antidepressant if you don't believe me.

Barends Psychology Practice may or may not recommend antidepressant therapy. If they don't then how do they plan to change the apparent chemcal imbalance inside someone's brain?

This is basically like talking to a spirit level (pictured above) and telling it that you want the surface to be flat and not uneven.

A counsellor applying no logic is, in my opinion, a dangerous one.

Here's some constructive advice for all those who ply their trade at Barends Psychology Practice. It's an article from MastersInCounseling.org, an informational tool for students who may want to enroll in a program to obtain a master’s degree in counseling. The article, entitled, "Why Counselors Must Think Critically", highlights how there is a difference between personal opinion and reasoned thought, or critical thinking. Something, it appears, that Niels Barends is lacking in.

The aticle clearly states, "Critical thinking skills require not only a knowledge of logic, including how to avoid logical fallacies that lead to unsupported conclusions."

Enjoy sir.

Bob Fiddaman

Experts who Debunk the Chemical Imbalance Theory

 “Chemical imbalance? Well, it’s a shorthand term really, it’s probably drug-industry derived, I suppose. But it’s the idea that there are really abnormalities in the neurotransmitters … in our brains. And we don’t have the test, because to do it you’d probably have to take a chunk of brain out of someone, not a good idea. We have some blood tests that help a few things, such as lithium levels and other things we use for therapeutic drugs. But I agree, there aren’t any blood tests.” ~ Marc Graff, Psychiatrist and spokesman for the American Psychiatric Association

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 “To date, studies have failed to demonstrate that people with the commonest psychiatric diagnoses have a brain-biochemical imbalance. The studies on all the main diagnostic categories of psychiatry are plagued by a significant problem: the people being tested have almost always already received psychotropic medication, so if there is a blood, brain or liver disorder, this may have been caused by the treatment. Physical tests on people diagnosed, but not yet treated, in the psychiatric system, would be the only way to find out if there were a difference between these people and the general public. This never happens, as most people first encounter a GP who, instead of asking for blood and other tests to demonstrate a psychiatric condition, simply prescribes a psychotropic drug or refers on to a psychiatrist.” ~ Craig Newnes, Clinical Psychologist

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“Psychiatrists have no way of telling that someone has a chemical imbalance. The idea that depression is caused by a chemical imbalance is simply a hypothesis. There is no consistent evidence that there is any biochemical abnormality in people diagnosed as depressed. The idea has been promoted by drug companies and professional organisations, but the evidence base for it is almost non existent.”  Prof. Joanna Moncrieff

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“There is no test for depression.  Our understanding of the brain is simply not sophisticated enough.”  ~ Dr Jim Bolton, Lecturer in Psychiatry, St. George’s Hospital, London

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“There’s no biological imbalance. When people come to me and they say, ‘I have a biological imbalance,’ I say, ‘Show me your lab tests.’ There are no lab tests. So what’s the biochemical imbalance?” Dr. Ron Leifer, New York psychiatrist

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“If a psychiatrist says you have a shortage of a chemical, ask for a blood test and watch the psychiatrist’s reaction. The number of people who believe that scientists have proven that depressed people have low serotonin is a glorious testament to the power of marketing.” ~ Jonathan Leo, associate professor of anatomy at Western University of Health Sciences

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“Despite the billions of pharmaceutical company funding in support of the chemical imbalance theory, this psychiatric “disease” model is thoroughly debunked. Diabetes is a biochemical imbalance. However, “the definitive test and biochemical imbalance is a high blood sugar balance level. Treatment in severe cases is insulin injections, which restore sugar balance. The symptoms clear and retest shows the blood sugar is normal,” Nothing like a sodium imbalance or blood sugar imbalance exists for depression or any other psychiatric syndrome.” ~ Joseph Glenmullen of Harvard Medical School

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“First, no biological etiology [cause] has been proven for any psychiatric disorder…in spite of decades of research.…So don’t accept the myth that we can make an ‘accurate diagnosis’.…Neither should you believe that your problems are due solely to a chemical imbalance.” ~ Edward Drummond, M.D., Associate Medical Director at Seacoast Mental Health Center in Portsmouth, New Hampshire

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 “Remember that no biochemical, neurological, or genetic markers have been found for attention deficit disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, depression, schizophrenia, anxiety, compulsive alcohol and drug abuse, overeating, gambling, or any other so‐called mental illness, disease, or disorder.” ~ Psychologist Bruce Levine, Ph.D

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“People are convinced that the origins of mental illnesses are to be found in biology, when, despite more than three decades of research, there still is no proof…The absences of any well‐defined physical causation is reflected in the absence of any laboratory tests for psychiatric diagnoses—much in contrast to diabetes and many other physical disorders.” ~ Charles E. Dean, M.D

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“There are no tests available for assessing the chemical status of a living person’s brain.” ~ Elliot Valenstein, Ph.D.

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“Patients have been diagnosed with ‘chemical imbalances’ despite the fact that no test exists to support such a claim, and...there is no real conception of what a correct chemical balance would look like.” ~ Psychiatrist David Kaiser

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“Biopsychiatrists have created the myth that psychiatric ‘wonder’ drugs correct chemical imbalances. Yet there is no basis for this model because no chemical imbalance has ever been proven to be the basis of a mental illness,” ~ Ty C. Colbert, a clinical psychologist.

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“The whole theory was invented to push drugs. “The way to sell drugs is to sell psychiatric illness.” Carl Elliot, a bioethicist, University of Minnesota.

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“For the past twenty-five years, the psychiatric establishment has told us a false story. It told us that schizophrenia, depression, and bipolar illness are known to be brain diseases, even though—as the MindFreedom hunger strike revealed—it can’t direct us to any scientific studies that document this claim. It told us that psychiatric medications fix chemical imbalances in the brain, even though decades of research failed to find this to be so. It told us that Prozac and the other second-generation psychotropics were much better and safer than the first-generation drugs, even though the clinical studies had shown no such thing. Most important of all, the psychiatric establishment failed to tell us that the drugs worsen long-term outcomes.”  ~  Robert Whitaker, Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America

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“The idea that depression is caused by low levels of serotonin and that certain antidepressants raise the levels of this neurotransmitter, is a myth.”  ~  Professor David Healy, professor of psychiatry and author

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“The only biochemical imbalances in the brains of those who see a psychiatrist … are those that are put in there by a psychiatrist.”  ~  Peter R. Breggin, Psychiatrist & MD

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“The world is engulfed in a mass delusion regarding depression.  The widespread belief that brain chemical imbalances are present in depression has no scientific basis.  In fact, this is a fixed belief that meets all the criteria of a mass delusion.  If you are one of the millions of people who believe that biochemical brain imbalances are known to occur in depression, then you too have become seriously misinformed.” ~ Dr. Terry Lynch - DEPRESSION DELUSION, Volume One: The Myth of the Brain Chemical Imbalance

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“The one thing we do know is that the chemical imbalance theory - the theory that people get depressed when they don't have enough serotonin in their brain - we know that that's wrong.  ~ Irving Kirsch, Associate Director of the Program in Placebo Studies and a lecturer in medicine at the Harvard Medical School

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“Both depression and anxiety disorders, for example, are repeatedly described in the media as 'chemical imbalances in the brain,' as if spontaneous neural events with no relation to anything outside a person's brain cause depression and anxiety.”  ~ Siri Hustvedt, American novelist and essayist






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