No root cause: What if mental health symptoms are the actual disease?

pryor superjumbo
Credit: Angie Wang

“In the prevailing understanding of mental disorders, the premise is that an underlying cause exists,” says Sverre Urnes Johnson, associate professor at UiO’s Department of Psychology and a senior researcher and psychology specialist at the Modum Bad Psychiatric Center.

The idea is that symptoms like sadness, insomnia, social isolation and constant brooding are just different manifestations of a hidden root cause.

The symptoms aren’t the real problem, in other words. The actual problem can be found in a person’s genes, biochemical disruptions or unconscious internal conflicts.

The prevailing principle above has been taken from medicine, says Johnson.

An example is when an underlying bacterial infection gives you a fever and sore throat. Even if you take painkillers and fever-reducing medication, it doesn’t address the real cause of the problem.

Related article:  How weird can life on earth get? Check out these creatures found in deep arctic waters

“But this approach doesn’t make sense in psychology. Here, the symptoms have value in themselves. They are the patient’s experienced problems, and we know that these problems affect each other. One problem – or symptom, as it’s called in the medical model – can trigger or reinforce another,” Johnson says.

“Focusing on finding underlying causes can come at the expense of the chance to help someone,” says Johnson.

Read the original post

Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Talking Biotech
Genetics Unzipped
Infographic: What are mRNA COVID-19 vaccines and how do they work?

Infographic: What are mRNA COVID-19 vaccines and how do they work?

As of 1 December 2020, thirteen vaccines have reached the final stage of testing: where they are being given to ...

Environmental Working Group: EWG challenges safety of GMOs, food pesticide residues

Known by some as the "Environmental Worrying Group," EWG lobbies ...
m hansen

Michael Hansen: Architect of Consumers Union ongoing anti-GMO campaign

Michael K. Hansen (born 1956) is thought by critics to be ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
glp menu logo outlined

Newsletter Subscription

Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend