Showing 100 of 198 comments.
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Sounds fascinating; I think there needs to be some marriage of the psychoanalytic and neuroscientific perspectives which doesn’t regress into medicalization; I just wish the book didn’t cost >$100 at Amazon.com!
The problem with that theory, once you get to know the reality of some people diagnosed with schizophrenia, their perceptions aren’t necessarily wrong.
Sorry to hear, you deserve better.
The tragedy is that she probably could have gotten better care at one-tenth the cost if there had been a crisis respite facility in her area.
Sad that she passed, maybe even sadder that someone like this is so unique that they need to be written about this way (shouldn’t all counselors be like this?).
The mind is stronger than just chemicals in the brain, what a surprise (not).
I’m actually a huge critic of genetic research, my comment (which I didn’t make very clear) was that proponents of favoring environmental variables sometimes extend their beliefs into realms where it doesn’t apply, specifically gender (yes gender roles are overly rigid in Western society but the radical egalitarianism born of popular movements during the modern era does not fit with the genders, insofar as equality is defined as sameness).
Eventually people need to start realizing that the “blank slate-radical environmentalist” position has its own socioeconomic agenda just like reactionary elites (the latter want to preserve their privilege, the former require a philosophical-scientific basis for deconstructing “to the manor born” ideals so they can seize power for themselves).
Well if they’re well-treated and allowed to socialize normally with other monkeys there’s nothing inherently malevolent about simply watching them learn is there?
Interesting article, although I thought there was going to be more on how the program ended (defunded by proxies for biopsychiatry?)
You are right.
I don’t think you really read or understood the article, it’s critiquing how the diagnosis of PTSD has been used and taken over by vested interests similar to what you are saying.
My impression was that many 12-step groups don’t approve of psychotropic drugs because they see them as another form of substance abuse though?
Also, the “advancement” from labeling something like alcoholism a disease rather than a moral failing is that it allows the person to externalize blame and thereby avoid the trap of constantly accusing the self and/or finding fault with themselves.
I’ve never heard that ADs “cause” alcoholism, do you have references for this? I don’t think it’s ever as clear as saying one thing causes a complex behavioral phenomenon like alcoholism anyway.
In those cases it sounds like it would obviously not be recommended.
Crisis respite houses, mental health courts and deescalation training for all LE!
I think it depends on who is funding the campaign, I agree with your description if it’s coming from Big Pharma but there are consumer groups like NAMI who genuinely believe in what they’re doing, for better or worse.
Individualism is not automatically at odds with mental health, in fact something like “building character” could be seen as a very individualistic endeavor. (There are just as many people who abuse substances in collectivistic societies, I would guess).
(I agree that awareness campaigns are largely symbolic but “individualized” treatment isn’t a bad thing, this just means tailoring solutions to people instead of imposing cookie-cutter solutions; it’s not simply defining all pathology as purely personal. [I’m with you 100% things like supported housing, peer support, etc.]).
Agree that “awareness” campaign feel hollow and meaningless to me, but I also noticed a subtly Marxian assumption that the antidote (and opposite) is simply improved material conditions…yes having a better job with better wages and benefits and less stress would help a lot of people’s mental health, but it’s not the only way (there could be direct government involvement in a way that actually helps–crisis respite houses, Soteria houses for longer-term issues, peer support training and groups, supported housing and employment, etc.).
I’m not sure of how you then prove the existence of said “recording process”, or well-done studies that have shown participants remembering things they were not previously conscious of (how is that tested? Maybe they simply forgot they were conscious of them previously, for example.)
Agree 100%. The problem lies, in my opinion, with 1) those who uncritically adopt the medical model thinking it makes them humanitarian and enlightened to do so, 2) the implicit Calvinism in Anglo-American culture; it always seems to find a way to reframe things in moralistic and punitive ways, and 3) regnant neoliberalism, which always seems to favor technological solutions which can be monetized.
Seems promising, gets rid of the rigidity of the categorical approach which overly reifies the linguistic trap of saying someone “has” a (singular) mental disorder.
The argument is that remembering and recording are not as separate you are saying.
