Over the past several decades the phrase "Chemical Imbalance" has become a household term that has evolved into the preconceived concept of a brain disease that is directly responsible for depression and psychological disorders. Obviously, no one would come to this conclusion without a little persuasion from the psychiatric community, pharmaceutical companies, or the media! But, what exactly is a chemical imbalance and how does it play a role in addictive behavior? First let's clarify the fact that there isn't a pathological test to diagnose a chemical imbalance. So, if you can't test for it, how does one confirm that it even exists?
Well, to be honest it's purely hypothetical in nature! That's right! There is absolutely NO clinical evidence that supports this theory let alone that it is responsible for depression or addiction. The chemical imbalance theory was created in the early sixties when a group of prominent psychiatrists conducted a research study using various psychoactive and hallucinogenic drugs including the likes of LSD. There conclusion is as follows: The study confirmed that the drugs tested do in fact alter the chemical balance and structure of the brain. Therefore, any abnormality in psychological and emotional behavior must be contributed to a chemical brain imbalance!!!! To most onlookers this conclusion flies in the face of basic common sense and questions the very intention of the researchers. Ironically, anti-depressant usage has more than tripled over the past two decades. Coincidence!! You decide!!
So, how does chemical brain imbalance play a role in addiction? Well, most inpatient and outpatient addiction treatments employ cognitive behavioral therapy which exposes the addicted person to psychotherapy, and quite frequently a chemical imbalance diagnosis. When a clinician diagnoses a patient with a chemical imbalance, in my opinion, he/or she arrives at that conclusion purely by speculation which is based on the above-mentioned hypothesis. None the less, many people including those that suffer from addiction are immediately tagged with a chemical imbalance diagnosis! It is no secret that the majority of all addicted people do suffer from depression; however, it is preposterous to claim it is caused by a chemical imbalance. The National Institute on Drug Abuse continues to push the addiction brain disease theory to the tune of billions of dollars, and they present hundreds of CT Scans demonstrating the effects of drugs on brain chemistry. No one can dispute the fact that drugs are mind altering drugs, but the (NIDA) has failed to present one single shred of evidence to demonstrate that a chemical imbalance is the root cause of a person's addictive behavior.
In my opinion, depression and addiction are directly related to self-esteem issues. These issues are propagated by the family dysfunctions control, abuse, alcoholism, and part-time parenting. Experience has taught me that these dysfunctions are generally at the root of the emotional pain that is responsible for addiction and depression. Therefore, the key to beating addiction and depression is to liberate oneself from the dysfunction that caused it and to restore self esteem through empowerment.
The Addiction Freedom Coach