History Jonathan Sadowsky discussed the possible social political cause of depression

Depression may not stem from a “chemical imbalance” after all — suggesting the problem is social

Salon: Jonathan Sadowsky, the Theodore J. Castele Professor of Medical History in the Department of History, weighed in on a new study suggesting that depression has a social and political cause. “The finding that there is little or no association between serotonin levels and depression is not a decisive blow against the SSRIs, because medicines should be evaluated primarily on their efficacy, not their theoretical premise,” he said. “The authors of this study propose that the efficacy is based on an amplified placebo effect or blunting of emotion generally. These are possibilities and they should be studied.”