I don’t know what methodology was used; they could have asked participants to indicate which images they remembered by pointing to them, for example.
The research is there, you’re free to believe whatever you want (or not).
If you reread the article you’ll see that it references studies that show people from different cultures recognize different objects, outside the medium of language.
That’s a different argument then (“wokeness” *is* different from cultural relativism) and we’ll have to agree to disagree if you think culture is irrelevant.
I was making a point, if people are spiritual beings but still need language, then why would they also not need other facets of culture to understand one another?
I think most psychological research nowadays (could be wrong but that’s my impression) shows that memory and interpretation of experience are virtually the same thing, and that memories can be easily manipulated (both created and expunged, and not just in “ordinary people”).
While any movement or ideology can be misused by some of its proponents, that doesn’t automatically negate its underlying principles.
In any case it still doesn’t make any sense in reference to this article, as it’s merely about how certain cultural values and/or practices influence the formation of memories (and only references DSM diagnoses in the context of saying how people are more likely to get diagnosed when their style of mnemonic focus conflicts with their host society’s).
That is not “woke”, “woke” would be saying that the Western way is inferior/defective; the author never does that or implies that it should be done.
(But I agree that pushing cultural sensitivity doesn’t mean the pseudo-scientific nature of the medical model should be overlooked, in fact I think that the DSM should itself simply be seen as a cultural artifact.)
I think Nietzsche once said something like: “When historically accurate memory and self-image collide, self-image wins.”
I don’t think you understood the article; it had virtually nothing to do with the DSM.
I wasn’t being.
How are you defining Western civilization? (Religious or secular? Most psychologists are not religious I would imagine. Also, nowadays most psychologists might be more on the side of *over*reporting child abuse [think of the false memory syndrome in California in the 1990s]). (I agree with you that we should not be exporting biopsychopharamcology to the rest of the world.)
The article lists several examples of how memory works differently depending on the participants’ cultural background and it has nothing to do with “wokeness”.
To your point, if people are spiritual beings not tied to any individual culture, could you (re)write your comment in such a way that it can be understood by all humans and is not tied to any specific language?
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Interesting, especially the part about people with PTSD and whether their culture was more individualistic or collectivistic.
“Because if matter can exist in paradox: a particle & a wave…”
In this particular case I think you’re talking about light not matter, and the shortcoming may lie in the conceptual categories (particle vs. wave, some physicists have begun using the portmanteau “wavicle” for this reason).
Of what, common sense? Most people think that humid air is heavier than dry air, for example (it’s not, it’s lighter).
Many psychiatrists do like to prescribe drugs for life, but that’s not the same thing as “killing a cure”. And it’s not really doctors that are inventing diseases or at-risk categories/syndromes, it’s the pharmaceutical companies.
(And don’t get me started on people who claim to have cures for everything; it’s a fallacy to believe someone is honest just because they’re mistreated by the mainstream.)
(But I agree the system needs a reboot and is wholly too focused on profiteering.)
I agree that psychiatry needs to be much more transparent about its shortcomings, I’m just also asserting that the methods of the natural sciences may never be adequate to understand/explain human beings and their experiences.
Science is often scientism in reality but common sense is also full of fallacies.
I agree that science has been way overextended to areas where it doesn’t belong, but saying “nothing is science” makes no sense.
I don’t understand why anyone continues to fall for physicalist treatments for psychological disorders (this drug isn’t addictive, this treatment has no long-term side effects, etc. etc.)
I’m saying it’s not really realistic to ever have a “workable technology” that controls/predict human behavior 100% of the time.
I’m not sure that the rest of medicine takes its cue from psychiatry, traditionally the rest of medicine does not even consider psychiatry to be a real medical (sub)field.
Also I think the big money is not really is “killing” (or failing to develop) cures for diseases (you would actually become rich and famous for curing them) but rather inventing and/or creating disease categories which are chronic and uncurable to begin with (e.g., defining people as “at-risk” for developing diabetes and prescribing them preventive pills). (Almost everyone is “at risk” for multiple disorders, part of being alive means you’re at risk of dying lol.)
These criticisms do apply in other fields but in other parts of medicine that there is a much stronger element of external validity compared to psychology; also other fields are not as inherently difficult to fit into an empirical model, nor do they tend to have as many confounding variables.
Even quantum science nowadays acknowledges that there is no such thing as neutral-free observation, even of things like atoms and quarks.
Why should it be possible? Human beings are not things in the same way that circuits are.
I’m not a huge fan of CBT but it’s not simply “trying to reason with people to change their behaviors”, at least not when done by a skilled practitioner (but I agree that there is an irreducible element of mystery to life and people, although I’m not sure parapsychology would be my first choice of dealing with it at that level.)
My sense is that most universities list it as a social science, not as part of the humanities (and many people in psychology try to pretend it has the same external validity as something like physics or math).
(The problem is not that there is anything wrong with the sciences, but with a fish that claims to be a bird.)
Maybe the difference comes down to what you see as primary objective of psychology–if it is to understand (predict/describe) human behavior you are correct.
If it is to help people in psychological distress, I don’t know if the natural science model of so-called objective observation is appropriate.
At the same time, it’s debatable whether the methods of natural science should even be applied to human beings and experiences in the first place–so it doesn’t matter how “authentically scientific” psychology becomes, it’s never the right tool for the job.
Sounds about right, genetic determinism is a pseudo-scientific myth that people hold on to because it gives them the illusion of certainty/predictability/control/etc.
Those who remove meaning, context and/or experience remind me of when I was taking Intro to Psych and the prof said that pain was an electrical impulse that gets transmitted to the brain at certain times…I wondered, has anyone who has ever caught their hand in a door, torn ligaments or had their nose broken experienced it as “an electrical signal travelling to their brain”?
At the same time you can’t deny the successes that have occurred in the material world as a result of positivism (nuclear power, going to the moon, the Internet, etc.)
Just looking at the positivism in psychiatry by itself is overly narrow; it takes its cue from larger society just as Freud’s mechanistic model was derived in part from the dominant paradigms of the Industrial Era.
ok np, in retrospect i’m not even sure myself if my argument about the abuse of power being the issue rather than simply holding power over others is 100% accurate (but i would dispute the notion that suicide, or at least highly self-destructive behavior, did not exist in so-called indigenous societies).
It’s unbelievable to me how people in the field themselves admit it’s bogus but the average “layperson-expert” will call you crazy (or worse a Scientologist) if you raise these points…
Just not in so many words.
Well they can also point to things like lobotomies (aka psycho-surgery) and ECT, unfortunately.
I agree, but psychiatrists and so-called scientists will engage in endless double-talk about things like “clinical efficacy” and “known unknowns” until they are blue in the face.
To paraphrase Mark Twain, don’t expect someone to admit the truth if their ability to earn a paycheck depends on them denying it.
Knowing a relationship exists between two variables doesn’t mean the exact nature of all the relationships is known, especially between two large and complex phenomena such as poverty and mental illness.
I have no sympathy for someone who thinks treatment consists solely in prescribing drugs, especially to children, so I’m with you on that.
Your post is wrong at so many levels I don’t where to start. (Do you think there’s no relationship between poverty and mental health, or that the U.S. supplies all its citizens with clean water?)
Not only that, but it’s arguable that if and when psychiatry does discover anything empirical about our brains, then by definition it falls under the purview of neurology. Ergo, psychiatry is the field of medical science that addresses things that *aren’t* known by definition.
They listen like lawyers listen, they pay attention but they’re filtering everything you say into whether it fits into a certain set of very narrow criteria as to whether it means anything.
They’re not even peering inside people’s minds, they’re peering inside people’s brains (or at least trying to) and then acting like the brain and the mind are the same thing.
What do you mean? If getting reducing radical reductionism means getting rid of scientistic fallacies that undergird the entire biopsychiatric structure it goes a long ways towards deconstructing the very notion of mental illness itself (of course in practice the industry will continue to hang on and fight back).
A small number of people do seem to benefit from them although the reason may be psychological rather than biochemical; in general it’s like Mark Twain said, don’t count on someone to tell the truth if their ability to earn an income depends on the truth not getting out.
Yes, if it’s done in a way which overgeneralizes from one aspect of their being.
