“Doctors gamble on a cure”

In recent posts I have shared some of what I have come across in the British Newspaper Archive in relation to a search on the word “serotonin”.

I have found that a pattern has emerged. A pattern that seems to match a pattern in the scientific journals (this will feature in future posts).

Up until the time of the “Defeat Depression Campaign” (sponsored by the pharmaceutical industry) serotonin was considered by science to be a neurotransmitter involved in a very wide range of physical and emotional effects: research had found its generalised role in migraines, headaches, gut symptoms, sleep disturbance, vascular, endocrine, and temperature regulation etc etc. In terms of mental effects, scientists had found that Serotonin had an effect on sleep, personality, temperament and impulsivity – including violence and suicide.

Then, in the early 1990s, the SSRIs were patented for depression (soon to be followed by patents for other DSM and ICD mental disorders).

My long-term experience of paroxetine is that the pre-1990 scientific research makes sense.  However, it was not until the SSRI drugs were patented that these effects became “understood” as “side-effects”.

What follows is a small selection of pre-defeat-depression-campaign newspaper reports and headlines [I can provide far more and all dates and full sources]: