In a paper from The Behavior Therapist, two psychologists argue that portraying mental disorders as biological diseases can hinder recovery by making patients feel less in-control. Read More
. . . because of what some people believe, without trying to change their beliefs by showing them the science?
Is this kind of wrongheadedness a disease?
I agree with you that we shouldn't lie to people, but unfortunately, we've all been lied to quite a bit already. The author was actually pretty mild in saying that there isn't proof that mental illness is biological. There is increasing proof that it isn't. The "serotonin imbalance" theory of depression was substantially disproven back in the early 1980s. Same for the "dopamine theory" for psychosis. The most recent test of genetic risk factors for psychosis showed that those with the supposed risk factors were LESS likely to become psychotic than those that didn't have them.
There is no reason to believe that mental illnesses are entirely or primarily brain diseases. There is plenty of reason to believe that "mental illnesses" are merely a description of sets of annoying or difficult behavior or emotions that may have a wide range of causes, biological, psychological and spiritual. "Showing them the science" would only convince anyone who understands science that we have no idea whatsoever what causes "mental illness" or even whether or not they are "illnesses" at all.
. . . almost 30 years ago was much more than ANNOYING.
But I do find this pussy footing over whether it's a disease or not extremely annoying.
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Katherine Sharpe is the author of Coming of Age on Zoloft.
When and how should we open up to loved ones?