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Why would they? Did the author propose an “either-or” schema?
I didn’t understand the point of this article beyond perhaps saying that abolishing biopsychiatry in favor of purely psychosocial approaches may itself be reductionistic…if things like neuroscience want to be integrated into the new paradigm(s) then they need to prove themselves first, and anecdotal and/or correlational “evidence” doesn’t count.
Sounds about right, when Thomas Insel stepped down as the head of the NIMH in 2015 he admitted that despite spending around twenty billion dollars on brain research during the thirteen years he was in charge they did not improve one measured outcome in mental health in any significant way.
Are you trying to be ironic when you talk about genetics? Deconstructing one scientistic fallacy by introducing another doesn’t make much sense.
(Anyway the problem is not simply one group holding power over another, it’s the abuse of that power that makes it a problem.)
The brain and the mind are not the same thing.
Also it’s extremely difficult to move to a new society as an adult and completely internalize all the unspoken rules–someone who grew up in the U.K. and moved to Poland (as an adult) might feel similarly bound by the myriad things they’re just “supposed to know”.
The West conquered the rest of the world using the methods of the natural sciences; it’s going to continue using them *directed* against its own people until they destroy themselves or a better way is found.
Or limited to something like pharmaco-neurobiology?
The worst are “enlightened” liberals who think they are being humanistic by adopting a (patronizing) medical model.
Actually many forms of religion are flourishing, such as Roman Catholicism in Africa.
Don’t let your secularist-supremacist biases delude you.
Depends what you mean by “treatable”.
My prediction is that the old wine in new bottles already exists; it’s called neuroscience.
At the same time it’s difficult to address the subject in any other way as most if not all of the terms normally used for it derive from a medical model.
This along with things like weeding out certain participants preemptively, fudging the statistical calculations and publication bias, all mean that the professional literature should be taken with a giant grain of salt.
Perhaps human beings need to be studied using different methods (or not “studied” at all), or the entire field of mental health needs to be reconceptualized away from its current rationalist-individualist-biomedical paradigm(s).
Most people “shade the truth” I think…does that make them “liars”? Maybe.
Maybe human beings cannot be studied the way objects can, and all a researcher can do is present his or her theory and let people decide if they want to engage it–no more talk of “evidence-based”.
At the same time I’m not even sure being “evidence-based” is something psychology should shoot for…human beings are so complex they may not be amenable to the same kind of epistemological methodologies that are used for thing like chemicals, bacteria, and so on.
I agree but to be clear psychotherapy is nowadays 100x more the purview of psychology rather than psychiatry.
Excellent article; there are many things wrong with this analogy.
P.S. I think you meant “reifies” rather than “ratifies”? just fyi
Do you know about ISEPP? Maybe you don’t need to be hidden in the shadows as much as you think.
The phrase “necessary but not sufficient” comes to mind.
Give them some credit, those aren’t the arguments they use, rather it’s that high prices and patenting “me too” drugs are necessary to fund further research (even though most if not all of them spend more on advertising than they do on R&D–so why not undo the legalization of DTC [direct to consumer advertising]; they would save all that money and suffer no comparative disadvantage because it would still be a level playing field for all of them).
Sounds good to me–schizophrenia is the biggest label bomb out there methinks–Japan dropped the terms years ago iirc.
Which ones would you choose?
That seems too high though, the author’s figure seems impossible (3 out of 10 Australians take antipsychotics?)
Yes I don’t think these myths have been debunked in the public’s mind at all.
To me it sounds like you’re just covering up your own pain by denying its personal component and focusing exclusively on social justice issues.
In Fighter’s defense there is an irreducible quality to the interpersonal nature of reality, as well as power being at the heart of all relations (in my opinion), so that public/political actions can be an incredibly powerful (and healing) response to injustice, however dismissing everything else as simply “reactionary” or “part of the problem” goes too far (to me s/he sounds like a undergraduate Marxian who has discovered [and fallen in love with] a metaphorical hammer with which to diagnose all human ills.)
You sound like you can’t tell the difference between sympathy and empathy.
So not coercing others is a form of denial, as you complain about being coerced by others. Got it.