Dr. Joanna Moncrieff: Debunking the Chemical Imbalance Theory


Dr. Joanna Moncrieff

Dr. Moncrieff is a psychiatrist, researcher, professor, and best-selling author. She is a professor of Critical and Social Psychiatry at University College London and works as a consultant psychiatrist in the NHS in London.

Dr. Moncrieff researches the rational use and understanding of psychiatric drugs and the history, politics, and philosophy of psychiatry more generally. Her books include The Bitterest Pills, The Myth of the Chemical Cure, and A Straight Talking Introduction to Psychiatric Drugs. She is also co-founder of the Critical Psychiatry Network, which consists of a group of psychiatrists from around the world who are skeptical of the idea that mental disorders are simply brain diseases and of the dominance of the pharmaceutical industry.

We talk about…

  • What Dr. Moncrieff believes is the problem with drug treatment
  • How the chemical imbalance theory was turned into a marketing message
  • The downside to believing in the chemical imbalance theory
  • How antidepressants change your brain chemistry
  • How improvement after someone starts taking a psych med is due to a placebo effect 
  • The implications of using antidepressants longterm
  • How antipsychotics help people who are acutely psychotic
  • How we should approach psychosis
  • What you need to know about stopping your mental health medications
  • Why stopping a benzodiazepine can leave you even more anxious than before you started the med

More from Dr. Joanna Moncrieff…

Visit her website

Follow her on Twitter

Buy her books, The Myth of the Chemical Cure, The Bitterest Pills, and A Straight Talking Introduction to Psychiatric Drugs

Even more goodies…

If you loved this episode, you'll also love Episode 24: Psychiatric Drugs and the Rise of Mental Illness with Robert Whitaker.


Ashton Manual Index Page

Harm Reduction Guide to Coming Off Psychiatric Drugs and Withdrawal

Surviving Antidepressants

The Inner Compass Initiative

Stopping Antidepressants


As an Amazon Associate, I earn a commission when you purchase Jenna's book from the link above. Your purchase helps support The Courageously.u Podcast.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.