Mental disorders are rooted in trauma and inequality, not biology

phosphorusPrescription drugs need to be proven to be helpful and not harmful. There is a wealth of data showing that this is not the case with psychiatric medications. Furthermore, in stark contrast to medical researchers who have found biological causation for many physical illnesses, psychiatric researchers have failed to find biological or genetic causes for most diagnosed mental disorders (anxiety disorders and depression), thereby denying Reasons for prescribing these medications. Despite (a) NIMH spending tens of billions of dollars in research funding over more than a century to find the physical causes of these mental illnesses, to no avail, and (b) patients spending tens of billions of dollars, This failure still occurs every year on these prescription dollars.

Health care science, whether applied to physical illness or mental disorder, requires the scientific basis for demonstrating (a) diagnosis, (b) explanation of the problem, and (c) treatment. The data related to these pillars of health care science, as they relate to mental health care, are clear. Lack of medical science behind psychiatric care: The Psychiatric Diagnostic Manual (DSM) fails to be considered valid or reliable; Psychiatric medicine’s explanation for mental disorders, the chemical imbalance theory, fails scientific testing; Antidepressant medications are no better than comfort agents are more effective, and unlike placebos, long-term use of these drugs, which are the standard of psychiatric treatment, can be seriously harmful to many people.

False psychiatric claims about the effectiveness of medications and NIMH’s insistent but unsupported medical positions obscure the lack of scientific basis for psychiatric medical care. The same goes for the research that psychiatry cites to support its practice. Researchers and psychiatric journals are twisting the results of outcome studies to doctors, thinking that when the data is properly analyzed, they show that psychotropic drugs are no more helpful than placebo, suggesting that the value of psychotropic drugs is psychological, not biological, and thus Psychotropic drugs are proven to be effective. A false, commercially profitable narrative about mental health care is being sold to the public. Even when the facts are well documented, the media fails to report the truth. Medicalized mental health care has been shown to be corrupt, based on rhetoric rather than science, and data shows that psychotropic drugs exacerbate mental disorders more than they alleviate them.

But we do know better. Substantial scientific evidence suggests that mental disorders have social/psychological rather than biological causes: exposure to negative environmental conditions, not disease, is the cause. Trauma and dysfunctional responses to trauma are scientifically proven causes of mental disorders. Just as treating medical problems psychologically would be a huge mistake, treating psychological problems medically is also a huge mistake.

Even when physical impairment is detected, it is found to result from the person’s exposure to negative life conditions rather than from a disease process. Poverty is trauma. It has been studied as a cause of mental disorders, and these studies have shown how non-medical interventions can promote recovery, validating the choice of psychological rather than biological interventions, even when biomarkers exist.

For example, published in Nature Neuroscience Research has found that children from low-income families have brain surface areas that are 6% smaller than those from high-income families. Researchers found that growing up in a stressful environment (poor and unstable homes) led to chromosomal damage (DNA changes) that did not occur in children who grew up in better-off homes. Fortunately, if conditions improve, brain size and cognitive abilities will increase. The environment can be harmful or beneficial.The author points out, The brain is incredibly plastic and can be shaped by experience, especially during childhood. These changes are not set in stone.

Another study, the Great Smoky Mountain Youth Study, tracked the incidence of mental disorders and personalities among low-income Native Americans in North Carolina over more than 20 years. Each tribal citizen will receive a $4,000 annual subsidy after a casino is built on their reservation. The authors report: Extra income not only appears to reduce the incidence of behavioral and emotional disorders in children, but, perhaps more importantly, it also enhances two key personality traits that often go hand in hand with long-term positive effects. The consequences of life. The first is conscience. People who lack this ability are prone to lying, breaking rules, and have difficulty concentrating. The second is Agreeableness, which leads to feeling comfortable with people and being comfortable working in a team. Both are closely related to various forms of success and happiness later in life. There is a strong correlation between conscientiousness and agreeableness and the ability to hold down a job and maintain a stable relationship. Both enable people to succeed socially and professionally.

A study published in JAMA Psychiatry This corroborates the finding that children who experience socioeconomic deprivation in childhood have higher rates of psychosis. Furthermore, when these negative conditions are reversed, the incidence of these diseases is greatly reduced. The child becomes like a child who has never had such a negative experience.

This is further underscored by a study conducted in Mexico and published in lancet According to reports, when poor families receive supplementary income, their children’s cognitive and language skills improve significantly within 18 months.

Finally, a study on the consequences of workplace stress on adults is published in the journal Social Sciences and Medicinefound that income disparity (a more subtle personal/environmental variable than poverty) was associated with increased diagnoses of mental disorders. Women who earn less than men are four times more likely to be diagnosed with an anxiety disorder and two and a half times more likely to be diagnosed with depression. When their incomes were at least as high as those of men, they had significantly lower rates of anxiety disorder diagnoses and the same rates of depression diagnoses as men.

As expected from these results, treatment effectiveness studies indicate that psychotherapy is superior to medication for treating mental disorders. Outcome studies of relapse after treatment that appears to have successfully ended show that psychotherapy is superior to medication in treating depression, the number one psychiatric diagnosis. The National Institute for Healthcare Excellence (NICE) reviewed 124 depression treatment outcome studies and found that psychotherapy was better than medication and became more effective over time. Furthermore, NICE reviewers found that the effectiveness of antidepressants decreases over time, with negative effects becoming stronger the longer you take antidepressants.

However, despite compelling evidence supporting a social/psychological rather than a biological/medical approach to understanding and treating mental disorders, the prescription of psychiatric medications remains the treatment of choice in psychiatry. Psychiatry, pharmaceutical companies, other physicians, the media, and the public still view mental disorders as biological in origin. Fully consistent with this scientifically unfounded belief, NIMH devotes relatively little research funding to research that expands our understanding of the psychological causes of mental disorders and instead invests heavily in biological research, which remains Produce little value. There’s no mystery why medical bias at NIMH fails to advance mental health care.

There is a double standard in health care’s compliance with science, clearly separating the treatment of physical ailments from the treatment of mental disorders. While far from perfect, the record clearly demonstrates that medical authorities (a) respect and (b) are accountable to established scientific standards in the pursuit of science relevant to the care of physical illnesses. They have achieved great success and benefited countless patients. But the record also shows that neither standard was applied to psychiatric mental health care, to disastrous effect. This is a tragedy and should be obvious, but it isn’t.

The consequences of this failure are well hidden, as psychiatry and Big Pharma are clearly more focused on pursuing their own financial interests than patient care, and thus completely control the narrative. The horrific truth is that conflicts of interest, not science, drive mental health care, and millions of people unknowingly suffer the consequences of being victims of this tragedy. The bottom line is that mental health care is fundamentally misguided, exacerbating mental disorders rather than alleviating them, while authorities, the media and the public fail to hold those responsible to account.


Mad in America has blogs written by a diverse group of writers. These posts are intended to serve as a public forum for broad discussion of psychiatry and its treatments. The opinions expressed are the author’s own.


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