While a great deal of the excitement about advances in psychological treatments comes from the potential for research in neuroscience to unlock the secrets of the brain, many mental health experts would like to temper this enthusiasm. A special issue of the Behavior Therapist released this month calls into question the predominant conception of mental illnesses as brain disorders.
A new study, published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry, found no link between genetics and the occurrence of depressive symptoms.
Attempting to locate the mechanisms of psychiatric disorder is a step in the wrong direction and fails to challenge potentially unjust social practices.
The candidate-gene approach to depression goes unsupported and is likely based on bad science, new research finds.
In recent months, two teams of researchers in the UK and the US published complementary findings about the epigenetic origins of schizophrenia that have scientific communities who indulge in ‘genetic conspiracy theories’ abuzz. While these results are intriguing, and no doubt involve pathbreaking research methodologies, this line of thought represents a decontextualized understanding both of the symptoms that are typically associated with schizophrenia, and their causes.
The postmodern zeitgeist of the past few decades encourages us to believe that we can endlessly reinvent ourselves untethered to our human biology. But the explosion of research on the microbiome reminds us that we are deeply embedded in an ecosystem that lives within us and around us, without which we cannot survive.
A large and rigorous meta-analysis fails to find support for the gene-environment interaction theory of depression.
The conventional Western classification systems of health conditions are based on flawed science shaped by reductionist, hierarchical, and profit-driven ideologies. THEN wants to create a new paradigm built upon principles drawn from systems science, the life course perspective, developmental neurobiology, and other evidence-informed studies.
A new study suggests that epigenetic changes that have been associated with trauma may actually be due to environmental toxins.
Neuroscientific results that class humans into two categories, “male” and “female,” tend to reify gender stereotypes by giving them the appearance of objective scientific truth.
Structural competency in psychiatry emphasizes the social factors shaping patient presentations and encourages physician advocacy.
In this article I will attempt to debunk one of the great “scientific” smoke and mirrors shows of the past half century—the claim that stories of reunited separated MZ (monozygotic, identical) twin pairs indicate that heredity plays a major role in causing human behavioral differences. These stories, which are often used to sell the false ideology of genetic determinism, have entered the public imagination in a way that academic research results never could. Here I will show that these stories provide no evidence whatsoever that (as yet undiscovered) “genes for behavior” influence human behavioral development.
Biologists found that exposure to antidepressants suppresses important survival behaviors in zebrafish, an effect that persisted across three generations and was found to be more severe for males.
A recent commentary by Ganesan Venkatasubramanian and Matcheri Keshavan notes that efforts to identify biomarkers in people diagnosed with psychiatric disorders have been overwhelmingly...
Study uncovers some of the intergenerational consequences of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs).
A letter just published in JAMA Psychiatry suggests that “precision psychiatry” is not the paradigm shift it’s purported to be by the psychiatric establishment.
Researchers experimenting on mice found that exposure to fluoxetine (Prozac) in utero resulted in behaviors considered in animal studies to be analogous to autism in humans.
The daughters of children evacuated from Finland during World War II show an increased number of psychiatric hospitalizations.
The March 3rd, 2016 edition of the Wall Street Journal featured an article by past President of the American Psychiatric Association (APA) Jeffrey Lieberman and his colleague, computational neuroscientist Ogi Ogas. The article was entitled “Genetics and Mental Illness—Let’s Not Get Carried Away.” In their piece, the authors started by expressing the belief that a recent study identified a gene that causes schizophrenia, and then discussed whether it is desirable or possible to remove allegedly pathological genes in the interest of creating a future “mentally perfect society.” The authors of the article, like many previous textbook authors, seem unfamiliar with the questionable “evidence” put forward by psychiatry as proof that its disorders are “highly heritable” In fact, DSM-5 Task Force Chair David Kupfer admitted that “we’re still waiting” for the discovery of “biological and genetic markers” for psychiatric disorders.
“Overall, this study showed that the information and awareness campaign had almost no significant effects on the general public's attitudes toward people affected by either schizophrenia or depression,” the researchers, led by German medical sociologist Anna Makowski, wrote. “One could assume that deeply rooted convictions cannot be modified by rather time-limited and general activities targeted at the public.”
Direct-to-consumer (DTC) genetic testing has an “alarmingly high” 40% false-positive rate.
In this blog post, Dale M. Kushner explains how the field of epigenetics can illustrate the role of ancestral and transgenerational trauma in shaping our...
Acknowledging that current depression treatments are failing many people, researchers from Michigan State and MIT have developed a new model for understanding how multiple psychological, biological, social and environmental factors contribute to depression.
Researchers recently completed a first of its kind, large-scale international survey of attitudes about mental health and they were surprised by the results. According to their analysis published in this month’s issue of the Journal of Affective Disorders, people in developed countries, like the United States, are more likely to assume that ‘mental illnesses’ are similar to physical illnesses and biological or genetic in origin, but they are also much less likely to think that individuals can overcome these challenges and recover
Studies of modern Native Americans have shown that “historical trauma,” the name that social workers give to the perception of historical loss passed down through...