Neuropsychiatry25 Mar 1995 15:11
Talk to your analyst
Isn't that what he's paid for?
Evidence bearing on the charge that it is gaining ground in medical schools because it leads to more perscriptions for medications, hence more money for pharmaceutical firms. (Read in Z magazine, but they're a bunch of ideologues anyhow.)
Drugs are more effective cures of depression, schizophrenia, etc. than psychoanalysis and similar talking-cures. (Assume this as a hypothesis if not a fact.) This doesn't show that psychoanalysis is wrong about the causes of these conditions, precisely because the brain and the mind are so tied up with each other (if not identical). The shrink says (e.g.) that you are depressed because of some unmentionable thoughts about Mother or diapers. The neurologist says it's because something incomprhensible has happened to a chemical you can't pronounce. But, as William James used to say, "every psychosis [=mind state] is a neurosis [=brain state]," so mightn't such unmentionable thoughts --- or the corresponding neural processes --- under the right conditions cause that kind of chemical screw-up, which then becomes self-perpetuating? Conversely, a (modern sense) neurosis might have its origin in a (former sense) neurosis, yet be terminated words from the shrink --- even if the story the shrink tells has no basis in fact whatsoever.
Are suggestions more effective if people are more confident in their sources? It seems a natural supposition. Are people in (say) the US more confident in pills and NMR and proding the brain than in shrinks and words an unmentionables? I wouldn't be surprised. Is neuropsychiatry really so much more effective than psychoanalysis that the difference in cure rates cannot be explained be such an effect? I have no idea. How big would the difference have to be?
My bias is for neuropsychiatry; when I go mad, act accordingly.
- Nancy C. Andreasen, The Broken Brain: The Biological Revolution in Psychiatry
- Antonio Damasio Descartes' Error
- Cornelius Gross and Rene Hen, "The Developmental Origins of Anxiety", Nature Reviews Neuroscience 5 (2004): 545--552
- Kay Redfield Jamison, An Unquiet Mind [Book about manic-depressive illness by a clinical researcher who is herself manic-depressive.]
- To read:
- Robert Burton, The Anatomy of Melancholy, What It Is, with All the Kinds, Causes, Symptoms, Prognostics, and Several Cures of It: In Three Partitions, with Their Several Sections, Members and Subsections, Philosophically, Medicinally, Historically Opened and Cut Up: with a Satyrical Preface Conducing to the Following Discourse. By Democritus Junior 
- Cooper, The Victim is Always the Same
- David Gollaher, Voice for the Mad: The Life of Dorothea Dix
- Donald Mender, The Myth of Neuropsychiatry: A Look at Paradoxes, Physics and the Human Brain ["An intellectual journey in search of the mind and brain, from Descartes' and Spinoza's speculations, he expands outward to propound a radical new theory of mental processes that allows for more meaningful treatements of those with mental infirmities." Probably horrid.]
- Janet Oppenheim, "Shattered Nerves": Doctors, Patients and Depression in Victorian England
- Roy Porter, Mind-Forg'd Manacles
- Peter Sedgwick, Psycho Politics
- Ben Shephard, A War of Nerves: Soldiers and Psychiatrists in the Twentieth Century
- Frederick Toates, Biological Psychiatry: An Integrative Approach