Ian Goddard igoddard at
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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