igoddard at erols.mom
Tue Feb 12 11:52:27 EST 2002
Such findings will probably be seen as supporting the view
that behaviors are a result of biology, as if the brain was
a non-reactive system. Proponents of "biological psychiatry"
purport that because there is a neurological basis for mental
states and behaviors, such as low 5-HT and depression, these
states are the result of brain "disorders." Their origin is
confined strictly to the brain, and thus don't result from
environmental and inter-social factors as traditionally
believed to be the case in psychiatry. The treatment for
such states is therefore drugs, elctro-shock, and so forth.
The contemporary bio-psychiatric paradigm seems remarkably
simple minded in its failure to consider that the brain is
a reactive system, and thus how it is and what it's doing
could be the result of environmental stressors, and as such
a biological basis for behaviors does not necessarily trump
traditional psychiatric views. As an extreme example, in a
case where a child was locked in a closet for most of her
life, she had an extremely low IQ and was severely retarded
because, according to the doctors, of her environment. So
simply finding that a given brain state is at the root of
a given behavior does not necessarily prove that the brain
state is the fundamental cause of the behavior. In the
example at hand, if someone was subjected to a prolonged
series of personal disasters and problems, the negative-
thinking brain region may, as a result, be very active. It
might then tend to promote negative outcomes, and thus the
reality would be a combination of biology and environment.
Moreover, traditional cognitive therapies could be seen as
biological therapies, if (since) environment effects the
brain. We can see this is many studies where environmental
changes are comparable to drug therapies, such as for ADHD.
It would follow from this that traditional psychiatry is
not opposed to but is a subset of biological psychiatry.
"To lengthen thy life, lessen thy meals." Ben Franklin
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