What is in the brain .....
Updated: Sep 5
Some unfashionable truths.
We ought to be really careful about the links we draw between psychiatric disorders and the brain.
Laypeople tend to presume that, if a psychiatric disorder ‘shows up’ in a brain scan, then this is proof of destiny, as in it shows that the person was born with the disorder, and that the disorder is less likely to go away, but this presumption is false, and it is based on a basic misunderstanding.
In reality, every psychological state is a brain state, so the fact that a psychiatric disorder is ‘in the brain’ really says nothing about whether the person was born with the disorder, nor does it tell us about how severe or lengthy it is.
In contrast to essentialist beliefs, longitudinal research has provided evidence that it is rare for a person to maintain a single mental disorder diagnosis over the course of their life.
From a study in 2020 published in JAMA Network Open. It's on Google.
“We found evidence that virtually no one gets and keeps one pure diagnosis type,”
“Yet people tend to incorrectly assume that ‘what’s in the brain is destiny,'” Berent said. “This presumption is dangerous because it promotes stigma and helplessness, and it can negatively affect individuals. I hope that, by calling attention to this bias, we can help combat it.”
To be continued. An entry thing in progress.....