Tom Cruise does not understand depression: “There is no such thing as a chemical imbalance.”

September 1, 2014

Mental Health

“There is no such thing as a chemical imbalance.”

-Tom Cruise talking with Matt Lauer about Brooke Shields’ use of medication to treat postpartum depression. 

Please remember that Tom Cruise is a celebrity, not a doctor. While he may have amazing acting skills, it does not make him an expert in a medical field. Chemical imbalances do exist, and medical research has shown that medications developed through clinical trials can help treat symptoms of mental illness.

The American Psychiatric Association replied with the following:

“It is irresponsible for Mr Cruise to use his movie publicity tour to promote his own ideological views and deter people with mental illness from getting the care they need.”

– APA president Dr Steven Sharfstein

One overlooked statement from this interview:

“Here we are today, where I talk out against drugs and psychiatric abuses of electric shocking people, okay, against their will, of drugging children with them not knowing the effects of these drugs.” 

Tom Cruise does not understand how electroshock therapy works. It is not simply torturous electrocution of mental patients. 

Here is a definition by the Mayo Clinic staff:

“Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is a procedure in which electric currents are passed through the brain, intentionally triggering a brief seizure. ECT seems to cause changes in brain chemistry that can quickly reverse symptoms of certain mental illnesses. It often works when other treatments are unsuccessful.”

Note that patients are almost always anesthetized and do not suffer during the procedure, which is done with the patient’s consent.

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About jslachman381

I'm a Yale graduate who majored in History of Science, Medicine, and Public Health.

View all posts by jslachman381


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4 Comments on “Tom Cruise does not understand depression: “There is no such thing as a chemical imbalance.””

  1. The Elephant in the Room Says:

    What a shame that someone who is so popular in the public eye could talk that way, this is surely going to deter people who were skeptical about getting help for their mental illness 😦 how sad.



    • jslachman381 Says:

      Thank you for your comment! One of my relatives became impoverished and nearly homeless after he discontinued his medication, and so I felt personally compelled to point out this celebrity’s misguided lecture.

      Liked by 2 people


  2. blahpolar Says:

    Zomg what a fuckwit.



  3. elizabetcetera Says:

    Wow! It’s both amazing and sad that you are able to post about an ignorant figure on just about a daily basis. What does this say about our country?



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