The evolution of psychiatry

Psychiatric therapies have never been atheoretical – psychiatrists have always justified their treatments with some school of thought: Freudian psychodynamic theories placed blaPsychiatric therapies have never been atheoretical – psychiatrists have always justified their treatments with some school of thought: Freudian psychodynamic theories placed blame on early childhood and subconscious urges; behaviourism justified the application of pain to try and train people out of wrongthink; and more recently, chemical imbalance theories were used to advertise pharmaceuticals, despite the narrative of simple dopamine and serotonin dysfunctions having been long dismissed in academic circles…Psychiatry today can be considered a discipline in crisis, surviving only because psychological and pharmaceutical treatments are effective for some people, some of the time, and so we still need them…

In 1973, after gay rights protestors had stormed an APA meeting…the APA called a vote to reconsider homosexuality’s status as a mental disorder. By a 58% majority, it was struck off.

Voting to decide whether a condition is a disease is not the sign of a mature science, yet to this day consensus alone is the deciding factor of whether a mind is deemed disorderly…

Nevertheless, this reference to evolutionary function is the only way to define function by an objective biological process rather than relying solely on subjective norms and cultural values – or indeed a vote.

https://www.worksinprogress.co/issue/the-evolution-of-psychiatry/

 


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